Sunday, April 20, 2014

Xenopohobia rearing its ugly head again

I was astonished over a petition to stop Filipinos from celebrating their Philippine Independence Day in Singapore. The first thing that came into mind. Why?

True. Underlying, there are issues at hand that we feel are unfair to Singaporeans such as an over reliance on foreign workers and for some, perceived bias towards foreign workers from the same country.  However, that should not have translated into removing all their rights to celebrate their own national day.

Some have compared this to other countries but seriously, Singapore by itself is unique in a sense that we have so many races living and working together. We also have many religions that are practiced in Singapore. I would have thought that by now, Singaporeans would have racial and social harmony embedded within our lifestyle and behaviour.

We ourselves have also organised Singapore Day in many other countries. If the group has their event activities determined and have gotten permission from the relevant authorities, why can't we let them enjoy themselves for that day?

There is a difference between nationalism and xenophobia. This is definitely not nationalism.

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