Ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, rage and hatred

This is just a personal note to say that I am quite uncomfortable with the polarisation that seem to be happening in Singapore. Ok, people went on a frenzy in the lead up to the General Election and that is fine.  But now, since the GE is over, there is absolutely no necessity to remain in gear five. A good driver would know that you cannot remain in gear five all the time and not avoid accidents; and that you cannot negotiate turns without switching gears down.

I am not saying that the perceived injustices have already been corrected or that there are no issues to be discussed. I am not even saying that we should opt for quiet diplomacy to change status quo over loud activism. What I am uncomfortable about is how these issues are highlighted.

I did say something about the Black Sunday movement some weeks ago on TOC.  One of the reasons I said what I said, was not to intimidate anybody or to monger fear; but because I was concerned that people would go into events such as these and not know what they are getting in to. I felt that the organisers of such events should do proper homework and give enough information to the people who would turn up, to make an informed decision as to whether they should support such protests actively, or remain passive sympathisers. 

I must say that I am also uncomfortable with colour-coded activism. I am reminded of the problems in Thailand over such colour-coded political activism, where the red shirts are pitted against the yellow shirts.  I am convinced that a country like Singapore, cannot afford to go into such a situtation, and that such a movement would be detrimental to Singapore.

It seems to me that more thought could have gone into the planning of the events to highlight such grievances, lest you fan ultra-nationalism and xenophobia. I think politicians too must refrain from being opportunistic, by further fanning such unhappiness from certain quarters of the community. 

Injusctices and wrongs are here to stay with us.  Even if the opposition forms the next government, there will be other injustices and perceived wrongs which activists must continue to fight.

I know that I may be criticised for writing this note. Maybe even flamed somewhere, but I must say what I have to say.

I have supported and personally championed many issues in the past few years, and have not shied away from something out of fear.  Yes, I do get angry when I see injustices, but I do not rage all the time.  I also am not hateful towards anybody. 

Rage and hatred are bad for society and that is not the kind of Singapore I want my children and their children to grow up in. 


Thomas Teo said…
Ravi, agree with your view on polarisation. The biggest issue here is the perception that Singapore government doesn't give priority to Singaporean. Well, we can debate what is the reality but the perception is there and need to be addressed.

What I afraid of is when the government is perceived to be inconsistent with its values and rule of law, people will start taking things into their own hands. That will eventually lead to the sorry state of ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, rage and hatred.

Take the recent uproars on some PRC racist remarks incident, the 880K DBSS flat, etc. In these situations, the government's responses are less than desired.

I quote Maxwell Maltz, "We are injured and hurt emotionally, not so much by other people or what they say and don't say, but by our own attitude and our own response." Substitute "our" in the quote with "our country, our leaders" and that explains the anger, disillusion and ultimately polarisation.
Unknown said…
Well done Ravi P...a good write. People should open the mindset and not over-flame their passion..Yes! colour code is fine for uniformity and identity..but beyond that we have to understand the mechanism of holding a 'charged'-up cause or rally..not to fall into 'aroused sentimentality.'

The placard on "foreigners are trash" is a little extreme....Yes! we do not like too many foreigners on our soil but we cannot condemned the whole human race due to individual outrage..The Government is accountable for the influx and job loss of locals...

Perception becomes conviction but if conviction is over-emphasized towards civil disobedience..we will certainly loose the true cause of one's righteousness, polarization or no polarization...

Ultra-nationalism is not for Singapore..CSJ would know what I am talking about...(SDP has come a long way:)

All beings are equal..the environment, the upbringing, the social status make us different from our worldly humankind...We should not be xenophobic....

For 51 years of PAP rule...only now is the awakening of the new generation of youth and news media not to colour our senses by the government (which is impossible now for distortion of news and facts.

Slowly but surely...the "Roman Empire" (PAP) is collapsing...in two more GEs to come, my prediction...Regards...
Unknown said…
leesjuanpat is my pseudonym for patrick lee song juan..which I still use occasionally..thank you