So someone went to the Community Mediation Centre cos the neighbour cooks curry and they don't like the smell. According to the newspaper, the complainant just moved to Singapore from China.
Let me share with you this case that happened in Hong Kong in June this year. Someone was fined HK$75000 (~S$11610) for burning joss sticks outside her unit and causing the premature birth of the neighbour's baby. The court also ordered the accused to burn joss stick at specific timing for specific duration.
Just put aside the issue of foreigners coming to Singapore and being super ethnocentric. It doesn't quite help that the anti-foreigner sentiment is running quite high in Singapore. Putting nationality aside, we don't complain when our neighbour's curry smell gets into our house because, well, most probably we ourselves eat curry once in a while. Now how about you are in the midst of preparing for the exam and your neighbours play mahjong or blast music, even when it is day time? Or your neighbour's dog barks all Saturday and Sunday long? Or even on public transport, when the person next to you blasts music while you are trying to catch some shut-eye?
The fact that we don't make noise is due to us being used to getting violated (yes, when the smell and the noise enters our body, it is as good as a military aircraft crossing the border) or we don't mind being violated, or we dare not make noise. Using back the military aircraft analogy, yes you can choose to lodge a formal complaint or to keep quiet, maybe you love to admire your neighbour's more advanced jet or you just like to be violated, or your radar is so dumb you don't even know your territory has been violated, but the fact is, the goddamn aircraft did enter your airspace.
Another example to share. At my old place, a group of foreign students shifted into the unit next to mine. They liked to have barbecue in the corridor (hello, HDB flat common corridor!) The smoke and the soot got into my house and I went over to "express my concern". So from then on they had their barbecue inside the unit. Let's hope they don't get carbon monoxide poisoning.
It was just a few lines from the tabloid, how much info could we get from there? We don't even know head and tail of the whole curry story. Instead of slamming the foreigners, why not rethink what harmony is about. To me, harmony is not about tolerance, it's about acceptance. We only tolerate nonsense, but we accept differences.