Home News Featured News Facebook protest: These three points just don’t make sense

Facebook protest: These three points just don’t make sense

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

The online trolls come out to play.

The nursery rhyme just doesn’t fit the reactions to a celebration like the Filipinos Independence Day, especially the over-the-top ones by some netizens to the Pilipino Independence Day Council Singapore’s plan to celebrate the community’s Independence Day in Singapore.

It is nothing more than a childish, irrational temper tantrum.

Much of the vitriol is sparked by the Facebook page “Say no to an overpopulated Singapore” which has urged netizens to protest against the event on June 8.

- Advertisement -

There’s the immature  name-calling, with imaginative commentators  repeatedly likening the organisers (and all Filipinos in general) to pests and vermin (as seen on the page)

There’s the “us versus them” playground  mentality, with a few apparently conflating Filipino foreign workers with All Foreign Workers That Ever Did Live In Singapore

There are three items that the protesters are against:

1) The council’s use of the Singapore skyline in the event’s promotional materials

Why is this a problem?  This year’s Singapore Day in London used the iconic London skyline for its posters.

2) The event’s use of the term “interdependence”

“Interdependence” is not an inherently negative word. It is used here together with “independence” and is an attempt to promote community and solidarity. And I’d like to bring up something that seems to have been completely ignored by protesters: as part of the run-up to Independence Day, the council has organised events such as blood donation campaigns and care home visits – all worthy causes for the benefit of Singaporeans.

As council co-chairman Rychie Andres said: “Our drive is to be part of the community and and an attempt to try and open up to other nationalities.

“Interdependence doesn’t mean Singaporeans depend on us, but that we all help each other.”

3) The fact that the event will be held on “Singapore soil” and not in the embassy compound.

 

Previous Filipino Independence Days have been held in public places like Hong Lim Park and Suntec City and nobody batted an eyelid.

And then there’s the downright bullying – the council took down its Facebook post about the event in response to the anti-Filipino comments, an action that was not lost on “Say no to an overpopulated Singapore”, which posted gleefully on its page:

*Update: PIDCS has since removed the main event poster (along with hundreds of comments made by Singaporeans protesting against it) on their Facebook page.

“We are extremely proud of all you, fellow Singaporeans, for supporting this protest movement, and will keep you updated on any new developments.”Of course, every country has its xenophobes and bigots, and I’m not at all suggesting that the majority of Singaporeans share their views.

At around only 250 likes on the re-post of  “Say no to an overpopulated Singapore”, these online protesters can hardly be said to constitute a representative sample of general Singaporean opinion.

What’s really frustrating is that “‘Say No to an overpopulated Singapore”, in its original intention to voice the frustrations and concerns Singaporeans have about overpopulation, has a pertinent and relevant agenda. Its page description prioritises “active discussions and positive social actions” and “the power of collaborative participation”, things that Singapore’s online landscape sorely needs.

Ironically, at the bottom of the description it also writes: ‘Trolls/Spammers/Nuisances/Racists, etc. will be banned’.

Singaporeans have legitimate and rational reasons to be concerned about overpopulation. However the protests of a racist online minority will only give more ammunition to those who call for more online regulation.

Childish tantrums and blind rage will not get us anywhere; they merely risk fuelling unthinking reaction and tarring everyone with the same brush. And then we’ll all end up on the naughty step.

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

National reserves: Whatever their strategic value, Singaporeans have right to know how they are managed

  The ruling People’s Action Party is weaponising knowledge of the exact amount of Singapore’s national reserves as a way of helping it stay in power. That’s unacceptable. It does not have such an in perpetuity right. One of the debates in...

Jolin Tsai’s perky butt got the internet abuzz

Taipei -- Mandopop diva Jolin Tsai isn't shy of flaunting her figure in all kinds of sexy and revealing outfits and her fans are just lapping it up. The 40-year-old singer uploaded a couple of photos from her trip to Yangmingshan...

Man attacks teen, calls him a virus, damages his phone

Singapore—A sudden attack took a teen by surprise when one man started yelling at him, physically harming him, and throwing his phone into a nearby drain at around 10.30pm on Tuesday (Feb 23) on a section of the road near the...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent