Two weeks ago, with the current migration problem in Europe in mind, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Netherlands, Stef Blok, asked his audience consisting of Dutch employees of international organisations to ‘Give me an example of a multi-ethnic or multicultural society where the original population still lives … and where there is a peaceful society. I don’t know of one.’ When one participant suggested Suriname, the minister is reported as replying, ‘I admire your optimism but Suriname is a failed state and that is very much linked to its ethnic composition’. Another attendee suggested Singapore and the minister stated ‘Singapore is … a mini-country; extremely selective in its migration … They do not allow poor migrants. Yes, eventually, possibly for cleaning.’ Blok surmised that, ‘It’s probably somewhere deep in our genes that we want to have a well-organized group to hunt with or to maintain a village with. And that we are not able to connect with people unknown to us.’
One of his own Members of Parliament asked, ‘Does this Minister seriously get no further than that xenophobia is in the nature of people? That we can’t live together and therefore a better world is impossible?” And in Suriname, an Indian opposition Member of Parliament, Chandrikapersad Santokhi claimed, ‘That Suriname under this government has become a country that some refer to as a ‘failed state’ is not due to its multicultural composition … Suriname is faced with a lack of good governance and unrestrained corruption.’ Minister Blok has apologized, but the problems of migration and racial/cultural integration he raised should be addressed. ….