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FT: S'poreans dont want to accept us

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by makapaaa, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. makapaaa

    makapaaa Alfrescian (Inf)

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    <TABLE class=msgtable cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="96%"><TBODY><TR><TD class=msg vAlign=top><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=msghead><TD class=msgbfr1 width="1%"></TD><TD><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR class=msghead><TD class=msgF width="1%" noWrap align=right>From: </TD><TD class=msgFname width="68%" noWrap>kojakbt22 <NOBR>[​IMG] [​IMG]</NOBR> </TD><TD class=msgDate width="30%" noWrap align=right>Sep-19 11:29 pm </TD></TR><TR class=msghead><TD class=msgT height=20 width="1%" noWrap align=right>To: </TD><TD class=msgTname width="68%" noWrap>ALL <NOBR></NOBR></TD><TD class=msgNum noWrap align=right></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR><TR><TD class=msgleft rowSpan=4 width="1%"></TD><TD class=wintiny noWrap align=right>21332.1 </TD></TR><TR><TD height=8></TD></TR><TR><TD class=msgtxt><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD>What it takes for foreigners to integrate in S'pore


    </TD></TR><TR><TD><!-- headline one : end --></TD></TR><TR><TD><!-- Author --></TD></TR><TR><TD class="padlrt8 georgia11 darkgrey bold" colSpan=2>By Radha Basu, Senior Correspondent


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    <!-- START OF : div id="storytext"--><!-- more than 4 paragraphs -->At an in-house course a couple of months ago, a colleague voiced her deep apprehension about being crowded out of her 'own backyard'.
    At MRT stations and offices, parks and pubs, she bumped into people whose accents and attire advertised their foreignness.
    Almost overnight, 'they' had overrun her tiny nation, she said. She rationalised that she knew the nation needed foreigners to sustain its economic growth. But her heart, alas, sang a different tune. She felt upset, isolated. A stranger in her own home.
    Her predicament was not unique. In recent months, coffee shops and living rooms across the nation and even the pages of this newspaper have reverberated with discontent over what some viewed as an assault of the aliens.
    Cosmopolitan Singapore was overnight being threatened by passions that bordered on xenophobia.
    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acted to salve the wounds last week, signalling that Singapore would slow its intake of immigrants.
    He added that the Government would also act to sharpen the differences in benefits given to citizens and permanent residents (PRs), to attract more PRs to take up citizenship.
    But with birth rates at historic lows and a society ageing faster than most in the world, there is no shutting the door on migration.
    Speaking at a forum at the Nanyang Technological University last Tuesday, PM Lee cited the case of an elderly Malaysian - a PR here - who came to his Meet-the-People session to seek citizenship. When asked why she wanted it, she replied in Chinese: 'Citizens get more benefits.'
    But will more perks and privileges guarantee that new citizens stay with the country - and in the country - through thick and thin? I think not.
    Sadly, some PRs may opt to trade in their old passports for bright red ones for the sake of convenience, not commitment. I have spoken to several Asian immigrants who admit privately that visa-free access to the Western world is a key reason they take up citizenship here. Yet others, who work in prominent positions in Singaporean companies, do so to climb the corporate ladder.
    Taking up Singapore citizenship should not merely be about making use of benefits this country has to offer. It should be about love, loyalty and responsibility; about believing in the values of this country. Of knowing and taking pride in its history, culture, ethos and people. And of being ready to cut the umbilical cord that binds foreign-born to their native lands.
    This does not happen overnight. I fear that a zeal to mint as many 'instant citizens' as it can may lull Singapore into a false sense of security that most new citizens are here for the long haul.
    This need not be the case. Whether Singaporean or PR, we live in an increasingly borderless world where drive, passion and - above all - talent are the true passports to success.
    Besides, some immigrants have the option of returning permanently to the land of their birth even if they become Singapore citizens.
    Indian nationals who have relinquished citizenship, for instance, can still live, work, own property and retire in their native homeland under a special scheme that offers pretty much all the perks of citizenship, barring the right to vote and hold political office.
    Australia too has recently made it easier for those who have relinquished the Australian passport to regain citizenship.
    So, in many senses, the only way to keep people rooted to this country - irrespective of the colour of their identity cards - is to make them believe in Singapore and its people. To believe in a country, you must first get to know and understand it. That takes time.
    In Singapore, a foreigner can apply for permanent residence within weeks or months of setting foot here and for citizenship two years after becoming a PR.
    In fact, under a special scheme, even foreigners who do not live in Singapore can get in-principle approval for permanent residence.
    In the United States and the United Kingdom, you generally need to wait at least six years before applying for citizenship; in Australia, at least four years.
    In addition to the substantial time foreigners must wait before they can embark on the citizenship process, countries like the US - and more recently the UK and Australia - also require citizenship applicants to take tests to prove their knowledge of their adopted country's history, culture and ethos.
    Singapore too should consider instituting similar procedures and timelines before foreigners can become permanent residents or citizens, to ensure that they have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the country they want to call home.
    As of now, that knowledge may not always be there. I once met a Caucasian PR, who had lived here for three years, but had never visited any place 'where the MRT was above the ground'. His little world revolved around Raffles Place and Orchard Road.
    Another individual, an India-born, Oxford-educated new citizen, had lived in the Bukit Timah area for over five years. I asked him if he had ever been to a hawker centre or knew what Housing Board void decks were. He gave me a blank look.
    But tests and time alone will not bridge the widening chasm between old and new settlers in this immigrant nation.
    Five months ago, a National Integration Council was set up to devise ways to get both groups to learn to live in harmony.
    Last Wednesday, its chairman, Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, announced a slew of initiatives to help immigrants and citizens forge stronger bonds.
    These include holding more cultural gatherings and social outings to help the two groups to mix, getting new arrivals to attend English courses and an orientation programme for new citizens to learn more about Singapore's history, heritage and institutions.
    But government-led efforts, while worthwhile, cannot achieve much if individual attitudes are mired in distrust or apathy.
    Both sides can learn much from each other. Foreigners and PRs need to learn to treasure the values of meritocracy, honesty, hard work, civility and plurality that form the bedrock of this nation.
    Singaporeans, on their part, need to overcome deep-seated suspicion that immigrants are ruthless - and sometimes worthless - gold-diggers.
    While doing an article on new citizens recently, I met a Bangladesh-born businessman who arrived here practically penniless, but through hard work built up a multimillion-dollar travel and trading business in less than 15 years.





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  2. makapaaa

    makapaaa Alfrescian (Inf)

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    In 2004, acutely aware that he owed his success to this nation's meritocratic ideals, he became a Singapore citizen.
    'I am still not regarded as one of them despite my pink IC,' he told me sadly. 'Just because of where I come from, they feel I cannot be good at business.'
    The 'sense of superiority' some native Singaporeans had towards him, he said, 'hurt deeply'.
    Another China-born new citizen I interviewed shared his feelings. She too worked hard, found love, built a home. In a bid to pay it forward, she is now an office-bearer in her residents' committee and routinely helps out Singaporeans in need.
    'When I say I am Singaporean, I am immediately asked where I was born,' she said softly, joking that her accent was a dead giveaway. 'I love Singapore,' she said. 'Will where I was born always matter?'
    To better integrate, both sides need to shed pride and prejudice and open their hearts - and homes - to each other.
     
  3. makapaaa

    makapaaa Alfrescian (Inf)

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    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=msghead><TD class=msgbfr1 width="1%"></TD><TD><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR class=msghead><TD class=msgF width="1%" noWrap align=right>From: </TD><TD class=msgFname width="68%" noWrap>pJUDGE2009 <NOBR></NOBR> </TD><TD class=msgDate width="30%" noWrap align=right>3:23 am </TD></TR><TR class=msghead><TD class=msgT height=20 width="1%" noWrap align=right>To: </TD><TD class=msgTname width="68%" noWrap>kojakbt22 <NOBR> [​IMG]</NOBR> unread</TD><TD class=msgNum noWrap align=right> (2 of 2) </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR><TR><TD class=msgleft rowSpan=4 width="1%"> </TD><TD class=wintiny noWrap align=right>21332.2 in reply to 21332.1 </TD></TR><TR><TD height=8></TD></TR><TR><TD class=msgtxt>The PAP-LHL gahmen have run out of ideas on how to sustain S'pore's economic growth, hence the overhwelming influx of foreigners. Other countries such as Korea, Taiwan, are still sailing in the breeze and you dont see foreigners flooding into their spaces.
    ForeignGate is the cheapest and easiest of all methods on growing an economy. You see, they dont even have a vision for the country. They're solving problems by painting themselves into the corner. Let me explain what is painting into a corner.
    They open the door, they see the whole floor ugly and in need of paint (when S'pore gained independence). They start by painting right from the door. Of course, they'll be doing a good job of it as they go along. Until they finally almost finish painting the whole floor, when they realise they're trapped in the little corner far from the door. They cant get out without stepping on the paint and dirtying the floor again. Our technocratic gahmen is like that. They solve problems and create new and bigger ones that impact on the whole picture but never realise it until it's too late.

    </TD></TR><TR><TD> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD class=msgleft width="1%"> </TD><TD class=msgopt width="24%" noWrap>[​IMG] Options</TD><TD class=msgrde width="50%" noWrap align=middle> [​IMG]Reply</TD><TD class=wintiny width="25%" noWrap align=right> </TD></TR><TR><TD class=msgbfrbot> </TD><TD colSpan=3> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
     
  4. drifter

    drifter Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    home is a place where you feel comfortable not where you are born ..if you dont feel comfortable then fuck off and dont call singapore your home .
     
  5. hockbeng

    hockbeng Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Senior civil servants have their pay pegged to GDP.
    So its grow GDP at all costs and grab the bonus 1st.
    What happens later not their problem, money in pocket already.
    Similar to the banking crisis. Short term gain at the expense of long term pain.
     
  6. leetahbah

    leetahbah Alfrescian Old Timer

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    So they say sporns at fault because they don't have enough babies. THat's why pappie get FT. But the real fault lies at the time when papies say stop at two.
     
  7. 1sickpuppy II

    1sickpuppy II Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Not sure about you guys but I have come to a point that going against the flow of FT is like banging my head against the wall. Hence I have decided to just sit back and see the world go by mix with the flow as my neighbour calls it. In fact I have noticed if I were to act bossy or a prick usually I get bad service but if I were to act normally infront of them usually I get better service unlike some SG service staff even thou you give them a generous tip and treat then nicely still get LJ service.
     
  8. i_am_belle

    i_am_belle Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Whether Singaporean or PR, we live in an increasingly borderless world where drive, passion and - above all - talent are the true passports to success.

    then why celebrate national day august 9th ? just celebrate EARTH DAY ... and yes, abolish NS ... why have countries ? why have governments ?

    Another individual, an India-born, Oxford-educated new citizen, had lived in the Bukit Timah area for over five years. I asked him if he had ever been to a hawker centre or knew what Housing Board void decks were. He gave me a blank look.

    must be one of those wealthy white indians (WWI) ... whom the PAP are trying hard to woo ... the bloody 'grond pree' (just call it grant preeks, lah) ... the luxury shops at ION ... the central residential area at orchard/queenstown/redhill/sentosa/bt timah ... are all made/reserved for them, u think what ...

    actually there isnt really that much tension between FTs and locals in singapore ... as the shit loong would have us believe ... after all, singapore has been a multi-racial place for many decades ... we are used to mixing with ppl of different races/nationalities ... really, whats causing tension is between the haves and have-nots, the dual economy, and income inequality ... and intense competition for valuable resources like affordable housing, university/school places, seats on public transport, hospital beds in govt hospitals, etc ...

    foreigners are let in, PRship given out freely, but without increasing these valuable public resources, or at least making them adequate ...

     
  9. TeeKee

    TeeKee Alfrescian Old Timer

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    then you must be living in a fearful state most of the time...

    sad...
     
  10. TeeKee

    TeeKee Alfrescian Old Timer

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    [I have spoken to several Asian immigrants who admit privately that visa-free access to the Western world is a key reason they take up citizenship here. ]

    why many people want to go West?

    but govt.s in Asia still stubbornly want to remain East?
     
  11. wizard

    wizard Alfrescian Old Timer

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    FTs should try and take stroll and pinic in oxley and namly estate. Then they will see police car appear for no where. Interesting, no call but police are there.

    They will see the top people in singapore also dun want them. But the FTs are ok in HDB as they dun see it.

    Once in a while pretence to shake hand with them during visit while strait time is shooting. The topic is how to intergate them into spore????


    FTs get your professional license and PR them move on to other place . Feel Free to use this place as a stepping stone. Only place in the world that do that..

    Remember to kiss and hug the MPs when they go for their round. Dun be shy they are trying to accept you.
     
  12. littlefish

    littlefish Alfrescian Old Timer

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    So much angst. Just to summarise, the pink IC is not worth the piece of plastic it is printed on. ;)

    Stop living in denial and go live in a real country. If you still believe in the country, then you need to put your money where your mouth is and tell PAP that economic progress (or wealth) is not the most important (and probably only) factor in your lives.
     
  13. jw5

    jw5 Moderator Old Timer Old Timer

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    It should be up to the foreigner to get himself accepted and integrate into local society, not expect to be accepted or integrated automatically.
    The fact that the government accepts you with open arms, does not mean the people will.
     
  14. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Absolutely. The Gini index clearly states that a few are reaping the rewards of system that neglects the majority. Its about time that Singaporeans ask what is this country doing for them rather than what they have been doing for this country.

     

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