Little India Riot: Stop Blaming the Foreigners

461

Will Singaporeans stop blaming foreigners for everything big and small that goes wrong?

I am not condoning the Little India violence by any means, but whose idea was it to gentrify the area? Why can’t people understand that every $20-a-meal restaurant that opens up in that neighbourhood shrinks the space for workers on their only day of rest?

They are not a part of the political process. NTUC doesn’t care about them. They are wrong to resort to violence. But who will ever listen to, let alone address, their pent-up angst? Will New York have reacted the same way if this had happened there? Maybe not. The Irish and the Jewish — even the millionaires and billionaires — have a civilisational memory of how the journey began for their ancestors.

When they forget, the media, which must always bat for the voiceless, reminds them. Here, the workers who created trouble are not immigrants, but temporary in-migrants.

But does that mean that unbridled encroachment upon their space should be nobody’s problem? Even the dead buried in a cemetery here that must give way to the needs of today have spokespersons.

Do the Indians here — those who don’t run your biggest bank but clean your drains — have any? The blogosphere discourse here neither has a memory, nor does it have the political economy tools to “see” the real estate angle, and it will only blame foreigners because doing so is facile.

The mainstream media will get whacked for publishing scandalising picture of arson, and for carrying the DPM’s quote below the fold, and will promptly change its tune on Day 2. But nobody, except you or the increasingly marginalised Cherian, will have the courage to use the incident to hold a mirror to the society and show it what it doesn’t want to see, that the hunt for yield in real-estate is now a curse because people with ability and talent are being continuously led to believe that “our” housing wealth is somehow superior to “their” construction work.

Mind you, I am not saying more rewarding financially, but superior morally, so that we can feel quite upright while condemningĀ  their “animal-like” behaviour with our “tut, tut, tut.” We are all complicit in this tragedy. But go ahead, blame the rowdy Indian.

— An expat Indian sent this to us