“… should be an example for our Politicians in the Gomen and the Opposition..”

12 10 2012

 

 

  • An epic fail in race relation, is it due to ignorance or racism or both

  • This racist event happened in Singapore a couple of days ago:
  • WA woman in racism storm

  • A Perth woman at the centre of a racism storm in Singapore has fled to WA after she was sacked over a Facebook post that sparked a public outcry.
  • University of WA graduate Amy Cheong, 37, caused outrage across the South-East Asian republic on Sunday by posting a comment about Malay weddings, which are often held in public spaces beneath housing blocks in Singapore.
  • Apparently frustrated by the noise from a wedding, she wrote: “How many f…ing (sic) days do Malay weddings at void decks go for? Pay for a real wedding you a……, maybe then the divorce rate won’t be so high. How can society allow people to get married for 50 bucks?”
  • The post went viral within hours, leading to Facebook groups calling for Ms Cheong to be sacked, YouTube videos accusing her of racism against the Malay community and a barrage of malicious online posts.
  • Ms Cheong, a Malaysian-born Australian citizen, was sacked on Monday from her job as assistant director of Singapore’s National Trade Union Congress for Membership Partnership and Alliance.
  • She issued a long apology, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it had come too late and the damage was done. He condemned the comments as unacceptable and offensive to Malay Muslims.
  • “It sharply reminds us how easily a few thoughtless words can undermine our racial and religious harmony,” he said.
  • Ms Cheong told state media on Tuesday she was leaving for Perth because of threats to her and her family and to “ease the tension”.
  • In her apology, Ms Cheong wrote: “I am terribly sorry to all who were affected emotionally, mentally and in all other aspects. I am aware of the pain I’ve caused through my insensitive remarks on social media.
  • “There was no racism intended in my post. I was trying to rest and the noise was affecting me greatly, however, I do understand this is not a valid reason to post what I did.”
  • Her boss, Lim Swee Say, said firing Ms Cheong was a difficult decision and urged Singaporeans to “spare a thought for Amy and the pain she is going through”.
  • He said the NTUC “would not accept … any words or actions taken by staff that are racially offensive”.
  • It is understood she had been working for the union for a year, but had been living in Singapore for 10 years after moving from Perth, where she grew up.
  • Singaporean local Ryan Soh, a sales consultant, said the comments had come at a sensitive time in Singapore.”The Government is trying hard to create a picture of racial harmony because we have a lot of races here, Chinese, Indians and Malays,” he said. “It is a balancing act and when these comments came, they touched a lot of raw nerves.”
  • Source here.
  • What interest me is how remarkably fast the Singapore Government quickly took action even before the docile minority Singapore Malay community had the chance to react. 
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  • Read this post here to find out what the NTUC(Cheong’s employer) and Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong said about those racists comment:
  • Amy Cheong: Fired For Racist FB Comments

  • The Chinese women in the middle of the storm was born in Malaysia but grew up in Australia, she has an Australian citizenship and is a Singapore PR. Having read her comments in the FB, I can’t help but wonder if she wrote the stupid racist comments out of ignorance or just sheer racism on her part. 
  • Anyway, what happened in Singapore is a good lesson for us Malaysians, how a few words of ignorance and hate could blow into a racial firestorm that could engulf a multiracial multi religious nation if the Leaders in power dither on what to do.
  • The decisive action by Gomen owned NTUC and the timely statement from the Singapore PM should be an example for our Politicians in the Gomen and the Opposition.
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