He recounted an event that took place approximately 20 years ago. He said while he was not outright racially abused, he did have to endure some discrimination by people of another race.
Mr Lim said that racism ran rampant then. However, without social media, such issues were much less commonly discussed then than now. Since then, society has seen much progress on issues such as racial and ethnic intolerance.
Technology like the phone camera has allowed users to take damning videos of racial intolerance that tarnishes the aggressor’s reputation.
Mr Lim also said that the emergence of far-right political parties was yet another issue to be worried about.
To prevent such incidents of racial intolerance, education is important. Mr Lim highlighted the need to “educate & re-educate”. He advised that the young should be educated about the values of democracy, equality, and the consequences of racial disharmony. Meanwhile, the older generation should be re-educated and taught not to spread questionable values and opinions to later generations.
Mr Lim acknowledged that this was not so simple and it would take a long time to inculcate the correct values in people. However, it is a course of action that is necessary despite the challenges involved.
He also noted that while it was impossible to completely do away with racism, citizens should do their part by not disseminating values and ideas associated with racial intolerance.
Mr Lim recalled another Facebook post he made previously, urging people to practise what they promise to uphold in Singapore’s national pledge (“Pledge ourselves as one united people. Regardless of race, language or religion”). Everyone should learn to appreciate differences in culture and race instead of looking down on others.
The issue of racial intolerance recently came to light in Singapore due to several incidents. One such instance was the owner of the YouTube channel ‘Beow Tan’ uploading videos painting other races in a negative light. The experience of Dave Parkash, a half-Indian, half-Filipino Singaporean who was harassed in public for having a Chinese girlfriend, has also attracted attention on social media sites and in the news. /TISGFollow us on Social Media
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