The following is a letter by a reader of TISG, Karthigesu.
Denise Phua the MP for Jalan Besar GRC in her speech in Parliament, referred to the foreign workers who congregate in Little India as “walking time bombs”. Although she later apologised, the question is how did she apologise?
She said, “please accept my sincere apology if I have caused you concern”. She did not categorically say ‘I sincerely apologise for my hurtful comments about foreign workers’.
And what’s the need of her comments, “I personally get along very well with the foreign cleaners in my constituency”? To show that she is not xenophobic or racist?
Many racist or xenophobes may say stuff like ‘I had a Malay classmate’, ‘I have Filipino colleagues’, etc. But you can be a hate-monger and still ride a bus with someone who is different from you.
The Channel NewsAsia’s report on Denise’s unfortunate comment said that Ministers K Shanmugam and Desmond Lee addressed her concerns, but why did they not correct the MP’s comment about likening foreigners who gather in Little India as ‘walking time bombs’?
We have 9 MPs from WP (Workers’ Party) in Parliament. Did not any one of them feel offended by the Denise’s comments? If they were, why did they not object to it in Parliament?
Even if the WP MPs may say that they were not given time to address Denise’s speech in Parliament, there is always Facebook.
It is obvious that the foreign workers who congregate in Little India are mostly those from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; and the comment from Denise was aimed at them.
WP MPs’ silence on the matter is deafening.
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