Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Xenophobia label used to attack opponents of bad policies.....

Above is BBC's coverage of the protest at Hong Lim. The first part discusses the trade-off for Singaporeans and how the low TFR has led to the need for immigrants in our country. Everyone that spoke missed the point that the foreign influx is far larger than what is needed to compensate for low TFR - we had influx upwards of 100+K per year which is many times higher than the number needed to compensate for our low birth rate. But what I find interesting is the discussion on xenophobia towards the end of the programme. A foreigner, Simon Littlewood, who lived in Singapore for 20 years said:

"Well I have lived there(Singapore) for 20 years now. I think it would be unfortunate to exaggerate what is going on. Well having said that, I was the subject of a xenophobic tirade for the first time ever in Singapore a few months ago which gave me a sense of feeling (?)...wealthy foreigners are extremely visible in Singapore. Despite Singapore's per capita income being among the highest in the world, there is a significant percentage of Singaporean households that earn very little money and I can understand how this sense of displacement must be difficult. But the fact is the system in Singapore by the PAP is based on the notion that if you make Singapore a welcoming place for wealthy corporations and foreigners by taxing them and taking their money you can provide an environment which is beneficial for all. Unfortunately, that foreign money has led to extreme growth in cost...that hurts the society"....

For those of us who are against xenophobia, we are dismayed that it has surfaced in the past few years. Singaporeans, being the children and grandchildren of immigrants, are generally not xenophobic and we have welcome foreigners in the past when they came in at a sustainable rate. B ad policies in recent years have led to negative effects that have caused Singaporeans to be angry. Many have directed this anger at govt policies that they feel should be changed. Unfortunately, the mainstream media, the PAP and staunch PAP supporters have often pinned this term "xenophobic" on opponents of PAP policies. The latest episode is the accusation that WP's Low Thia Kiang had incited xenophobia by speaking up against the White Paper.

But read and think about what Simon Littlewood said in the BBC interview. What has caused the rising sense of insecurity and displacement among Singaporeans? It is easy for those of us who live in financial security and in comfort to tell others to behave better and not misdirect their anger at foreigners who are just here to better their own lives and support their families back home. I personally have not felt any threat to my job and my financial security so it is easy for me not to harbor any negative feelings, But put yourself in the shoes of Singaporeans struggling under intense competition with wages depressed by foreign workers willing to take the same job at a lower pay...and the breadwinner who lost his job due to his age to younger imported workers. We should spare some thought for those who have suffered and to label their feeling of insecurity and anger as xenophobia ...and their cries for help and frustration as xenophobic is arrogant and simplistic. For those who have implemented or supported these extreme policies that has pushed a large segment of the population to the edge to now stick ugly labels and demand acceptance is just irresponsible, insensitive and shameful.


Anonymous said...

from a daft singaporean;

fuck pap
sincerely hope lee kuan yew outlive his descendant ... oops, he claimed he will be back anytime (so it not a curse)

Anonymous said...

"I personally have not felt any threat to my job and my financial security so it is easy for me not to harbor any negative feelings,..."
Lucky Tan

I believe people like Lucky Tan above are at least 43% of the population. Even if PAP govt is very bad, but as long as they are not affected, they will vote PAP.

However in a GE, another 17%, although affected, will still vote PAP because best alternative WP led by Low Thia Khiang is not ready. Not even for the next 20 years, they said. So cannot vote opposition lah, because it will be worse, tio bo?

Hence, xenophobia or not, I believe PAP will win again in 2016 and the 6.9 million or more population achieved by 2030 for sure.

Anonymous said...

Anon 20/2/13 08:56

You are right. And I think PAP knows also.

That's why Hong Lim rally no use.

Not happy? So be it lah.

Anonymous said...

Have a friend who recently lost his job to a foreigner. His boss secretly delegated my friend to start up a new dept who did a good job but retrenched him to welcome his foreign kaki.From my knowledge, there was no costs savings to the company, just that locals are at the mercy of foreigners who are in recruiting positions. heard something similar at your workplace?

Anonymous said...

PAP can win in GE is because majority voters think it will be worse if PAP is voted out. How to give power to a party who themselves said they are not ready to govern? It will be a disaster.

So if Lucky Tan or whoever can form a party that majority voters think is better than PAP, therein lies the solution.

Can happen? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

"...just that locals are at the mercy of foreigners who are in recruiting positions."
Anon 20/2/13 09:06

But then how you expect govt to solve this problem at this level?

The govt did not directly make the foreigner in a recruiting position.

Hence govt also has no power to stop foreigners from being hired.

And ultimately govt is concerned whether, despite this, PAP can still win elections. If can, then let it be lah.

Anonymous said...

But in the first place, why is a foreigner in a recruiting position instead of a local?

Local not good enough? Maybe. Like that, then how?

Anonymous said...

Do Singaporeans recruit PAP into government by voting for PAP.

Does PAP then recruit foreigners into Singapore to replace Singaporeans.

Is PAP a party of traitors?
What do you think?

Are Singaporeans daft and deserve to be pushed off this island?
What do you think?

Anonymous said...

PAP is not good but is best available, that's why got problem.

Foreigners in recruiting position may not be good but is best available, that's why also got problem.

It all boils down to being the best available. Because real good and talented foreigners may not want to come here, so not available lah.

But we still need foreigners, just as we still need a govt, so no choice lah.

Anonymous said...

Problem PAP cannot solve.

WP not even ready to start solving.

The rest can only blog. Or hold rally. Can solve in this way?

Anonymous said...

"The rest can only blog. Or hold rally. Can solve in this way?"
Anon 20/2/13 09:40

Release steam only. That's what was solved.

Anonymous said...

We all Singaporean can rant and also do the following now and in next GE2016:
Join opposition parties be a member or volunteers to contribute, be it WP, NSP, SDP, and any party that is not PAP

Next vote opposition parties in GE2016


Anonymous said...

Do you get the feeling that an unseen hand is directing these co-ordinated attacks? In LKY`s heyday the weapon was "communist sympathiser" or "chauvinist" .It worked.It is time to see this new tactic fail.We must not be snared in being so politically correct as to be afraid to voice our opposition to this madness.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, worst still, the PAP also pit Singaporeans against Singaporeans by labelling those against its ill-conceived land use plans as NIMBY. They also like to put up letters from pro-PAP forum writers who are new citizens, PRs or foreigners to stifle the voices of real Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Great blog.
Netizens don't just release steam. They gather momentum. Now Hong Lim Park. Who knows where the momentum will lead to.

Anonymous said...

There are many PAP IB monitoring your blog and posting senseless and insulting comment here.

Anyone who does not agree with the MIW is labelled as Xenophobic, daft, Marxist, communist, etc. in the MSM. The good thing is that even as our population expands at such alarming rate, ST readers are getting fewer and fewer and social media is growing from strength to strength. PAP IBs are just making Singaporeans more determine to vote PAP out in 2016.

Anonymous said...

Since adopting a policy of keep importing people is not a good option for Singapore, as Singapore is a small island. Land is finite and no resources?

As crisis like shortage of food, water, facilities, food & drought will have a serious repercussions for a larger and overcrowded population?

So Singapore to learn and adopt the policy of some highly successful countries with small populations. Sending a few teams there to learn from them and their immigration and policies? Encourage immigrants from this country to come, so that our country can learn from their culture of continue innovations and programs?

Foster our own SME and less dependent on foreign investments to raise the wages of the low wage workers and raise their standard of living?

Give generous incentives for companies to invent new and better products and services?

Improve the technolgies breakthrough to train our workers to be more effcient, and had multiple skills? Massive encouragement of ideas on high to improve work processes? Adopt better and more efficient methods to train our workers?

Adopt a babies friendly environment, honour those who adopt babies environment. A little high tax from the high income earners to help out with procreations?

Encourage industries and individuals that bring high value industries to come to Singapore? That reduce the income gap and increase the standard of living?

Free or heavily subsidies educations until graduate to encourage procreations?

Learn from some of the advanced nations on how to adopt immigration policies, and how their criteria to bring the right skills, that they need and don't have it, to their countries?

gm . 绿效精神 said...

Xenophobia (vs stop abuse) and globalization (vs corporate social responsibility) are common poor excuses used to defend one-sided/ extreme/ short-term/ unhealthy/ ... (vs many-sided/ multi-faceted/ sustainable/ wholesome/ ...) policies/ practices.

To keep the same reasoning on xenophobia/ globalization to achieve so-called success for selfish minority, Singapore can never move towards the right path of trust/ respect to achieve togetherness and real success for all.

Anonymous said...

With foreigners come stiferf competition. Competition/strife drives everyone to be the best or survival of the fittest.
In other words, either you die or I die. This is not a garden(city). This is a jungle full of overcrowded animals baying for blood money

Anonymous said...

"Release steam only. That's what was solved."
Anon 20/2/13 09:44

But then steam will build up again, how?

Anonymous said...

"But then steam will build up again, how?"
Anon 20/2/13 11:40

Then release again lah.

Hungry? Eat lah. Then after that hungry again. Eat again lah. That's life what.

Anonymous said...

One Hong Lim rally not enough, have another one lah.

Blog one time not enough, blog another time lah. That's what comment posters are doing here what.

That's how problem will be solved eventually.

Anonymous said...

We have always welcomed n tolerated foreigners for the benefits they brought to the country. However over recent years, the number of foreigners are so huge. This has upset the balance. They are taking away opportunities from Singaporeans. Many Singaporeans are being cornered. That is why many are feeling xenophobic. I hope the situation can still be turned around. But I am not confident of the pap government ability to do so.

Anonymous said...

When other countries go protesting freely without being consigned to a restricted zone, usually the press will say they are getting nationalistic. Here in SG, the press will use the ugly word "xenophobic".

SGreans are not up against the all pervasive powerful PARTY, but also the main PRESS whose job is to distort, twist and spread half lies.

We need to be smarter than that.

Now they are attacking LTK, because they fear the threat in 2016 now. Who in the first place coined the term "Singapore core"? Did they try and define whtat singapore core is? Why would a harmless comment in parliament prompt the Chinese Clan run by new Chinese citizens choose to attack an opposition leader? Why don't they go ask PAP what they mean by Singapore core? People who share our values and way of life is considered "xenophobia"? So people who don't share our value of curry eating and insist on having their sichuan hot pots (go beach road and see) instead of curry pot should be called what? Racists?

There is clearly no sense of self-reflection here. Why ddin't they go after TCJ when those chinese bus drivers were deported back home after the strike and call PAP xenophobia? Why is it ok that they are not following the strike rules of singapore which is our values and way of life, and they would call out LTK now for a heated debate on defending our Singaporean core?

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later PAPies will label opponents of the white paper as terrorists or engaging in treasonous acts, and then apply the internal security act on them.

Anonymous said...

It's not xenophobia, it's overcrowding. It's population density. It's treating people like economic digits, serfs to be herded as sheep, slaves to be squeezed as sardines in a can.

Keep repeating this until the twits in the media and the govt get it.

In fact, Singapore's population should be reduced back to the level in 2005-2006: around 4.5 million people. That's the sweet spot between growth and quality of life. Remember '4 million smiles welcome you'?

Ponzi population policy is irresponsible and unsustainable.

Already, inflation has gone out of control in Singapore, rents have been jacked up to the point that many small businesses have had no choice but to close down.

Take a wild guess why the fertility rate has been plummeting?

In fact, if the authorities do a thorough background check for all the work permit applicants and foreign PMETs, I'm confident that a lot of them have fraudulent qualifications and are worthy of getting deported.

Veritas said...

Today Xenophobia is use to attack us. Because too many Singaporeans believe that we are xenophobic, the FT now trumpet that our graduates are stupid, they deserves to go unemployed and begging.

And LKY like to tell us our genes sucks big time as we are descendant of coolie. Many believe his fuck shit.

This is despite Singaporeans students scoring highest on all international bench mark.

After we think we are bad, we will stooge and deprave ourselves to whatever level to redeem our sins.

I would want to tell a story. When the Aryans conquered India they told the native Dravidians that, Dravidians has commited sins in their past life. To redeem themselves, Dravidians must become shit collector and prostitute their daughters.

The descendant of these Dravidians are called Dalits today. They work as shit collector and hereditary prostitute.

Today I see PAP and FT using the same tactics. Our descendant will have a career of collecting shit and prostituting if we believe in all these lies. And many people are believing it.

Xianlong said...

"Sooner or later PAPies will label opponents of the white paper as terrorists or engaging in treasonous acts, and then apply the internal security act on them." - anon 12:06
Unlikely in this era of social media. Numerous international media have already reported the Hong Lim Protest. In Msia, video of penang people saying 'No' when Najib asked 'Are U ready for Barisan Natsional' is uploaded to youtube quickly.

Besides the people being 'terrorised' by the white paper are ordinary men & women. Who sold all the power stations to foreigners? - that is already considered treason as pointed out by some.

Anonymous said...

"In fact, if the authorities do a thorough background check for all the work permit applicants and foreign PMETs, I'm confident that a lot of them have fraudulent qualifications and are worthy of getting deported."
Anon 20/2/13 12:09

Like that ah, not enough foreigners, then how?

We need the numbers of foreigners as decided by PAP. So have to take what is best available to get the numbers what.

Too bad lah, if a lot of the best available is fraudulent.

Because God didn't help us lah.

Anonymous said...

God, not PAP, not WP or what not P, controls what are best foreigners available to us.

That's why PAP cannot solve and WP not ready to solve problems caused by foreigners.

Anonymous said...

Fuck WP for not ready to take over the government. Fuck Low Thia Khiang for proposing to reduce GST Tax rate from 7% to 5% only. If LTK got brain, he should propose to the abolish the GST Tax all together.

Plucky Tam said...

Why is there a need to apologise for xenophobia? The very nature of patriotism calls for an ingroup favouritism that puts the interests of the nation above that of foreigners. Bloody sinkies are merely parroting the politically correct ideas of Anglo-Saxons. They do not believe in there being a society. What they subscribe to is an unthinking multiculturalism. We should Learn from the Japanese instead. There's nothing to feel apologetic about taking care of your fellow countrymen at the expense of foreigners. There's nothing to feel apologetic about xenophobia.

Plucky Tam said...

"However in a GE, another 17%, although affected, will still vote PAP because best alternative WP led by Low Thia Khiang is not ready. Not even for the next 20 years, they said. So cannot vote opposition lah, because it will be worse, tio bo?"

Not ready for what? To represent the interests of those who voted for them? Well, it's plain for all to see how WP cower in the presence of PAP. If by "not ready", you're referring to them acting like a proper opposition party, you're absolutely right.

But if you meant being ready to form the government, I guess I'll have to disagree. In First World countries like Sweden, Netherlands, Germany etc, they have coalitions of all sorts of small, kacang putih parties representing the diverse interests of all members of society banding together to govern the country. Only third world people like Singaporeans and Chinese yearn for the mirage of stability that one-party states present.

Anonymous said...

In the late 90s and after 2000s, singapore manufacturing kept hollowing out, and move to cheaper china? 2006 Singapore decided to agreed to 2 Integrated Resorts

So Singapore got face a difficult choice, to agreed to the $16 billions casino cum tourism attractions, restructured to transform from a low cost manufacturing foreign investments dependent to a service industries?

Singapore needed to continue to find ways to reduce the negative impact of casinos?

Half of the cabinets were against the casinos, which we could pay a heavy social cost, but Singapore has not much choice at that time?

Singapore got to seek ways to improve its service and tourism industries to continue attract more tourists, high value tourists and continue to reinvent itself, upgrade its infrastructures and train its workers?

To move its workers to higher wages and higher standards of living, Singapore needs to develops more patents, invention, best selling products and services. Some of the small populations, highly successful, high living standards & high birthrate countries able to produce successful multi-national companies with its continues inventions and innovations? Many of its local heros are nobel award winners and Olympic champions.

Anonymous said...

Li Yeming, the newly minted PRC and now the VP of chinese clan has proven himself, to Singaporeans, that we want lesser new citizen like him.

He is clueless, divisive and anti-Singaporeans. Is this not enough of a reason why Low Thia Kiang and nearly half of Singaporeans are angry with the white paper?

If PAP continue to use foreigners (even newly minted one) to hit back at Singaporeans, than don't blame the voters for being ruthless to PAP come 2016.

Anonymous said...

If the people are considered xenophobes, then PAPies must be traitors to sell out Singapore to foreigners simply for bigger GDP bonuses and fatter profits without even 1 shot fired. Do NS for fark?!?

Plucky Tam said...

"Some of the small populations, highly successful, high living standards & high birthrate countries able to produce successful multi-national companies with its continues inventions and innovations? Many of its local heros are nobel award winners and Olympic champions."

I don't think it's fair to compare Singapore to these First World countries.

Anonymous said...

Our leaders seriously need to take a leaf from Julia Gillard, the Oz PM. Australians first, immigrants must integrate, no two ways about it.
Our leaders see no pride in Singaporean culture, singaporean customs and has decided to dilute the infancy of smomething good with greedy FTs with no heart to settle here.
What can be more daft than that!

ufo said...

20/2/13 14:12 - at least he has the balls to start the balls rolling. where are you when he dare to stand up against a single party that has ruled the country almost 50years using all kinds of unjust laws to silence opponents?

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly this small populations countries able to produce iconic product that market worldwide, their designers produce high level iconic buildings and their products differentiate it completitors?

The tv, high fi and numerous products placed an high emphasis on designs and aesthetic etc. The place much emphasis in designing their products?

Anonymous said...

It is not xenos, it is competition. Who with a sound mind would want competition for housing, transport, education, healthcare and transport to go up in a place when they are already very tight?
It is ok to get foreigners to do those jobs locals do not want but why are so many pmets jobs going to the foreigners? the ruling party has betrayed our trust.

Anonymous said...

Live by the laws, die by the laws

Minghui Kuok said...

Have to say that this article is far more like yourself compared to the previous post, Lucky. No offence intended though.

Now on the article against Low Thia Kiang, the catch is this: Everything under the legal law's name is permitted in all things politics. Simply put, it's a game of thrones, I'm not really shocked.

Secondly on the welfare state, the biggest problem lies in the fact that nothing was disclosed on the national reserves right from the start. Simply put, the unknown amount can easily be used as an excuse to say "no" to welfare.

Now one of the most commonly "feared" problems is down to the what-if scenario where a social security network is concerned: People will end up being lazy and socialism will destroy everything. This is actually something happening in the US, but not really in the Nordic states.
However, a counter argument will be that Singapore is a resource scarce nation where only the population and kampung spirit is the only reason why we can make that massive leap across the post 1965 gulf.

However, times will change, society will change as well. You can call this LKY being a jerk, I can call him being a stubborn leader. But the point is this: there's no such thing called one policy for every situation. The PAP are not doing themselves any favors unless they can start addressing the change in current demographics in public, i.e. the economy post year 2000 has been a totally different ball game even unto now.

The concept on welfare is based on individual cases more than a safety net system and one of the biggest pitfalls lies in assuming the most idealistic situation where giving aid on such a basis will be enough. Perhaps it might work in the 90s, but due to a prolonged case of rising living costs, this very argument soon became a vital attacking point for the Opp coalition.

So am I all for a welfare system? My life has yet been pinned against the ropes, but I can never apply my own standard onto other people not so fortunate.

At the end of the day, it's either the regime knows how to adapt or... well, need I say anything more?

Anonymous said...

In the past decade, more than half of the local academics in NUS and NTU were replaced by foreigners. Your job not threatened? Talk to any Singaporean academics in these institutions!

Anonymous said...

You have a great blog, and I have been a silent reader for years. Recently there have been quite a few pappy IB trolling your blog and posting senseless, illogical and self contradictory comments, like that silly guy who always ends with tio bo? It's so obvious that he is (they are) throwing spanners at you and your readers. Just take the first few comments of this post for instance.

Not to worry, we are discerning readers and these pesky trolls (though they are an eyesore and a plain waste of my precious time) will not be able to chase us away.

Anonymous said...

When you image after the elites, you will always be their slaves.

Anonymous said...

I did notice that many of those "calling out" xenophobia are themselves pretty privileged, socioeconomically speaking. Some are not even located in Singapore so PAP's policies have no bad effect on them whatsoever. I guess it is easy to lecture others on not having a more enlightened attitude when you are not experiencing the day-to-day ill effects -- stress, overcrowding, rising costs, wage stagnation, job displacement. Same with the MIW -- with their million-dollar salaries, they are comfortably buffered from the ill effects of their own policies. And we know the PAP are being hypocrites when they play the xenophobia card (see their treatment of the SMRT drivers from PRC).

If people agree that xenophobia is undesirable then all the more the White Paper should be opposed. Bringing even more foreigners is sure to create even more resentment, even more xenophobes. Not only does our physical infrastructure need relief, our society collectively needs a breather to get our emotions under check again.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure the "tio bo" troll is the same as the troll who kept harping on about 60%. Guess he couldn't keep repeating 60% 60% 60% since PAP polled far lower than 60% in the latest by-election.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, this is a huge problem with Singaporeans - don't care who it affects as long as it's not me.

This selfish behavior has been large exploited by the PAP all along.

Their policies have been discriminatory for a long time - be it against singles, unmarried mothers, certain language/dialects, etc... but that, "doesn't affect me, I don't care" attitude has allowed the PAP to slowly and surely divide and conquer Singaporeans.

Until this selfish habit dies out and Singaporeans learn to speak out for others less fortunate then themselves... things are never going to change.

Anonymous said...

" alternative WP led by Low Thia Khiang is not ready..."

I disagree with this statement. I think they are capable and can form a government.

Plucky Tam said...

"I disagree with this statement. I think they are capable and can form a government."

Absolutely. Who says they can't form the government? WP acts and talks exactly like the PAP government.

runroad said...

An anti-foreigner! A Xenophobe! The bozo who said the following is surely the ultimate dog's bollocks of hatred and fear of foreigners, tio boh?

"You see the worksite - 60 to 70 per cent are non-Singapore workers. They work harder, they take greater risks.
"What they earn here is two to three times what they earn in their own country. But we carry a social load.
"They dirty the place, they were not brought up in our schools, they litter. It's a problem.

"And if you take too many, then instead of our values being superimposed on them, they will bring us down to their values because it's easier to be untidy, scruffy, dirty, anti-social than to be disciplined, well-behaved and a good citizen."
- Lee Kuan Yew, National Day Rally, 1971

And then this to add fuel to the flames:

In five years, you will have 120,000, in 10 years, a quarter million.
"Is it bearable? Maybe if they were from our traditional sources: with Malaysians there are minimal cultural and language problems. Last year, however, because there were not enough Malaysians, we started to move further afield and took work-permit holders from Thailand, from Sri Lanka, from India, from Bangladesh.

"They are good workers. They are hungry, they are lean, they are keen... But I have a responsibility to you. In 10 years, can we digest so many? There will be cultural, linguistic, social and political problems."
- Lee Kuan Yew, National Day Rally, 1979

They're 'untidy, scruffy, dirty, anti-social' woh! We 'cannot digest' woh! Nothing but a bagful of problems woh!

Like that how to get 60%, tio boh? Next time sure kena hantum down to 40%, tio boh?

San Kay said...

its very imp to security on the financial things!

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