Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Serangoon Gardens apartheid

Yes, this may sound like Sepp Blatter calling Ronaldo a slave, and I may be accused of now reading up sufficiently on pre-Mandela South African history, but I dare say the whole "I don't want foreign workers in my backyard" tug-of-war between Serangoon Gardens, the Government and now Tai Hwan smacks of petty apartheid.

Granted, we are not talking about citizens here, but foreigners. But the Serangoon people are talking about them as if they are a bunch of molesters & murderers who only know how to get drunk & vandalise. That is about as broad a stereotype as you can get. Unwittingly, they are perpetuating the Singaporean stereotype of selfishness & self-interest.

Singapore is so small that eventually, they're gonna have to live in someone's backyard. The big picture is it happens to be Serangoon Gardens/Tai Hwan this time. Might be Hume Park next time, or Lentor Avenue. Put yourself in their shoes - if you were in a foreign land earning whatever you can so your family, who you won't see for years, can scrape by, wouldn't you want their sympathy too? Yes, you would. Now go and do likewise.

They had the cheek to complain they were not consulted. Hello? Does the land belong to you? No. Do you really expect the Government to accede when you say you want them somewhere else? Again, big picture. If everyone says no, where do we put them? Lim Chu Kang?

I know "dormitory" is an anagram for "dirty room", but it can't be that bad. Wake up, stop dreaming and have a little heart.

No comments: