Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Your women are my women

NS for Singaporeans.
Jobs for Foreigners.
Free admission for Foreigners.
Your women folks for foreigners,

for free!

my paper, Wed, Jun 04, 2008, Debbie Yong
Club mad

He had planned a night of revelry with friends at St James Power Station last Saturday, but when National University of Singapore student Matthew Rao flashed his identity card (IC) at the door of the popular nightclub, he was requested to pay the $20 cover charge.

His four friends - from England, Germany, France and Finland - filed in for free.

The reason: They were foreign students on exchange in Singapore, while he was local.

"I thought the IC was for age verification, but the bouncers said I had to pay because it was proof I was Singaporean," Mr Rao, 25, recalled. He was upset because the policy seemed unfair and discriminatory.

"Why should foreign students get different treatment? If they live here, why shouldn't they pay as well?" he added.

Ms Cheryl Khong, marketing manager at St James, confirmed its policy of giving foreign guests free entry any day of the week if they produce a valid foreign student pass. The little-publicised policy has existed since St James opened in 2006, but it only applies to Powerhouse, the nightspot's main dance room.

Ms Khong said the policy aimed to "encourage a cosmopolitan party atmosphere for our young partygoers" and added that St James regularly hosts parties thrown by local tertiary institutions and students.

Still, Mr Rao said that the incident has changed his mind about frequenting theclub.

"I like rules that are fair and open. If the club can at least publicise those rules on the door, then I'll respect them."

Why was Mr. Matthew Rao surprised?

Hasn't he, or his parents, or his relatives voted precisely for such things?

Look, if the government had implemented a Singaporean-first law - and then among Singaporeans, an anti-age discrimination law and anti-gender discrimination law - in the civil service, in the statutory boards and in the work place, all private establishments would have also emulated and toed the line even when it has nothing to do with employment.

That's because the culture of Singaporean-first and anti-discrimination would have taken roots across all spectrum of society, even in matters of admission to night spots. No night spot would dare to discriminate - even if there is no anti-discrimination law to govern club admission - lest it incurs the wrath of the whole society, which is already used to the anti-discrimination mentality.

So, this is clearly a case of 上梁不正下梁歪。You allowed (or shall we say, support?) the government to discriminate against Singaporeans and against the old, openly in the matter of employment. This foreigner-is-big, ok-to-discriminate mentality trickles down to all areas of society and now, even in matters of club admission!

Who is to blame? You, the voters!

So, Mr. Matthew Rao, you and/or your family and/or your relatives voted for that. Why complain?

You,and/or your family, and/or your relatives, asked for it!

活该! Serve you right!

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