After living in Singapore for some years now and integrating fairly solidly into the local community, I find most local Singaporeans to be accepting and very tolerant and friendly toward my family and me. In fact, we have developed friendships that will last a lifetime. In 2008, we received our PR (permanent resident) status.
However, prior to living here, I have never had the experience of being a part of a ‘minority’. I cannot help at times feeling somewhat paranoid as a result (of what I would consider a small percentage) of people who openly jeer, shake their heads, stare or give me dirty looks. When I first arrived in Singapore, this did make me feel quite angry and offended, but over time I have come to realize that this certainly is not the norm. As I already stated, I have found most Singaporeans are open, friendly and willing to accept my family and me into their community.
So I began to ask myself why a few people seem so angry toward me in public (most notably in the heartlands where we live). For this reason, I began participating in a few local online ‘forums’, openly letting people know where I come from and why I am here, to try and get at the real reasons.
Interestingly enough, I have made more local friends as a result of my participation, but also at times I have found myself to be extremely shocked at some of the responses and hatred that I have received in these forums (one in particular) for being an ‘ang moh’ – it has certainly opened my eyes as to the deep-seeded issues at play.
It is not the intent of this article to publicly list out the variety of reasons that some people feel are legitimate reasons for not wanting westerners in Singapore – one only needs to search a couple of forums to understand the thought processes – nor is it to try and justify my existence here. Rather, it is to try and understand the depth of the issue by asking a simple question (in the poll to the right).
The poll will be open for one month so I can elicit as many responses as possible. The question is purposely quite specific, and does not take into account ‘what ifs’ – that is, maybe the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but only under specific circumstances. Should a respondent wish to further clarify their response, please do so by adding a comment to this thread (please try and keep racial prejudices out of any clarifications – in the essence of ‘free speech’, I do not want to have to delete comments).
Furthermore, please note that the poll is not asking whether or not all ‘foreigners’ (in general) are welcome in Singapore – as locals know, this would probably bring in a huge number of other variables and concerns, and therefore add too much noise to the data that I collect. NB: This poll is anonymous.
The responses to choose from, are – ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Don’t Care’.
The question being asked, is:
Are ‘Ang Mohs’ Welcome To Live In Singapore?
Please respond using the poll on the top right of this page, and qualify any responses where necessary by adding a comment to this article.
Thanks kindly to all my regular readers, and I appreciate your candid responses. Once the month of the poll being opened has expired, I will publish another article summarizing the data and responses collected.
DISCLAIMER: We love Singapore for a variety of reasons, and open our arms in friendship to anyone who is prepared to offer the same.