Are Singaporeans becoming anti-foreigner?
Online attacks on the Chinese expatriate who drove the Ferrari in a fatal Bugis accident on Saturday have underscored simmering anti-foreigner sentiment in Singapore.
Ma Chi, a financial investor from Sichuan, China, smashed his million-dollar Ferrari into a taxi, killing himself on the spot and claiming the lives of cabby Cheng Teck Hock and Japanese cab passenger Shigemi Ito in hospital afterwards.
Netizens in Singapore have swamped local websites and forums, with majority of comments attacking the 31-year-old and inevitably foreigners in general, while those who expressed otherwise were slammed for their views.
Wolfie Densetsu, who commented on our Facebook page, believes Singapore needs to attract the right kind of foreigners, saying in one of the milder comments, ”Genuine foreign talent are always welcome, but not troublemakers."
Another user, Sin Kiang Chua, added, “A lot of foreigners are earning much much bigger bucks than locals, thus able to afford luxurious cars & housings. Not fair to locals!”
However, not all the comments were indignant.
Yahoo! Singapore reader Sam Ang said, “Accidents like this happens every day in the world, so let's not get upset about it. It is not a matter of whether he is from China or local, it is about being responsible to our loved ones. Anyway he has died, so have the other two. I feel sad for them.
Another reader, One, argued, “I think the issue here shouldn’t be about him being a PRC, but against speeding and drinking. If he was a Singaporean, the entire situation would probably be in a different light.”
So the question is: As tension between locals and foreigners continues to grow - with the latter being blamed for pushing up living costs, straining public transport and stealing jobs - are Singaporeans in danger of becoming xenophobic?