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Thread: Lianhe Zaobao's editorial on racial harmony in Singapore

Kirsten Han
Kirsten Han
3 min read

This is a compilation of this Twitter thread I wrote on 9 June 2021.

Here's my quick translation of today's @zaobaosg editorial on racism in #Singapore.

tl;dr It attributes racist incidents to #Covid19 frustrations, social media, and Critical Race Theory, described as an imported idea encouraging racist hatred against white people.

Here is the original, if you would prefer to read it in Chinese:

社论:扩展公共空间促进种族和谐
上星期天,网上流传一名60岁华族男子,涉嫌当街指责与辱骂一对异族情侣的视频。这名男子后来被证实是义安理工学院的讲师,他已被停职。上个月初,一名55岁印族妇女在户外进行快步走运动时,...

I don't read @zaobaosg often, but from what I've seen, this is in character for Singapore's Chinese language daily broadsheet.

According to @zaobaosg logic, racism is the fault of everything but racist systems/structures, and long-held prejudices. While it notes in its opening paragraph that recent incidents were perpetrated by Chinese people, it doesn't bother to examine what that indicates.

It doesn't talk about the harm caused to minorities who have been subjected to racism, but borrows a US right-wing bogeyman to suggest that Chinese people are being unfairly demonised via imported ideas of Critical Race Theory.

This is likely the newspaper that our Chinese-reading aunties, uncles, and grandparents are reading daily. How are we going to honestly and meaningfully fight racism when the mainstream media is enthusiastically feeding this sort of horsepoop to people?

Last year, @zaobaosg published a forum letter suggesting the outbreak of #Covid19 in dormitories was due to "cultural/lifestyle habits" of migrant workers from "backward" countries. In defence, the editor said that it didn't represent the paper's view:

Zaobao forum letters go viral for telling off writer who blamed migrant workers for their dormitory conditions
A forum letter published on Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao has had social media abuzz over a highly controversial perspective on Singapore’s migrant workers. On Monday (April 13), the forum writer urged people not to point fingers at the authorities for the reportedly appalling living conditions found …

Well, this piece I've translated today isn't a forum letter. It's the @zaobaosg editorial. It *does* represent the view of the publication.

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Kirsten Han

A Singaporean independent journalist, activist, and cat slave.