SINGAPORE – About 100 people packed the room at the Pod at National Library on Thursday night to talk about racial stereotypes and the portrayal of races in Singapore.
Organised and hosted by Epigram Books – whose publisher is also behind the children’s series Understanding Singaporeans: Why Do We Ask These Questions – the discussion covered a wide range of topics, including whether books about racial issues should be targeted at children, and what it means to write about race in Singapore.
Kalasegaran said: “You might disagree with (such books), but they have also opened up the discourse, and that allows other people to contribute.”
That said, due to the sensitive and somewhat emotional nature of the topic, Tiang said that “this is something that needs to be approached with care, particularly when one is from the majority race”.
He added: “My personal (view) is to to listen, to hear from as many other people as possible and try and understand what’s happening from these other points of view… While I’m not saying people from the majority should be silent, I think it’s more important to elevate the minority and to hear from these groups of people.”