Click here for the latest at RunEatGossip »

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Give Japan Aid - The Colour of Our Skin

Once upon a time, Japan was the most hated country on Planet Earth. In modern time, it is everybody’s favourite country for holidays. Everybody I know who have been to Japan gushed about it and look forward to going back there again for another holiday notwithstanding that majority of us don’t understand an iota of what they speak.

So I guess it is only natural the massive outpouring of support when Japan gets hit with the earthquake and tsunami. In fact just as unprecedented as the scale of the disaster in Japan is the scale of the fund raising being done here in Sg. There are of course the usual call to donate by the various charity organization like Red Cross, Mercy Relief and World Vision. Then there are the various events being organized by groups with  carnival, concerts, special CD, football game and running events. Even the Triathlon Association of Singapore included a fund raising in the recent Half Ironman!  Muis also came up with donation boxes at the churches and the 3 telcos offered donation via SMS. It is like almost the whole of Singapore has got in on the act. And I think all these speak well of the people we have here in Singapore. But somehow somewhere something is nagging at me.

What if this disaster had happened in China or India and not Japan? Will the same effort to raise funds be seen here? Just as a quick comparison, during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, was there so much efforts made? What I am trying to understand is why this generosity towards Japan and not the rest of the world?

Last I checked, Singapore has raised $402,000.00 including a measly $50,000.00 from the gahmen for Haiti whereas for Japan, the last known figure as at 25 March is $7.5m including a $500,000.00 contribution from the gahmen.

  1. Is it because Japan is a third world country. Very poor and cannot afford to rebuilt the affected area. On the contrary – Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world with GDP of 5.069 trillion. The median income is USD38000. In comparison Haiti has a GDP of 6.479 billion and a median income of USD560.00. So this cannot be the reason
  2.  Is it because more lives were lost in Japan? To date, estimated is more than 10000 death and 200000 displaced. In Haiti, the death toll was more than 200000 and 1.3m displaced! So this theory is wrong too.
So the figures speak for itself. Why does Singaporeans think that Japan needs more aids than Haiti? Dare I suggest that it is because as mentioned in the very first paragraph of this post – everybody loves Japan? Or is it just a racist thing – the Japanese have the same colour skin as us whereas the Haitian are well - different?

1 comment:

  1. might have something to do with all e reports of the donations in haiti being intercepted and usurped by corrupt govt officials. whereas for japan there's a greater reassurance that the $ will actually reach those in need.