3 Mar 2005

Colonial Mentality

The interesting read below on a perceived colonial mentality in Singapore is a topic which is trying to work out if and then why Singaporeans have an inferiority complex. Having lived in Singapore the inferiority complex might stem from being removed from Malaysia after the British left Singapore. And as for white people being at the end of 'positive' discrimination I would have to say 'yes' it does happen. In the working environment there appeared to be a sense of 'whites' getting away with speaking their mind and airing their opinions. Even if those opinions ran contrary to the views or opinions of the management. I felt I could say what I wanted, and that no one would pay a blind bit of notice. Just another angmoh letting off steam, just ignore him, no point voicing your opinion, no one cares, nothing will change anyway, so no point in getting involved.

From Welcome to Rebrab Moor

 Posted by Hello

The disappointing aspect is that the public authorities, rather than striving to counter such mentalities, are actually similarly repressed and subjugated by a colonial mentality. Indeed, white people in locally produced TV dramas are always portrayed as the bosses, classy and well-spoken people. The foreign talent policy is one that takes the policy that foreign ang mos are naturally more talented than our local populace and should be afforded better opportunities than locals.
So how do we rid ourselves of such an unhealthy inferiority complex, if it even exists? It is not an easy task, and to do so one must consciously strive towards achieving this aim. Of course, mixing with whites will definitely help us get along better, but while doing so, we must consciously treat them as if we are treating a fellow non-white Singaporean, such as NOT faking an accent (There is a difference between speaking clearly and putting on a fake accent). Non offensive jokes with regard to a person's colour or race may be seemingly good icebreakers but they actually reinforce stereotypical thinking and hence colonial mentalities. We must realise that every individual is unique, is human, subject to similar desires, feelings and failings, regardless of colour, and thereby treating every person for what they are rather than for what we preconceive them to be.
It seems easy now in writing, but I dare say virtually every Singaporean has been at one time or another been too guilty of being too accommodating, to the extent of actually being subjugated to their will/culture, or too xenophobic, to the extent of generalising all white people as 'bad guys with bad intents'.
Continue reading via the screenshot link...or the header for this article or the link above.


redrown said...

Hi McDermott, you could always put a direct link to my blog if u wish too unless you deem it inappropriate..

Have a nice day!

soci said...

there is a direct link to your blog its the screenshot. Click on it.

And the header is also a link to your site.

redrown said...

Yeah, I thought it was just an img rather than an img link...Doh..

ichigo said...

inferiority complex that came about due to the fact of Singapore being removed from Malaysia!! Gosh! I am seriously amazed to hear such a thing coming from an "educator". for if you were to ask people in singaporeans what they think about being removed from malaysia!! i am sure many of them would say... THANK GOD WE ARE REMOVED! or in a more singaporean way... we are glad they "kicked" us out!

just in case your contact with singaporeans havent shown you why the separation of singapore from malaysia took place, may i just just add this... while you label singaporeans as people with an inferiority complex... and as people who are xenophobic!! i would appreciate it if you could remove those ETHNOCENTRIC glasses of yours to take a look at the country once more.

being accomodating stems from Confucians teachings which singapore is largely built on. if you are talking about being xenophobia, please do comment on the history of the west and of asia and conclude who had a more xenophobic history!! Anti-Jpanese acts... chinese only as railway builders... and not to mention the discrimination...

oh yah, back to the point of british leaving singapore... till this day, the many britains i came in contact with, they still see singapore as an ex-colony of theirs... and they feel proud about it... till i mentioned that they were the one who backed out of the country despite saying that they would protect the country!!

soci said...

so ichigo if Singaporeans are and were happy to have left Malaysia, why was Lee Kuan Yew almost brought tears when he announced the decision?

And as you appear to have missed the links, this discussion was not started by me but by 'Welcome to Rebrab Moor'.

The British government withdrew from many colonies before, during and after the 2nd World War. What is your point?

Many governments claim that their ideology is based on one philosophy or other. All philosophers are open to varied interpretations and I am sure that the Government uses Confucian philosophy as a way of legitimising their policies.

Agagooga said...

"being accomodating stems from Confucians teachings which singapore is largely built on"
Hur hur. Considering that China considered itself the centre of the world, and that foreigners were barbarians...

redrown said...

Ichigo has exemplified exactly what i was trying to put forward: without reading through the entire context, she has jumped on the bandwagon and perceived an attack on her ego.