Monday, May 05, 2014

My Dear Prime Minister, Singapore doesn’t belong to Foreigners!

I was first shocked to read what was reported from an INDIAN online news website that our dear Prime Minister has uttered the following words:

"Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here, all participating in one big Singapore family... So that we feel that this is a place which is special, which belongs to all of us and where we all celebrate one another's festivals and happy events together."

I thought I have read wrongly or that the Indian news website has misquoted our dear Prime Minister but after checking with Channel News Asia news report, those were the exact words quoted as well.

From my understanding, our Dear Prime Minister is basically saying, “Hey! Foreigners like you, whether you are PRs or just working here under employment pass, we treat you as one big Singapore family and this land belongs to you as well and we would be glad to celebrate any festivals or happy events with you here!”

Well, I may not have scored A in my English or General Papers but I believe my comprehension is as close to what our Dear Prime Minister has said. In fact, a simple check with TOC FB or TRS or TRE sites, all those who have commented on this statement have the same understanding as I have. It could not possibly be that hundreds and thousands of Singaporeans have misunderstood what he has said.

My Dear Prime Minister, just a few days ago, you have chided Singaporeans for protesting against PIDC (Pilipino Independence Day Council) for organizing a PUBLIC celebration of their country’s Independence Day at Orchard road as “a disgrace to Singapore”. Your fellow minister has also insinuated those who are against PIDC as “bigots”. With all due respect, I was wondering why PAP minister and our very own Dear Prime Minister have such harsh words against our very own Singaporeans without really understanding what we are really protesting.

I should save the details on how PIDC has been truly disrespectful, breaking our law and such but even on the surface, you and your colleagues should know very well that a PUBLIC celebration of Philippines sovereignty aka Independence Day is against well established Diplomatic protocols. Such public event is not just a simple festival event nor cultural event but basically a demonstration and celebration of another country’s sovereignty on our land publicly. This is totally inappropriate and trespasses on our country’s sovereignty.

With all due respect, my Dear Prime Minister, you are an Army General and trained to protect, defend and die for our country’s sovereignty. You have allocated over 10 billion dollars EVERY YEAR in our National Budget to defense spending and male Singaporeans have spent years in basic military training and suffered disruptions to their work and businesses in order to attend ICT yearly, just to defend our home country. I really cannot understand why, as a Prime Minister, you would not only willingly allow foreigners to trespass our sovereignty but on top of that, chided our own patriotic brothers and sisters for trying to defend our country’s sovereignty and dignity!

I also cannot understand why you could just GIVE AWAY our country by telling foreigners working and staying on this land that this country also belongs to them willingly without anybody firing a single shot! Aren’t we wasting our billions of dollars in defense spending and the time, effort, sweat, blood and even lives of our Singaporeans in National Service when your government is so readily to allow foreigners trespass our sovereignty or even own our country?

I have lived to believe in a country call Singapore in which I belong to and for which I shall lay my life to defend it. For all my life up till now, as an army officer, I have given numerous pep talks and speeches to my fellow Singaporean comrades in arm, to provide them the very reason and need for their sacrifices in training to fight and defend this country. My Dear Prime Minister, unwittingly, your remark here has just destroyed years of efforts made by thousands and thousands of officers trying to convince their men the need for them to make the necessary sacrifices for this land which we call home. Do you really know what you have done? Or do you really know what you are saying?

Only the true blue Singaporeans who really belongs to this land, this country, this home, will put in the effort and even risk their lives to train and defend it. Will your foreigners who just happen to stay here, work here or study here risk their lives to defend this country if there is really a war? My Dear Prime Minister, the answer is no. They will be the first ones to flee this country at the very first sight of trouble and you jolly well know that! In fact, you should know that every year there are thousands of "second generation PRs" who have chosen to give up their PR status just to avoid National Service! Thus, My Dear Prime Minister, how could you ever utter those words, saying this land, this country also belong to the foreigners who are PRs or those with employment passes?

We are NOT Xenophobic, neither are we racist against foreigners who came to work or study in our country. We are not against foreigners staying here to celebrate their festivals or organize their cultural events. However, make no mistake about it, My Dear Prime Minister; Singaporeans will always be the only owners of this country. Celebration of foreign country’s National Day or Independence Day public in Singapore is deemed as a total disrespect to our sovereignty. Any foreigner who wants to belittle or trespass our sovereignty, disrespect and break our law or even try to claim that our country belongs to them, will have to be dealt with respectively. Does our country belong to foreigners staying here? Over my dead body, My Dear Prime Minister.

My Dear Prime Minister, you have enraged so many Singaporeans in one master stroke by making your unwarranted remarks. Just read all those comments on the internet sites! You have evoked so much anger from Singaporeans and congratulations, you have outdone all the past Prime Ministers of Singapore. In all my life, I have never heard or read any well respected political leaders in the world history, not even ancient Emperors and Kings, telling foreigners that their own land or country belongs to the foreigners!

My Dear Prime Minister, you have indeed lost the respect of so many Singaporeans and most important of all, the honour and moral authority to lead Singapore by such utterance. I would urge you to apologize for making such disgraceful remark, resign and step down from your office. That would be the only last dignified thing you can do for Singapore, our country, our home land.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

Looks like any idiot can be our Prime Minister!

dom said...

What an utterly xenophobic article, although you may claim to be otherwise.

I have no idea where you get your research from, but I think you need to have substantial backing before you throw out a claim like "PUBLIC celebration of Philippines sovereignty aka Independence Day is against well established Diplomatic protocols". And to claim that it trespasses on our sovereignty is just angry rantings in the wind. The lens which you use to view the world is only going to tint the things you see, and if you're viewing through the narrow lens of xenophobia and hate, you'll end up having a misconstrued idea of the world. It seems queer that a bunch of Singaporeans have raised a huge up-cry about PIDC, but remained strangely silent when we did the same in the past. We've celebrated Singapore Day in the UK and USA, and even China! Are we imposing our sovereign rights on them? Or let's look at the other countries - Philippines have celebrated their independence day on foreign soil as well, namely the USA and Canada, which apparently have remained strangely silent when their sovereign rights are getting impinged by Philippines. Wow. Guess Philippines must have pretty big balls to try to declare their sovereignty on countries that are bigger than them, and not only that, USA and Canada must be pretty dumb to let that happen!

You talking about National Service and our country's defense. But it's pretty clear it's to repel foreign invaders, like Russia's invasion of Ukraine, or Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Yet welcoming foreigners into our country to work does not mean that we're letting them trespass onto our sovereign rights. I hope you still remember your lessons about Globalization in GP. Just as Singaporeans are venturing into countries overseas and making our marks there (UK, USA, Australia etc), why can't we be equally welcoming to others coming from abroad? Shall we regress back to the days of xenophobic countries and closed state borders?

You talk about the "true blue Singaporeans", but what IS the true blue Singaporean? Only the Malays, since Sang Nila Utama was the first to set foot on sunny island Singapore? Shall we ask our Chinese and Indian brethren to leave the country, since their forefathers were immigrants from foreign lands? You raise a huge generalization about foreigners fleeing the country, but that's what it is, just a huge, unfounded generalization. I know PRs who have left the country to avoid NS, but I've seen plenty of my PR friends who have also stayed and served their NS to become legal citizens of Singapore. Your blanket assumption of the mindsets of ALL PRs is unfair and overlooks the contributions of those PRs who HAVE stayed and become citizens.

You ARE xenophobic, though you claim otherwise. Not racist? Your entire article is based on unfounded assumptions, from being the "first to flee" to viewing everything they do as impinging on our sovereign rights.

And FYI, maybe you need to start reading up more. President Obama in his immigration address not only identified his country as "a nation of immigrants", but even mentioned throwing a blanket amnesty to the illegal immigrants in his country.

But that aside, you're overreading and taking offense at a simple line PM Lee said. To put things into context, I'm pretty sure that if you play host to a group of close friends (if any) and invite them to your house, you'd want them to feel welcomed. If it's someone's birthday, you'd celebrate it together as well! Would this action signify that your house now belongs to your friend??!

Stop being ridiculous.

Admin said...

I am very sorry this agitate you. But I am also sorry to tell you that "Singapore Day" celebrated overseas IS NOT a celebration of Singapore's National Day.

Philippines is just too unique and it seems that it was one of the very few which would do that in other people's countries so publicly. Even for US, which is superpower in the world, won't be so insensitive to celebrate their Independence Day publicly in other people's countries. At the worse case, mask it as some other occasion.

We Singaporeans are welcome in other countries because we are law abiding people, we do not demand putting up our National flags anyhow, we do not misbehave ourselves, we do not anyhow break other people's law...etc. Definitely, we do not organize celebration of National Day publicly on people's land because we are sensitive to the feelings of the people of our host countries. Get it?

You want to make your friends welcome as guests to your house, do you say "this place belongs to you"? I rest my case.

Goh Meng Seng