Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Racist Scholar

PSC Scholar Chua Cheng ZhanThe story of the PSC (Singapore's Public Service Commission) scholar making racist remarks blew up a storm in the multi-racial island state and sparked a flurry of strong comments about the conduct of one Chua Cheng Zhan, a government scholarship holder studying mathematics at Northwestern University in Illinois USA.

You read his blog entry on April 10th 2005 and make your own assessment:

somehow, the singaporean association here in my school has become an indian association. so gross. and somemore non-singaporean. its just so repulsive…these ugly guys with dark skin n irksome features. ya. i discovered i’m so racist. at the club (under lighting in which everyone is supposed to look good), i still find indians and filipinos (dark ones) so repulsive n such a turn-off. anyway, so now we have this ugly mass as our president. n his indian counterpart who isn’t even singaporean is our senator. what is the world coming to? why are indians dominating the singaporeans here? all these mang ka-li….gross gross. don’t come near me!
>.< disgust.

Wait, it just gets better…
This is his entry dated April 21 2005:

i think an issue which finally dawned on me is that my family is pretty impressive in some senses… like i told my di i realised it…n he was like “duh”. hahahaha. putting it in light of sociological analysis (ahem)…maybe i was justified to have not noticed it earlier. coz i have always been in like the “best”….since pri sch. thru RI, n HCJC. like it juz seemed “normal” that everyone was getting scholarships n everyone was smart. but i suppose to many others, this didn’t seem “normal.” den my bro got into GEP n got straight As for A levels etc…it just didn’t seem out of the ordinary for me. now i think about it, actually it is.
n the followup question is always : is ur sister stressed? i think somehow me n aaron came to e same ans…sadly to say, if u’re pretty far frm comparison u juz dun bother to compare. (like, does proton saga compare itself to a jaguar??) or there is juz little need to compare. not saying proud or anything. juz a sociological observation.ha…i love sociology!!!!


I refer to the article, 'Scholar under fire for racist blog entries' (The Sunday Times, April 17). The Public Service Commission (PSC) has investigated the issue and Mr Chua Cheng Zhan has given us his explanation.

PSC does not condone the making of racist comments by its scholars. It views this matter seriously and has issued a letter of reprimand to Mr Chua. We note that Mr Chua has taken full responsibility for the comments made on his personal blog and has apologised publicly for his insensitive remarks.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind all PSC scholars to conduct themselves in a manner becoming of holders of a PSC scholarship at all times.

Choo Lee See (Mrs)
Director, Public Service
Commission Secretariat
For Secretary,
Public Service Commission


"I guess I was not myself when I wrote those things. I don’t use my own persona when I write on my blog. I realise they were in very poor taste and I deeply regret my actions. I am not like that."


"One evening, I drove to Little India and it was pitch dark but not because there was no light, but because there were too many Indians around."

This astonishing remark was made by PAP Member of Parliament Choo Wee Khiang, in a speech in Mandarin during a parliament session in 1992, calling on the Government to be "selective" in controlling the number of foreign workers. However the Singapore Government chose not to act against him for a breach of parliamentary privilege although the utterance could easily be construed as innuendo for a call for ethnic cleansing.

On June 7, 1999, Choo resigned as MP two hours before pleading guilty to a charge of abetting his brother-in-law to cheat a finance company by issuing false invoices worth $1,000,000 in 1990. He was sentenced to two weeks in jail, fined $10,000 and was barred from contesting parliamentary elections for five years. In a statement, then Acting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was saddened by Choo's resignation and that Choo "has done the right thing."