‘Expletive online post about Indians hurtful, wrong and uncalled for’

A Nanyang Polytechnic student’s “expletive-laced (online) post about Indians” was “particularly hurtful, wrong and completely uncalled for”, said Member of Parliament (MP) for Tanjong Pagar GRC Indranee Rajah.

Writing on her Facebook page on Tuesday, she said, “We may all feel frustrated and angry about certain issues at times, but we shouldn’t vent or take out our frustrations and anger in the form of racially directed comments.”

Earlier this week, 19-year-old Lai Shimun drew flak from netizens after posting racist remarks on her Twitter page which went viral on Monday.

The student deactivated both her Facebook and Twitter accounts after posting an online apology for the “insensitive comment”, which Indranee also commended her for.

“It is good, though, that she has since apologised and expressed regret, and taken down the post,” said Indranee. “I’m glad she did so, and I’m sure that it was a hard learning experience for her.”

Referring to this and other similar incidents, such as that of NUS undergraduate scholar Sun Xu who has recently been punished for his offensive remarks about Singaporeans, Indranee highlighted that “there is still much to be done (in Singapore) to make racial, cultural and religious harmony a reality of everyday life.”

This, “despite that fact that racial and religious tolerance is enshrined in our constitution and forms part of the bedrock of our society,” she said.

“It is natural to see ourselves as part of one group or another. But this should never translate into a sense that there is no room for other groups,” Indranee cautioned.

Explained the PAP MP, “Singapore is a very special place – it was founded and intended to be a place where everyone could live, flourish and prosper; a place where you can be yourself and comfortable with your own ethnicity, culture and religion and yet feel part of a bigger group sharing the same nationality – a place we call home. We will not reach that point until we celebrate not only our commonalities, but our differences as well.”

“When you look around the world, there is so much strife; so much division along ethnic, racial and religious lines,” she continued. “At the root of all of them is essentially intolerance. Singapore must never go that way.”

“But being a special place requires special effort. And we all have a part to play,” she wrote.