Say no to bigotry: Tan Chuan-Jin

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin had strong words yesterday for those orchestrating a campaign against a planned event to celebrate Philippine independence day here.

In a Facebook post, he called on Singaporeans to take a stand against such "repulsive" peddlers of hate.

He wrote that he was startled by a report in The Straits Times on Thursday, which said the Filipino organisers of the Orchard Road event had been harassed by anonymous callers.

But he was encouraged that "many decent Singaporeans... have come forward to condemn the actions of these netizens".

A Facebook page that campaigns against an "overpopulated Singapore" has carried posts against the event planned by the Pilipino Independence Day Council Singapore, an ad-hoc group of volunteers.

Reacting to such posts, Mr Tan pointed out that many Singaporeans have celebrated National Day in other countries. And as one of them, he could not imagine what it would be like to be attacked in this way.

He asked: "Is there a gentle way to put this across?"

Not really.

This is how he concluded the post: "Sometimes, I think we should just call a spade a spade. These actions by those who peddle hate are not acceptable, repulsive even.

"We should make a stand to say no to such bigotry. They do not reflect who we are as a people and as a nation."

This article was published on April 19 in The New Paper.

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