Aiseyman! Finally WP forms a committee to tackle racial discrimination in Singapore!


Racial discrimination is very much well and alive in Singapore as the many anecdotal accounts can attest to. It not only pervades our society at a personal level but at an institutional level where state policies are formulated around racial quotas, unfounded security concerns and stereotypes. This undercurrent of simmering racism is further exacerbated by the state's constant denial of the problem and their heavy-handed punitive approach in dealing with racism by invoking the Sedition Act. The former creates a facade of a multi-racial and multi-religious society and prevents any honest and meaningful discussion of racism while the latter creates a climate of fear and self-censorship.

Instead of suppressing any discussion on race and religion, what we need is to have free and open dialogue where disagreements can be trashed out, stereotypes can be dispelled and misunderstandings can be cleared up. But open dialogue is not enough if the framework of institutionalised racism is not challenged in a place where it matters the most - parliament.

This is why it is important that the WP has taken the first step forward in admitting that racism is a problem in our society and are taking the bold initiative to form a multi-racial committee to study and address persistent perceptions of discrimination among all minority communities. If a basis for such perceptions is found, the party will work together with the Government in taking the necessary actions to deal with the problem, and if no such basis is found, the Government can also work with the affected community in correcting the mis-perceptions.

This is a step in the right direction which has been long overdue. Even though it is almost impossible to eradicate racism in any society, we still need to do all we can to ensure that institutional racial discrimination is kept as minimal as possible.