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Curry On


Curry for the inaugural National Cook a Curry day, Singapore

What a fantastic Sunday Aug 21 proved to be.


Sunday dinners are always held at mum-in-law’s home. She has been less mobile lately, and her appetite is not so good. Seeing as how she has aged, we agreed to meet for dinner with her once a week. It has always been potluck dinner so that Lina can take a break. This Sunday my contribution, naturally, was curry. Hence, even though I was the only member of the family to join the facebook page, Cook and Share a pot of Curry, in actual fact, 14 people took part, including a Filipina and a family friend. To my delight, everyone loved the dish, mopping up all gravy with bread.


More than just a meal however, this event has made Singaporeans feel like Singaporeans. There is something deliciously simple to do together, and still make a statement. It gives me hope that we are more similar than we think and that given the right stimulus, we can come together and fight a cause, civilly and creatively.


When I first read the article in Today, I was concerned that it would lead to aggressive xenophobic actions. For a while, the postings online showed such wrath and venom, I was getting quite worried. It did not help when the Prime Minister told us not to be negative towards foreigners, law ministry denied that the mediator proposed the solution and the law minister himself, on national television, denying any wrongdoing on the part of CMC, and telling us not to be xenophobic.


The powers that be still don’t get it. Singaporeans are not natural xenophobes. However, when one is surrounded by so many foreigners (some countries call them aliens…just saying, tongew in chee ker), we naturally need to push and shove. It is like trying to get into a very crowded MRT carriage during peak hours.


Hence, when the law ministry is so defensive, it only serves to anger the people. It does not matter if the two parties came to a compromise themselves. It matters that the people involved could not see how ridiculous the case was and what a mockery that agreement made of integration and tolerance.


This is why there is now a new word inSingapore– papology. Mr Shanmugam would have done better if he had acknowledged that while there was no wrongdoing, it was a poorly executed case. The defensive, protective stance he took aggravates. What we want to see is our leaders taking responsibility. To keep telling us to be tolerant seems to lay all blame at our feet.


Many netizens are looking at 2016 to make more changes. I am too impatient for that. The ruling party is the only one who can address the issues on the ground with authority. The opposition party can only slap the driver, to wake him up.


Hence it is the ruling party that needs to show it hears, and has the courage to act. It is not about bending to the frivolous wants of the people. It is about the boldness to rewrite policies that are non-populist because they do not work.


Xenophobia is threatening to take on a scale that has not been seen before. To vent our frustrations on foreigners is not being fair. They are here to make a better living for themselves. If they take our jobs, it is because we let them. Hence we need to look at the gatekeeper – the bouncer at the club door.


In the meantime – let’s curry on. Let the music begin. Curry Curry Night, Curry Song and salivate with these curry photos






  1. August 22, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Great stuff… ok for me to submit your articles and future ones to TR, bro?

    • August 22, 2011 at 3:07 am

      Ah, sorry, sis….. 🙂

  2. SpeakSpokeWriteWrote
    August 22, 2011 at 3:06 am

    sure – and i am female!

  3. WL
    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Ah, but you forget…the PAP, and by extension, the government is never wrong. They can’t even acknowledge when something has gone awry; it’s either “cannot be helped” or “let’s move on”. The frustration will grow if this mentality persists, and this curry-on will not help them in the run-up to 2016.

  1. August 24, 2011 at 1:19 am
  2. September 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm
  3. September 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm
  4. October 3, 2011 at 12:31 am
  5. October 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

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