THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Foreign observer concerned with rising tide of xenophobia in Singapore

Posted by temasektimes on June 15, 2012

I am a dilettante of the Singaporean sociological/political/philosophical scene, and I felt obliged to offer my views on the growing concerns of this tiny island, what with the rising tide of xenophobia, racism, and plain bigotry that has been surfacing in recent months. I would like to stress that the views I am about to express are my own, and any and all are free to agree or disagree as they see fit.

First off, to address the issue of foreigners in Singapore. Were an unbiased, independent poll to be conducted, I am certain that sentiments on the ground would reflect the increase of the “us and them” mentality in the average Singaporean. Fair enough, each man is entitled to his own opinion. But a man should first substantiate his opinion with evidence.

It is true that there are certain individual foreigners who have been behaving badly, causing both damage and danger to life and property. However, one should not go so far as to tar all foreigners with the same brush. It is shocking to hear thoughts such as “all PRCs are the same” (replace “PRCs” with your own pet peeve), and to determine the behavior of one as representative of the behavior of all.

Another frightening example is the re-emerging tendency to highlight the presence of blood/race/ancestry as a determining factor in the behavior of any given individual. It is nothing short of pure racism to make statements such as “all Filipinos are racist” or “all PRCs are rude”. Such statements are no different from “all Jews are greedy” or “all Germans are Nazis” or “all Frenchmen are cowards”. To hear such sentiments expressed, in a decidedly First World country, in the Twenty-First Century, does not bode well for the future of this country.

I would like to end with the hope that a bastion of civilization such as Singapore will encourage a growth out of such primitive tribalism, and to focus on truly pressing issues, such as equal rights, freedom of speech and of the press, and the continuing struggle for individual liberty.

Sincerely,

 

Martin Colbert

77 Responses to “Foreign observer concerned with rising tide of xenophobia in Singapore”

  1. P Koh said

    I fully agree with your views. I have always advocated that we have to be rationale in our thinking. We must never generalize and also never to judge, assume and speculate on anything that we see. Facts must always be established first before an educated decision can be made. Even then as human beings, we should also learn not to be personal in our approach to things and be able to segregate person from character i.e. we can dislike the behavior of a particular person but we need not necessarily hate him as a person who may have some good attributes too. I have always told my children that if they see a man spit, they can say that they dislike his behavior not necessary the person per se. So, if Singaporeans can learn to relook at things differently and can forgive but not necessarily forget, there is lesser chance of civl commotion because of the racial differences. Look around us and see the problems facing countries now struggling to maintain peace and order even within their own countries with only one identity and not even multi-racial. So our situation is therefore more sensitive and we need to practise restrain and goodwill if we want to grow Singapore as a friendly, peaceful and beautiful country to live in. Peace and Happiness is what everybody want in life. It is also good for our future generations.

  2. CKMPD said

    Isnt Martin Colbert tarring all Singaporeans as xenophobic? Isnt he doing exactly what he criticises Singaporeans of doing…stereotyping and generalising all with the same brush?

    • Arcane said

      Was just about to say the same

      • CKMPD said

        Martin Colbert should look himself in the mirror before he throws stones at Singaporeans

    • Compatriot said

      Amen to that

      If Martin Colbert says he is a dilettante a person whose interest in a subject is superficial rather than professional.

      And as a foreign observer.I should appreciate very much if he could also share and talk openly of his nationality status and the country where he came from and,share his experiences with his existence to the addressment of an untenable situation of a quagmire that Singaporeans are currently having

      His existence in Singapore,could be fortuitous employed or otherwise,rather than to be gobby by passing superficial remarks to being just like an iceberg submerged underwater

      Something is amiss, …..

      • Clayton Teo said

        1. It always takes one to know another.
        2. Bigger the iddiot who calls another by one.

      • Compatriot said

        Behaviour of a Cloak n Dagger
        I say again,”tell the truth shame the devil” or you will be known as a gobby and a hypocrite

      • CKMPD said

        Hi Compatriot,

        Yes, many things are amissed in what Martin tries to say.

    • The typical hypocritical Caucasian who would **instruct** us Little People HOW TO BEHAVE. But only they and they alone can behave and talk in any way they darn wish. They don’t like the idea of us sub-humans to copy or threatened their numero uno status lah. .

      Aka don’t upset the status quo or they will hit back at us below the belt.

    • A Singaporean Abroad said

      I agree with CKMPD too.

      In any event, I don’t think that Martin Colbert has any right to preach about “equal rights, freedom of speech and of the press, and the continuing struggle for individual liberty”. Does Martin actually brush shoulders with the locals in Singapore everyday or is he one of those who looks out from a rose tinted window of a service apartment in Orchard Road or an East Coast Condo and have it in his head that he is entitled to preach his so called “western values” to the local Singaporean? Oh, sorry, have I also tarred Martin Colbert as an ignorant western idealist? I beg your pardon!

  3. Well said. Singaporeans need to have friends in a region surrounded by muslim neighbours. Imagine you people start bad mouthing the muslims and hell will break loose. Cool it and take a deep breath. I am so sad that this is ongoing. I love Singapore more than my former country of birth across the straight bridge. The PAP is the right party to govern. Do you want to go back to the SIXTIES – Barisan Socialists. Thank god most of them were detained under ISA. The wor;d is watching.

    • CKMPD said

      Dear Kenny,

      Are you at least 60years old now? You know SG in the sixties?

    • Singapuraboi said

      The 60s were turbulent times. The period following WWII were unstable. Govts around the world were highly paranoid and skeptical. Hardship was rife in the 30s with the Great Depression that led to WWs. Nobody wants to go hungry. Back then the only to ensure survival was through imperialism. In the 60s, SE Asia was unstable s the communists from Russia and China were carving out ideological colonies. It was imperialism in a different way. The US saw the threats and became very active in the region eg, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Cambodian civil war etc… All these soon became more about economic might and control. The communists came with their insidious ideaology of fairness and shared wealth while US tried to impress the world with freedom n wealth. And while the fighting was going on the Japanese rose to become a formidable economic power that the world was forced to reckon with. Singapore and Malaysia were plagued with all the various political ideologies. No one was tolerant of others and all that gave rise to great instability. Today we don’t try to rule and manage with might n IQ but with EQ, so the Barisan Socialis thingy will not be tolerated. See the successful politicians are The likes of Nicole Seah who impressed with wit and compassion.

    • Compatriot said

      I want to say this to Kenny Toong.”dont behave to be such an idiot”

      In the early,mid and late sixties,I can swim with my friends at the lovely beach,catch seafood when the tide is low,fishing and boating at the kaylongs,witnessing the Lumbah Koleks at the Malay kampongs,and the Classicial Chinese Wayangs gaily with much fun,and laughter and most of all leaves a very fond memories

      I think you dont understand the meaning of life

  4. graftblement said

    Dear TT,

    May I know whether this article is emailed to you or did you pick up from other source(s). Thanks!

  5. Singapuraboi said

    Martin, unlike other countries around the world where racism and bigotry stamp from a race exerting dominance through a distorted sense of superiority. In Singapore, even the racial riots in the 60s were not an outright fight for racial superiority. It was upholding of religious dignity as well as the respect for human rights. Riots started when the outgoing British lords ruled that Maria Hertogh a white woman raised since a baby by Malay parents is Dutch and to be returned to her parents despite her reluctance. Her marriage to a Malay man was considered void.

    Singaporeans have thru their history been a harmonious race of people as we have 4 different races living side by side. We have been most tolerant of peoples in what is the world’s only true melting pot. It is our govt’s insensitivity towards the need of the people, making fallacious claims to support their immigration policies that have enraged the people. The govt have given special privileges and cincessions and some outrightly outrageous that the people have no choice to band together as one people one voice. FTs unfortunately are collateral damage to the govt and now to the people. The former for vote number and the latter for survival.

    All this is a wicked ploy and the current reactions anticipated. This is most evidenced by the govt furthering in ending the people by telling themto accept foreigners, how good they are compared to local talents and chastising the citizenry for not integrating the FTs. Be honest, would the country u come from do some thing like that in the first place. No govt would deliberately incensed it’s voters unless it is Singapore where one party has held political monopoly for a long time. It is the people’s way of driving the message of unhappiness to the govt. All civilised methods of communication have failed. All we got were patronising answers and worst every political and economic scenarios were manipated towards this immigration cause. Our graduates can’t find work and our still able bodied 40-something workers are being retrenched. Some households have young grads who can’t find work and whose fathers are also out of job. U tell me if the situation is dire? We r taking bread and bitter issues here. FT presence only makes out existence miserable. Emigration is frowned upon. Those who left Singapre are branded quitters. And the countries that they move to practise some kind of protectionism. My cousin went to the states with a master degree and all this while he has worked as a clerk by day and a pizza delivery guy at night. So perhaps u would like to tell me what those who choose to remain should do? No where in the world can foreigners get choice jobs than on Singapore and at the expense of the locals.

    • Steve Lee said

      @Singapuraboi. Thank you. That article was so well written and nailed it on the head.

      • Singapuraboi said

        Thanks Steven. I have stopped supporting shops and services that hire foreigners. I try to shop
        Online whenever and wherever possible. Sometimes I do bulk purchase for frens and family. Let’s do our part to drive the message home to the govt.
        When I lived in the US there was this Buy America campaign where tv ads tell people to only buy made in America products. talk about xenophobia. That was a nationwide campaign endorsed by celebrities and politicians too.
        Sadly, national day parades hosted by the ruling party holds no meaning for me anymore. The citizens are supposed to buy the bullshit about one people, one nation, one Singapore. But the govt certainly does not believe in it. We r suppose to majulah Singapura but our govt and peolpe r marching to different tunes. I’d say let’s not attend the main NDP event. Hope that WP and the other parties will hold ND events. Let’s us all attend those. We can still be Singaporeans at other destinations celebrating ND.
        I used to laugh at the joke about wat is in the middle of Singapore but not anymore. There is a widening income gap and a huge chasm about wat the people want and what the govt want.

    • balls said

      Very well written. My sentiments cannot be portrayed anymore clearly than the way you have presented this explanation. Cheers

    • My grandfather's govt said

      If there is a super like button, Singapuraboi…..u got all the ticks. You have presented it so well for many of us who do not know how to pen it. I hope there will be enough of us to wake this govt who has taken us for granted and abuse our trust for too long. Absolute power corrupts! Let’s do our parts for our future generation. The leaders’ future generation has been taken care of by their excessive pay and leave ours to struggle. Let us use our votes wisely and take back our rights.

    • Disgusted said

      @Singapuraboi, Very well written… MOM is still issuing S and E Passes like no control.
      We need to stop them.!

    • Aidah said

      Well said, and I thank you for that.
      I have read somewhere that we Singaporeans are all talk and no action, I second the idea to celebrate National Day elsewhere with another party…not because I’m NOT patriotic, but because I no longer want to put my faith or future in the “White Shirts” anymore.

    • Steve Lee said

      Life in Singapore has never been a piece of cake. Just a thought here. If we’re really cynical and think critically on a national scale in terms of Singapore Incorporated, are the recent government policies of importing FTs really a massive move mirroring what is happening on a company level in Singapore? Are Singporeans actually being deliberately replaced because there is a perception that they are too educated, can think for themselves and their expectations too high? The ruling powers can’t actually sack Singaporeans from Singapore but they can indeed make it so difficult that Singaporeans voluntarily leave by themselves. They are then in turn replaced by FTs who are more amenable to manipulation and grateful for the chance of becoming Singapore citizens/PRs and hence will vote for the ruling party? Those in power then have a cheaper, more obedient, more easily replacable workforce. It boggles the mind but is this at all possible?

  6. Ron said

    Airing of views, if moderated, can serve as safety relief. It is when xenophobic views are preached from assembly pulpits by eloquent speakers, then it becomes a big problem. So long as views are blasted off in forum pages and are often tempered by moderate views, the readers get to hear both sides of the argument.

    Preaching by zealots to a captive audience can lead to brain-washing and even inciting groups into negative actions.

    What Temasek Times can do is to add an editorial note below such notes stating that it is not the view of Temasek Times and where appropriate edit the extreme portions (use a double === strike-out to emphasis the censorship). In that way, TT can allow a wide spectrum of opinions and encouarge healthy debates.

    We need to hear viewpoints even strong viewpoints to know what is brewing at the ground-level. We cannot be ostriches burying our heads into the sand. The government is of course monitoring the public blogs and will intervene when extreme racist, bigoted views are aired. And they have prosecuted successfully. They could have been many unannounced warnings issued without publicity.

    The overwhelming majority are moderates, not prone to violence. And I do not detect a tendency to acts of aggression.

  7. Steve Lee said

    What other country in the world has foreigners making up approx 48% of the actual number of people within the country at any one time? I believe this figure might not even include transient passengers on planes or ships. Singaporeans are one of the most open and accepting people in the world. They have been, for the most part since the founding of the country, made up of Indians, Malays, Chinese, Eurasians and a smattering of others. Social cohesiveness did not however, miraculously occur without early birthing pains and sacrifice on the part of all. Singaporeans are also used to visiting expatriates flying in and out of their lives and accept this without any fuss. Recently however, foreign nationals, whom many Singaporeans have not had much to do with socially or at work in the past, have been foisted onto them by the powers that be in large numbers. They have unfairly (no minimum wage/fake or easily achievable qualifications/ no NS obligations etc), competed for the bread and butter of ordinary Singaporeans. This has caused social unrest and desperation amongst native Singaporeans.

    This is not a race issue but one of culture. After all PRCs and Singaporeans Chinese, for example, share the same ancestry. However, Singaporeans, after generations of living side by side with their Indian, Malay, Chinese and Eurasian brothers and sisters have succeeded in forging a new culture, sharing much of the old from their ancestral homelands but forging a new and unique distinctive Singaporean culture in so many more ways from shared experiences. Newer arrivals will have to bide their time, contribute in full to Singapore and adapt to the rich tapestry which is our Singapore.

  8. bernard tan said

    like i always said, if they are not happy, they can always go back to where they came from……

    • Wrathoftrueblue said

      Agree totally. If they really find Singapore so unlivable. By all means, please f**k back to your own country

    • Wes said

      But if Singaporean is not happy, then how? Go back to where they came from? Where?

      • Steve Lee said

        @Wes. Aha. That my friend is the problem. When Singaporeans go overseas out of desperation, they are made to feel like traitors by the govt. They also face protectionism by the overseas authorities. If they stay at home, they are swamped by FT who because their family do not live in Singapore are able to survive on a much lower wage. Well educated Singaporeans in their middle age are edged out and young Singaporeans who have studied hard in the Singapore education system( often more competitive than the education system in the FT homeland) are unable to find work and achieve their dreams. Indian and Chinese Singaporeans are more Singaporean than anything else.

      • Bruce Lee NV said

        tiong bahru

      • bernard tan said

        singaporeans should stay and fight the good fight……. if the nature my job did not take me away from sg, i’ll be there!

      • Steve Lee said

        @Bernard Tan. Feel for you and we all have to survive in these desperate times.

      • A Singaporean Abroad said

        Quite frankly, a talented Singaporean can survive overseas quite easily but there is nothing like home (Singapore) in the end where your friends and family are.

    • Steve Lee said

      @A Singaporean Abroad said. You are absolutely right here. Most Singaporeans I know can and some indeed do survive abroad quite easily. Racism is present but (misti slang sikit) and Singaporeans who are by and large worldly wise, are well able to straddle both East and West without too many problems. On the other hand, the pace of life is slower and one can afford a car and a house. However, only in Singapore are we truly HOME Nothing like roti prata or chai tow kway. Yum!!!

  9. goodgirl said

    The last time the French were brave was during Napoleon. Other than at some distant World Cup, when was the last time the French won a significant victory? 1805? While foreigners here complain of Singapore racism, the reality is that there are many foreigners who insist on hiring their own kind, find ways and means to get their Singaporean colleagues to leave, and will replace them with their own countrymen. I guess your foreigners are not against racism, they are just against being discriminated. Racism is encouraged as long as you are not being targetted.

    I once scolded an Indian national who said Singaporeans were racist. I asked him if he ever spoke up in public against the higher caste people who everyday bullied the Dalits lowest caste. He immediately went quiet.

  10. Geo said

    CKMPD, if you have nothing good to say, please keep quiet.

    We need someone, probably the opposition MPs to get the ruling government to give the statistics on what Singapuraboi said…….

    How many jobs….taken by FTs…….not does at top levels….top levels…with special skills and foreign companies investment, we understands most wants their own kind to look after theor investments here….but the mid levels…..I used to work for an MNC for almost ten years…..and many, many FTs mid levels were employed………..in the company…..shame……meaning we don’t have our own?????????

  11. bh said

    CKMPD, well said. The author is painting Singaporeans with the same stroke of brush that he abhor!

  12. I truely agree with you Martin and singapurabo and you ckmpo or kepo how old are you? Don’t say if you don’t know lol!!!

    • Oi Minah, I suggest you brush up on your English first before you come here telling people off. In your Kampong, or dare I put it, ITE-standard English?

      • spawnInc said

        Wibbit Wibbit. Now you are looking down on ITE? That is discrimination and that is just biased.
        As an ITE graduate myself, I am deeply offended to read what you have written. Ouh, and just to let you know, after graduating from ITE, I graduated from poly and currently doing my double major degree in an Australian University, so please DO NOT look down on ITE. Thank you very much.

        Just saying…shame on you.

  13. whatever... said

    Oh stop being an alarmist… Right wing sentiments are rising everywhere in Western Europe and has never abated in the Deep South. So your claim that these sentiments does not bode well for the future is nothing but BS. In any event, I’m not claiming that discrimination and xenophobic is good, just saying that it is more commonplace than you would care to admit.

    Also, Indians, PRCs, Pinoys are becoming more and more nationalistic and this wave of nationalism started as their economy grew. The trigger was not in response to sentiments against them. My view for the future is that WWIII, if it happens, will be fueled by the fight for natural resources but sold on nationalistic grounds.

  14. spotlessleopard said

    The present situation is the natural outcome of a flawed policy of allowing in 2million foreigners in such a short time…stressing public facilities, like transport, medical services, education, housing, public parks, etc…and Singaporans losing their jobs to these exploited foreigners who often than not take less than half the going rate of pay of the same job…..Which Country in the World import 2million foreigners in less than 10years over a native population of only 3million?…..NO Country in the World did that except Singapore…

  15. freelikeabird8415 said

    Martin, try flooding your country with over 30% of foreigners and tell us how your country men would react.
    You do that to any first world country, there would be riots! We are just to kind to voice our unhappiness. So don’t take our patience for granted.

  16. Speechless said

    anyway.. i can’t find any countries that love FT as much as PAPs do..

    • CKMPD said

      PAP must realise a country cant survive without its citizens. Treat its citizens badly and there will be no Singapore.

  17. Native Singaporean said

    We have to send a very clear signal to the PAPpies.. Ask WP to hope a mini NDP in Hougang and let us go there to celebrate the Real Singaporean NDP.

    • Jaded said

      this is a fantastic idea!

    • CKMPD said

      Excellent idea. Hope WP picks this up and do something at Hougang Stadium and invite all native Singaporeans to celebrate National Day@HG. It will bring shivers to the pap.

      WP shd do NDP@HG in 2012.

      If reponse is good have NDP@HG 2013, NDP@HG2014, etc..

      Let’s celebrate National Day at HG with true SG Spirit

    • great but said

      This is a great idea but unfortunately not workable here especially when it is organised by opp parties or MPs.
      Sure need to apply for police permit and highly likely that the outcome will not be favourable.
      Why not ask WP to do a mini NDP at speaker corner?

      • CKMPD said

        Perhaps WP can organise a National Day rally/celebration at HG stadium and invite Singaporeans to attend. The response will be overwhelming and spontaneous and not a wayang like PAP events. This will haunt the pap and keep Singaporeans political fervour and sentiments alive

  18. lai said

    Well said, Singapuraboi and others.
    Instead of labelling Singaporeans xenophobic or racist towards immigrants, it would be more useful to unpack `anti-foreign’ sentiments to understand why there is so much anger. And for all the anger, angst, frustration at being so overwhelmed by immigrants, it is amazing that there has not been any act of violence against immigrants. We do not have a history of organised xenophobic violence unlike in some other countries, thank God! And our collective anger is thus far rightly targeted at government and policies. Most of us are raised to live and let live, even avoid conflict if possible. But when locals are expected to do the bending backwards to accommodate while so much is stacked against them, it is time to speak up.

  19. Ma Chi said

    Dude, how abt doing National Service before U open your mouth?

    • Andre said

      I’ll gladly do national service if that’s what it takes to participate in the discussion, but you have to shorten the run to 4k instead of 24k since I’m a 55yo old bald fatty here

      • Steve Lee said

        @Andre. Hey Andre. Lol.

      • Kulang Kulang said

        you meant you’re a 55yo old bald stinky and smelly fatty here, right? Have you beg enough to go back to your filthy hell known as philippines?

      • Andre said

        @Kulang kulang, dude drink your kool-aid, you should learn to understand what sarcasm means. You must have looked at the mirror and seen the bald, stinky, smelly and fatty reflection of yours and maybe for a moment you thought there some one worst off than you? sorry dude that description only fits you.

      • kulang kulang said

        Ha Ha Andre, caught U..so typical of pinoy trash like you to conveniently point your own ugliness at others. Face it…it is just one of those “talented trait” that pinoys have since birth.

        I know what I’m looking at in my mirror…you, not sure, because pinoy trash like U simply does not know what’s beauty and ugly, so I do pity U for not having to see your own bald, stinky, smelly and fatty reflections of yours…after all, a dog like U can only appreciate your own doggy look!

  20. Cry People Cry!! said

    Seriously who thinks Singaporeans are tolerant? Not me. We whine about every single thing from somewhat Fked up MRT, “foreign talent” to elitism in schools and scholarships. Advice: save your breath and accept your fate bro.
    From an elite school student. (Just trying to piss you guys off) !@#$
    P.S. I am Singaporean.

    • inkadroid said

      kudos to Singapuraboi and those who know about protectionism. how come our country does’nt have that?should we continue to b patriotic? To Singapore=YES. It is the country where our forefathers who went through the hard n difficult brits~Jap~brits~times n poverty. Went Thro’ all that, had built our spore to wat itis grounding with their beliefs in a system where their future generation will grow and flourish w their country where their future generations will hve a future. Where they trust the system that they gave their sons which they hve brought up for 18 years to NS. In That trust, that even when they are old they will benefit frm their put aside gament protected monies (u noe wat). Do others get their $ put aside? So that the gament can use it to roll? Be it gain or loss?
      As parents we feed and protect our children b/c we love our children. Not marie antonette “let them eat cake” moreover On top of that, serving it to the guests!
      We are civilized ppl. travelled and educated globally knowledgeable frm examples of histories of other countries. Therefore noe of consequences, jeopardizing…But that doesn’t mean we are paralyzed vegetables. Patriotic to return armed w educatn to serve but behold it is occupied by aliens (a term widely used in other countries while we respectably address as FT). There r many jobs that many Singaporeans hve not heard of nor trained in. But these foreigners are trained in and are able to take up openings for? Tis is a failure in the system.

      • inkadroid said

        how much is Spore willing to invest in our own ppl and educatn? wat happen to the policy of 1 local to 5 others Idun c any locals? The educated one has gone where? mid career training is it equivalent to mit the position that is being filled? or just training them to b midnite secur. How many noe of CRA, CRO, RA,RT? Then, how willing and reliant are our own workforce. Find our own workers not whiners. Go ahead and give foreign policies tea monies protectn $for THE juz that little red dot. Curb exploitation for realty greed. How much more are we left to build for us or for speculators? benefit 10% but at 110% loss at our xpenses. Sugar cane can only juice that many times. old r getting older, can our young b not too complacent to rise and b independent enuf to take care of our own?Give it 10 yrs we hve nothing left.Parents failed to teach and bring home the msg. ask not wat the country give us…..Singapore is a cash cow, springboarder,….. but for who….YES again we r n can b and r patriotic but give us opportunity and encouragement to have ownership without natural resources. Do we have enuf human populatn why did we stop at two? If parents hve more do they noe how to teach?Excel in moral conduct or juz product? May b too much too high of xpectations frm my part.

      • inkadroid said

        And to the pipsqeak who thinks he’s elitist, Think again. You r too, nothing. I believe NS had probably taught u nothing b/c you hve flat foot and can’t wear army boots.

  21. Dogmeat said

    Wrong context. “All XYZ are…”, should always replaced by “99% of all XYZ in Singapore are…”. Stop trying to mislead the public.

  22. kjhkjhkjguy said

    Sounds familiar?

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/06/15/the-immigration-debate-readers-respond-to-we-are-americans-just-not-legally/

  23. Singhster said

    Dear Mr Colbert,

    I would presume you come from a western/european country. A country where, liberal democracy, freedom of speech,and human rights are the cornerstone of its civillisation. Well, not quite in Singapore. Let’s be frank here, the only reason why MOST foreigners feel grateful to the government is due to it’s lax in granting citizenships and permanent resident statuses, which can start from within 6 months of arrival. Suddenly, from a poor third world/developing economy, you’re a part of one of the world’s most remarkably turnaround countries. And the best part is, most of you guys get almost equal benefits as citizens, without nullifying your native citizenship. In 10 or 20 years, when you’ve made a fortune albeit earning much less than locals, you say goodbye and retire in peace in your country.Whereas, Singaporeans are still struggling to settle their housing loans, the eldery take up jobs as cleaners making a paltry $400, enough to see through their next meal. All this, while you enjoy retirement benefits. Dear sir, this is not xenophobia. Its called survival. We have come to a point, where we cannot afford to be exploited anymore. And you do know the exploitation comes at the expense of you guys. Seriously, i’d like to see how tolerant threatened westerners are of asian immigrants. Racism in Australia, Canada, UK and the US doesnt happen without a reason. If that is xenophobia, then at least we are much more culturally civilised. We do not resort to riots and demonstrations. Just dont push us.

    • CKMPD said

      Well, said. We know how myopic Martin Colbert is abt SG and Singaporeans. And he sounds self righteous the way he tarnishes all Singaporeans with the same brush.

  24. al goldman said

    Discrimination and racism exist everywhere!!! it is a matter of degree. when jobs and putting food on the table are at stake, it exacerbates that. if indians are taking jobs in manila, the pinoys will defend their turf.

  25. eremarf said

    This is a red herring – don’t bite.

    The real issue is our unhappiness with immigration policies – liberal handing out of S and E passes and PR and citizenship. I have nothing against foreigners in general – but I’m sure a lot of undeserving ones have slipped in under the radar along with those who we would welcome. Also, while in general I have nothing against our visitors as individuals – the many problems their massive influx has caused really upsets me.

    The right targets of our anger is our MP, not the foreigners. Please, if you’re unhappy, show up at MPS and talk to your MPs. In fact I will be doing that again.

    Singapore is in effect using our money (for transport, housing, education, free space, etc) to subsidise businesses. My friends who manage businesses and own businesses are happy to have cheap foreigners to hire – but they’re really short-sighted. We’re selling our culture, heritage and future away. We’re letting a housing bubble form – just like Spain and Greece. We’re letting wealth get transferred from the middle and lower classes to the elite 1% – and building a divided society. Go and tell your MP you’re very concerned.

  26. CKMPD said

    Unless Martin experiences what Singaporeans go through, his words are cheap and lack credibility. It is easy to for him rationalise and talk when he doesnt have to go through the stresses and experiences of native Singaporeans

  27. truthopensecret said

    i will wear black this national day.

    one people, one nation, one singapore my arse.
    i feel stupid to recite the pledge. just read it aloud… doesnt make any sense now to me.

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