The ‘shameless racism’ found in the comments thread are a reminder to keep away from Singapore said the Vlogger.
TISG published the report, “Indians in Singapore continue to face discrimination from ‘racist landlords’” on 11 February. The report which was also published on TISG’s Facebook, received a flurry of mixed comments – a good number of commenters suggesting that the landlords have prerogative as to who they want to rent their residential property to.
A vlogger based in Vietnam, in sharing the TISG article in his Facebook page, took issue with such comments.
He said that they suggest ‘Singapore is a place riddled with shameless racism’, and that they are a reminder to him to keep away from Singapore.
According to Facebook’s ‘About’ page, the vlogger is an Brazilian English Teacher who is currently living in Vietnam. He also describes himself as a singer, lead-guitarist and song-writer.
“I’m astonished. ALL comments supporting discrimination. While in other Asian countries you can argue it’s a certain group of foreigners or natives who can speak English, and thus does not represent the population as a whole, English is an official language in Singapore. I NEVER saw so much racism packed in a single comments section. Looks like the 50’s.”
One Facebook user who responded to the vlogger’s post on ‘shameless racism’ in Singapore, said, “It’s a beautiful country but obsessed with race partly because of the way the community was segregated during the time of Raffles.”
“Then there were the race riots with Malaysia. Chinese privilege now abounds in parliament and pervades much of society. The way the Indian race is viewed is grim though, of that I would agree and have seen it with my own eyes. I wouldn’t let this stop you visiting though. Its an amazing place with incredible food. The younger people tend to be less race focused and times are changing. I lived there for 7.5 years and always felt welcome.”
The TISG report highlighted real estate agent, Noor Mastura’s Facebook post. In her post, she spoke about how she is frustrated and disgusted by residential property rental listings which unfairly discriminate against Indians.
“I have phenomenal clients who are excellent paymasters and honestly so many of them have become wonderful family friends over the years. Half the time I want to shout at these agents and wake them up but its not even their fault. They are simply representing their landlords who has one rule – NO INDIANS.
“What if they Singaporean PR? No.
“What if they are a Manager at DBS? No.
“What if they are vegetarians? No.
“What if they are clean and professional? No.
“Some of them don’t even have the decency to reply and tell you – the moment they see your profile includes an Indian – they’ll just ignore you.
“You wanna know how privilege works?
“Tell everyone you are Chinese and see how the doors open.”
Noor’s post was shared many times by several people and one of the persons sharing her post, Kirsten Han, said “there is a systemic problem here.” Han, an activist and independent journalist, referred to Minister Wong’s speech in June last year “in which he sympathised with minorities who encounter racist landlords,” she suggested that sympathy alone isn’t enough. “This isn’t about encouraging individuals to be “nicer” to other individuals.”
These are some of the comments to our report published in TISG’s Facebook:
“Nothing to do with racism but reality is to ensure their property is protected by sufficient deposits.”
“My house, my preferences. Our Government took in so much from South Asian or other countries which majority of them are not even or able to blend into our culture of local Indian or Chinese… Not happy then don’t come. No one owns you a living in our country.”
“We as owners of our home have every right to decide.”
“I am Indian but I will Never rent to an Indians from India period.”
Not shameless racism but hypocrisy
Facebook user Jason Ong who shared TISG’s post in his Facebook said there was a lot of hypocrisy in the post by the real estate agent.
He added: “(I) went to view a house rented by Indians years back and I ran out as fast as I could…… shocked at the condition and smell of the house I will not say more….. I don’t think any non Indian landlord will want to rent their place out to CECA…. Not being realist but just a fact…”