Damn abang, you only had to lick the boot, not swallow it whole.
"Shame. Shame and self-contempt. Nausea. When people like me, they tell me it is in spite of my color. When they dislike me, they point out that it is not because of my color. Either way, I am locked into the infernal circle."
- Frantz Fanon
"[I]ncomplete assimilation—a balancing act between the imperative that minority members need [...] to act ‘like Chinese’ in order to succeed and the insistence that at the end of this process they will continue to be relegated to a minority status."
Voting for the PAP and complaining that the Opposition is poor is like closing the windows and wondering why the air is stale.
Let's not pretend that there isn't a direct correlation between PAP dominance and the quality of Opposition recruitment & participation.
Given the history of state surveillance, persecution, discipline, and violence over our public dissidents, it's almost a miracle that the current slate of Opposition candidates are as human & courageous as they are.
An implicit premise behind our veneration of Stamford Raffles is that he symbolizes S'pore's evolution from terra nullius to civilization.
What's wild (and stupid) about this is that Raffles himself was ambivalent on S'pore's presumed empty past.
A brief thread:
Sure, Raffles was a murderous, enslaving, looting, swindling bastard, who'd herald the destruction of indigenous cultures & economies.
He was despised by the Nusantaran masses, & disliked by fellow colonizers. The EIC would also deny him his customary pension & issue him a O$P$.
However, Raffles himself was a (meh) scholar of S'pore.
He wrote lovingly about the island & its thriving history. Yet, like any colonizer, he claims S'pore as a hidden gem—even though it was known to the Malays & Orang Laut, and had appeared on prior European & Chinese maps.
There's a reason why charlatans like Cheng stick to Facebook.
However hellish Twitter can be, the site's 280-character limit would force him to be concise & clear. You either satisfy those demands, or get exposed (and ratio-ed) for epistemic mediocrity & insipid demagoguery.
Not to mention the very real threat of being mocked by Kpop, Mariah, and Gaga stans, as well as a coalition of minahreps, communists, and academics.
Without fully digressing, the disappearance of this practice typifies what indigenous Malay-S’poreans have long faced—that is, the steady dispossession of their languages, cultures, identities, economies, and so on.
“Well, we make them say the national pledge [...] but suppose we have a famine, will your Malay neighbour give you the last few grains of rice or will she share it with her family or fellow Muslim or vice versa?”
"In looking back over the last 30 years, I believe we were fortunate that 77 per cent of our people had strong Chinese traditional values..."
"... which put emphasis on the strength of the family, the bringing up of children to be modest, hardworking, thrifty, filial, loyal and law abiding..."
1/ A brief #thread on that witless Rice Media article (What Growing Up Privileged Taught Me About Being Malay) & the exploitation of Brown rage, distress, and clownery.
TLDR: Fuck Rice Media. (Also, fuck Mothership, because why not?)
2/ To start, that article, scribbled by a prepubescent Malay boy, embodies the rot & hubris of elitism, false consciousness, and internalized racism—especially when performed by the small bougie segments of a marginalized racial minority.
3/ Clearly high on his imagined intellect, the author goes on to prove he is anything but the perceptive, eloquent, contrarian revolutionary that he dreams he is. Instead, we get a socially isolated boy, who confidently refuses to tie that condition…
1/ A long-ass thread on Teo You Yenn’s This Is What Inequality Looks Like & that (awful) “race” chapter:
First, Teo’s book is a powerful critique of meritocracy, austerity, neoliberal capitalism, state authoritarianism & surveillance, and the thick propaganda that protects em.
2/ Teo does an excellent job demonstrating the structures & ideologies that are imposed on & have shackled S’pore’s poor & working classes. She also refutes the insidious victim-blaming logic so prevalent in popular (middle & upper class) thought & in PAP governance.
3/ Deservedly, Teo’s book is an acclaimed best-seller. It has sparked a national convo on inequality. It has also forced estab figures—from minister Maliki Osman to Dr. Sudha Nair—to defend the PAP’s anti-welfare stance & our myopia towards aid & social work.
So the PAP-gov’s PMD ban has sparked what is arguably S’pore’s first mass workers’ protest in decades. Island-wide, delivery riders are mobilizing against PAP officials, subjecting them to rare (deserved) scrutiny & then recording their befuddlement for all to see.
We all know that the decision to ban was premised on appeasing middle-class tempers & obscuring the failures of PAP economic & urban planning policies. The election is coming & the gov made its choice. The ban was seen to be more beneficial than costly.
But that gamble isn’t working out. And measly grants & lip service & other afterthoughts cannot hide a righteous, heart-wrenching workers’ protest. And nor will they excuse the outright stupidity of the ban, or the cruel readiness to dispossess an entire workforce.