Saturday, June 23, 2012

UK Labor Party Chief Admits Error in Immigration Policy

In his speech to the IPPR (Institute of Public Policy Research) think-tank yesterday, Ed Miliband, the current leader of the UK Labor Party admitted that the immigration policy implemented when his party was power was wrong.

I recommend you listen to his speech in full but in case you don't have time, here are extracts from his speech.

"By focusing exclusively on immigration's impact on growth, we lost sight of who was benefiting from that growth - whose living standards were being squeezed. We became disconnected from the concerns of working people."

"I think immigration benefits this country, but I think there are costs as well. And I think when we were in government, we were too slow to recognise some of those costs – the pressures on public services, the speed of communities changing, and the pressure on wages.

"It’s not wrong for people to employ Polish builders or French chefs or Swedish childminders, that’s a part of our economy, lots of people do it. What’s wrong is when for example the minimum wage isn’t paid, and there is evidence of that."

“The idea that in industries like construction or agriculture you can get recruitment agencies who boast all their workers are Polish or denigrate the talents of those who are living locally isn’t right.”

“Worrying about immigration, talking about immigration, thinking about immigration, does not make them bigots. Not in any way. They are anxious about the future.”

"But we do need to offer working people a fair crack of the whip and set out a new approach to this issue which can offer real ways of addressing their legitimate concerns."

Comparing Singapore's policy to that of UK's we are actually not comparing apples to apples. Only 11% of the people in Britain are foreigners[Link] compared with 36% in Singapore[Link]. We have a immigration policy on steroids. 

While there are numerous integration issues and many Singaporeans disadvantaged by the liberal immigration policy, the mainstream media has chosen to focus on the "anti-foreigner sentiment" expressed by a small but sometimes vocal minority on the Internet. Given the level of influx, it is unavoidable that there are people who are angry, frustrated and use the Internet as an outlet for their anger. This is expected given there are people badly hurt by this policy. The best way to address this is to make significant changes to the policy to ensure that it is beneficial to Singaporeans. 

Most Singaporeans who strongly oppose the policy as it is do not harbor ill feelings towards foreign individuals who are here for job opportunities that will provide a good income for themselves and their families. Singaporeans will do the same if we are in their shoes. While they are here, we should treat them fairly just as we would like to be treated when we are working overseas. Personally, I find the treatment of foreign workers in certain sectors deplorable. There are numerous cases of foreign workers abused by unscrupulous employers[Link] - not paid for their work, transported dangerously on the back of vehicles etc. Such poor treatment of foreign workers by employers will ultimately hurt Singaporeans as it undermines the rights of workers in general and employers'  habit of exploiting foreign workers will spill into treatment of Singaporeans. 

It is irresponsible to label those who raise concerns and genuinely oppose the large foreign influx because they know it is not beneficial for Singaporeans as "anti-foreigners".  One of the biggest mistake Gordon Brown made during his election campaign was to call a woman who expressed genuine concerns about immigration in UK a "bigot".  We have to be very careful with labels such as "anti-foreigner", "ultra-nationalistic", "xenophobic", "small minded" because they are too easily pasted on people speaking up out of frustration after lives have been adversely affected by policy and have suffered due to the large influx. 

“Singaporean's dislike of foreigners can be found online and offline, said Ravi Philemon and most bloggers feel that it is the most pressing issue that has not yet been addressed."

"There are websites that seem to be driving these ultra-nationalist, anti-foreigner sentiments, and when you see something like that, you get worried,” he (Mr Philemon) said. “I’ve also heard friends remark about foreigners. They feel they have lost out in work and school to them.”

Mr Philemon declined to identify the websites. But online sites such as The Temasek Times and TR Emeritus often highlight the issue of foreigners in Singapore. - Straits Times,21 June 2012

I too am concerned about the friction that has arisen between Singaporeans and foreigners - we can all behave better towards one another. While I applaud the move by the 16 bloggers who have come stepped forward to promote better understanding of the issue, lets not lose sight of the fact that Singaporeans have been extremely tolerant of immigrants. There was little sign of this "anti-foreigner" sentiment until the influx became so large foreigners form close to half our workforce. This negative sentiment has been caused by extremely large influx and I believe no other society in the world would have responded better to the same situation. In asking the question whether Singaporeans are xenophobic or not, whether we harbor "anti-foreigner sentiment" or not, we can easily fall into the trap of assigning blame to Singaporeans for the numerous problems that have arisen due to PAP's extremely liberal immigration policy. By urging Singaporeans to more tolerant and more welcoming, there is insinuation that Singaporeans have been hostile and intolerant - when the extreme situation we are asked to accept is not present in any other society. 

We have to be cautious not to shift the focus from the real problems and issues to the behavior of Singaporeans some of whom have acted out of sheer frustration and natural human anger - doing so will undermine the discussion that will lead to a better understanding of how the policy needs to be reshaped to broadly benefit Singaporeans, 


Anonymous said...

Reframing the issue seems to be the weapon of choice of the elites: on CPF withdrawal, they say we are protecting your funds by raising the minimum sum and withdrawal age so Singaporeans don't spend it on Batam hookers. But do Singapore women also visit Batam?

Then they say housing is rising costs is a global phenomenon, not because MAS' policy of encouraing money laundering and hot money due to string Sing dollar policy. Yet all our neighbours have half our level of inflation, even China has inflation dropped to 3%!

Then they say overwhelming percentage of Singaporeans support FT policy, then when we scratch our heads on this Straits Times survey of 400 (out of 3.5m locals) they turn around and insist we are xenophbic.

When the good prof Lim CY and prof Tommy Koh and the Econs Society say inequality must be fixed before its social costs bite us, the PM says the issue is which model we prefer, either we suffer the European disease of welfarism or we "target" pockets that need help. Meanwhile it continues to raise top civil servants' pay, does not allow FT into the civil service, and lets off the rich offenders claiming the rich are not protected by law.

PAP supporters, over to you now to re-reframe yet again, singaporeans are getting smarter or your scholars are getting more confused by all your re-re-reframing attempts...

Lye Khuen Way said...

So when will our Singapore Govt listen and wise up ?
If we do nothing to correct the ills that the past crazy open floodgate had brought upon us, we sure are a goner as a civilized country/ city-state. Full stop.

Ravi Philemon said...

Thanks for contributing towards the conversation.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame the immigrants or foreign workers.
I blame the Pro Alien Party and the daft 60% that supports them.

We can't change the Proud Arrogant People.
But maybe we can convince the daft 60%.

Start a personal campaign.
Dear 40%.
Your personal mission is to convert just one PAP supporter you know into an Opposition voter for GE 2016.

Change Singapore. One voter at a time.

Anonymous said...

"By urging Singaporeans to more tolerant and more welcoming, there is insinuation that Singaporeans have been hostile and intolerant - when the extreme situation we are asked to accept is not present in any other society."
Lucky Tan

Isn't winning only 60% votes but getting 93% seats in Parliament also an extreme situation not present in any other society?

Because 60% accepted this "mother" of all extreme situations, of course it will "give birth" to other extreme situations as well lah, like the one Lucky Tan pointed out above.

You want to solve extreme situations, you must know the root of it and solve it.

Anonymous said...

16 bloggers have fallen into PAP's trick of reframing the problem to say immigration woes are caused by Singaporans' xenophobic intolerence. Why help the PAP to supprt this policy...let the PAP solve the problems it has created. Don't play into the hands...good intentions will be taken advantage of

Anonymous said...

"I blame the Pro Alien Party and the daft 60% that supports them."
Anon 23/6/12 09:36

I believe most of the 60% have a good life under PAP. And being so, they are not daft if they vote PAP.

The daft ones are those who have a hard life but still vote PAP. I believe this is a very small or even negligible percentage of those who voted PAP.

PAP knows how to make majority happy and satisfied. Or rather the majority knows how to make themselves happy and satisfied under PAP.

That's why except only in Hougang and Aljunied, the opposition really got no hope lah.

Even with good candidates like Tan Jee Say or good and pretty like Nicole Seah and Glenda Han, opposition also cannot win, you say got hope or not?

Anonymous said...

Arsehole @ 23/6/12 10:56
"Even with good candidates like Tan Jee Say or good and pretty like Nicole Seah and Glenda Han, opposition also cannot win, you say got hope or not?"

Dear 40%.
Like I said.
Change Singapore.
One voter at a time.

I can't do much.
But I can change the minds of my friends and relatives who vote Pro Alien Party.

I'm not asking you to convert 100 PAP voters.
I'm asking you to convert just one.
Then 40% becomes 80%.

Anonymous said...

The papist Leegime always blamed Singaporeans for all sorts of things. That is they way Lee Kuan Yew behaves and that is the way he wants the top leaders to behave. They are still behaving like that. That is why I strongly feel that the pap is DOOM DOOM DOOM.

Martyn See Tong Ming said...

I agree with Lucky Tan. And noted for the discussion tomorrow. My intention for the forum was not to label and shame. I've been the subject of Govt harassment and censorship myself. My purpose is to identify policies that caused this sudden surge of resentment, and then hopefully encourage people to get politically active and wage campaigns against such policies. Overcome your fear of the Govt to oppose their policies. Don't take it out on the foreigners. That's my message.

The Pariah said...

Pay And Profit (PAP) rate citizens as "daft". They slap u and expect u to turn other cheek.

Two wrongs don't make a right.


- DPM Teo first dissed JC kids with 101 WDUTs which then pissed one of them to use F-word on DPM.

- Open immigration floodgate WITHOUT preparing infrastructure in terms of hard and soft factors and WITHOUT protecting citizens' well-being and then lambast locals for xenophobia.

Enough is enough. PAP has lost public trust and credibility.

We Not Stupid 2.

The Pariah said...

For all Singaporeans, and especially property investors who bought HDB/EC flats and private properties with CPF retirement savings for rental income ......

IF, IF, IF immigration deluge:


Watch property market crash as tenant demand dries up, other business costs will spike up and stoke local-based inflation, risk of collateral damage when businesses relocate from Singapore.

Watch out for your job, your parents' hospital admission, your kids' school admission, your daily commuting comfort, your food/housing inflation, etc.

PAP under 2G Goh Chok Tong, 3G Lee Hsien Loong and 4G from recent ministerial appointees have addicted our country to opium.

Fixing this addiction will be painful - whether short and sharp, or long and chronic ... EVEN IF we kick out PAP tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

"My purpose is to identify policies that caused this sudden surge of resentment, and then hopefully encourage people to get politically active and wage campaigns against such policies."
Martyn See Tong Ming 23/6/12 11:40

What politically active? What wage campaigns?

There is a much, much easier and secret way to do it. Vote opposition!

But 60% did not.

Anonymous said...

"What politically active? What wage campaigns?"
Anon 23/6/12 12:39

I think it should mean be politically active and wage campaigns to make the opposition as strong and as united like the PAP.

Then the issue of the 60% who voted PAP may not have arise at all, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

And now they try another tack, by reframing the question as one concerning our low fertility rate, painting doomsday scenarios of it's consequences 20 or more years down the road.

ah lian said...

There are TOO MANY foreigners here.

When you stay in a foreign country, you'll naturally want to "integrate" yourself. You don't EXPECT the locals to go out of their way to accommodate you. You'll watch that your actions won't offend people, even unintentionally. Or embarrass yourself. Simply, you'll want to FIT IN.

But that's ONLY if there are a few of you. If HORDES of the same people go to a new country, none will feel the need to "integrate".

ESPECIALLY when the hordes here are egged on by our gahmen to feel they're IMPORTANT. And are sold the fantastic idea that they're TALENTS our workforce sorely lack, and without them our economy won't grow!!!

Any wonder why they behave so obnoxiously? Many do just as they please, with no sense of impropriety, and certainly don't feel apologetic if their actions offend us. Some even boldly belittle Singapore and Singaporeans. And GET AWAY WITH IT, while our ministers advise us to reflect upon ourselves and make a greater effort to "integrate" them. And our Prime Minister chide us for the widening divide between foreigners and citizens!!!

Then there's the SQUEEZE. Everywhere. In every sense of the word. Squeeze on public transport, squeeze in public spaces, squeeze for limited public amenities, esp that of housing and medical care. AND the squeeze for jobs.

If we haven't lost our jobs to a cheap FT (so called, might even have a fake degree), we have our pay depressed. For years.

So, what's the gahmen's thinking? "More foreigners means more jobs for citizens"? -- What sort of jobs? Under-paid jobs many citizens are over-qualified for? But have to accept otherwise we're just lazy and picky?

And what's this: "No foreigners means no growth"? -- Ok, there's this v impressive GDP growth figure. But how have the growth benefitted average citizens? I know of another more impressive figure -- that which we can FEEL -- the rising cost of living!

Yes there's anti-foreigner sentiments, from the over-liberal FT policy. It's real. It's serious. It's not just confined to cyberspace. But what do our v expensive, v elite gahmen gonna do about it? They've announced that...

...they need to bring in MORE immigrants!!!

Lye Khuen Way said...

I propose that we the 40% do not target the die hard PAP supporters. They must have benefited from the PAP, or believed they did !
Work on those who's are not sure. Those who have no internet access.

Yes, one is enough. Two better and three best. Four betterest as one minister would have put it ! No ?

Anonymous said...

Our National Pledge,
Swiss standard of living,
Inclusive growth,
A bowl of laksa.

Which is the odd man out?

You won't starve with a bowl of laksa.

Anonymous said...

"Ok, there's this v impressive GDP growth figure. But how have the growth benefitted average citizens?"
Ah lian 23/6/12 13:22

Average citizens are majority of voters, right?

If they benefit from GDP growth, they will vote PAP, right?

60% voted PAP so this can be a rough figure of how GDP growth have benefited average citizens.

Ghost said...

Don't read too much into his speech Lucky. The man is the leader of the opposition. Funny how no one from his party ever came up with a speech like this when they were in power.

Anonymous said...

"Politicians are as good till the next election"

Trust none of them.

The only reason for anyone wanting to be a politician is the fame and if they are elected, the fortunes, networking and the prestige.

Sporean said...

Singapore's 36% definitely doesn't include new citizens which is ~5-10%.

UN reported that our foreigner population was ~50% 1-2 years ago.

ah lian said...

@ Anon 23/6/12 14:37

"60% voted PAP so this can be a rough figure of how GDP growth have benefited average citizens."

How? Elaborate pls.

Try not to include the v rich as average.

After decades of the same, many are "conditioned" to go for the status quo. Good or bad. And then there are the diehard PAP supporters.

Hand on your heart, you really support the FT policy?

Anyway, people do come to say "enough is enough" and get up the courage to change. Esp for their children. So I have hope.

aaron said...

re average citizens are majority of voters. if they benefit from GDP growth, they will vote PAP.

i find the second statement illogical.

from the 30 or so people i spoke to And who voted PAP in GE2011, FEAR was the main reason they voted PAP. Fear of having something being done to them if they are found out to have voted opposition. Fear that the country will collapse without the PAP.

a handful believed the opposition candidates were "not good".

basically they all bought into the PAP's claims.

NONE of these people were happy with life here, or with many current policies. one dad who was furious with his son for voting opp, Also told the youth not to come back here after his studies abroad, because "things are getting really bad here"!!

about 70% of the 60 or so pple that i know voted opposition, are financially comfortable. some are rich. most of these voters were also over 50 yrs old.

Anonymous said...

Singapore Satire

A submarine,
HDB flat price,
Cecilia Sue

Which is the odd man out?

HDB flat price because it never goes down.

Lye Khuen Way said...

That Fear factor mentioned by commentator. Aaron, is true.
How to overcome it?

If there are 40% of us voting against the PAP on average, just tell those intimidated who will believe him if he swear he is not one of them?

That secret part of voting is real as far as no one has deem it worth their while to check. Just imagine Mission Impossible etc.
The process as-is is good enough but what the heck! If I wish to tell the world who I voted for, is it a crime?

So do your best to educate those who cited fear as to why they die die had to vote PAP.

Anonymous said...

"Comparing Singapore's policy to that of UK's we are actually not comparing apples to apples. Only 11% of the people in Britain are foreigners[Link] compared with 36% in Singapore[Link]. We have a immigration policy on steroids".

I totally agree. It is not comparing apples to apples. In the UK and many European countries,the gov'ts let in unskilled immigrants in the name of human rights and also to atone for past sins that their colonialistic ancestors have committed. Many of these immigrants do not integrate into the societies that give them refuge, nor contribute to the economy. Instead, they congregate in ghettos, remain jobless, exploit social welfare, burden public services and commit crimes. This is happening in many of the countries.

Many Singaporean citizens are ignorant to the fact that Singapore gov't only give work permits or employment passes to people who can contribute in one way or another to the economy. The condition for getting permanent residence is that you are gainfully employed. If you lose your job for one reason or another, you are given 1 year to find a new one. If you can't find a new job within this one year, your PR is revoked. Give your gov't some credit will you? Your politicians are elected into office by you and composed of representatives selected from amongst you. So, you should know them very well. They are pragmatic people, just like you. They don't give free lunches. FT and FW are no freeloaders and they don't expect any free lunch either. They slog hard so that you can leave work on time every day and spend time with your families.

Anonymous said...

So when the FTs and FWs you so hated finally leave, someone will have to fill in the void. And do you know who that will be? YOU!!! Are you ready to slog hard? Are you ready to give up all your weekends? I hope you are. Your gov't has been harping a lot on efficiency lately. This is a hint to you to prepare for what is coming when they enforce restrictions on FTs and FWs imports that you have been cajoling for. Meaning to say, you have to do more in less time. I hope those of you who have been so used to a relaxed life at work will be prepared for this. Let's see if you will still be singing the same tune a few years down the road.

Anonymous said...

@ Idiots23/6/12 20:21 &23/6/12 20:30

Double Confirm!
Pretend Action Party Internet trolls.

Quality of people joining the Pretend Action Party is definitely dropping.
Judging by the low intellectual quality of their posting.

Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh.
Their millionaire leader can't even inspire 17 year old students.
Like this how to be a politician?
How to lead and inspire a nation?

Anonymous said...

Anon 23/6/12 20:30 seems to imply that Singaporeans are not working long hours and have their scope of works extended.
He/she is oblivious to elderlies workings as cleaners, garbage scavengers, petrol station attendant, airport/cruise centre baggage and cargo handlers, hawker assistant and getting paid peanuts?

What about the unemployed?

Now, efforts are put in to have these low pay workers to be better remunerated. Such effort should have been put in earlier, why now?

Ever availability of low-cost foreign workers that are permitted to work here does not enable locals to relax as claimed by Anon. Due to FTs and FWs, locals are suffering from structural and under employment as well as having their salary stagnated or reduced.

It is surprising that there are still Singaporeans so ignorant of such common development and reality.

Limpeh Foreign Talent said...

Hello from London - can I just offer my thoughts as a British citizen with some insight into the political situation here?

Ed Milliband is in an unusual position because he is the leader of the Labour party (currently in opposition) but it was the Labour party who allowed the massive influx of Eastern Europeans when 11 countries joined the EU and thus had immediate unimpeded access to the UK labour market. Ed Milliband quite frankly, has zero chance whatsoever of becoming the next Prime Minister at the next election because of the legacy left behind by Gordon Brown and Tony Blair who were the labour PMs whilst in power and had created a situation whereby the Labour party had become so unpopular that they lost the elections in 2010.

Ed Milliband has been doing a number of PR stunts to distance himself from the old guard of the Labour party and this is one such example of him blaming the old guard (Brown, Blair) for mistakes of the past in a bid to boost his popularity as the current government can say, "It was the Labour party who let in all these foreigners, blame them." Which is true, really - so as Labour leader, Milliband is doing something quite crafty to divert the blame from the current politicians in the Labour party. It's all a political game they're playing - blame the politicians who have left politics.

Life in London would be unthinkable without our hard working Eastern European skilled labourers - my kitchen sink sprung a leak on me recently. My Hungarian plumber charged me £60 for the full repair including parts - the quote I got from an English plumber was more than double that and he wanted extra for parking and parts and he refused to come on the weekend - he was only willing to come on a Monday. The Hungarian got on his motorcycle with all his tools and fixed everything within 60 minutes - it's hard for me to truly describe to you how utterly lazy, useless and incompetent the English are compared to their Eastern European counterparts. It's very hard for me to feel any sympathy for the local plumber complaining about 'Eastern European builders stealing their jobs' when the Eastern Europeans are so honest and hardworking.

Anonymous said...

LKY said that the pledge was an aspiration and Singaporeans are not glued as it is still a work in progress.

And the same LKY is the chap who is allowing boatloads and airplanes loads of foreigners to come here.

Since Singaporeans are still not integrated yet, why in hell are you still bringing more and more foreigners? Should you not wait till Singaporeans are integrated before you do that?

Even though the PAPies are hypocrites, SIngaporeans still vote for them. If you ever think SIngaporeans are smart, you better review that presuppostion.

No citizen will led their leaders escape for calling them daft on the international arena.

Even then, these singaporean goondoos still vote PAP.

So, your blogging is a waste of your time.

PLease stop blogging.

You have an ideal but you're not realistic.

There is a way in which we want the world to work and there is an actual way in which the world works.

You ought to stop blogging.

Bolivian Beat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hit them where it hurts, vote for opposition. I was a former PAP supporter, that i jumpship tells you how unhappy we have become.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Anon 12th 00:18
I beg to differ.

Lucky Tan need to continue blogging. In fact, if he could take off thst mask and join on of the political party, it would be better.

We are a strange lot, I agree. Even knowing that all is not well, being called names, threaten with unjust public fund spending, most still cast a vote in favour of the ruling party.

Out of FEAR! That is where bloggers like Lucky can do wonders.

Some out of ignorance. Alas, Bloggers will not be able to reach them.

Anonymous said...

Limpeh Foreign Talent
may I also offer you a reversal to the true issue we are discussing here, your empohasis on the usefulness of FT in London is taken but its the same the PAP used to divert attention. Lucky said and many others on this and numerous other forums across the world on the issue of immigartion: labour mobility is not doubted. The issue in Singapore is that Singapore's population increased from 3.5m to 5 m in less than 10years. Did London's population increase 40% last decade? Did your fellow Brits blue collar workers, cleaners and plumbers suffer a nominal (not even talking about "real" decrease yet!) decrease in salary of 50% (S$1200 in 2001 to $600 in 2012)? Over the same period did the cabinet secretary of Brown or Blair increase 3 fold, from S$400k to $1.5m? Did Mercedes become the best selling car in London, "outbesting" Opel or Ford or Toyota? Meanwhile did the numebr of old vagabonds increase all around you while public property prices went from $120k per 3-room flat to $360k? Sure Singapore adminstrators, in their loyalty to all things English, copied with little imagination your Anglo Saxon way by importing immigarnts. But they, as usual aimed to outdo their masters, simply because they are incentivised (in the GDP bonus scheme) to chase after :GDP growth", yet enjoyed a super majority in parliament that allowed them to practise obscurantism similar to Orwell's Big Brother, showing statistics like Singapore has the most number of millionaires in the world, hoghest per capital GDP etc, without being accountable to the social costs of the worst 20% of society. "Inequality is a fact of life in capitalistic societies", sure you may add that to your argument against setting a quota to immigration. So I ask you, why should the same 20% send their sons to die and suffer in national service (conscription, for your info is what we have here) knowing that its a "fact of life". I want to end my rant here to direct your wonderful english eloquence here by pointing out that the inequality in capitalistic systems always plant the seed for their reset. The last time inequality reached this level was in the 1920s and 1930s, after that you know what happened to your old continent. We do not want that same fate, so no thanks, we don;t want your Anglo Saxon system.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan should form a new political party with 88 other Lucky Tans (maybe also include Tan Jee Say, Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Kin Lian, Tommy Koh etc) to contest all seats at the next election.

ALthough may not win the election, but I believe the new party can deny PAP its 2/3 majority in Parliament. Then PAP cannot suka suka pass laws easily in Parliament, tio bo?

How about that, Lucky Tan?

Anonymous said...

"Lucky Tan should form a new political party with 88 other Lucky Tans...."
Anon 24/6/12 09:22

Lucky Tan is rich, happy and satisfied with his life. So why would he bother to do that?

Blogging is also his hobby, or else he won't do it, right?

Just like commenting in his blog is also my hobby, or else I won't do it, right?

Hobby is to release steam and stress, right?

Anonymous said...

"PAP supporters, over to you now to re-reframe yet again, singaporeans are getting smarter or your scholars are getting more confused by all your re-re-reframing attempts..."

in terms of logic & reasoning, they the scholars are as smart or worst than any above average degree holder. in terms of controlling mainstream media & resources on politcal tools & methods (the wayang kind & roti-prata way of doing it) to brainwash minds, they have been very good and could get away with it so far.

however, in the internet way, arguments & support could go either way or balanced out - & some even from authority as far as UK which all along is one of the most open countries in the world.

Anonymous said...

Reuben Wang & his cohort will be old enough to vote in GE 2016.

Their eyes have been opened in their discussion with our Deputy Prime Millionaire.

Anonymous said...

@ Limpeh Foreign Talent

When you find yourself replaced by a Polish talent at half your salary.

Tell us what you think again.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious for onePAP troll to try to defend the FT policy by saying that FTs have to be able to contribute before given PR.

these foreigners are given ample period one year! - to find a job. If you were this FT desperatefor a job you very your ass that you would be cheaper than the locals saddled with permanent high living costs. That is the reason why do many PRs "make it"and the wages are depressed.

Try applying for an Ozzie PR. Your qualifications have to be verified by their Ozzie standards before you even set foot there. They also have a proper system to screen for the specific skills they need. And they take in only a tiny percentage compared to Singapore and the citizens are already complaining.

So in short, Singapore is truly unique in all ways. Out of the world ministerial salaries, public housing prices, immigration rates, depressed salaries in purchasing power disparity, car prices. Only fools or the rich should continue to support pap!

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to reason with the Pro Alien Party.
Just ask Reuben Wang and the rest of his student cohort.
Did they get anywhere with our Deputy Prime Millionaire?

You can only change Singapore's policies one voter at a time.

Look at your good friends and close relatives.
60% of them voted for the Pro Alien party.

Make it your personal mission.
To convert one of them into an Opposition supporter for GE 2016.

I'm not asking you to convert all of them.
Just one.
If we can all do this.
40% will become 80% in GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you for coming out and saying what you think is the real heart of the issue. Yes i agree that the xenophobia is only displayed by a loud minority of the general population and that they dun represent the majority of the population. But I think you missed the point right now that all this so called xenophobia is stemming from the systemic racism that's already inherent within our society. Look at all the slurs the netizens use to call migrant workers: Ah tiongs, bangalas, ah nehs...these are hateful words and no one seems to have pointed out to the users that these slurs show how much hatred there is in the user. I think that needs to be address. because xenophobia cannot exist without racism. so racism is the beast that needs to be slain.

Anonymous said...

The Aussies generally are not complaining about skilled immigrants with real diplomas and degrees.

While there are racists everywhere, most Aussies I know are uncomfortable with Australia letting in boatloads of unskilled immigrants or refugees from the Middle-East. Most of them bring their unwanted baggage and unacceptable social norms with them, such as religious militancy and detestable cultural norms, such as the caste system and honour killing.

At least Singapore does the smart thing and by default, turn away refugees from war zones.

Anonymous said...

Opposition parties should concentrate their best men and women on GRCs. The grc is a double edge sword. It may benefit pappy but it also benefit opposition. It will allow more opposition into parliament. Start your campaign now.

Lucky Tan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucky Tan said...

Limpeh Foreign Talent,

It was great for you to have your plumbing fixed cheaper than you would have to pay if you hired a true blue british plumber. Good for you but not so good for the plumber.

We don't want to oversimplify things too much. If you have high level of immigration and your people have no problem moving up the skill ladder, you tend to gain. If the plumber, joins a bank and makes millions of is another issue. I would harp on the plumber making too much money for his effort as this would be missing the big elephant in room - we are talking about London here right, didn't the guy who lost $2+B of JP Morgan's money walk away with millions in bonus the year earlier?

The FT policy in Singapore was sold to Singaporeans as a overwhelmingly beneficial for Singaporeans policy which it didn't turnout to be so. Perhaps if the PAP was frank and told us some 30-40% of you will sink from the influx and competition but overall our society will have more money pumped around so that the smarter people can make their millions more easily in a mega-globalised city some can perhaps swallow the bitter outcomes. But the large income gap, the wealth concentration means the wealth never got dirstributed but the poverty and cost of living did.

In London, which is the magnet of the most talented for the whole of UK and the greater regions to come and compete for last 200 yrs. It is understood that if you can't make it there please go to some other part of the country - its a take it or leave it. Singapore is a nation first and city second. Most people in S.Korea choose not to stay in Seoul- they don't like it and stay away. Being a nation, you have to take measures to ensure that your goals of building a great city is bal;anced against the interests of citizens. You have the top 20% of the population that will thrive as they would thrive in any city in the world - you can't tell the bottom 60%, "too bad" you average talents stand in the way of us becoming a greater city.

Anonymous said...

"Being a nation, you have to take measures to ensure that your goals of building a great city is bal;anced against the interests of citizens."
Lucky Tan 24/6/12 11:37

It depends. Even if it is not balanced like what has been happening, PAP could still get 60% majority voter support to win 93 seats.

And better still, voter support for PAP even got slightly better (ref Hougang BE 2012) in 2012 compared to 2011!

PAP govt, even no measures taken to balance, is still considered the best available party by majority voters to govern what.

So why need to take measures to balance?

Anonymous said...

//It's very hard for me to feel any sympathy for the local plumber complaining about 'Eastern European builders stealing their jobs' when the Eastern Europeans are so honest and hardworking.//

Then why don't you migrate to eastern european country & get served like a king as there should be even more honest and hardworking there at your doorstep.

At least, Ed Milliband knew the anger of the people of the average working class & tried to do a U-turn by saying it out loud & admitting it as UK people do not mind changing parties like they change clothes - for them, there is no such thing as talented elties or foreign talents - everthing boils down to national & personal individual interest & this is more or less everywhere including the people running the small red-dot.

Anonymous said...

Maybe 60% think a PAP govt screw-up is better than an opposition party govt screw-up.

And they may be right.

Just compare the PAP with opposition parties. Which is the better party?

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 24/6/12 12:06
"PAP govt, even no measures taken to balance, is still considered the best available party by majority voters to govern what.
So why need to take measures to balance?"

It was thinking like this that kept Hitler in power in World War 2.
As a result, the Germans who have contributed so much to European history & culture over so many centuries have to live with the shame even till today.

I've worked with Germans.
They are as clever, honest and decent a people as anywhere else in the world.
And yet they were fooled.
And led down the road to ruin by a German Pied Piper.

What is the lesson of Germany?

Do not blindly trust in the vision of one man or one political party.

Anonymous said...

PAP will only lose an election when people are so angry that they will even vote for a dog or cat rather than PAP.

So far, things have not reached this stage yet. In fact far from it.

I mean if they don't even want to vote Tan Jee Say, of course they will definitely not vote for a dog or cat lah, right or not?

Anonymous said...

The old grandfather clock is running out of time.

Where is the replacement clock?

Lye Khuen Way said...

Anon 24/6/2012 12:15,

Used to be PAP was the only viable Party.
Not so sure now.

In fact, some wonder if the PAP are attracting the right caliber . No professionals other than Medical Doctors & Lawyers are being convinced to join the PAP.
As for the Opposition, you are seeing more well-qualified professionals among them. The proposals coiming out are also a cut above what the Ruling Party big wigs seem able or willing to to share.

Anonymous said...

I is about the attitude of the leader, most of the first generation leaders that bought us from 3rd world to the first. Nowaday these leaders need to taught when to shut up

Anonymous said...

Those who benefit will see it as a benefit.

Those who do not benefit will not see it as a benefit.

So the trick is to make those who do not benefit see it as a benefit, so that those who benefit can continue to benefit.

Anonymous said...

You cannot expect the PAP to admit their wrong immigration policy. Instead, PAP is continuing and will continue to twist and manipulate the hard truths to cover up their wrong decision to open the floodgate to foreigners.
You have to think very hard what you can do now and in the future?

Anonymous said...

Former Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian (who lost his election deposit in PE 2011) praise Lucky Tan's blog.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

"What do you think?"
Anon 24/6/12 20:22

I think Tan Kin Lian and Lucky Tan are like-minded.

Just hope that should Lucky Tan contest in the next election, he will not lose his deposit.

Anonymous said...

So long as the MWIWs are not voted out, Netizens including Lucky Tan can blog till they passed on and things will remain same same like now.

Anonymous said...

Please check up what is PR. PR don't have an EXPIRY date. Only, the re-entry/ employment pass / permit has.

Anonymous said...

I also want to add that a PR can use their own country's passport to enter the Singapore passports only gate at the airports.

Anonymous said...


Can I really trust the Pro Alien Party?

Does my Pro Alien MP (Millionaire in Parliament) represent the interest of Singaporeans or the Pro Alien Party in parliament?

Anonymous said...


If they can do that to Ong Teng Cheong, what will they be capable of doing to me?

Ng Eng Hou said...

Obviously the immigration policy is being mismanaged without any clear criteria about the type of people to let in. When things go wrong, instead of re-looking it, they turn around to label us as anti-foreigners in order to demonize us. Just the usual way they treat opposition politicians.

I suppose in the eyes of MIW, all those who criticize them are labeled as "Chee Soon Juan-alike"!

Anonymous said...


What is good for the Pro Alien party may not be good for Singaporeans?

What is good for Singaporeans may not be good for the Pro Alien Party?

Anonymous said...

"Obviously the immigration policy is being mismanaged without any clear criteria about the type of people to let in."
Ng Eng Hou 25/6/12 11:54

PAP got clear criteria. Problem is the really good type of foreigners may not want to come. But we still need foreigners what.

So what to do? No fish, prawn also good lah, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

ANON: 25/6/12 13:04
"So what to do? No fish, prawn also good lah, tio bo?"

That's certainly true in your case.
They could not find anybody better?
So they settled for you as their internet troll?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are truly ingrates. So many have visited other countries and few have good opinion of the countries they had visited. It is so common to hear from your friends, relatives and even your good goo self saying that Sin the Best Place. Many will readily say they are blessed to be born in Sin.

The proof is in the pudding, roads and streets are jammed with BMs, Mers, Audis and now Lambos, Ferraris. Hawker centres, kopitiams and food courts are no more as popular as restaurants. HDBs are second choice to Condos and how many are not using the latest branded gadgets and fashion wares.
Do You see people with such good living while abroad?

With such good living, You must enjoy and make merries while the good time is with us. Why are Singaporeans still not happy? Have You put your hand to your heart and ask yourself?

Be grateful, very grateful becos You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Anonymous said...

ANON: 25/6/12 13:28
"Be grateful, very grateful becos You never know what tomorrow will bring."

Let me guess what tomorrow will bring:
1.More gerrymandering
2.Higher CPF Minimum Sum Limits
3.Higher salaries for politicians ... pegged to the rich
4.No minimum salaries for the poor

5.more abuse of the English language e.g.
- government subsidy
- we "own" our HDB flats
- you can't "own" a car without a Certificate of Entitlement

and etc.

If you think Singaporeans are grateful, why don't you emigrate to USA or Australia.
I'm sure those countries will welcome political talents like yours.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

If you reject Labour's (and LibDem) liberal immigration policies ... then you have to reject their pro-LGBT + anti-Christianity + pro-EU policies as well ... eh yes the issues are linked ...

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans have one of the lowest home ownership rate in the world.
Approximately only 10% of Singaporeans own their homes.

After 47 years of independence.
And we are supposed to be grateful to the Pretend Action Party?

All HDB flats belong to HDB.
Not Singaporeans.
Only private property owners truly own their own property.

Anonymous said...

'You never know what tomorrow will bring'. Indeed! Who is to know?
However, for sure no money will drop from the sky, no one will come to You and offers to take care of You for the rest of your life.
So yes, cherish and enjoy the good living today.

Tomorrow hopefully will be another fine day, but it could also bring flood that only happens once every 51 years. Top dogs could stop breathing and drop like durians. Virus may take some to the maker as well. The City could be plunged into chaos and becomes a mess. Blood may flow in the streets. Nobody knows.

We must be thankful and grateful for today indeed.

Anonymous said...

""If you reject Labour's (and LibDem) liberal immigration policies ... then you have to reject their pro-LGBT + anti-Christianity + pro-EU policies as well ... eh yes the issues are linked ...""

what kind of link is this.

if you dislike your brother, then you must dislike your parents.

if you dislike your mother, then you must dislike your father.

if you dislike your own look, then you dislike your own balls.

Limpeh Foreign Talent said...

Alamak, all 3 who responded to Limpeh here are so totally wide off the mark that I just have to scream SALAH LAH AWAK AIYOH!!

Limpeh is not an angmor, on the contrary, Limpeh is your Ah Beng from Ang Mo Kio who got a scholarship and ended up in investment management in London. Born & bred in Singapore, definitely not an angmor who knows nothing about S'pore lah.

Limpeh's reply to you here:

Xianlong said...

Flood in more & more 'consumers' into this tiny island to consume stuff/services to boost gdp is sickening. Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of cancer cells.

Grow gdp at all costs like cancer also shiok. The word 'citizens' is lost in the minds of current regime. What they want are consumers to consume consume consume.

Anonymous said...

ANON: 25/6/12 13:28
"Be grateful, very grateful becos You never know what tomorrow will bring."

Be grateful?
At a million dollars a year, it's our million dollar ministers who need to be grateful.

I want to know why we can't source for cheaper, better and faster foreigners to do the job.

Anonymous said...

All limpeh(I m yr father in Hokkien)
carry knuckle duster and hatchet wherever they are.
Anyone looking for a duel?

Anonymous said...

"compared with 36% in Singapore"

That's an understatement!

In ST forum today :"Provide figures on work permit holders who pay income tax: -- "Last year, the total labour force was given as 3,237,100, and the resident labour force, which refers to Singapore citizens and permanent residents, was 2,080,100 . . ."

If say, there're 500,000 PRs in Singapore, then there are 1,657, 000 foreigners are working here, which constitutes 51.2 % !!

Anonymous said...

anon@23/6/12 22:23, I am glad you brought up the issue about the elderly folks working tough, menial jobs. But I wonder if you have ever bothered to stop and speak to these people to understand how they ended up where they are in the first place. I doubt you do because if you are like one of the typical locals, you will shun these people like the plague. I have observed this many times - when the aunty comes around to sell tissue paper at the hawker center table, young people in smart office attire just simply pretend that she is invisible. It is the most convincing acting I have ever seen and I often think it deserves an Oscar.

Ok, now let me tell you what I have learned when I chit-chat with these old folks. The recurrent tale is this.....they have children who are professionals - lawyers, engineers, accountants - but these children have abandoned them. There were times when I wonder if they were exaggerating but it seems that too many of these folks are telling the same story for them all to be lying. Its the same story told to me by the security guard at my, place, the cleaner in my office and the tissue seller at the hawker center where I have lunch. There is an old lady who sells tissue paper at Tanglin Halt hawker center. Sometimes you'll see her at Holland Village hawker center. She is suffering from colon cancer and her hair is thinning from chemotherapy. She told me her kids have disowned her.

At a previous workplace, there was this very frail, old cleaner who was so severely osteoporotic that her upper body is bent forward 90 degrees when she walks. She told me that she has a daughter working as an accountant in the US. But let me tell you another twist to the sad Singaporean story. As if life hasn't been unfair enough to these people, they often get heartless, cruel subhuman beings as their supervisors. In the case of this old lady, her supervisor was a tattooed ah beng with a thick gold chain around his wrist who barked orders at her like she was a dog and who limited her lunch time to 30 mins. He was nagging at her constantly saying she was lazy and too slow. And I learned from the old lady that the supervisor is a Singaporean too. So you see, in this case, it is a local bullying his fellow citizen with total apathy.

My salary is not that high but I make it a point to buy tissue paper from the elderly tissue seller whenever one comes to my table. I have a pile of tissue paper in my drawer at work. And I proudly declare I am an FT in this country

Anonymous said...

You can try this for yourself if you don't believe time you see and elderly folk doing menial labor, spare a few minutes and make conversation with him or her. Ask them to tell you their story.

Anonymous said...

@ The proud tissue paper buying "FT",

What language did you use when talking with our old folks?

It's Singapore Inc. This warped "value system" is force fed into us for decades. Do you know the education minister proposed to reward kids $$$ for good behaviour?!?!

Yes, there are people who abandoned their parents. Here and elsewhere. I'm sure you have your fair share in your country. So, if you think we're all heartless, how about going back and looking after your old folks in your country?

Anonymous said...

anon @27/6/12 04:00

How would it matter what language I used with the old folks? Language is no barrier when communicating feelings. For your information, many of these folks know some English.

Sure we have heartless people in the country where I come from. But that's not the issue here. You are putting the blame of old folks having to work on FTs and FWs. I may not be home to take care of my old folks but I make sure they are well provided for.

Someone in a previous post labeled Singaporeans as ingrates. I agree with him. This country was built on foreign labor's sweat and blood. You might have benefited directly from it yourself. Just take for example the undeclared income Singaporeans earned from rental from foreigners. My previous landlady rented her "one room locked" apartment to me and my friends for 9 years. I calculated that she got back the entire value of her flat during that time. The truth is, we spend most of what we earned here. Do you think the economy would have been able to sustain if not for PRs and foreigners? Do you think locals alone can support all the businesses, f&b outlets, taxi services etc?

Back to the issue about elderly folks having to work tough jobs. One observation I have made is the ever present long queues of old folks outside Singaporepools and Turf Club outlets every Sat and Sun. I don't mean to be judgmental but from the looks of them, I don't think many of them can really afford to spend so much on lottery. I do buy occasionally but often, when I am standing behind one of these old folks in the queue, I cringe at the amount some of them spend. I will never be able to get myself to spend $300 on lottery in a single day or even a single month for that matter. It is just too much. So please don't go around pointing fingers for every problem you face.

Many of you are probably applauding the tightening measures your gov't is imposing on foreigners and PRs, like increasing school fees, removing medical subsidies etc. And you are clamoring for more measures. But what you don't realize is is not going to solve your problems because these measures are forcing foreigners and PRs to take up citizenship. Public transport is not going to get any less crowded, jobs are not going to get more, your kids are not going to do better in class ranking or have higher chance to get into a good school. Instead, the same people who used to be "disadvantaged" are now enjoying equal privileges as you and you can't say a thing about it. If you don't already know, it is mandatory for PRs' sons to serve NS. So actually, the main reason most foreigners still hang on to their citizenship is out of loyalty to their countries. Otherwise, there is little reason for them not to take up citizenship. So who wins in the end? Think about it.

Anonymous said...

The issues brought up by 'FT' anonymous are not exclusive to Singapore.

The availability of cheap labour here does put the locals at a disadvantage, to a certain extent, with regards to employment matters.

We might not be able to support ALL the businesses without you foreigners, however, that does not mean you foreigners are the ONLY ones supporting & contributing to our economy.

If go to your country & your rent an apartment for 9 years. The landlord does not need to declare the rent he/she collects from me. I estimate that the rent he/she collected is enough to pay for the entire value of his/her flat during the rental period. I spend (most of what I earn) in your country too. I meet a man in the streets. I talk to him and found that he has children working as professionals but none of them are willing to take care of him or see to his needs. Does that make all your countrymen ingrates?

You don't mean to be judgmental? But you already are. We all are to a certain extent.

NS for PRs? It was revealed that about 50% of the PRs gave up their PR statuses to avoid NS. You said it yourself, your loyalty (as with most foreigners here) lies with your own country. Nothing wrong with that.

But don't expect to share the same benefits as citizens just because of the taxes you pay. The fact that you remain fiercely loyal to your own country but stay/work in Singapore probably shows that you are here solely for the economic benefits. You may want to consider re-locating to a country that gives foreigners the same benefits as its citizens if you don't like it here.

It was our internal problems to start with. No one targeted the Pinoys, Chinese or other nationalities to start with. Not until you foreigners start commenting on our country's policies/politics. You are the ones who have directed the arrowheads to yourselves.

Take a step back & think. Do we have so many foreigners, say 10-30, years ago? Did our economy collapse? Did the country collapse? I think we did pretty well without the influx of foreigners too.

By the way, buying tissues doesn't make one a talent.

Anonymous said...

The foreigners in Singapore have displayed ethnocentrism at its best.elityf

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