What a bloody night! I’m sure no one was more shocked than our PAP leadership, no matter how often they trot out reminders of past racial riots.
Such things just don’t happen in Singapore now. Even so-called political protests are peaceful quiet little affairs at Hong Lim Park, unlike Bersih 2.0 in Malaysia or the various blue/red/yellow/etc shirt protests in Thailand.
Singaporeans aren’t violent any more because they’ve been conditioned to be docile after 50 years of PAP political hegemony. The PAP has used many tools in its arsenal, from the CLTPA and the ISA to various restrictions on public assembly, public entertainment licencing, permits and conditions cor public gatherings, public speaking and public demonstrations, restrictions on strikes, etc to make this happen.
Singaporeans have learned to fear the police and the ISD, to fear caning and detention without trial, and over time become docile and compliant. The favorite mode of protesting became writing a strong note to the Straits Times.
Not so the foreigners the PAP have imported, who have not undergone such conditioning.
And so we have seen Chinese workers demonstrate in front of Parliament building– no less– when they felt cheated of their salaries. We saw ‘illegal’ strikes by Chinese SMRT bus drivers who felt they were shortchanged compared to other bus drivers. And now we see Indian workers rioting over a fatal traffic accident.
The PAP cannot use the race relations bogeyman in all of these instances. Notice that no docile Singaporeans were involved in any of the above. No, it is a combination of two things.
One, the foreigners have not been conditioned to fear the police and the ISD, unlike the locals. Two, they have genuine grievances and back where they come from, they have different means of expressing their grievances.
People say you have to take the good with the bad. So it is when the PAP mass imports foreign workers. The same has happened in other countries too, eg with Turks in Germany. We’ll have to see how long it takes Pap to not only bring the situation on the ground under control, but also to condition a new generation of foreigners.