Racial slurs from foreigners – how ready is the Government to handle this?

“The former assistant director of NTUC’s Membership Partnership & Alliance, Amy Cheong, has been revealed to be a Singapore Permanent Resident holding an Australian citizenship.” (Asia One)

Prior to the now infamous incident where Ms Cheong made racist rants against the Malay community, I was talking to a friend about how things may turn out if foreigners – who themselves do not engender much love from Singaporeans – were to make racist remarks about any of our racial groups. It could potentially ignite a very serious storm indeed.

Xenophobia and racism make for a very troubling tinderbox. Continue reading “Racial slurs from foreigners – how ready is the Government to handle this?”

Why do we not embrace other forms of diversity?

In a Facebook note which apparently is a reference to the Amy Cheong incident, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC – Janil Puthucheary – said:

“Celebrate Diversity – more than just taking the good with the bad, more than just ‘tahan’ the neighbours or understanding other cultures. It means seeing the differences amongst us as a source of happiness, wonder and joy. It means feeling the sparkle and passion that variety gives to our lives. It means seeking a connection at a fundamental level that connects us as humans and yet being open to the possibility of learning more, moving closer, journeying together. Celebrate Diversity, because we are many and ONE.”

I agree with Mr Puthucheary.  Continue reading “Why do we not embrace other forms of diversity?”

Kwong Wai Shiu – 100 years old but will it survive?

This article was written and published on 6 April 2010, when I was with The Online Citizen. I co-authored it with Leong Sze Hian. On 5 October 2012, the government announced that Kwong Wai Shiu will be conserved. (See here.)

One hundred years ago, in 1910, a group of Cantonese merchants founded the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) to provide their Cantonese comrades with free medical care. Originally, the hospital only served Cantonese members. In 1974, however, its constitution was amended and it admitted anyone from any ethnic or racial group.

The hospital, located along Serangoon Road and which came about from an agreement between the British colonial authorities and the merchants, was built on a 6 hectare piece of land with a 99-year lease. The British government charged it a nominal annual rental of S$1. Continue reading “Kwong Wai Shiu – 100 years old but will it survive?”