“Go back to your own country!”
“Fuck off our country!”

These are the angry comments hurled by passengers on the MRT train where an elderly caucasian of British accent continually heckled a harmless Singaporean teenager for wearing a shirt written “I am fucking special”.

The three-minute plus incident was caught on mobile phone by an anonymous passenger and uploaded on Facebook. The video has since gone viral and widely shared by Singaporeans, and especially by those who have pent-up annoyance by the disproportionately large (45%) foreigners presence in Singapore.

Screenshot from Youtube
Screenshot from Youtube

The incident started with an elderly caucasian man repeatedly raising his voice scolding a teenager for the words written on his shirt and even challenging him to a fight. The teenager kept his cool and did not confront the old man, but the latter kept heckling him and even demanded the boy to get out from the train. When the old man reached forward to pull the boy, a Malay man in his twenties confronted the caucasian old man. The Malay man then get into an argument with the caucasian, asking him what was his problem with the boy, to which the old man got stumped. The video ended with the old man being hauled out of the train by the Police and station staffs, to the jeering of other passengers on the train.

Among the jeering which could be heard in the video, are what the PAP Government would call “xenophobic”. Many Singaporeans who shared the video highlighted that this is not an isolated incident where Singaporeans are not respected by foreigners. In January this year, a Filipino nurse made an anti-Singaporean comment on Facebook which caused an uproar among Singaporeans. Although multiple police reports were made, the police did not charge him in court.

Photo by thestraitstimes
Photo by thestraitstimes

In recent years there have been a rising trend of anti-Singaporean sentiments, here are some notable cases and their outcome:

July 2011 – Wang Peng Fei made a racist remark against Malay ladies calling them only good for making babies. A police report was lodged but the Singapore Police claimed that the PRC student left the country before they can catch him.

February 2012 – NUS scholar PRC student Sun Xu called Singaporeans dogs, and multiple police reports were made as well. However the Singapore Police did not charge the PRC student. PAP MP Baey Yam Keng defended the PRC scholar telling Singaporeans to reflect on his comment, which resulted in another uproar by Singaporeans against the PAP MP. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong then stepped in to defend Sun Xu saying:

“You look at the Sun Xu incident, he shouldn’t have made that blog post. He did. He has been chastised. He has been disciplined. He has expressed his contrition. He’s sorry about it. And I think we should accept that. We should have been able to move on from that and deal with it as one person who mis-spoke.”

October 2012 – NTUC Assistant Director Amy Cheong, a Malaysian, made a racist remark complaining Singapore Malays for being cheap to conduct weddings at HDB void deck. Multiple police reports were also made but Amy Cheong somehow managed to flee the country.