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Book Lovers Club- Singaporeans and PRs only?????

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 1:23 pm

Splatted wrote:Perhaps the event is intended to build a sense of community amongst a fragmented society.

Foreigners, on the other hand, come and go.


Except that a lot of us foreigners look for ways to become integrated into Singapore society... and it is generally a hard thing to do... more so than living in Houston, for example.

I cannot imagine a public function in Houston, Texas, being qualified. And, if you want to build a sense of community, it might ought to include all those who are in the community.

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Postby Splatted » Tue, 23 Feb 2010 1:44 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
Splatted wrote:Perhaps the event is intended to build a sense of community amongst a fragmented society.

Foreigners, on the other hand, come and go.


Except that a lot of us foreigners look for ways to become integrated into Singapore society... and it is generally a hard thing to do... more so than living in Houston, for example.

I cannot imagine a public function in Houston, Texas, being qualified. And, if you want to build a sense of community, it might ought to include all those who are in the community.


Depends on what sort of 'community' spirit is aimed for.

Personally, when I see Australia in events such as Olympics etc, there is a great deal of patriotism. Who hasn't heard of the cheer "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie , .. Oi, Oi, Oi"? Americans also, are proudly patriotic, as are many European nations.

Singapore, by contrast, seems confused by who it is as a nation. It certainly tries to instill belonging, eg a catchy jingle during it's national day, and paying millions towards the "Singapore Day" events around the world to try and draw people back. But I think a lot of this wasted effort.

I'm thinking something organised at the grass-roots level, like literature appreciation probably has a better shot of drawing the community together.

Of course, I could be totally off the mark.

Limited places is as good a reason as any as to why the selective invitation.

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Re: we do love them books

Postby intellectualsmuse » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 12:06 am

jpatokal wrote:
intellectualsmuse wrote:Slightly off topic but my husband is on an EP and does pay taxes ( or will be paying this FY to be precise :-) ) So don't think that argument holds.

Come next year, your husband will have paid taxes for one year, while Singaporeans have been paying them since the day they were born...[/quotE

And using public utilities since then as well? And next year my husband will have paid taxes "for the period we were in Singapore this FY" which includes this month, this day, this year! That kind of statement is so divisive. Frankly, this is a country where expats comprise a large percentage of population, and I don't see that changing anytime soon so isn't it better if efforts are made to encourage interaction between the groups rather than promote an "Us versus them" mentality?

Also, frankly if space was a concern they might have considered a differential pricing for non S'poreans and expats which would've been acceptable as well.
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Re: we do love them books

Postby jpatokal » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 10:29 am

intellectualsmuse wrote:And using public utilities since then as well? And next year my husband will have paid taxes "for the period we were in Singapore this FY" which includes this month, this day, this year! That kind of statement is so divisive. Frankly, this is a country where expats comprise a large percentage of population, and I don't see that changing anytime soon so isn't it better if efforts are made to encourage interaction between the groups rather than promote an "Us versus them" mentality?

Singapore has zero interest in encouraging interaction between groups. This is a country where "People of many races live in harmony"(tm), mostly by staying as far apart from each other as humanly possible on a cramped red dot, and emphatically not a melting pot.

If you ask me, I'd wager a guess for the real reason for "Singaporeans/PRs only" to be that they once had a bunch of foreign workers stumble in to drink their tea and eat their cookies, and we can't have the tai tais together with the unwashed subhuman masses now can we?
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Postby intellectualsmuse » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 6:59 pm

:roll:
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Re: we do love them books

Postby utopia » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 8:08 pm

jpatokal wrote:Singapore has zero interest in encouraging interaction between groups. This is a country where "People of many races live in harmony"(tm), mostly by staying as far apart from each other as humanly possible on a cramped red dot, and emphatically not a melting pot.


I quite disagree.
Social engineering is excellent in Singapore, compared to many other countries where huge silos of ethnicity exists, to the detriment of their societies.

Generally humans tend to stay in their cliches, racial or otherwise, so Singapore's Housing scheme with Ethnic percentages, schooling systems focus of nation building, the balanced Public Holidays, National service and backed with a legal system that brooks no nonsense from attempts at racial/religious disharmony all serve a purpose in this effort towards "People of many races live in harmony".

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 11:18 pm

And that is why, in the majority of HDB heartland estates, some neighbours have lived next door to another family for a decade and have never spoken to them.

It's not racial harmony and much as it's forced integration but even that is a misnomer as they still don't integrate. They just live in the same block and when they get home from work they close their doors until they leave in the morning to go to work. The closest most ever get to someone from another race is when they are stuck next to one of them on the bus or mrt or heaven forbid, the next office cubicle. But that has been taken care of for the most part by the ads requiring mandarin speaker required. At least is theoretically isn't racist as they will always claim that they do business in China or Taiwan! :wink:

Do you work for the Government? I ask because the following quote from you had to be taken verbatim from some gov't brochure or SOP. Frankly though, it's a load of claptrap!

"Generally humans tend to stay in their cliches, racial or otherwise, so Singapore's Housing scheme with Ethnic percentages, schooling systems focus of nation building, the balanced Public Holidays, National service and backed with a legal system that brooks no nonsense from attempts at racial/religious disharmony all serve a purpose in this effort towards "People of many races live in harmony"."


Singapore Housing policy is the probably the biggest government sanctioned racist policy going, Only second to Apartheid. :roll:

Does it work? Yeah, that, along with ISD to keep the peons in harmony(fear) as detention without trial is a bummer. What to do?

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Postby SGBoyxxx » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 12:39 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:And that is why, in the majority of HDB heartland estates, some neighbours have lived next door to another family for a decade and have never spoken to them.

It's not racial harmony and much as it's forced integration but even that is a misnomer as they still don't integrate. They just live in the same block and when they get home from work they close their doors until they leave in the morning to go to work. The closest most ever get to someone from another race is when they are stuck next to one of them on the bus or mrt or heaven forbid, the next office cubicle. But that has been taken care of for the most part by the ads requiring mandarin speaker required. At least is theoretically isn't racist as they will always claim that they do business in China or Taiwan! :wink:

Do you work for the Government? I ask because the following quote from you had to be taken verbatim from some gov't brochure or SOP. Frankly though, it's a load of claptrap!

"Generally humans tend to stay in their cliches, racial or otherwise, so Singapore's Housing scheme with Ethnic percentages, schooling systems focus of nation building, the balanced Public Holidays, National service and backed with a legal system that brooks no nonsense from attempts at racial/religious disharmony all serve a purpose in this effort towards "People of many races live in harmony"."


Singapore Housing policy is the probably the biggest government sanctioned racist policy going, Only second to Apartheid. :roll:

Does it work? Yeah, that, along with ISD to keep the peons in harmony(fear) as detention without trial is a bummer. What to do?



I am agreed what you have mention.
well is simple in here.

if people are not happy , they just keep inside their heart..

LOL that why you can see singaporean looks stress all times.

they cannot voice out is due to "Strict" laws ISD ya blah blah .so best is zip it up.talk among themself if cannot tolerant it.

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Postby intellectualsmuse » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 2:50 am

All said and done its not very healthy. Personally, the locals I've met are mostly people that work with my husband and they seemed nice. However, I must admit that striking a conversation with people living in my condo hasn't exactly been as easy.

Interestingly, on my last visit to the Public library I noticed "Racial harmony" brochures to promote appreciation of Singapore's "multi-racial community". They carried a reference to the racial riots of 1964 emphasising that we should not take our "coexistence for granted". I agree with that.

I mean over a period of time the xenophobic feelings would only get worse and might cause unrest-you may have stringent laws and stuff but there definitely is a need to better integrate the different communities that co-exist here. Now whether or not the government does something about it is a different thing.

However, I did notice that around Lunar New year Today newspaper carried an article on an Indian PR celebrating Lunar New Year with a Chinese Family. So, in some ways they definitely are trying to send a message to promote better interaction. Having said that the book club episode and the recent levies on foreign workers leave me a little confused as to the government's stand. However, this is an election year so maybe we should just take everything with a pinch of salt!
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 7:01 am

One would think, in a 'real' harmonious society, something like that wouldn't even been considered newsworthy. They have to put it in the National Mouthpiece for all to read as "NEWS" as it's so rare. :-|

And the race riots happened two generations ago....... :roll: ISA has them all sufficiently cowed now anyway.

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Postby SunWuKong » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 8:48 am

As a PR I was shocked and offended when the library staff asked me to divvy up ten dollars ($10.50) for the right to be a registered library user; when citizens register for free. Ten dollars for the right to borrow any library book the extensive island wide, Singaporean paid, system can provide, indefinitely. How foolish my rancour.
As for foreigners being unable to register to use the facilities, I suspect that it has more to do with identity and it's verification than anything else. They simply lack a gleam in the sun, then melt, NRIC card.
On the topic of racial harmony, unless we go Pavlovian on their ass, it is very difficult to change an adults opinion about anything. Perhaps putting an adult through military type conditioning and training whilst mixed in liberally amongst other races might effect a change in outlook. You do not say! They already do this in Singapore?
Putting children of different races together from young is the most powerful mechanism for cultural integration, but it obviously takes time.
I believe that the Singaporean government is approaching the solution to this problem as optimally as it is able.
Is there favouritism toward the ethnic Chinese major in Singapore, indubitably. What exactly did you expect from humans?
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Postby nakatago » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 8:57 am

isn't racism partly and indirectly the reason why singapore got expelled out of the malaya federation?
:???:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 9:12 am

:-$ :lol:

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Postby utopia » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 9:42 am

And that is why, in the majority of HDB heartland estates, some neighbours have lived next door to another family for a decade and have never spoken to them.

That is by choice / personality and not though the lack of effort from the Government in integration.
Also, that sentence transends races :- it equally applies to , for example, chinese/chinese neighbours. It is possibly due to the "mind your own business" attitude.

Do you work for the Government? I ask because the following quote from you had to be taken verbatim from some gov't brochure or SOP. Frankly though, it's a load of claptrap!
...
Does it work? Yeah, that, along with ISD to keep the peons in harmony(fear) as detention without trial is a bummer.



No I do not work for the Singapore Government - I'm probably not qualified, nor do I embrace all their policies.
At the summary that you seem agree it 'works', to an enough degree in Singapore.

Contrast, for a moment, with another country which DOESN'T have any these policies, or the laws to back it up, or their equivalent.

What to do?

Exactly. Try this, in the spirit of being constructive instead of taking the oh-so-easy road of bashing existing efforts, make some positive suggestions.
Perhaps, with your experience/knowledge, which other country has a social engineering model, or policies that might work, given the social norms of the racial makeup in Singapore?
Who knows? -someone- working with the Singapore government might chance across it and actually take note of it.

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Postby jpatokal » Thu, 25 Feb 2010 10:01 am

utopia wrote:
And that is why, in the majority of HDB heartland estates, some neighbours have lived next door to another family for a decade and have never spoken to them.

That is by choice / personality and not though the lack of effort from the Government in integration.

Did you ever pause to think about why the Government is keen on racial quotas in HDBs? Would it, say, be handy to ensure that the Chinese have a solid voting majority in every single electoral district in Singapore?

Contrast, for a moment, with another country which DOESN'T have any these policies, or the laws to back it up, or their equivalent.

I'm not aware of any other country where race is tracked quite as obsessively as it is in Singapore: I'm asked for the color of my skin when I sign up for cable TV, apply for a gym membership or go to the dentist. :o No hyphenated-Singaporeans either: you're either Chinese, Malay, Indian or Other, period.

Could you imagine the uproar that would ensure if in the US or Europe somewhere a black family was not allowed to buy an public housing apartment because there are too many of your kind living there already? This happens everyday in Singapore, and with the explicit sanction of the law!
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