Meanwhile down under, organisers of a "Singaporean only" event face charges of breaching anti-discrimination laws for turning away Caucasians at the door. The Royal Botanic Gardens acting executive director, Brett Summerell, told The Daily Telegraph the organisers booked the premises for the entire day and had originally promised to only turn people away if they were at full capacity.
Accusations of racism were let fly after two white men, father and son, were allegedly barred from entering Sydney's Botanic Gardens because they were not Singaporeans. Irate people phoned 2GB radio talkback host Ben Fordham to complain that "white people" had been "turned away in droves" from the Singapore Day event.
The Singapore Day website stated in no uncertain terms that the event is "an exclusive event for Singaporeans and their families". Proud attendee Anthony Sim took to his blog to applaud the organisers, "It is quite heart-warming to know we are not alone. Everyone of us were on the same page," Sim penned. "There were no PRCs, India Indians, Bangla or Pinoys to annoy us." It would appear fair dinkum Australians were included in the persona non grata mix.
Boy, is Sim in for a surprise when he returns to Singapore. There's an ongoing $10 million welcoming party for the pesky foreigners, spearheaded by some National Integration Council. If he wants to hang out with core Singaporeans only, he may have to be more sensitive to the denizens of his host country.
Buggered by the unpleasant whiff of xenophobia, Mr Summerell huffed, "Obviously it has created a bit of community concern and that is enough for me to review it and see if it's appropriate for the Botanic Gardens to be involved with them in the future."
|"We've had a lot of participation from our Singaporeans here."|