Problem lies not with foreigners but with the policies of the government
Posted by temasektimes on September 17, 2012
I think foreigners would appreciate that in their own country, the priorities rest with their own citizens. I dont think people would call that xenophobic. The problem is not with foreigners but with the policies of the PAP government.
As you may have read, the policies for more FTs is a way to boost GDP, and that is obviously erroneous on many fronts. It has lowered productivity, leading to depress wages, open further the income gap, and the share of profits between business and labor widen further. No democracy can accept these social damaging effects for long.
In a way, it is also about our sovereign rights, our rights as Singaporeans. You would not have given your sovereign rights to other countries would you? Philippines is in a tussle with China over the South China Sea, Indians had fought 2 wars with China over their borders. Even Hong Kongers are asking for restraint from the influx of immigrants coming from Mainland China. But in Singapore’s context, it is about wrestling these sovereign rights back from the PAP government.
A majority of us travel abroad frequently. Unlike the more homogenous Thais, Filipinos, Vietnamese, we are a real mix of Indians, Malays and other races, being a small country this has a greater bearing on our tolerance and empathy. And in most parts we are congenial.
So within the context as painted, Singaporeans are not xenophobic, never was, never will. But Singaporeans are more politically aware, and this may come across as aggressive relative to our more sedated and naive stage of citizenry. Our demands are far ranging, and not just about FTs.
It is not that we are unsympathetic toward a better future for everyone. But if we dont fight for our own rights who will? If your country is not giving you the same opportunities as Singapore why not fight for that right in your country?
Empires had given way to Nation States, now perhaps we may move toward a more free-flow Asean, but as European Union has shown, the paths for greater integrated union for a better and larger community is pebbled with many dangers. For Asean to succeed, it needs a framework that retain the identity of individual Nation State while unleashing the economic energy of a bigger community. Until then, within our small country, we must make Singaporeans sovereign rights as citizens paramount, and this is not about just FTs, but about the dictation of Singapore’s future.
*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.