ST Forum: Focus on tolerance and unity, not name-calling

27 May 2009
Straits Times Online Forum

Focus on tolerance and unity, not name-calling

I REFER to yesterday’s Forum Online letter (”Sexually challenged isn’t an offensive term referring to gays”) by Mr Tan Keng Soon.

I acknowledge that there will always be some people here who might not readily accept our fellow Singaporeans for who they are. However, I feel we should not be calling them names.

It is unclear whether using labels like ‘sexually challenged’ may make a difference to the sexual orientation of Singaporeans. What we do know is that using negative labels is hurtful and tantamount to a form of hate speech.

If we persist in using such terms, we are only persisting in being divisive, which is socially and economically not viable for Singapore.

Divisiveness in society, as history has shown, is fertile ground for external elements to bring a country to its knees.

I think it is time we stand together and stop the name-calling. All of us have our differences, but the one thing we share in common, besides being Singaporeans, is being human.

Let’s try to work on that, shall we?

Laremy Lee

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