Let’s stand together and stop the name-calling

Dear Madam/Sir,

I REFER to Mr Tan Keng Soon’s letter (‘’Sexually challenged’ isn’t an offensive term referring to gays’, May 26).

I acknowledge that there will always be some people in Singapore 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 are hurtful, and are 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 unviable for Singapore. Divisiveness in society, as history has shown, is fertile ground for external elements to bring a country to its knees.

At the same time, I have had enough of seeing Singapore divided over this matter, especially in fragile times like these.

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 Singaporean, is being human.

Let’s try to work on that, shall we?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Laremy LEE (Mr)

(Published as “Focus on tolerance and unity, not name-calling” on 27 May 2009 in The Straits Times.)

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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