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Don't let xenophobia take root in Singapore: MP Arthur Fong

The recent controversy over a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration should prompt some self-examination on the part of Singaporeans, said the Member of Parliament.

SINGAPORE: The recent online furore over a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration in Singapore is a "shot across the bow" that should prompt Singaporeans to examine themselves, said Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC Arthur Fong,in Parliament on Friday (May 30).

"Xenophobia, I hope, will not take root," he said. "Is this what we want? And if this takes root, what kind of Singapore will we have?"

His comments came after netizens slammed the organisers behind the Philippine Independence Day celebration in Singapore, for wanting to hold the event at Orchard Road. Some had also objected to the depiction of the Marina Bay skyline in a logo for the event. According to the Police, organisers have since decided to withdraw their application to hold the event. 

Mr Fong also warned against "destructive politics" in Singapore, a spin on this week's hot topic of "constructive politics" in Parliament.

"Destructive politics can cause cynicism and hopelessness," said Mr Fong. "If we allow cynicism to take root, a sense of hopelessness to take root via expressions cast on policies, for example, it will just do that. We will be gridlocked."

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