Benevolence across races: Very Singaporean?

Racism is normal in multiracial societies like Singapore’s, the writer says, although it spikes from time to time. He adds that even while we fight it, we should also celebrate the spirit of “benevolence across races”. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

The ghost of racism has long haunted Singapore. This is not surprising. It's normal in multiracial societies, although it spikes from time to time, as it has recently with the episodes of the Indian woman being kicked by a Chinese man for not wearing her mask, and of Dave Parkash, a Singaporean who is half-Indian and half-Filipino, being harassed for having a half-Thai, half-Chinese-Singaporean partner.

It's right for us to get outraged and make it clear that we as individuals and as a society do not condone these attitudes. Yet, even as we demand this, we should also be aware that there may be another equally vibrant spirit that haunts Singapore.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.