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PAP and the Art of Name Calling

April 21, 2014

Bigotry Ever wonder why Singaporeans are called many names? From time to time, we see Singaporeans being labelled ‘Xenophobic’ or ‘Bigot’ or ‘Infantile’ and many more names. It seems very convenient for the media to employ name calling all the time, but are we really what they called us to be?

Just recently we have been called a ‘Bigot‘ and ‘Disgrace’ when there is conflict over the Philippine Independence Day event where Filipinos being targeted online for planning to celebrate their Independence Day in Singapore. Well, I’m not going into a lengthy discourse over that phenomenon. Let’s explore the underlying interest of the PAP controlled mainstream media and the Art of Name Calling (or Labeling).

Name Calling is a form of psychological abuse which can cause devastating effects that affects your inner thoughts and even exerts control over your life indirectly. It destroys healthy relationships even relationships with yourself.

Verbal bully is one of the forms of bullying. The objective is to intimidate others into complying (changing someone’s behavior due to the request, orders, or commands. Victim give in but not necessarily agree to their rules), or to make fun of others whilst drawing attention or encourage criticisms in the process of doing so. Media like Stomp! and the Saturday Straits Times are a few channels which likes to employ name calling to satisfy and increase their readership.

This is a good example:

Singapore PMET

Singapore PMET – Pampered, Mediocre, Expensive, Timid – when foreigners see such news do you think they will respect local PMETs?

As you can see the mainstream media employ such sweeping generalization with the use of Name Calling to achieve their underlying agendas (increase readership and profit making). They inadvertently created a perpetuating social stigma among different groups of people, the employers and employee group in this context. The media capable of influencing readers, they created the “Us vs Them” mentality and encourages criticism openly and erodes social cohesion. It creates group disharmony among the population through instigating faulty beliefs. The mainstream media acting like an outlaw that abuses media use in a socially irresponsible way, this is inconspicuous during election campaigns.

Name calling again; Xenophobia (see below)

Xenophobia

Xenophobia – Published on Straits Times newspaper

Instead of addressing the social behavioral problem, the media resorts to Name Calling – calling Singaporeans Xenophobic. When in fact the hostile social behavior stems from their heedless immigration policies which impacted the social fabric and national resources. This underlying social dynamics is identified as Realistic Conflict Theory (When a new group of immigrants from a specific ethnic background arrive in great numbers, members of the group often met with profound prejudice because they were viewed as competitors for resources like jobs, public infrastructure, public spaces, social services, healthcare, education, etc)

Economic Sociology of Immigration was inadequately addressed – the social cause and effects of economic phenomena. For instance; the massive influx of foreign workers has created intense competition, which allowed employers to impose very long working hours for lower pay and hence creating unhealthy working conditions for employees (symptoms of uncontrolled immigrations policies).

They are working to discard the national identity, transforming the economy, and moving forward to a global identity for economic benefits. From my research, in my opinion they are bias towards the functionalist point of view in globalizing a city especially being economically beneficial. Social impacts from eroding national identity from Interactionism (Symbolic meaning of nationhood) and Conflict perspectives, was trivialized in favor of functionalist ideals.

Research depicts the pros of globalization by deregulating policies that adheres domestic multi-ethnicity and cultural diversity. On the other hand, it tends to ignore the repercussion that comes with social and political cost of intense competition from foreign migrants. From 2007 onwards, locals began to raise socioeconomic issues such as depressed wages, discrimination in favor of foreigners, soaring housing prices, high cost of living, overcrowding, etc.

If Economic Sociology is thoroughly researched, decisions have been made more meticulously, it would have potentially forestalled many social problems. Is it due to Groupthink within their ranks, and the absence of opposing robust views that led to the mediocre decisions?

Now that they have failed (PM Lee has admitted the government did not have 20/20 foresight),  trains are breaking down and overcrowding in public spaces is like everyday affairs. Shortage of hospital beds and now tents is the new IN thing. Qualified Singaporeans pushed out of their jobs to make way for foreigner’s old chums from back home. Wages never catching up with the cost of living, and many locals precipitated in myriads of social and economic problems. The PAP, adroit at using the same insidious ruse now projects blames onto Singaporeans by calling them names, disguising it as criticism so as to gloss over their mistakes. At the same time, it distracts us from the very issues that plagues us, guiding us into our self-criticism.

More Name Calling below:

PM Lee laments Ugly Singaporeans

PM Lee laments Ugly Singaporean Behavior – Published on Straits Times Newspaper

Remember the case of the Fairmont Hotel Director Brian Tan who criticized Singaporeans that they are ‘weak and lazy‘. Similarly, we have Dr George Wong who rebuke and criticized ‘Ugly Singaporeans to grow up‘. This is clear example how the media can influence employers into adhering to harmful stereotypes, prejudice and negative beliefs they read on newspapers. Then we have MM Lee criticizing Singaporeans in an interview with National Geographic interview in 2010 and i quote;

“MM Lee says, Singaporeans have become “less hard-driving and hard-striving.” This is why it is a good thing, the MM says, that the nation has welcomed so many Chinese immigrants (25 percent of the population is now foreign-born). He is aware that many Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of immigrants, especially those educated newcomers prepared to fight for higher paying jobs. But taking a typically Darwinian stance, the MM describes the country’s new subjects as “hungry,” with parents who “pushed the children very hard.” If native Singaporeans are falling behind because “the spurs are not stuck into the hide,” that is their problem.”

MM Lee: If native Singaporeans are falling behind because “the spurs are not stuck into the hide,” that is their problem

MM Lee: If native Singaporeans are falling behind because “the spurs are not stuck into the hide,” that is their problem

MM Lee: Voters must be 'Daft'

MM Lee: Voters must be ‘Daft’

To sum it up, I have compiled the list of agenda behind the Art of Name Calling. Recognize such negative tactics they employ, repel them and do not take them seriously. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with the victim (you) and usually the problem lies with the Abuser or Name Caller. They resort to unethical ways and tactics to manipulate your thoughts and behaviors, all of which tries to achieve the same purpose; to make you comply to their demands.

Name Calling

Underlying Intentions behind Name Calling

When foreign immigrants and locals conflicts over nationalism – they call you ‘Bigots’. When foreign immigrants failed to integrate with locals – they call you ‘Xenophobic’. When Singaporeans do not want to cooperate – they call you ‘Ugly Singaporean’. When they want your votes – they call you ‘Dafts’. When they failed to garner your support at Aljunied GRC in GE2011, they call you to ‘Repent’. There are probably more that I lost count but you should be able to catch the idea behind their Name Calling tactics. If you view Name Calling from another perspective – it is a sign of desperation, sense of insecurity rather than confidence. Does it sound like sour grapes?Sour Grapes So as we speak, the abuser might gain advantage for their short term goals, but it causes harmful psychological effects that impairs the development of members of society, us. We must not condone to such emotional abuse and threats at their whims and fancies, thus it is best to remove the PAP’s political control over SPH, Singapore’s only media – to curb the abuse of the mainstream media for the well being of the society.

Self Concept

Self Concept

Consequences of Name Calling and excessive Criticism is disastrous in long term, it erodes self-esteems of the populous, damages one’s identity (self concept) when repeatedly called names like “stupid, ugly, lazy”. Moreover, it encourages observers to blame and criticize the victim and this is called Scapegoating. When done perpetually it creates an unrealistic perception of the self or the group and effects self-criticism such as “Singaporeans are not good enough, I am not confident, Singaporeans cannot communicate well, etc”. This can turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy when the victim is unaware and has low self esteem which often leads to poor decision making. When unrealistic beliefs sets in and emanate within the society like a social stigma (negative social norms that shapes behaviors and cues within a  group) in a self perpetuating cycle, it becomes difficult to remove. (Not even laws can effectively curtail negative social values and beliefs) Social Stigma Along these lines, it also impacts our mood and causes us to become angry, resentful, frustrated, extreme emotive experiences. Name-calling can have serious consequences on mental health. In fact, researchers feel it is one of the most damaging forms of bullying. For instance, some victims become so depressed from the name-calling that begin to feel worthless, helpless and out of control. Some victims may even contemplate suicide if they failed to succeed at achieving the unrealistic or high expectations of their parents or society.

Rules of engaging a skilled manipulator:

Do not think that by telling them how you feel can change their ways. To put it simply, the manipulator does not care; he most likely is incapable of empathy altogether. The only effective strategy to change the manipulator is to change yourself. The greatest weakness is not the weakness itself, but not knowing the unknown – the lack of awareness. By becoming aware of their tactics and stop complying, pleasing, responding to their manipulative tactics. And when that happens it becomes harder to let others control you or influence you so as to make them become ineffective, hence they will likely give up or try other tactics. Raise your level of awareness while changing your behavior and so you will become familiar with their manipulative patterns and roles.

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8 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Jentrified Citizen and commented:
    An excellent article analysing the systematic and continuous verbal abuse thrown at Singaporeans by the PAP Govt. All of this party’s despicable name calling actions are manipulative and calculated to undermine the people’s moral, to control them and push the govt’s own agenda. No other government in the world has insulted its own people in the same manner as the PAP which has lost the moral right to govern.

  2. Hi there,

    I like your post and will repost it in my blog.

    M

  3. Reblogged this on petulantchild and commented:
    A very good post that detailed the kind of abuses that Singaporeans have been enduring under the ruling party (for several years). It is time the people take back their rightful political power.

  4. marjorie teo permalink

    why does Philippine Independence Day being celebrate in Singapore especailly in an open and public place like Orchard Road? in that case, all foreign workers from India, China, Thailand, Mynma, Indonesia, malaysian can also celebrates their Countries’ Indiependence Day in Orchard Road too… Otherwise, we will be called “Double Standard”!! then what is “Singapore” ??? an United Nation of all these combined countries? So how many National Day do we Singaporean going to attend? Since it happen on our soil!! Are we also getting additional Public Holiday on these countries’s National Day too… WHO ARE WE?? i kind of getting confused?? Is Singapore a Country or a city similar to NEW YORK, USA??? seriously it is in sane..

  5. Rob permalink

    Please have a look at The Catalogue of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics…. some of the listed methods are eerily similar to what the PAP govt has used.

    http://exposingfeminism.wordpress.com/shaming-tactics/

    My theory is that the PAP govt does what it wants because it knows it can do its worst and still get away with it i.e. get voted back into power. The sycophantic mainstream media will do its part to help brainwash the population. What could the cowardly, ignorant citizens do?

  6. GingerBaker permalink

    where is part 2 to your excellent piece on how to defeat the pap govt? part 1 was written a year ago!!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily SG: 22 Apr 2014 | The Singapore Daily
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