A woman’s comments on LinkedIn about the perceived differences between “HDB people” and “private residence people” drew sharp criticism online as netizens started to slam her for her classist remarks.
In the post published on Monday (22 May) by the account “Satwant Kaur”, a self-proclaimed “nationalist,” the user expressed the belief that it was necessary to limit contact with “HDB people.”
She first complained about “It’s very hard for her to live in Singapore” because the govt “allows HDB people to take jobs in private residential areas”.
“Which means they don’t just visit, they remain for about 6-8hours a day. And that’s a lot.”
She argued that their extended presence in these areas could potentially hinder the preservation of her unique identity.
“So it is necessary to limit contact with them less I lose #uniqueidentity as most of them have. But they did it by choice, most of them.”
Then she claiming that “HDB people” and “private residence people” are very different because of their “outlook on community building”.
“Private residence, we build according to values and mindset, we ignore race, language and religion and prioritise mental acuity and emotional stability. We don’t wait to live life, we live now. We show our values and our humanity in how we work, play and hire,” she claimed.
She characterized HDB communities as primarily focusing on networks and government regulations.
“In HDB, it is simply about networks and rules that the govt can give them, and they sit and wait for those, and until then they group according to age, race and marital status. It tells us nothing of their values nor their humanity. They are about money, not values.”
LinkedIn users swiftly condemn Ms Kaur’s sense of entitlement and discriminatory views
Nadine, a law undergraduate, decided to call out the Ms Kaur’s self-entitlement and provide a passionate response.
Nadine immediately tackled the misconception propagated by the Ms Kaur, highlighting that 80% of Singapore’s population resides in HDB (Housing and Development Board) flats.
“So that’s the first thing – there is a “unique culture” that “HDB people” have. It’s called homeownership – the gainfully earned right to have proper shelter and someplace you can call yours.”
The most troubling aspect for Nadine was Ms Kaur’s insinuation that “HDB people” lack humanity compared to those residing in private properties. Nadine vehemently disagreed, highlighting the diverse households and hard work that contribute to the fabric of HDB living.
“She claims “private property people” build links based on “values and mindset”, and some other garbage buzzwords I can’t be bothered to look at again.”
Nadine reminded that even President Halimah Yacob had lived in an HDB flat (a jumbo flat) before assuming office, stressing that respect should be granted to all individuals, regardless of their societal standing.
“But that shouldn’t have to be said, because you don’t have to be a president to deserve respect.”
“Everybody deserves dignity, and it is appalling that a professional has taken to LinkedIn and spewed such hatred for fellow Singaporeans and fellow residents in this country. Take away the 80% of the “HDB people” and it all comes crumbling down.”
In her final remarks, Nadine acknowledged that some elitist attitudes may be deeply ingrained, but she emphasized that most Singaporeans are actively working to overcome them.
“We try to treat each other well, we disavow these tendencies, and we don’t bully each other. Ms Kaur is excitedly trying to go in the other direction.”
Another linkedIn user highlights the contributions of Singapore’s laborers
Adding to Nadine’s perspective, another LinkedIn user emphasized that regardless of residing in HDB flats, co-sharing arrangements, condos, or houses, all individuals are simply living their lives and should not be subjected to labels from someone who claims superiority.
“This was a really disrespectful thing for this person to write. Clearly, she harbors a disdain for “undesirable” folks who don’t measure up to some very misguided and elitist expectations.”
He called out that usage of the term “Nationalist” in Ms Kaur LinkedIn profile speaks volumes about the her views on society, as it tends to connote exclusion rather than inclusivity.
Recognizing Singapore as a clean and safe city that allows its residents to build a community together, the user emphasized that its positive appearance is largely due to the dedicated laborers who work tirelessly to maintain cleanliness, construct infrastructure, and provide services.
Unsurprisingly, the woman’s comments were met with widespread criticism from fellow LinkedIn users and also on various HardwareZone forum threads.
Many deemed her remarks inappropriate and divisive.
The negative attention received from the post and comments might have been too much for Ms Kaur to take as she took her LinkedIn profile offline.
According to Ms Kaur’s LinkedIn information, her education and employment have all been based in Singapore since 1981.