Chinese New Year party guests make racist jokes against Singapore chef, thinking he can’t understand Mandarin

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A Singapore chef shared on social media yesterday that he was the subject of racist remarks by guests at a Chinese New Year event he was hired to cook at, recently.

The freelance BBQ chef, Musitharthan, said that the remarks were made in Mandarin – a language he is familiar with. Revealing that the incident took place on Sunday (25 Feb) at a condomunium, Musitharthan shared:

“So here’s the thing, i went to this condo to cook for a CNY Get-together While i was cooking yesterday..This group of people were talking in Chinese about the food, they said “Look at the curry cooking so carefully and slowly without burning the food to his colour!”
“Well, i picked up some spoken Chinese during my secondary school as majority of my friends were Chinese. The MOMENT I HEARD THAT I WAS SO ANGSTY. I didn’t want to make a scene. So i just kept quiet and continues cooking. 
“The organisers also had also invited their Indian neighbours to the party(How nice of them) So that 13yr old Indian girl and her brother, were looking on as i cooked and Waited for the satay.
“But then that same guy went on again, ” Look at the 2 curry waiting for satay, the curries not burned enough so all gather at the fire to burn””

Expressing his anger, Musitharthan said that “darker skinned people Have FACED Discrimination all over the world” and decried the stereotypes against Indian cinema songs and shared his belief that Chinese and Malay people in Singapore expect Indians to learn their languages but do not take the effort to learn Tamil.

Musitharthan proclaimed: “Singapore will never truly develop unless it leaves behind all this racist people.”

This account comes less than a week after a netizen revealed that a tuition centre principal reportedly chased a parent away from the centre with a broom after they expressed that they did not want their primary-school going child to be tutored by an Indian tutor, on the basis of her race.

Parent tries to complain to Singaporean Chinese principal that they don’t want “smelly” Indian tutor, only to be chased out with a broom

53 COMMENTS

  1. Sgreans who have gone through the Social Studies classes should know that mutual tolerance and respect among different races is a basic tenet of our multi racial society. The education system has failed if they continue to pass such bigoted, racist remarks. If those making these comments are immigrants then it reflects serious flaws in our immigration policy where aliens who are ethnocentric and are unwilling to adapt to local norms are admitted to SG and allowed to sink roots here.

  2. Musithartan….we need to apologise to you on behalf of this racist person. Rest assured that such obnoxious racist r in d minority. Thank you for making their party a good one despite d provocations.

  3. Hey you ! Trying to divide the country along tribal lines. Even if you report it, can you get expert advice on how individual should deal with such situation , and how we can deal with it as a country.

  4. Meh I’m quite indifferent to it now. Still get the nose pinch, the fake check letterbox manoeuvre when they spot us at lift lobby, avoid sitting next to us on trains or bus, moment there’s a smell all point to the keleng, still refer to us as keleng, even if make conversation first thing ask if “You India or Mangala”?

    Not sure to be offended by the ignorance, poor command of English or both. Seriously years of social studies and national education fail. Seems like Sinkies don’t know there are Indian Singaporeans who have been here for generations. The name Singapore comes from a Tamil word, Singam is lion, ooru is country.

    Anyone dark skin must be a foreigner. Make fun of us in Mandarin which we understand very well. And still hear parents threathening to give their kids away to the keleng if they don’t behave. And all this from Singaporeans.

    Funny thing is when minorities speak up about racism or their experiences the majority get defensive or say we too sensitive, over exaggerate or making the whole thing up. When racism happens to the majority they lose their minds.

    • I’m a Singaporean Tamil too. Has the situation gone so bad that we have gotten used to racism? I was first exposed to racism when I was called ‘Black’ by a fellow classmate who happened to belong to the majority race. I was shocked and angry and i snapped back at him. He was surprised that i was offended. He said that he was just joking. The problem is…perhaps it was just a joke but he and many like him do not know how offensive a little ‘joke’ like that can be. They are brought up being taught that racism is okay because they will never be at the receiving end and suffering the consequences anyway. It is a shock though, knowing that the Indians and Chinese came to Singapore together(Im not sure who came first though i doubt it matters) with the Malays as natives. We helped build Singapore together. Honestly when u r a child u dont see race as all! Why the change? The Indians in Singapore do not have the numbers or the unity to make a name for ourselves. Im sorry but its gonna stay this way unless someone speaks up constantly.

      • I don’t know how to reply to you (actually address you) as everybody here posts as “Anonymous”.

        So, here’s my reply to you whose last sentence was “Im sorry but its gonna stay this way unless someone speaks up constantly.”

        I doubt speaking up constantly will improve the situation or get people to become no more racist. What it might do is to stop them from mkaing such jokes, and better still if you report them to the authorities to be dealt with.

        There is no way we can change a person, if parents at home teach them something different from what the schools teach, that is, IF the teachers are even teaching their charges not to be racist. We can only use the LAW to stop all these nonsense just like we use the law to deal with speeding, littering, stealing and so on.

        The internet (social media) is a breeding ground for this, by the way. Just look at the number of people hiding behind “Anonymous” or other user names at various forums who write Ah Neh and abnn, not in a friendly brotehrly way but in a mocking and derogatory way.

  5. The condo should be named and shamed so that responsible people/residents who attended would feel obliged to respond and distance themselves from such racist remarks.

  6. They are not necessarily be immigrants! My daughter’s classmates who are local, call her black instead of her names! So what’s the use of teaching social studies and CCE?

  7. Hi Musitharthan

    Firstly I am sorry to hear about what happened to you and its not right. I still hear this kind of language and behaviour within some factions of my family too. I don’t believe they are racists – just a lack of education and the opportunity to work / integrate with other communities in the country. Personally I have Malay and Indian friends while growing up and I don’t see the color – just people like myself. I don’t honestly know what the answer is? I can see it becoming an even greater problem over time as there has been an increase in immigration over the years with even more ethnic groups from overseas settling in Singapore? But something needs to change drastically. Bigotry creates more bigotry.

  8. Lets us not forget it is our very own government that makes the distinction between Singaporeans by their race….. as in the Presidential Election and on your ID. So our government is the mother of all racist.

  9. Wait Sir, with due respect! They may be referring to the foods colour rather than u. U know we r not cook as u r, the colour of the cooked foods turned, help us to determine whether it’s ready or not for consumption

  10. Hi Musitharthan,
    i’m sorry you had to go through this. Im a Tamil too. Unfortunately this has become a norm. People have a forgotten that we have a stake in Singapore’s future too and that the Indians,Malays and the Chinese helped develope Singapore together. I’m proud to be Tamil Singaporean, proud of our culture and language. Hope it makes you glad to hear that there are many out there like us who dont see the need to learn another language because Tamil is as important and beautiful as any.

  11. Unfortunately, perhaps this reference to an Indian’s colour as black comes from the limited Chinese expression for “dark”. When I get home from the beach my mum will say – “lu phak kar chin orh/ you have tanned yourself black” as there isn’t a specific word for tanned/brown/dark complexion.
    That’s not to say its acceptable at all, calling another human being black, yellow etc. After all, should they need a blood transfusion, only then will they understand that everyone’s blood is red.

  12. There should be a campaign on Black is beautiful. This will not completely solve but will mitigate the problem.
    Do you like dark ladies? I do. She is from the Mekong region. My sweetheart.

    I am a Chinese fella.

  13. One of the core values that Singapore was built upon was racial tolerance. True Singaporeans or people who really love our country shld never think about rocking the boat. Best is to intervene and stop these racists remarks. Don’t always expect the government to settle things for us. Else whatever that was built 50 years ago would be gone in a jiffy and that would be the start of the downfall.

  14. Racism is alive and kicking in sg i see it at workplace and I get it myself all the time so used to it now learn to live with it but I have to say the Chinese should not think that other races don’t understand Chinese language and be more respectful and mindful of what they say

  15. The only smelly people are the Chinese who do not wash their private parts each time after they peed or pooped.

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