The elephant in the room

I moved to Singapore about a year ago after marriage, for the simple reason that my husband has been working here for a couple of years and I thought it’d be a good experience for me as well.

When I first visited Singapore, my first impression of the country was “Wow! This is an awesome place to live in!” Yes, I said that. Simply because it was far developed and well organized (of course I’m referring to the infrastructure development here) than where I come from. The country is clean, and people mind their own business —or so I thought. This is not so much the case in my little island paradise. Why?

Because, sadly it’s yet to get the right leaders who will transform and take the country to new heights. So we haven’t really become a developed country yet. Mostly due to lack of proper infrastructure in place.

And I was amazed with what this little fishing village has become. An inspiration to it’s neighbors. And I thought to myself, how awesome it’d be to live here.

To my dismay, it didn’t take that long for me realize what’s really beneath this glamorous city.

It’s funny how people don’t even realize they’re being racist in the little things they do.

Several daily occurrences or instances where I’ve been the victim or where I’ve witnessed someone being targeted due to the way they look — yes, the way you look.

  1. You go to buy food from a stall, you’d be lucky if you get a sizable portion for the price you paid. You might also notice that even if you buy the same types of veggies or meat (from mixed veg/rice stalls especially) you’d be charged extra compared to your Chinese friends.

2. You go in the MRT or bus paying the same amount and yet you’re made to feel like you are below them and owe them something, and they should be given priority.

3. Someone has left the toilet unclean or clogged the sink with food pieces, the old aunty concludes it’s the Indian, Malay or the brown skinned folks wow done it and decides to go on a rant about it (without any conclusive evidence of it).

4. You have the right qualifications and skills for the job and yet get rejected, simply coz you’re not one of them

5. You get a job and proves your worth despite earning a sub par pay, you still can’t make it to the top coz you’re not one of them, while the not so performing ones have the road paved for them simply because they belong to the ‘majority’.

These are only few first hand experiences that are at the top of my head.

And yet, for anything and everything that happens, FT (Foreign Trash as they call it) is to blame and/or the PAP.

A country is its people, its culture, the food, the warmth, the hospitality it offers to its citizens and outsiders. And I’m glad I come from a place like that. Where the human side is far developed than what I’m experiencing. Where we are taught to become compassionate from childhood by our our parents, grand parents, and schools, not by government campaigns. Where we truly understand our differences and enjoy it. Where values are inculcated by the families and schools. Where looking rich and glamorous is not good enough. Where one can excel based on their knowledge, experience, and talent.

And more than anything, it made me realize how proud I am of my country and all those things I took for granted for 26 long years. Lesson learnt, and it’s time to move on ☺

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