Tag Archive | "demonstration"

Local mega churches praise Khaw Boon Wan for reinforcing social importance of stereotypes

Local mega churches praise Khaw Boon Wan for reinforcing social importance of stereotypes

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Stereotypes help to regulate expectations of certain groups of people.

By David Tan


While several online commentators have criticised the racist subtext of Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s recent Facebook post featuring a mock riot control exercise being carried out against a group of South Asian “foreign worker ambassadors”, local mega churches have stepped out to voice their support for the beleaguered minister, saying that his Facebook post proves the importance of stereotypes in maintaining social order.

Yeshu Ai Ni, a spokesperson for the mega church consortium, said: “For years we have argued that stereotypes have an important role to play in regulating our expectations of some minority groups of people in the Singaporean society.”

“And we are glad to see that the minister also recognises the importance of using racial stereotypes to maintain social order.”

The spokesperson went on to add: “After all, if the police didn’t rely on racial stereotypes to conduct their anti-rioting demonstration, then what’s stopping these foreign workers from going out and rioting again?”

The spokesperson, however, was quick to add that her sentiments were not racist at all, saying: “I have many foreign worker friends of South Asian origin, and like the minister I make it a point to organise regular buffet lunches for my foreign worker friends to show them how non-racist I am.”

“I do hope that the minister didn’t cater alcohol at his buffet lunch — you know what they’re like when they get their hands on alcohol.”


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S’pore Police warns against attending Occupy Raffles Place protest

S’pore Police warns against attending Occupy Raffles Place protest

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But the anonymous organiser insists the leaderless movement will carry on as planned this weekend.

The Singapore police has issued a warning to anyone planning to attend a demonstration in the city-state’s financial district this weekend that their involvement would be deemed “unlawful” and they are advised “not to be misled” into participating in an unlawful activity.

The anonymous organiser of the Occupy Wall Street-style demonstration in the Central Business District this weekend said the demonstration would include a march to the Singapore Exchange building.

Police action is not unexpected as Singapore has always been heavy-handed when it comes to public protests, with organisers required to apply with the police for a permit.

Permits are mostly rejected by the authorities, owing to reasons pertaining to law and order risks

However, to minimise doubts that this leaderless protest is set to continue, a Facebook posting on the Occupy Singapore Facebook page at 11 a.m. on Oct. 14 read: POLICE TRYING TO SHUT US DOWN! WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN. THE OCCUPY RAFFLES PLACE MOVEMENT IS GROWING. STAND WITH US AT 2 PM TOMORROW TO DEFEND YOUR FUTURE.

“#OccupyRafflesPlace is still happening!” proclaimed another earlier post.

The police said in a statement: “Police received reports that a netizen is instigating the public to stage a protest gathering at Raffles Place on Saturday, 15 October 2011 in support of a similar protest action in New York”.

“Police urge members of the public not to be misled and participate in an unlawful activity.”

It is unclear who is behind the call for the mass action, which exhorted would-be participants to bring placards, musical instruments and other devices to “make as much noise as possible”.

But the organiser also urged protesters to refrain from violence and not to bring political party or trade union banners, drugs or alcohol.

“We are occupying Singapore’s Central Business Districts to demand accountability and change,” said the Facebook posting, which also criticised state-linked investment firms Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.

A Facebook community site set up by the anonymous organiser with no political affiliation, received 272 “likes” so far at this time of posting.

The Occupy Wall Street protests in the US were launched on Sept. 7 by Americans protesting “greed” in the country’s financial district.