Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Don't hate foreigners!

The Online Citizen reported this case of a Chinese worker being issued a receipt with vulgar language. [Link]. I have another story.

A few weeks ago, I went to Sim Lim to look for an electronic component. I went one of those small stalls to admire the China made MP3 players - they seem to be getting cheaper and they throw in plenty of features like video playback, touchscreen and Ninetendo game emulator. The stall was manned by an Indian national who was quite quiet and not much of a salesperson. A young man in his late teens with his mother came by and wanted a replacement for his MP3 player which had a cracked glass surface. The Indian feller told him quite nicely that this type of physical damage was not covered by the warranty. The young man instantly became angry and started shouting ...a string of vulgar, racist, hateful phrases and words. He said that people from India were all dishonest crooks and so on. His mother did nothing to restrain him. The Indian guy, in shock, didn't know what to do. I told the young man that the Indian guy was probably following instructions and told him to look for the boss. The boss turned out to be a Chinese lady(PRC) who was quite skillful at handling the young man. Later, the Indian guy told he that he can't understand what he had done to provoke such a reaction from the young man.

I'm not against having foreigners working in Singapore. I take issue with the large numbers and the impact the large number has on my fellow Singaporeans. I do not have anything against the individuals who take the opportunity to come here to seek a better life for themselves. Once they are here they should be treated well, protected by labor laws and their rights should be respect. There is growing dislike for foreigners in Singapore caused by the perception that they are here to take away jobs from Singaporeans. This dislike is turning to hatred among a small segment of Singaporeans. This hatred is misdirected - these foreigners are no different from us, they are here because wages are higher here and many Singaporeans go overseas to work because the pay is better. What is different is other govts have better policies in place when it comes to foreign labor.


Anonymous said...

i would not blame the foreigners as everyone wants a better life. Who wants to leave the land that they were brought up and part with the people they have been living for the past years?

i only blame whoever that allows them to come in at a pace that is obviously zero consideration for those who have been living here, serving NS and paying taxes.

we need to absorb more foreigners, but definitely not at this pace.
Housing, Transport, Congestion, Jobs, Salary are all the factors that should be considered before we open our gate any wider.

paying millions to increase our suffering...

葉鵬飛 said...

very sensible

Torres Wong said...

It's chicken and duck you're comparing. And probably the genesis of attracting foreign labour can be very different for different countries.

Our direction is a little bit different from countries like Australia or Denmark. And the difference is that we are just a tiny red dot, with no resources whatsoever. Why is that important you may ask. Well since our independent, our positin became so precariouss that the art of getting "more out of less" from the people becomes necessary. And it's because of that we progressed. We didn't have a choice, progress or die.

Now after several decades, conditions that guarded our survivor are still the same. We have to continue to get "more out of less" from the people. BUT - people is still people, how much more can you get out of them? The only function left to work on is to increase our overall population and so the overall "work done" by the "force" can be increased.

Now Singaporeans are complaining we're getting the lousy stocks and they're all coming here to do jobs that didn't even require them to speak proper English. I say - why else would you wanna do it otherwise? Do you seriously want highly educated foreigners to come here? I wouldn't because if they need to come, then by all means but take the lowly paid jobs. This is a dog eat dog world. Either you eat them or they eat you.

Now you may think it's strange to attract lousy stocks foreigners. But in this world of globalisation, it's making all senses. When the world becomes smaller, it makes all sense to "arbitrage" on cheaper alternatives within the peripheral. UK is doing the same. They've opened up employment market for many European countries where in the past most were shut out. Australia is doing the same, their working visa isn't that difficult to obtain too. Canada is doing the same. Almost every countries are doign the same except those that has a bit population like India, China, America and so on.

So you see. The world has changed and we just got to keep up with time. Refusal to change will just render yourself irrelevant very quickly.

Anonymous said...


You're right that too often anger towards foreigners are misdirected. It's the government's policy that decide who can come in and how many. So if there is anyone to blame for the current predicament, it is those highly paid policymakers. Why blame the foreigners when they are being encouraged to come to Singapore to live and work. Furthermore, I can't help but feel that we are only too ready to take out our frustration on foreigners from third world countries. Many are still too willing to worship angmohs. Sad.

ErniesUrn said...

The liberties of foreigners supported by the foreign policy does not balance well with the liberties of Singapore citizen. Government should have long ago observed the influx. It's abit to late to do anything and it may cost them some seats in the next GE. So which MP is incharge of this foreign policy??

Anonymous said...

You think we have lots of foreigners?

Wait till PAP wins the coming elections, then you will really see how many more foreigners Singapore can absorb!

Anonymous said...

Torres Wong,

You don't make sense, and from your English, I think you yourself is probably an FT or PR for you are translating English from your mother tongue. Sentences like "the genesis of attracting" and "conditions that guarded our survivors" are pretty unusual for a Singaporean to say.

Anyway, yes we want FT's with skills that are not highly sought after, not any FT for jobs like clinic assistants, counter sales or front desk receptionists. Foreign workers for construction, domestic maids and general workers are fine. We cannot allow attracting FT indiscriminately without ensuring they can speak a rudiment of English at the very least.

Why do you say, "The only function left to work on is to increase our overall population and so the overall "work done" by the "force" can be increased"?
Why do we need to increase our population by importing foreigners? You mean the end justifies the means? So you advocate allowing in any Tom and Dick into this country of ours just so we can have more citizens? You need your brains to be examine. Your arguments about globalisations is totally screwed.

Torres Wong said...

Why do we need to increase our population by importing foreigners?

I had already stated clearly that because it is a function of output of work force. Life is all about progressing. And I'm talking about progress.

You are the one screwed since all you cared for is you and your own self and nothing more. Its easy to take care of people like you who have brains the size of a peanut. Give you curry and rice and you're happy. Everything else is none of your business. You joker.

Torres Wong said...

No man is an island. We need them just as much as they need us now. More so for a small country like us.

If you import all the highly educated FTs then Lucky will run another article, "Why gahment imports highly educated FTs and we have to be reduced to lowly paid jobs?"

Anonymous said...

Dear Torres Wong,

No need to be abusive here. Anon 12:57 is just finding it difficult to follow you line of argument. I must say, I find it difficult to follow too.

I agree we need to have immigration to make up for the low birth rate. The concern here I believe is the indiscriminate intake of migrants, especially those that will compete head on and displace the locals. A good immigration policy is supposed to take in migrants that complement skills shortage in a country. That in the long run should reduce the friction between locals and new migrants.

Singapore has been taking in migrants since its founding and for most of the time it has worked well. It appears that there was a policy change in the last few years and intake has been greatly increased which has some negative repercussion on the local population.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like foreigners just think what the Malays felt a hundred years ago when the British colonial masters invited Chinese and Indians to come to Singapore. So much so that the Malays are a minority in no time.

Now we have a new master who is starting a second wave of immigration. Will the current second/third/fourth generation Singapore born population become minorities in the next 10 years?

Anonymous said...

I believe Torres Wong is an FT trying to masquerade as a local. He can try to hide it but from his writing style, I would hazard a guess that he's from China.

Anyway, I think that the reported incident is just the tip of the iceberg. The anti-FT sentiments seem to be growing stronger with each passing day and I fear that we may end up seeing blood spilt soon.

Anonymous said...

I think it is not quite correct to compare ourselves with Australia, Canada or even UK, when it comes to allowing migrants into the country. What works for a big country does not necessarily work for a country of a few hundred square miles.

What is the proportion of migrants allowed into those big countries compared to their local population and land area?

Singapore is just a red dot, but the number of immigrants allowed in lately is totally out of proportion to its local population. That is the problem.

We never think whether we have the size or infrastructure to cope with them. Econmic progress is all that matters. In the end it is the locals that suffer.

Of course the blame should fall squarely on the Singapore Government. I don't blame the foreigners.

Anonymous said...

Deng Xiao Ping said:

"Doesn't matter white cat or black cat, as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat."

Anonymous said...

Torres Wong 6/10/09 13:47

"No man is an island. We need them just as much as they need us now. More so for a small country like us.

If you import all the highly educated FTs then Lucky will run another article, "Why gahment imports highly educated FTs and we have to be reduced to lowly paid jobs?"

Hey FT as you appear to be one, anyone mentioned highly educated FTs here? You cannot understand the difference between highly skilled and highly educated.

Torres Wong said...

to Anonymous: You are the one who started to use abusive languages. Instead of engaging the topic, you go personal and then accuse me of being abusive to you? You joking or what.

Torres Wong said...

To anonymous 6/10/09 13:57.

The problem with taking in FT that complement skills shortage, then Lucky would start another article "Our academic system failed to provide enough people for a particular skill".

You see, such arguements are just running rings. There are millions of ways to do things. We dont necessarily have to follow the American or the Western way.

FT is coming here to take up lowly paid jobs is common sense. Such common sense exist for as long we were independent. Bangla coming here to build houses for us. Indonesians coming here to serve as maid to us. What's new? Are we not at the top of the hierachy? Still not happy? Is it the gahment fault that're so spoilt?

Torres Wong said...

To Anonymous, at 6/10/09 14:37.

Now now now does it matter i am FT or i am even an American living in China?

You see. You are not debating the issue. You are just a trouble maker like Chee Soon Juan. It's people like you that PAP thrives.

Torres Wong said...

To Anonymous 6/10/09 14:40

You said:
Singapore is just a red dot, but the number of immigrants allowed in lately is totally out of proportion to its local population.

And we are competing with HONG KONG, not Canada. You got your mind screwed.

Anonymous said...

highly skilled and highly educated? Nw you can't beat the debate you go on semantic arguement? Can go so low meh? You cannot understand how to run a country and you cannot get into gahment, now you try to play meaning of words meh?

Anonymous said...

Already in my 30's, I start to feel deep job insecurities with my current profession so I decide to go for course preview hosted by IAF to see what are the course offered to PMET who want to change their field.

I went for the PCP for Corporate F&B Trainer course preview today. The turnout was amazing with a strength of 60 people at least. We were supposed to feel in attendance form which require our personal detail, education level and employment status. I notice majority (90%) of the people who attended this course preview are holding a degree or master and they are jobless. Are this degree or master earn by the individual just pieces of paper for decorative purpose?

Therefore, please explain to me what is there left for the locals with such high influx of FTs when the job market is not there at all. It is sad to see the situation in Singapore is going from bad to worst.

I foresee this GE our leading party will win with a big percentile if their statistic department have finish counting the number of newly minted citizen they have officiated.

Bohtong said...

Getting cheap labours in will be the main reason WHY Singapore as a Inc. will succeed.

The important part of an organisation is the toilet gets cleaned, the transactions get recorded...all the stuff toe-ing corporate policy line.

The oiling of the machine can be done by the citizens who will be kept marginally happy with a "stable" job.

The government - the Top brass of the corporation will make crucial decisions on where and how the corporation will steer.

The people of no-consequence will just follow WITHOUT upsetting the boat, becos they might be thrown out!

Now, how can a Company succeed like that? Yes, it can, becos all those "critical" people, those people with the intellect will join the marketing department, the product development, the creative jobs in the company...

The company is NOT held at ransom, becos they can be changed any time WITHOUT POLITICAL consequences.

These FTs form the bulk of "Management".

In bad times, the Corporation's newsletter and Union will curse and swear AT MANAGEMENT, making them the scapegoat for the CEO and board of directors.

It is a WONDERFUL policy of Singapore Inc, becos EVERYONE is happy EXCEPT for the minute few who WANTS TO GET INTO management, BUT CANNOT!

Of cos, within the corporation there are some who will decide to enrich himself, by plugging himself OUT of the corporation and work as a sub-contractor...but again, since his lifelihood depends on the mood of the corporation, he too will NEVER be subversive.

Singapore Inc, is such a wonderful concept and will only irk those people with ambitions BUT WITHOUT political knack/clout.

For the rest of the 66% who work tirelessly to oil the machine, keep the lights on, the toilets clean, the coffee made...they will be happy as long as they can continue their peasant lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

We do need foreign workers, without a doubt, but to what degree and scope. If we isolate the needs, without complicating it with the other issues that criss cross this debate, maybe we can find a compromise. But so very often the criss crossing is precisely what is behind our unhappiness. Issues like PRs, citizenships, national service, and many others that disadvantage the locals ought to be reviewed.

Guess what? I just had coffee and found out that not only the blue and white collared locals are affected. Apparently, Geylang is no longer under the influence of local thugs. Even this category has FTs. We either learn to live with it or do the right thing at the next election.

Anonymous said...

Our Zoo is full of FTs.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you, Lucky.

I read about this prank, and i read about the PRC citizen who was marching at her National Day.

What i question about that PRC girl who was parading at National Day - how did she get a pink IC so easily? how long has she lived in Singapore before getting the pink IC?

Anonymous said...

It was reported to be GREEN color IC though we know it is blue color. The reporter has COLOR BLIND!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi people, peace to all.

it's easy to tell that torres made no sense. quit feeding his ego with rebuttals, it's not worth it. anybody with half a brain can discern the crap in the post.

Anonymous said...

I acknowledge it is a dog-eat-dog world and we do need foreigners to keep cost low.

However, I blame the government policy that created the huge influx of foreigners without scaling up our infrastructure. There are some areas that locals can fill the job but the government simply bochap... and only when we complain near elections then the PAP tries to do something.

And I thought paying them millions will make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Torres Wong is a logical person. You are the one who made no sense. Everything blame the gahment. You have half a brain you would know how to do better than FT. You no brain so can lose jobs to stupid FT.

Anonymous said...

"scaling up our infrastructure" ??

What do you mean? elaborate. don use this kind of chim words to try to justify what you're trying to mean coz we dont

Anonymous said...

Locals can fill the job? Then you go and wash plate lor. Go and sweep floor lor. You not good enough who you wanna blame? This world is competition. What happened to your survival skill? Until need to comprain about your ah gong? might as well say you NOT GOOD ENUFF

Anonymous said...

Anon 6/10/09 16:07

"highly skilled and highly educated? Nw you can't beat the debate you go on semantic arguement? Can go so low meh? You cannot understand how to run a country and you cannot get into gahment, now you try to play meaning of words meh?"

Using Singlish is unnessary to argue your case. The statement however shows your lack of understanding of the difference between 'highly skilled" and "highly educated." A highly skilled person may not necessarily be highly educated. Examples are a deep water welder, a technician able to repair air conditioning chillers, a chef etc. What do you know, we all learn something everyday.

Onlooker said...

But you see,Xenophobia is a sentiment that is being Stirred up by the main stream media.

It is the same old VS tactic that have been recycled.

And when they play this card it means they want vote from one side.Guess which one?

Anonymous said...

Very obvious that the Anonymous from 18:36 is more interested in trolling then debating.

Regardless of how this discussion goes, the way you speak says alot for your character.

Anonymous said...

Don't be flustered, Anon 19:47, these trolls posting here are just some lowly minions of PAP probably paid by each post??? The smart ones won't be posting here. So these people are those destined to be picking up rubbish - they are sucking up to PAP because they are just NOT GOOD ENUFF to survive out there in the real world. What to do, must carry balls for living...

Anonymous said...

Since protest is not allowed, I believe this is a good only alternative way to send a very good signal to the current gahman.

Anonymous said...

Just a side note,

Now Singapore got more people than New Zealand.

Even New Zealand with a much bigger land area got a truly calibrated foreigners and immigrants inflow.

Guess their FTs came from where?

Anonymous said...

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but...

6/10/09 13:47 by Torres
"Why gahment imports highly educated FTs and we have to be reduced to lowly paid jobs?"

6/10/09 16:00 by Torres
Is it the gahment fault that're so spoilt?

6/10/09 16:07 by Anonymous
"you cannot get into gahment, now you try to play meaning of words meh"

6/10/09 18:36 by Anonymous
"Everything blame the gahment."

I'm sure the true Singaporeans are able to identify a glaring error and commonality in all of the above statements.

LuckySingaporean said...

I can't give a better reply than BohTong's to Torres comments.

Singapore shouldn't be Singapore Inc and the goal is maximising GDP and company profits is different from improving the lives of ordinary Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Lucky.
I have a brother who is also a
foreigner hater. When I asked
him whether he had any negative
encounter with them, he said none
but based on experiences from his
Many of these foreigner haters
are bandwagon jumpers whose views are based on hearsays and gossips among friends
As for me, I find them to be OK
Infact some are very helpful

Anonymous said...

anno 18.36 speaks like the boys who ask innocent questions in Sammy famous sex forum,if you do not undertsnad,pl do visit.

Relax,we are here to discuss and try to talk sense.

Unless you are one of those unfortunate ones who are out of job and out of peanuts,then

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7/10/09 13:34

I wonder whether you read any of the postings as there is hardly anyone making hate statements about the FTs in our midst. Neither did Lucky say anything about liking or hating FTs'. The gripes are more towards the Government allowing FTs in at an alarming rate which has cause resentment against such policies. Why hate any foreigner who comes to our shores because our leaders are welcoming them with open arms?

Show me a 2 postings about anyone mentioning hating foreigners and I will eat my words. Hating their presence because of too many in such a short time....maybe, but not hating them because they are foreigners per se.

Kojakbt said...

Ah... if you guys want to see more FT haters, come to 3in1kopitiam forum... HAHA!

But agree with Lucky. No point bashing FTs lah. If you were them for example, making only 20,000 Kyat (S$22) a month as a fresh grad in Burma, wouldn't you want to come to Singapore to make S$1800 as a technician in SGH?

The problem lies with PAP's immigration policy.

Kojakbt said...

Torres Wong's using the globalization argument to justify greater opening up of a country's border to immigration is flawed. I think if Singapore is still a stateless entreport like we were 100 years ago, I might agree. But today, we are no longer stateless. The concept of nationhood has developed and we have been an independent nation for the past 44 years.

With the formation of a country, other issues come into being like the welfare of its citizens, the well being of its citizens and so on. Afterall, citizens of a country vote in a Govt to take care of the well being of the citizens. Running a country is not as simple as opening up one's border to gather as many FTs in so as to increase its GDP. Other issues will come into play. It's a delicate balancing act by any Govt.

In any case, Torres Wong appears to be not keeping up with the news in UK. It's true that under Tony Blair in the past, UK had a much more liberal immigration policy. This is no longer true under Brown's administration. He is under public pressure to moderate UK's immigration policy.

Kojakbt said...

Here are some numbers of the pop of 1st world countries comparable to that of ours.

You decide for yourself if we are over-importing FTs into our pop:

Pop Citizen Foreigner
Ireland 4,442,100 88.9% 11.1%
Norway 4,799,300 93.7% 6.3%
Finland 5,326,314 97.3% 2.7%
Denmark 5,451,826 94.8% 5.2%

In 2006 4,017,733 74.0% 26.0%
In 2008 4,839,400 65.4% 34.6%

* Singapore (2006) : 2973091 citizens, 754524 Foreigners, 290118 PRs
* Singapore (2008) : 3164400 citizens, 1196700 Foreigners, 478200 PRs

Anonymous said...

I think the majority of you are right - in that it's the govt that needs to tame the immigration policy such that yes, appropriate foreigners are allowed in to work and if they see fit and decide to stay for a longer term (say 5 years or more) then they may be considered for PR/citizenship.

That's the case in the UK now - I know that because I'm now eligible for PR having worked here and paid exhorbitant taxes for the last 6 years. The application will cost my employers 800GBP (2000SGD?) and will require amongst other things, that I pass an English test (if my English is found to be below a certain level) AND a Britishness test (you can google that). Oh, and also a letter from my employer stating that my job is still relevant to me and can't be done by a British/EU person.

The Britishness test has come under alot of scrutiny and criticism because the British-Born people do not have such tests, so there have been protests as to why foreigners have to know minute 'strange' facts about the UK which even their own people don't know.

Anyway, the point is that when we walk around the city/town, it isn't obvious that foreigners have taken over the city/town. Yes there are foreign students, and foreign-employed people and foreign dependents (spouses) but overall there's the feel that it is still the UK (for better or worse).

I'm supposing that Singaporeans in Singapore feel that Singapore is no longer feeling like Singapore due to the huge influx of foreigners (talented or otherwise, highly skilled or otherwise). It felt abit like that when we were in Singapore a few months back. I do hope the 'gahmen' will slow this down - otherwise the culture of Singapore will be diluted to a point of no turning back - and that's something I for one, will not want to happen.

Anonymous said...

One of the new resolutions I've made is never to listen to all these PAP dogs tell you about how you are not good enough, how FTs are better etc. THis is just pyschological warfare. If you examine PAP, they always have 2 standards - 1 for themselves and other for the singaporeans. Their own disgracefully bad performance is always explained away with "let's move on". I think that's enough. they aren't even entrepeurs as they claim to be, just a bunch of useless stooge losers who can't do business, and they are even not doing the job of a government. Well they can't do either right can they? It's really the epitome of uselessness.

Anonymous said...

well, i find that disturbing that even a singaporean is facing discriminated even for the positon of a clerk.


Anonymous said...

I've got a feeling that sooner of later the PRCs will wise up and choose to accept only PR. Afterall, why get married if you can f**k for free? And Sg cannot compare to China in terms of scale and scope of jobs.

Kojakbt said...

"I've got a feeling that sooner of later the PRCs will wise up and choose to accept only PR."

In fact, this has been happening. The smart foreigners will just become PR. Only the "desperate" or less desirable ones will take up SG citizenships.

According to PAP: http://www.pap.org.sg/articleview.php?id=4482&cid=84,

"In 2008, we welcomed 20,513 new Singapore citizens and 79,167 new PRs, up from 17,334 new citizens and 63,627 new PRs in 2007..."

That is to say, in 2007, for every new SG, there will be 3.67 new PRs. This ratio inceased to 3.86 in 2008 (ie, more new PRs than new SGs).


Anonymous said...

It is quite a joke if you look at the reason for Singapore not allowing dual citizenship.


From the website,

The government's rationale for not allowing dual citizenship is that Singapore is a young and vulnerable nation which cannot afford to allow its citizens multiple allegiances which may be compromised in times of national crisis. Citizens without a second citizenship may feel aggrieved if dual citizens enjoy the benefits of citizenship during periods of wealth but leave the country in trying times.

If you think carefully, are not those ang mos with passports from first world countries and PRs here,

and now people from China and India with passports from their countries and PRs here,

like enjoying the benefits of dual citizenship already?

Anonymous said...

Those ang mohs have it even better than 90% of Singaporeans. They get good paying jobs. Live in district 9, 10, 11. The government look the other way when they misbehave. Get better service when they go to restaurants and shops. SPG's readily jumping into their beds at the snap of the fingers. And they may not necessarily be better than Singaporeans at work. How many Singaporeans can claim that kind of benefits? We don't hate them. We love them.

Kojakbt said...

"Those ang mohs have it even better than 90% of Singaporeans. They get good paying jobs. Live in district 9, 10, 11. The government look the other way when they misbehave. Get better service when they go to restaurants and shops. SPG's readily jumping into their beds at the snap of the fingers. And they may not necessarily be better than Singaporeans at work. How many Singaporeans can claim that kind of benefits? We don't hate them. We love them."

Ang Mohs, indeed, is Tua Kee... being tua kee has its priviledges...

sammy said...

u talk bullshit. we hate forigner fuckers so get it through ur thick heads.EVERYONE BLAMES THE FORIGNERS.there the ones taking all our money GET THEM OUT. VOTE BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY.ENGLISH 4 ENGLAND 4VA.

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Anonymous said...

The problem of immigration and pockets of hatred towards those people exists in every single country around the world. The Brits are just as pissed off with the influx of foreigners into the UK as you Singaporeans are with people coming in here! So either we ban immigration completely or we accept it and understand that the future is about mixing, globally.

Clara said...

I believe that most people hate foreigners because of the high competition we face here all thanks to them.
Foreigners come here only out of their own interests, knowing that it will make life difficult for Singaporeans here, is it any wonder why Singaporeans hate them?

The government is treating foreigners as if they are some big-shots, whereas Singapore citizens are brushed aside and taken advantage of. How on earth can anyone be not angry, be it with the government or the foreigners that come here?

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Anonymous said...

I dont hate foreigners but why must they come to Singapore? Everyone said that Singaporean is being racist. WE ARE NOT. But 5 million people in Singapore and 2.5 is foreigners? This is UNACCEPTABLE. Im a Singapore Teenager, and all of my Singaporean friends agreed with me. Especially china people, they ruined my school's reputation for being rude to elderly in MRT. FOREIGNERS PLEASE LEAVE SINGAPORE. GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY.