The Online Citizen

Protest was illegal, but was it morally correct?

May 12
06:40 2013

By Eugene Chong

It looks like the ‘sheep mentality’ amongst Singaporeans has well and truly taken root here in this forum– gauging from this thread

As a Singaporean, I feel sad that we’ve come to this state — where we place ‘falling in line’ over the bigger picture. 

The general sentiment seems to be ‘if we are all herded and controlled, why should anyone else have the right not to be’. 

Sure the protest was illegal, but was it morally correct? I believe any thinking Singaporean would agree that what’s happened across the Causeway is unprecedented — and that many Malaysians feel they need to express their outrage at the injustice. So yeah, please as a Malaysian get a permit before protesting, but NO it does not ‘serve them right’ that they got arrested. What they did lacked wisdom — but it does not make their cause any less just. 

The herd mentality also seems to have blinded people to why Singaporeans have been vexed by foreigners in the first place — and that not all foreigners are a cause for discontentment. 

Foreigners who have disrespected the social norms of the land should be on the receiving end of our ire — those who speak loudly in public, those who ask their S’porean neighbors to stop cooking curry, those who work in front line retail jobs and can’t speak English, etc. 

But not all foreigners have failed to integrate have they? I would argue that Malaysians are a great example of foreigners who have integrated. Actually I would hesitate to call them ‘foreigners’ from a social point of view — if you think about it, we were all Malayan not so long ago. 

Malaysians have been by and large very respectful, integrating into our social landscape — they’ve been a wonderful asset to Singapore. So let’s stop being shallow, lumping all foreigners into the same bag!

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