A Facebook user has voiced out his exasperation over Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu’s recent comments on how Covid-19 has brought about xenophobic sentiments among Singaporeans. He argued that for “sensible” Singaporeans, outrage over the inadherence to rules is a matter of law and not of race.
According to a recent article by straitstimes.com, Ms Fu in a talk about race held on Saturday (May 30), addressed the issue of how the Covid-19 pandemic has unearthed racism and xenophobia.
Referring to the recent uproar caused by the report of foreigners who gathered together at Robertson Quay breaking circuit breaker rules, Ms Fu cited how some people were quick to call for their deportation. “It is not just restricted to one place, but somehow when we see a group of people that look different from us, there is a visceral reaction,” she said.
Incidents where Singaporean Chinese were attacked in countries like the UK and Australia for racist sentiments on where the Covid-19 virus originated were also tackled in the talk. The infamous ‘sovereign’ woman was also mentioned, together with the haste some Singaporeans made with concluding she was a foreigner, when in fact, she was Singaporean.
“In the worst of times, it is easy to blame someone who is different from ourselves, when it is due to race, religion or nationality,” Ms Fu said. “What we must realise is that viruses do not discriminate, people do.”
However, in response to this, Facebook user Simon Lim on Sunday (May 31) took to social media to express his issue with Ms Fu’s comments. He argued that for reasonable Singaporeans, ire over circuit breaker flouting is all about adhering to the law–not about someone’s race.
I take strong issue with Grace Fu's describing of Singaporeans as "xenophobic" when commenting about foreigners, largely…
“It is utterly shameful and disappointing that a more than a million dollars earning PAP full cabinet minister couldn’t differentiate between the two and made such a kindergarten level mistake,” wrote Mr Lim.
He went on to say that over the course of the circuit breaker, he had called the attention of authorities on the unlawfulness of some locals. “I have personally made two 999 calls on two occasions to report on groups of people totally oblivious to CB measures who gathered to drink beer, smoke and talk cock and they are locals,” he argued.
Mr Lim called on Ms Fu to “fight and support a law abiding society, whether among locals or foreigners in Singapore.”
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org