Internal survey shows opinion “hardening against Muslims”; this is not good: Shanmugam

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“Our internal surveys show that opinion is hardening against Muslims,” said Law and Home Affairs Minister, K Shanmugam. “This is not good,” he added.

The minister made those sobering remarks when speaking with reference to the situation in Singapore, in his reaction to the London terrorist attack over the weekend.

The minister said “[Singapore] have to guard against rising anti-Muslim sentiments”, and cited the recent graffiti incident in the Marine Parade MRT station as an illustration.

In that incident, reported on 3 June, the word “terrorist” was found scrawled over an image of a woman wearing a hijab on the hoarding at the upcoming Marine Parade MRT station.

The minister said the “Government strongly guarantees the rights of minorities, including Muslims, and will work towards ensuring that we are an integrated Singaporean community, where everyone is safe, secure and has opportunities.”

In his post on Facebook on Sunday, Mr Shanmugam made several other points, including urging family and friends to step forward to inform the authorities if they see or sense anything amiss with those around them who may be influenced by extremist ideologies.

Mr Shanmugam described this as a “serious responsibility” on the part of family and friends.

“Before someone commits a terrorist act, it is likely that his family, friends will have noticed something amiss,” the minister said. “This is the case with most radicalised persons. The family, friends have a serious responsibility to alert the security agencies. Police can’t do this alone. In past cases, we have had family alerting the police, and we have also had situations where family and friends kept quiet.”

The minister, who has been raising the alarm not only over threats within Singapore but also developments overseas which could have consequences for the country, said the authorities will be releasing more information on further arrests, and the family’s knowledge of such individuals’ inclinations.

Mr Shanmugam then turned to the influence of “extremist teaching” and the responsibilities of preachers, citing the example of Britain.

“Britain has long allowed extremist preachers who have poisoned many Muslims, and Britain did so under the framework of freedom of speech,” Mr Shanmugam told the media on Sunday.

“People become terrorists, because of the poison of extremist teaching, and the poison online,” Mr Shanmugam said in his Facebook post. “Preachers have a special responsibility – not to preach a ‘us versus them’ philosophy. Not to divide.”

He said preachers have to promote multi-racial, multi-religious identity, and encourage integration, while people keep true to their religion.

“That has been the case for many years, until recently,” the minister explained. “More recently, foreign preachers have tried to take a more divisive approach. We must reject that. Our people must come forward to greet each other, and accept each other’s festivals. Government will take further steps against approaches which seek to divide. [Background – remember the arguments as to whether Muslims can wish Merry Xmas?]”

Alluding to the attacks in the United Kingdom in recent weeks, Mr Shanmugam asks: “How do you stop someone who takes a car or van who drives along a public road and then goes on to the pavement? Or takes a knife along? You can’t turn the entire city into a garrison.

“You’ve got to make sure the conditions that create such ideas are nipped in the bud,” he said.

One of the ways to do this is for the government to intervene early, which Singapore’s laws allow, he said, unlike elsewhere.

“We prevent extremist preaching. We have laws that allow us to intervene much earlier than agencies in other societies can.”

“Even with all that, don’t assume that nothing will happen,” he stressed. “But I sympathise and I can understand the difficulties agencies face in every country, including Singapore, particularly in other countries, given the size.”

The minister, who has been warning that Singapore cannot escape the eventuality of attacks even as the authorities do its best to prevent them, urged Singaporeans to get involved in the fight against terrorism.

“Everyone out there, don’t leave it to someone else, don’t leave it to the Government,” he said. “Come forward, understand the message, understand what SG Secure is all about, understand the Run, Hide, Tell message; volunteer, get trained to save yourself, save your family and come together.”

24 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t be a copycat, what the rest of the world or its leaders are talking sbout races and ISIS “Muslim ” Terrorism. Singapore a small country with big mouth politiciantrt to tell the world they are well prepared, shut up lah. Many times, we been told don’t show off or talk big by the world. Don’t act like clowns, be ourselves and create more harmonies among our small nation people. Create jobs, don’t tax us more on Medical issue and most important give us back our CPF. Stop! Don’t try all ways to squeeze our pockets, we are bleeding with blood in our hearts and tear drops in our eyes. Don’t forget what you do with the people of Singapore, God is watching.

  2. Well they did open a can of worms when they confessed en masse that they … we are all racists who can’t be trusted to do the right thing to vote for minorities right, with just in time surveys to back it up? One paraplegic even shed tears at her own internalised racism right in the parliament no?

  3. The surveys also routinely show 98% satisfaction with train operations, I think you might need to fix either data collection methodology or interpretation methodology

    • I­ a­m c­r­e­a­t­i­n­g a­n h­o­n­e­s­t p­a­y o­n-l­i­n­e f­r­o­m h­o­m­e. ­I e­v­e­n h­a­v­e c­r­e­a­t­e­d $­1­9­7­2­8 i­n p­r­e­c­i­s­e­l­y m­y l­a­s­t m­o­n­t­h b­y o­p­e­r­a­t­i­n­g o­n-l­i­n­e. ­s­t­r­a­i­g­h­t­f­o­r­w­a­r­d a­n­d e­a­s­y j­o­b t­o t­r­y a­n­d d­o f­r­o­m h­o­m­e a­n­d e­a­r­n­i­n­g­s a­r­e­a u­n­i­t l­a­r­g­e t­h­a­n r­e­g­u­l­a­r j­o­b. m­e­r­e­l­y b­e ­a p­a­r­t o­f t­h­i­s j­o­b i­m­m­e­d­i­a­t­e­l­y a­n­d b­e­g­i­n e­a­r­n­i­n­g f­r­o­m h­o­m­e b­y f­o­l­l­o­w t­h­i­s l­i­n­k……..

      HERE ↛↛↛ https://web.facebook.com/Dollars-Job-1870736566524041/app/137541772984354/?ref=page_internal

  4. Singapore likes to follow the CNN, BBC etc narratives. Jihadist, Islamist, bla bla all actually mean a little different than how the terms are used. But I don’t see Singapore discussing it to correct the misconception. The govt perpetrates paranoia and islamophobia. Then now? Worried? Pfft!Metaphorical crocodile tears!

  5. That is really bullshit. There is no hardening against muslims by Singaporeans. Minister you should stop creating animosity. The truth all races here have been living in harmony. It is the government that is detailing the difference between the races and keeping harping on issues that don’t exist. One good example is the PE. Malay MPs have been voted into parliament is evidence there is no racial divide.

    • Do you spot the pattern?

      On one end, the govt-controlled mainstream media (ST) keeps flooding the country with news pertaining to terrorism, and i mean “flood” in the most exaggerating term there is.

      And then the other end, you have the govt espousing the idea of “multiculturalism” and “tolerance” in SG and accentuating how vital it is to the country’s health.

      But, how can there be “social cohesion” and “integration” when at one end you sensationalize an issue that has more or less to do with societies that were *embroiled* in aggressive wars in the first place? Not everybody is “woke” in the sense they have the inherent ability to see through propagandized materials, there are bound to be influenced of reactions/standpoints.

      And in regards to the Malay presidential candidate, indeed there might not have been a “racial divide” to begin with but can you see the point? There is no “racial divide” to begin with but BY implementing a “Malay-only” presidential election that bars other races from running, will it result into a more “socially integrated” society or, ironically, a divided one?

      In short, they are employing the good ole favorite tactic of the colonial British of Divide And Conquer, all over again!

    • What the fuss, Mr How Lian about PE. Singapore created GRC so that minority can be voted in. Mr Lee Kuan Yew is right to say race still play a part in our everyday lives.

    • unfortunately there is a trend of hardening if u read the news stories online n the comments section. also u will notice that watsapp has nowadays more images, videos n text postings which apparently r anti-islamic. yes we r all living in harmony but that does not hide the fact that everytime there is a terrorist attack, the first reaction online is “why them again”?

  6. AS I SAID BEFORE, ANY “SURVEY” BY ROTTON GOVT CAN NEVER BE RELIABLE AND BE TRUSTED AT ALL.

    THIS IS HOW ROTTON GOVT ALWAYS “BRAINWASH” ITS CITIZENS.

    SO, DISREGARD THEIR BRAINWASHINGS ONCE YR REALISE AND YOU KNOW IT.

    EXERCISE YR VOTE WISELY IS THE COUNTERACTIONS TOWARDS SUCH BRAINWASHINGS BY THE MIW.

  7. Prime Minister of UK, Theresa May said, “Enough is Enough”. Indeed.
    Radicalised Islamic Terrorists are the “Black Death” of Modern times. Extraordinary tiimes require extraordinary solutions! On the Tactical level, locked up all known people who are radicalised in some form or degree. Treat them like violent mental patients(terrorists shouting “this is for Allah”! Kills for Allah? Their mind must have messed up by the Preacher).
    On the Strategic level, stop all religious teachers from expounding extreme Islamic ideas and bring in and encourage moderate Muslims to speak, out loud and clear and promote peaceful form of religious teaching.

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