Organisers of the Protest against the 6.9 million population white paper held their fourth protest at Hong Lim Park on Saturday (31 January) and marked the 2nd year anniversary of the anti-immigration policy protest held in 16 February 2013.
Around 500 individuals turned up for the event to hear speakers talk about national issues surrounding immigration policy.
Main organiser for the event, Gilbert Goh from Transitioning.org said that originally there was supposed to be 10 speakers but eventually only 5 turned up. He attributed this to the ongoing court case of Han Hui Hui and Roy Ngerng over the CPF protest event last year.
Gilbert Goh also spoke about his 5 hour interview by the police for investigation for a charge of inciting violence and forgery on his proposed event at Ngee Ann City. The event was to protest against the holding of the Philippine Independence day which was also supposed to be held at the same venue. However, the event was called off as the independence day celebration was cancelled in the end.
Mr Goh said that though no official charge has being filed against him yet, but the whole matter did took a toil on him personally. Mr Goh said that if he is to be charged by the police, he is unable to organise future protests and beseech more to come up to voice out on issues and take up an active role in organising events.
Mary Goh, a 74 year old retired teacher said she is speaking at the protest despite the warnings by her family and friends and emphasised to the crowd that there was nothing to fear. She brought up issues about foreigners depressing wages and how companies favor low paying wage workers. Mdm Goh also touched on how the government failed on its immigrant policy, “If you want to employ some body else, you want an influx of foreigners. You need to prepare us, you don’t just dump them on us.”
Mina, a single mother spoke about how her marriage was affected when her husband went into depression and started drinking after losing his high paying job to a foreigner.
Osman Sulaiman, activist and member of opposition party, National Solidarity Party, speaking in his personal capacity said that Singaporeans are displaced by the very people the government is saying to be contributing to the economy and the immigration policy is creating an artificial demand on housing and therefore, inflates the housing price for the locals.
Mr Goh said to media that Transitioning.org will carry out annual protests on February and May to commemorate the anniversary of the population white paper protest and the Mayday protest.
The organisers shared that they had collected close to $2500 from yesterday’s donation and will use part of the money to defray the expenses for the protest event. Another part of it will be apportioned for the charity event that Transitioning.org will be holding on 15 February at Chinatown.
While some may view support in physical presence for the protest against immigration are dwindling down but negative sentiments on the sanctioned influx of foreign immigrants for economical purpose by the state has not subsided in any way. Online comments on national issues and events are often focused on the effects of the immigration policy and at times crossing the boundaries of being xenophobic in nature.
Video of the protest event