by now, I am sure most people would have heard about Amy Cheong’s unfortunate posting on FaceBook and her dismissal from NTUC. Adding to the fire a police report was filed against her <– WTF?
First of all, whether or not NTUC should sack her is really a matter between her and NTUC. Each organisation have their rule of acceptable behavior and if deemed serious enough, is liable of being terminated. What I am trying to understand is what kind of mob mentality exists for people to demand that she is fired without getting to know her in person. The mob mentality we constantly see in the internet is not different from the Muslim (against an anti-Muslim film) or Chinese (against the dispute islands with Japan) protests that is going on currently; It just enraged people jumping to conclusions and action without thinking through the issue objectively and destroying people’s lives along the way. To me, it just a sign of immature thinking and a deep rooted anguish within their own lives.
To me, the Singapore’s (PAP to be precise) idea of religious and race harmony is dysfunctional; by quickly shutting down racy postings like this, it just shows to the rest of us how little the Singapore government trusts the Malay community (or any community that a comment was targeting). What they are assuming is that the Malay community will suddenly be provoked into rage and go on to the streets and start smashing cars and killing any Chinese person in it wake. Why not let the Malay community respond and react to it themselves? Why do we need to close the eyes of Singaporeans just like a mom closing the eyes of a child to protect it from a horrible sight? Do we not trust that the community can amicably and objectively counter such messages without going into a rage? The way PAP handles these so-called “sensitive” issues does not show any trust towards any of the victim community for sure. Of course, the funny part about this is that its probably the Chinese posters who are enraged and does this not show that our inter-whatever-PAP-crap is working well AND without PAP having to lift a finger!?
Personally, we should all welcome such remarks, it presents us all an opportunity to show how we can agree to disagree and still go on with life. After all, being gay, we have been constantly vilified and called worst in the internet, churches and even from the government. You don’t see us throwing stones into straight pubs or evil churches? We just bitch them to death and party on. Keeping undercurrent alive without allowing the tension to be aired does no one any good. What we have is a pretentiously harmonious society in which everyone has their racist attitudes and continues to re-enforce them in small talks. Personally, I have heard people talked down on such void deck weddings before, so really, Amy is not the first one thinking this way. Some people may think that is keeping silent is good, if not we will need to battle these remarks constantly and this may cause even more social tension. However, it is how a society response to such remarks that determines the social tension. If we can respond objectively and amicably and people from different community and classes are defending each other, than social cohesion will increase instead. Moreover, the undercurrent themselves can translate to unconscious discrimination, may it be within employment and promotion opportunities, friendship, neighborliness, etc.
And what about the $50 wedding? Personally, I think everyone should use void decks for their wedding and I surely don’t think that is only $50. Void deck is such a unique culture in Singapore; we use it for funerals, weddings and many other celebrations. The Malay void deck weddings is such a relaxed (yet serious) and enjoyable celebration. The atmosphere is family oriented and unpretentious and the public is welcomed to share in that joy. Although not necessarily cheap, I believe those dumb face saving stupendous Chinese weddings with shark fins (eeeekks) in restaurants costs even more. Couples often worry if they can break-even from their wedding celebration as if its chore and some goes into debts just because of such “face-saving” culture. Perhaps we could all learn a thing or two from the void deck weddings.
And aren’t we all a little bit racists?