Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Discrimination, Singapore-style

Hi all;

Sorry for the long update. Some news: AsianRacism is going collaborative! Two new authors are joining the site, one i met at a conference recently and another is a long-timer contributor (via the comments function) on the site, who has provided a number of great articles in the past. So the site will be updated with some profiles of the three of us, and we should be seeing more content very soon.

In the interim, a nice little snippet of discrimination in the Singaporean workplace as reported in the freely-distributed and government owned Today newspaper. Despite calls from the opposition and other community groups, Singapore still has no legislation in place to deal with discrimination on the basis of race. Enjoy and see you soon!

Link the the article can be found here

Discrimination, Singapore-style

Sadly, racial discrimination in the workplace appears to be a worldwide problem, despite all the efforts to curb it. Things are no different in Singapore, as a Today Online article reports.

The job market can tough in Singapore if you're not Mandarin speaking – in other words, if you're Malaysian or Indian. According to a recent study, the problem goes beyond the workplace and is even apparent in schools.

The government response is to "take action" once discrimination occurs. Yet this response is reactionary and opens the government up to criticism of superficially "treating the wound" instead of addressing the real issue.

Another solution put forth by Singapore authorities is a web site that explains cultural differences in the primary ethnicities in Singapore. While noble, I can't imagine how many people – especially those who engage in discriminatory practices – will actually read this web site. Perhaps seminars and surprise adherence checks might be a better way of stopping potential offenders from making the jump to actual offender.

Ultimately, it will come down to companies to police their own personnel and root out any discriminatory practices – something which will require considerable management buy-in. Unfortunately, while I don't see this problem ever truly being eradicated, it's good to see some movement in the right direction


Anonymous said...

Great article. I stumbled on your blog site while searching the net for venues to blow a whistle on bullying which perhaps also originates as racism in a Singaporean corporate environment.
A friend of mine who is a non-mandarin speaker is experiencing all sorts of malicious treatments from her boss. No this is not myself pretending to be someone else. This is truly a different person. My friend like many experiencing this kind of treatments is too scared to come forward.
I'd be very grateful if anyone can help point me in the right direction to get legal advice or venues to raise a complain and awareness of such maltreatment in a workplace.
It is very encouraging that a group of people is doing something about it through this website. I hope we can eradicate blatant intentional discriminations in workplaces in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Cambodia is racist as well against Africans especially at Nigerians.
African people can't extend their visa's, or told to re-enter from another country.