On 25 April, Facebook user Petrina Ng shared an incident she overheard at a Fairprice supermarket. She said that she overheard an elderly Chinese couple discussing heatedly if a certain brand of chocolate was halal. They were trying to buy the box of chocolates for their neighbour who is Malay.
As they could not decide if the particular brand of chocolate is halal, they turned to a Malay young man for help.
“Boy, are these halal? Hari Raya is coming and I want to buy for my Malay neighbour but we don’t know how to see if these are ok. Says it’s made in Malaysia but means it’s halal or not?”
Petrina said the conversation brought a smile to her face. “It warms my heart not just because they wanted to gift their neighbour something but they were sincere enough to want to get it right.”
She added: “Though it seems like common knowledge that most people would know but it’s really nice that they bothered to ask when they didn’t because they respected their neighbour’s beliefs.”
Petrina recounted that the the young Malay man probably felt the same way because it was visible in his eyes and he also smiled. He helped them go through a few options and pick out the chocolate. The elderly couple thanked him profusely and praised him for being a nice man.
Petrina said, “(It’s) so nice to witness such a lovely scene today.”
Petrina’s post has garnered over 3,000 likes so far, and it has been shared over 2,200 times in Facebook. Once Facebook user, Lindar Haslir, who shared Petrina’s post said: “Warms my heart to read this when one take the extra step, instead of just saying “no pork no lard” or “some don’t care if halal or not”. It shows how inclusive of a person you are.
May more humans in this world learn to educate themselves on the differences in all walks of life.”
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in June last year appealed to the majority Chinese community to ‘take the extra step’ to make minorities feel comfortable.
In a lengthy keynote speech at a forum on race and racism jointly organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Mr Wong addressed recent concerns about racism in Singapore following a spate of highly publicised incidents.
“First, we must recognise that in any multi-racial society, it is harder to be a minority than a majority. This is so everywhere in the world,” said Mr Wong.
“So, it is important for the majority community in Singapore to do its part, and be sensitive to and conscious of the needs of minorities.”