Pen and paper

image by Álvaro Serrano

My First Hate Mail from Wen Kole, Singapore

Today brought my first piece of hate mail since I arrived in Singapore. I can’t say I was expecting it, as Singaporeans of all ethnicities are extremely nice to foreigners.

RailsConf 2024

I'm co-chairing RailsConf 2024 in Detroit May 7–9. Come and join us 

A quick google search for our racist pal threw up one previously aired racist epithet from Wen Kole from 2006.

Rather than reply directly I figured I’d pen an open letter and point him back here. I always find it better confront bigots in public, it makes them look even more ridiculous than they do already.

Subject: Home to page & move on.

To the white who works in or owns this co:

Kindly cease working or setting up your biz in Singapore and go back to your own white man country. White people are here only to take away jobs from Singaporeans. Besides, Singapore is an Asian country and meant for Asians…namely Malays, Chinese and Indians (including Africans, Vietnamese, Middle-Easterners).

In our ICs, one is either classed as Malay, Chinese, Indian or Other. whites do not figure in the demographics of Singapore.

Tip: If white people wish to work or do biz in an Asian country, it’s better to move to HK where the Hongkies are sycophantic to whites. Singaporeans are raised with nationalistic values by reciting the pledge and singing the anthem everyday of their lives and they’re likely gonna glare at whites with disdain.

Wen Kole pro-Singapore, pro-family and pro-everything local

Dear Wen

Thank you for your email. I’ve considered your point of view and decided not to “go back to my own white man country” instead I think I’ll stay. Sorry.

Before I get to the crux of your ill-thought-out argument I feel I should correct a couple of factual inaccuracies in your note, feel free to include them in your next invective to an unsuspecting Ang Mo.

Firstly, Africa is not in Asia, and I suspect any geographically accurate map of the world will back me up on that.

Secondly, population demographics by their very nature are an empirical measure of who is living in the country, and there are white people walking about. I’ve seen them. FYI, when it comes to form-filling I usually tick ‘Other’ because I’m not one of the three offered ethnicities, that’s probably what they mean by ‘Other’.

Now to the issue of your rather curious nationalistic ‘anyone but the white guy’ racism, I don’t know quite where to begin!

Singapore is a country built on trade; the coming and going of outsiders, their goods and skills providing benefits to each other and those who live here. In fact the father of Singapore has been recognized for his promotion of international trade and industry and co-operation with the UK on education initiatives.

I could point out that Singapore’s formation as a city, is credited to a British man. Sir Stamford Raffles incorporated the trading post that formed the first significant permanent settlement on this island. That is not to denigrate the huge amounts of work done by the immigrants, of all races, that have turned Singapore into the place it is today. As an entrepreneur I hope to continue this tradition, improving Singapore by trading my skills in order to improve the local web industry.

As for stealing jobs, foreign entrepreneurs, by definition are creating their own company and thus not taking the jobs of any local Singaporeans. In fact I hope to work with, train and hire several people as part of my enterprise, many of them are likely to hold a Singaporean IC. I’m trying to do great work and create jobs, I’m not after yours.

I suspect whether any Singaporean’s job is safe is more dependent on how good they are at it, rather than whether white people are allowed to roam the streets.

An influx of people from all over the world are the some of the reasons for Singapore’s success. Foreign workers help to build the condos, roads, skyscrapers and HDBs. Foreign professors teach at universities. Foreign born sportsmen and women play for the Singaporean national teams. I suspect that even you are a product of a grandparental migration.

How does my particular dermal hue preclude me from taking part in the economy of Singapore? Are my taxes less good? How would my impact be different if I was Thai, Mainland Chinese or (using your definition of Asia) Ethiopian? Interestingly you also show hostility to the ‘Hongkies’ but this time not based on their genetic heritage but an incorrectly perceived sycophancy to caucasians.

In my two years in Singapore I have made many friends and colleagues of all ethnicities. Skin colour is not something that matters. At work, what matters is are you good at what you do? In life, how well you treat others. I cannot judge the first in your case, but you do seem to have failed at the second.

Pleasingly (for me) you’re in a crazy minority of your own, the racial fairness enshrined in your constitution has lead to an acceptance of external difference and a concentration on what you can offer to the nation either through intellect or hard work (and taxes). The justified pride in this melting pot of people and culture I believe is the message of your national pledge.

We, the citizens of Singapore Pledge ourselves as one united people Regardless of race, language or religion To build a democratic society Based on justice and equality So as to achieve happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation

I don’t see anything in there about telling ‘white people’ to go home.

Perhaps you’d like to discuss, in person, over coffee or a beer? I’m buying, but I reserve the right to think that you are an ignorant racist pillock.

Andy “pro-everyone who isn’t an an arsehole”

Brighton Ruby 2024

Still running UK’s friendliest, Ruby event on Friday 28th June. Ice cream + Ruby 

Last updated on June 2nd, 2009 by @andycroll