Is xenophobia on the rise in Singapore?


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  • A born and bred Singaporean citizen balloted for the tickets like all of us to attend this year’s National Day Parade.
  • He got lucky (or so he thought) and was successful in the ballot and brought his family, including his wife, to enjoy the parade.
  • Straits Times saw the good-looking couple, took a picture and uploaded it to their social media platforms with a questionable caption.
  • And then we have it, the xenophobia floodgates open!



Comments from ST’s Instagram post 

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I thought it was just jealousy, or maybe not.
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Xenophobia or Patriotic?
Of course, there are some who are more accepting.
Of course, there are some who are more accepting than others.

Comments from a popular local forum

I won’t say which but you-know-I-know lah… the stereotypical judgement from JUST a single picture is so damn high, I don’t know where to begin:

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Yup. Just one picture of her face and all we know is her nationality and suddenly, everybody becomes face-reading experts.

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Of course all Thai girls like ugly guys. Or did he mean that all ugly guys marry Thai women? I don’t get it.

Good to know that rationality still exists in this country…

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So, is it their fault for concluding as such just based on a single photo?

This guy though, finally saw through the red dust (看破红尘) aka know what is actually happening:

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What just happened here is a very classic example of how tabloids sensationalise things. Like what the last comment mentioned, was it necessary for ST to post something like this when there are thousands and thousands of Singaporeans at the National Stadium yesterday? I get it that it is easier to spot a good-looking couple, then my million dollar question is,

Why the caption?

Is it simply a case of “reporting”? Or is it cherry picking? To highlight that most probably one spectator from Thailand to create such uproar all over the Internet?

There were many other pictures uploaded on their Facebook page and Instagram but none were captioned “Mrs Leong and her Singaporean husband at the parade”. So why is there a need to highlight her Thai nationality? I wouldn’t go as far as to say that ST did it with the intention to cause unhappiness amongst Singaporeans but such sensation is simply not needed, isn’t it?

Especially on our nation’s birthday.

In case you missed, in our PM’s national day message…


I am honestly very disappointed with this whole incident not just because of these comments about my friends but more importantly, how can a 171-year-old national newspaper resort to such desperation to get attention?


For those who have no idea who they are, Zachary just happens to be the person behind our annual state flag flypast.  His wife, Keira, also better known as Sononui, is a fashion and travel blogger based in Italy and Thailand. They had met in Bangkok when he was working there and no, she isn’t from a siam diu or Thai disco and yes, they had rightfully balloted for the tickets. No fast pass was given cause of her nationality, or any conspiracy theory you can conjure.

  1. I agree with your article….for a S’porean who had lived in Thailand for a decade; and have a Chinese wife with kids holding Thai BC, I can appreciate your stand Bro.
    I think S’porean tend to forget that we were and still is a mixed bunch with heritage stretching overseas….so now that we want to call our own then we should recognize and appreciate our own mix rather than emphasize on the differences.
    After all, if we always like to look up to other Western countries like the USA then we should learn the concept of being a proud US citizen but never denying our heritage….the Jews & Italians stay the way they are even when they holding a US passport and claim themselves US citizens…no issues there wah…

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