Is Singapore a Racist Country?
As multiethnic as Singapore is, with its varied age groups, races, immigrants, and religions, the atmosphere is mostly peaceful compared to other countries. This however does not erase the fact that racism and discrimination exists in Singapore, though it is mostly subtle.
Traces of Discrimination
The three major ethnicities, namely the Chinese, Malay and Indian generally coexist peaceably, but there are moments when tension increases. This is mostly evident in the Singaporean media, where these issues sometimes tend to be the agenda for public discussion. It however becomes difficult to decipher the actual level of racial discrimination because of the stringent laws against the press and internet on such delicate topics.
One of the most common manifestations of discrimination may be the preferential treatment enjoyed by citizens of Chinese descent (Majority), at the detriment of people from either Malay or Indian heritage. It is also been observed that television screens in Public Transport systems mainly broadcast in either Mandarin or Chinese, which again favors the majority. Not forgetting to mention the view that even beauty pageants tend to favor women from Chinese backgrounds over the others.
Slight Racial Divisions
Sadly, the truth is that racial divisions exist even in Singapore which is often respected for being a multiracial nation. The reality is that laws like the Sedition Act for instance, brushes the issue under the carpet, by prohibiting all forms of debate on issues of racism, religion or ethnicity. Owing to this, it never gets to be addressed publicly.
Xenophobia in Singapore?
Well, this hasn’t gotten to the extent of foreigners being directly confronted by locals with xenophobic attacks, especially due to the enforcement of laws as well as the non-confrontational nature Singaporeans value. However, with sectors such as the housing market getting so intense, coupled with the low birth rates of its locals and millions of foreigners trooping in, there is the general concern that its citizens fear being outnumbered soon. Generally, xenophobia in this part of the world varies as it depends on which background such foreigners come from.
There is also a widespread concern which is akin to those that emerge in other parts of the world. The view is that locals may be losing their jobs to foreigners who are thought to be treated preferentially by the government in terms of employment, education, housing and several other aspects of life. By far, these problems, can and should be attributed to the fact that Singapore also has geographic and economic limitations, which is not necessarily the fault of visitors.
Is there really Racism in Singapore?
On the whole, racism occurs in Singapore (just like every part of the world). However, we honestly think it is on a very small scale. Singaporeans tend to be open minded and friendly. They generally value a peaceful atmosphere, free of conflicts and would love to keep it this way. Owing to this, incidents of racism in Singapore is honestly pretty rare.