How many white people in your group?

~by: Kin M Ah~

Ok I’ll be upfront, this is the airing of a personal grievance – no wait, repulsion.

There’s this little club (accessible mostly to a privileged few) located in a hotel on Robertson Quay that’s been doing great business. It operates exclusively on an ‘invitation only’ basis The club boasts that its clientele includes the children of the wealthy in Singapore (read: charge it to Daddy’s credit card, please).

Now here’s what most customers of this joint ALREADY know but don’t want to articulate publicly for fear of reprisal (read: not being able to patronize the joint in future). In more than a handful of anecdotal accounts (including one from an established journalist for a daily newspaper who griped about this in a FB status update) the reservation process works in the following way:

Customer: Hi I want to make a reservation/table booking for 8
Joint Staff: Sure, for 8, the minimum spend is XX. (Normal business practice for all clubs, no surprise)
Customer: Great, that’s fine.
Joint Staff: Oh, how many white people do you have in your group?

Are you kidding me? I don’t mind if you have a minimum spend policy, or a male/female ratio one; but a Singapore business discriminating against Singaporeans?

So I ask you, does this matter to you as Singaporeans? If you think you could spend enough money but still can’t get your friends in because you don’t have enough white people in your group, then that’s a real BIG problem.

In the USA, the very question is enough to qualify as a “hate crime” and is chargeable offence. I ask you this question, “does this sound right to you?” As for me, I will never patronise this joint or its new affiliate joint in Marina Square in future.

But if you decide that you want to go, I just have one question for you, “how many white people are there in your group?”