by Lim Tean

I read in the Mainstream Media that yesterday at one of the “Forward Singapore” dialogue sessions yesterday attended by Lawrence Wong, it was suggested that employees be given 2 days of paid leave to visit heritage and cultural sites to better appreciate Singapore’s identity. It was said this would create Unity.

With the greatest respect to whoever made the suggestion, this is again giving the wrong medicine to treat the illness.

Today, large swathes of the local population feel they are 2nd class citizens in their homeland and are discriminated against for a myriad of reasons including the following:-

  1. Losing their jobs to cheaper foreign labour;
  2. New citizens not having to do National Service once they are 30 years of age and above;
  3. Foreign students being given generous grants and/or scholarships when many Singaporean parents have to spend a fortune to send their children overseas for tertiary education;
  4. Enclaves of foreigners and/or new citizens forming without integration into our community;
  5. Foreigners being allowed to drive up property prices in Singapore.

The disastrous immigration and labour policies of the People’s Action Party (PAP) of the last 3 decades have torn asunder the social fabric of our society. All the work which Lee Kuan Yew and his cohorts did with regard to Nation Building have been laid to waste by their successors, who have turned our country into a Hotel.

You do not build Unity and National Identity when native Singaporeans resent having to lay down their lives to defend the lives of New Citizens, when the latter do not have to do the same when they are over 30.

You do not build Unity and National Identity when in less than a generation, the majority of Singaporeans feel that property is beyond their means when we were a previously home owning society.

You do not build Unity and National Identity when Native Singaporeans are angry that their breakfast, lunch and dinner are being stolen by foreigners.

When government cannot even get the basics of Nation building right, and understand the true meaning of what the social compact entails, all dialogues lead to nowhere and are a total waste of time.

The above post was first published on Mr Lim Tean’s Facebook post. Mr Lim is a lawyer and the Chief of Peoples Voice, a political party in Singapore. 

Editor’s note: While some would find it quick to direct their unhappiness towards foreigners in light of the problems highlighted in the above post, we have to bear in mind that every individual desires to earn a better living for themselves and their family even if it means leaving their place of birth to a place totally foreign to them.

What ought to be the issue, is Singapore’s liberal migrant policy which can arguably be the main factor behind the issues raised by Mr Lim — manpower policies that would be frowned upon by any developed democratic country. As with all national policies, efforts should be used to address root causes and not the symptoms.

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