Racism’ s the hot button topic of the day. It’s a valid one and definitely one that’s worth airing out, but like anything in excess, people will soon get sick of it. That’s especially true if is the topic does nothing to address the concerns the people have about the subject. That’s exactly what MP Edwin Tong did.
In a talk he gave during a virtual youth conference organised by OnePeople.sg , Tong talked about the unpopular EIP and other racial policies put in place by the government in Singapore.
Acknowledging that they were imperfect, Tong nonetheless stood by his guns, saying that they’re what we need in Singapore.
“Policies like the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP), GRC and so on serve a function. Is it the best? Perfect? No. But in the context of what we have, does it fulfil our purpose? Yes.”Edwin Tong
Of course, that pretty much contributed a big fat nothing to the racism issue at hand. Netizens predictably blasted him for it.
Overwhelmingly, Netizens pushed back on Tong’s comments.
They view it is as unnecessary and an effort to muddy the waters at a time when more important matters should be addressed.
It’s not a surprise why many see it this way.
After all, policies like the EIP, GRC, CMIO systems are all relatively abstract matters. They are integral to our lives but hardly pressing issues that need to be addressed at the moment.
With Covid-19 clusters popping up all over the island due to the KTV and Jurong Island fishery spread, Netizens are understandably anxious about the immediate future and what it will be coming in the coming days and weeks.
The ones that do want to discuss what Tong talked about can be counted on one hand.
Even when Netizens do talk about things in regards to Tong’s speech, it’s to slam the government for dragging their feet on not addressing the issues.
Tong’s acknowledgement of the issues that certain policies present is viewed as a load of hot air; a lot of talk but no action. A holding pattern if you will.
Again, this is completely understandable. While Tong’s speech is enlightening in some aspects, there wasn’t anything substantial in it. He’s retreading water that we’ve all been swimming in before.
There was a interesting anecdote to be gleaned from the comments however.
It’s sad to see that even local born citizens are being discriminated against.
While it’s understandable that there is a ton of anger regarding Indians (both for CECA and the Covid-19 Delta variant), discrimination against a race is never right.
There are a couple of posters that argue that it’s not racism though, we’re hating on the nationalities.
Perhaps that’s valid.
The government of India and China (and a lot more countries) do certainly deserve our ire for their inept handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and other policies. That however doesn’t excuse the discrimination against locals who have nothing to do with them.
While there are pockets of discussion here and there, overall however, Netizens are apathetic to what Tong is trying to say.
In fact, from the various pages I’ve looked at to see who covered Tong’s speech, only The Straits Times seemed to have it up for discussion on their Facebook page. Even then, the discussion was largely muted with less than 50 (as of this writing) replies to the post.
It’s definitely not an issue with the page’s followers, as other posts get hundreds of responses. It’s an issue with the general fatigue on the subject and that Edwin Tong brings nothing new to the table.
In fact, there are some that now view politicians as the ones fanning the flames of racism.
At least that’s what I gathered from reading the post above.
Then again, I could be mistaken and Jack truly was asking a question. However, since this is the Internet, sarcasm should always inferred and I choose to take Jack’s post in that manner.
Are politicians the problem?
Don’t ask me…I only work here.