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标题: 严孟达:新加坡人之怒
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发表于 2012-10-13 17:35  资料 文集 短消息 
严孟达:新加坡人之怒

● 严孟达

  全国职工总会会员事务署助理署长张艾美在社交媒体面簿上发表种族敏感言论,对马来族在组屋楼下办喜事的习俗说了些语带尖酸的坏话,让马来族群感觉被侮辱,政治领袖也被震惊,社会整体则被骚动了起来,这证明她那几句似乎是随意说说的话却是杀伤力很大。如果说她只是随意说说,则恐怕有轻描淡写之嫌,也许正如外交部长兼律政部长尚穆根所说的,“互联网和社交媒体的出现,更让一些人随意说出潜藏在他们心里的话。”一个人在心里潜藏着对人对事的某种根深蒂固的偏见,很容易找到自我暴露的机会。

  很多人觉得她之不可原谅,便是肯定她骨子里早就存有那种坏念头,她的话不是随意说说而已。事态发展下去,比如政治人物、马来族群以及一些以新加坡多元种族和谐共处为自豪的社会人士因被冒犯,而继续对这件事咬着不放,恐怕也会引来另一类的不安。

  三天前,一位朋友谈到张艾美事件时有感而发地说,现在好像是“举国追杀”,社会对她的批评显得有点过头,“但是没有人敢讲,讲了会被人认为是同情张艾美”。是的,现在跟着骂张艾美是绝对政治正确的,同情张艾美的处境就是跟自己过意不去。

  我在这里试图“跟自己过意不去”讲一下。

  在今天的网络时代,几乎每个懂得上网的人都有自己的新媒体平台,个人面簿就像是个人住址一样,我跟人家说我没有面簿(因为我的面簿形同虚设,所以不说也罢),人家还会觉得很奇怪。政治人物,自总理、部长到国会议员(包括反对党)几乎都有自己的面簿,即使没有个人面簿也总会有政党面簿的共用平台。个人面簿既是一个交流的平台,就不能视为自家后院、家里的客厅或厨房,以为可以一边喝茶或是一边炒菜一边随想随说,在网络上讲过的话已不再是“船过水无痕”。

  政治人物既然有了自己的新媒体平台,对于正在发酵的大事或是城中人正在热议的课题,就不可能置身度外,对于明显的是非对错表达自己的看法和立场,似乎责无旁贷,也因此,我们看到部长“纷纷”批评张艾美,这原也是很正常的,我也相信部长没有理由在批评之前须要彼此互相协调,部长一上了网也就是网民,网民就有随时说话的权利。但部长的批评多了一些分量,让人觉得事态严重。部长、议员都“政治正确”一人一句,对被批评的对象就很够力,效果上则是加重了对犯错者的惩罚,加上网上排山倒海的声讨声浪,犯错者在社会的口诛笔伐之下,似乎成了罪大恶极的罪人,比恐怖主义分子还更恐怖。这也许是此事给人“举国追杀”的印象由来,要进一步探讨这个现象,被冒犯的族群马来族本身的反应是应该更受重视。

  从过去几天的情况来看,马来族群宣泄他们的愤怒的同时,庆幸的也有有识之士出来说些冷静的话,提醒马来同胞不要反应过激。如我国著名马来学者国大副教授胡欣穆达立昨天在《海峡时报》言论版上发表的文章“一个社会应如何表现和一个族群应如何反应”(How society should behave and how a race should react)中说:“马来/回教族群完全有愤怒的权利并也表达了出来,但他们就像其他人一样,应该接受这样的事实:在一个多元文化的社会里没有容许过激反应并诉诸行动的空间,不管这是多么令人难以吞下的痛苦。”这种及时的提醒,对整体社会也是很有针对性的。

  凡是涉及文化、宗教的课题,一个族群被冒犯了,总想以更激烈的手段来报复,宁可看到冒犯者受到过重的惩罚,也不愿意多表达一点仁慈。这不只是针对马来/回教族群而言。

  相较之下,企图在新加坡进行恐怖破坏的回祈团被粉碎事件,哪一种事件的后果更为严重是毋庸置疑;如果我们能够接受前回祈团成员的悔改,并接纳他们重返社会,没有理由不能给任何在网上失言而马上收回并道歉,也受到处分,已经自食其果的人多两分宽宏三分大量。

  经一事、长一智,犯错者和整体社会都可以从愚蠢事件中学习到东西,社会才会不断成熟、进步,敏感课题固然还是敏感,但是一个成熟的社会是不应该动不动被偶发的事件搞到精神紧绷,甚至出现裂痕。从政治人物到民间,要如何反应得体,都是一种不断学习的过程。

  几个月前,国大学生孙旭的骂狗事件发生后,骂的人也够多了,当时我在这个专栏小平台刻意避开这个热点话题。从孙旭事件到张艾美事件显示,“新加坡人之怒”有时候令人叫好,有时候也会被人利用来跟进他们本身的“议程”,人骂跟人骂没啥意思,“举国追杀”更犯不着!
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robby
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发表于 2012-10-15 05:43  资料 文集 短消息 
好文章:Fight intolerance with tolerance

By Tessa Wong

A racist remark is made, perhaps unwittingly, on social media. A disgusted Facebook friend or follower takes a snapshot. Before long, it’s gone viral and the person is in very hot water.

On Monday, former NTUC employee Amy Cheong followed in the footsteps of Shimun Lai and Jason Neo with a series of racist Facebook updates that attracted swift condemnation online.

Just like those two, Ms Cheong’s Facebook remarks about Malay weddings attracted name-calling and the lodging of a police report.

The fact that such a ferocious response from netizens is now par for course, coupled with Ms Cheong’s swift sacking by her employer NTUC, leads me to wonder if zero tolerance is really the way to go.

Is the cause of multi-culturalism in Singapore best served by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the perpetrator?

My problem with this approach is that it doesn’t always work.

Ms Cheong is the fifth Singaporean in the past 11 months who has attracted criticism for racist postings on the Internet.

We are sending the same signal over and over again, but evidently people are still not getting it in their heads.

Secondly, I can’t help but feel that the sledgehammer approach will not get racists to re-evaluate their stereotypes. In the face of the barrage, the first lesson many will learn is not that being a racist is wrong but that being so out loud will get me flamed. So they are simply more careful about what they post online.

Prudence in what we say, whether it is online or offline, is of course something that should be encouraged in everyone. But that is not the lesson everyone was trying to impart here.

So while zero tolerance to racism is understandable given Singapore’s history with race riots and its circumstances as a small multi-racial country.

However it appears that people see it as the only way to react, which begs the question: why is there no room for us to act any differently? Why can we not meet intolerance with tolerance?

•See also: Would Amy Cheong have been fired if she was a banker?
•NTUC was right to sack Amy Cheong

This is not to say that Ms Cheong should just be tolerated, but that our reaction to people like her shouldn’t just be limited to condemnation and ostracization. We could also behave in a way that exemplifies the tolerance we hope others could display.

For example, some have suggested that we could have done a “Curry Day” thing on her, and invited her to a Malay wedding or Malay gathering.

Sadly, these netizens appear to be in the minority, with many more choosing to flame Ms Cheong to the point that it almost became a competitive sport. Ms Cheong has since left the country.

A high-profile employer like NTUC faces its own dilemma, given its significant standing in the community.

But I wonder, instead of making her as an example of how NTUC does not tolerate racism, could it not have made her an example of how NTUC promotes racial harmony?

It could have retained Ms Cheong and given her more counselling, thereby contributing to her reformation. Not only that, it could have taken the opportunity to make this a learning lesson for all employees, perhaps by holding organisation-wide racial sensitivity talks.

That, in my view, would have sent a much stronger and more positive message.

Community policing is a good way for any group can regulate itself and teach the right values to members who do wrong.

But if it gets to the point where the wrongdoer thinks she is being unfairly bullied, then whatever lessons the community intends to impart to her will be moot.

Everyone knows what it’s like to be scolded to the point where you simply just switch off. After a while, you perceive the scolding not so much as a lesson, but more as a personal attack. You end up not learning anything.

Have we done this to Ms Cheong? I suspect so, given that in an interview with The New Paper last night she insisted that whatever she said “had nothing to do with race”.

We may have lost an opportunity in this episode. Let’s hope that if something similar happens again, we as a community can send the right signal.
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大黄蜂
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发表于 2012-10-15 13:33  资料 文集 短消息 
回复 #1 布卡士 的帖子

有点看不懂作者的意思。是说对张女士骂过头了吗?

“举国追杀”
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