12/05/2006

To be or not to be...a Singapore citizen.

To be or not to be...a Singapore citizen. This is going to be a hot debate after the latest speech by Hsien Loong on being Singaporean first. The line has to be drawn, a bit late, but still better than to let it continue down the road to a disintegrated country when foreigners can push over citizens and citizens feel unwanted and discriminated in their own country. The initial reactions by the foreigners, the PRs, who had it so good for so long, are quite expected. For those who have quietly enjoyed the good times at the stupidity of this country, they knew all good things must come to an end. To some who think that Singapore owe them a living, they will feel very sore. Below are some comments from those spoken to by the Today paper. 1. I think this move by the govt sets the PRs thinking. 2. I will think carefully about citizenship so that I can enjoy the same amount of benefits as everyone else. 3. Becoming a citizen is a practical thing...at heart I will always remain a Filipino. 4. It was only fair that citizens should enjoy more benefits than foreigners. And this message comes from a foreigner. (Geez, what the f... have we been thinking all these while?) 5. If I'm told to pay more, of course, I'm not happy. To be here for so long, and then to be discriminated against, is not so nice. (The citizens in Malaysia who are not Malays would not say this. Try asking them what it is like to be a citizen and be discriminated against). 6. I think they are trying to make PRs become citizens and for Singaporeans not to feel any jealousy. So what can I do? If this goes on, I don't mind being a citizen. Does anyone think that we have blundered all these years?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kindly note that the speech was made for 1000PAPs, within the family, so to speak. So people should not jump the gun till his highness condescensed to talk to the mass.
I think the preferences for sporeans will result in more foreigners becoming sporeans which is one aim of the gahmen but not the citizenry.

dotmy said...

The Singapore government is mistaken if it thinks increasing the cost of health and education is going to coerce PRs into trading their blue ICs for pink ones. I am a Malaysian PR who's been here since 1993 and I for one will definitely not be nudged in that direction. Why would I trade the option to live in a big country, with being stuck living in an overcrowded little island ? So what if I'm treated as 2nd class citizen in Malaysia, afterall don't Singaporeans also complain about being treated as 2nd class citizens by your own government ? At least with Malaysia, I know what I'm in for, hence I can hedge myself adequately. Becoming a Singaporean will only serve to condemn me to being an employee of Lee Pte Ltd for the rest of my lives. Thanks, but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

then again, what if the grand scheme of things is to let the PRs go back when they are old and let their original home countries take in the problems associated with old age....

redbean said...

hi dotmy,

welcome to the blog.

while we are discussing such issues, please bear in mind that we are not anti foreigners or prs. in some of the earlier discussions, the views were that the locals were at a big disadvantage relative to prs and foreigners and they griped as they could feel the pain.

of course the govt will like to have more prs becoming citizens. but ultimately the decision will only be made by the prospective citizens as they weigh the pros and cons in their own perspectives. some may opt to be citizens some may not. it is not a personal thing that the govt or singaporeans like or dislike the prs and foreigners.

the govt and singaporeans look at things from their own perspectives and benefits. and so will the prs and foreigners. ultimately everyone has to make a decision and this is a very big decision that no one takes lightly.

for malaysian prs, you too have to weigh your position and i am sure you will make the choice that benefits you. whichever you choose, there should not be any animosity as no one is looking at you individually as a person.

the govt has to take a position as they know the people demand for it. right or wrong, the govt has to answer to the people, not so much as to the prs.

cheers guys/gals.

Anonymous said...

"4. It was only fair that citizens should enjoy more benefits than foreigners. And this message comes from a foreigner. (Geez, what the f... have we been thinking all these while?)" this shows that some singaporeans are fast to jump to conclusion and not clear headed, this includes the author of the blog since he made the statement.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

if i were the govt i will totally ignore the voices in blogs and the cyberspace. then life will be so much more pleasant. and listening to all the good sounding and happy feedback from all the supporters. that is the real world of politics. no need any pretention.

i will recommend you to anyone who forms the govt. you are a real ass et.

cheers

Anonymous said...

with people like dotmy that's why we need to have that kind of policy in the first place

Anonymous said...

"if i were the govt i will totally ignore the voices in blogs and the cyberspace. then life will be so much more pleasant. and listening to all the good sounding and happy feedback from all the supporters. that is the real world of politics. no need any pretention."

yet another example of singaporeans jumping to early conclusions with baseless claims...

dotmy said...

To Anon December 05, 2006 10:33 PM:

I think you missed my point. My point is that even with such a 'deliberate disadvantage' policy against PRs, I, as a PR, do not feel it is sufficient to nudge me to complete that last mile to sink my roots into your country. In my opinion, those who will be nudged are the PRs from China, India, Philippines, Indoensia. Some PRs from Malaysia may be nudged as well. However, you're definitely not going to get a long queue of Australian, American, or European citizens forming a queue outside the Citizen Services Office at ICA to eagerly apply for the little dot passport just because they have to pay a couple of bucks more when they got to the polyclinic. Hell, why would high flying expats waste their time having to wait hours at a polyclinic just to see a second-rated government doctor anyhow, they'd rather pay the premium to see their own GPs. No, you guys are definitely barking up the wrong tree. The truth of the matter is there really is nothing attractive about Singapore as a place to live and play.
It may be a good place to work for a while to earn some good money but long-term I wouldn't even wish for my worst enemy to be stuck for the rest of his life in this rat hole. That's the plain and brutal truth.

redbean said...

hi dotmy,

what you said is true. this little dot really holds nothing to foreigners except to come here to earn a quick buck. unfortunately we don't see this and think we are a damn big deal. but then for the heartlanders, this is all we got and it is a damn big deal. at least this is home and we can try to make something out of it.

and hope the govt understand this and that the little red dot is only good to foreigners to transit here temporarily to make the best they can before they leave again. and for such reasons, it is only fair that foreigners should not be treated like citizens.

but the current volte face is not so much as to gain citizenship but because the citizens are angry and everyday kpkb about their disadvantageous position vis a vis foreigners. it is the govt's way of appeasing the anger of the people.

come on, like you said, how many angmohs will like to exchange their passports for a red dot passport? let's be real.

Anonymous said...

Redhat,
that true, you can't find Singapore in a map. And a label is larger than the dot.

redbean said...

citizenship is irrelevant for the real supertalents. they can go anywhere and be welcomed. i don't think our govt has any leverage on such foreign talents.

what we got are the average talents canvasing as supertalents. but then again, depending on what kind of passports they are holding. and to think that Malaysian Prs value their passports more than our passports speaks volumes. and they will hang on to their malaysian passports till the day when malaysia becomes an official islamic state. again, singapore may not be their first choice.

dotmy said...

Nice Try, Redbean. The way I look at it, living under a fascist Islamic regime is not much different from living under a fascist regime of the Lee kind. At least, in Malaysia, I will be home.

redbean said...

haha dotmy,

we can't promise any new citizen or pr anything. but one thing is for sure. we would not threaten anyone with a blood bath. and we would not run amok. any attempt in such gimmicks will see the person either in changi or in imh.

i can only wish you well. this little dot is all we have.

dotmy said...

No threats eh ? WHat do you call this then:

nobody doubts that if you take me on, I will put on
knuckle-dusters and catch you in a cul de sac...Anybody who decides to
take me on needs to put on knuckle dusters. If you think you can hurt
me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no other way you can govern
a Chinese society.
- SM Lee Kuan Yew, The Man and His Ideas, 1997

redbean said...

hi dotmy,

that statement is meant for political contest. not people against people or govt against people lah.

wrong context.

dotmy said...

Doesn't matter what the context is. Those are the words of a thug, just like Hishammudin's kris waving antics and words were. The only difference is the thuggery is aimed at different audience, still thuggery nonetheless.

redbean said...

thuggery in all forms is bad. that i can agree with you.

and i would like to see more foreign talents becoming citizens. then they can join me to whine : )

whining is a national character of singaporeans.

dotmy said...

Most people think only Singaporeans are kiasu but I can assure you other nationalities are prone to it as well. People like having options, redbean. That is the main driver for me to want to stay with the status quo rather than take the plunge to become a red dot citizen. Having a choice is heaps better than no choice at all, wouldn't you agree ?

redbean said...

dotmy,

if i were in your position, i will do the same. ultimately everyone will choose what is best for himself. yes, the more options the better.

i have many malaysian pr friends here and i can understand why they choose to hold on to their malaysian citizenship. why not, if they can have the best of both worlds. and there is nothing wrong with that.

from the singaporean's point of view, they are not against this either. they are just asking their govt to treat them like a citizen and citizens must have more privileges. if citizens have lesser privileges than non citizens and expected to shoulder more responsibilities, then the situation is untenable in the long run.

is the govt that blind to such a situation? it all depends on their priorities.

dotmy said...

Redbean, I understand why the issue rankles a lot of Singaporeans. However, the fact is that it won't be possible for the government to tip the scales in favor of Singaporeans because of the NS issue. For as long as NS is in the equation, Singaporeans will always feel that the PRs are treated betetr than them. UNless of course, the Singapore government enlists first generation PRs into NS, which I highly doubt is going to happen.
The proposal to raise the amount to be paid by non-Singaporeans, including PRs, for healthcare and education is tokenistic at best. I doubt Singaporeans will be appeased by this move.

redbean said...

dotmy,

we all understand the problems and the role of national service in making singaporeans that more unattractive as employees. and the issue of citizens vs foreigners in terms of benefits is genuine.

by now we also understand that our views will be coloured by the respective positions we take. every party, including the govt will see things from their own angles. when singaporeans discussed and feel bitter about their less advantageous position, they are not attacking foreigners per se. it is the system that they are unhappy about.

and they expect the govt to come out with an amicable solution to justify their role as the govt of the people and for the people.

there is no quarrel between citizens and foreigners. neither is there any quarrel between citizens and the govt. it is the role of the govt to make policies. it is the right of the people to gripe and complain if they are not happy. and then there will be adjustments to come to a compromise position, hopefully.

the govt may just tell the complainers to go and lump it. and the complainers may dump the govt the next time. it is all part and parcel of people and govt.

Anonymous said...

You say you're unhappy about the system ? So how should the system be tweaked such that Singaporeans will feel like they're treated better than PRs ? Abolish NS ? Enlist first-gen PRs for NS, make PRs pay 50% income tax or even better deport all PRs ala Captain Ryan Goh and shut the door to all foreigners henceforth ?

redbean said...

the value of a recommendation is judged by how much it costs. if i will to come out with my recommendations for free, then it literally has no value.

compare this to the durai episode and why he was so repected. it is because he commanded $600k of peanuts. so whatever he says, it has the weight of the peanuts.

it is just like a beggar saying something is good or offering a good suggestion. no matter how good, it is as good as the beggar.

but the comments from a king, even if he is an idiot, is a king's comment and carries weight.

Anonymous said...

That's just bullshit, Reddie. The fact of the matter is ypu don't have an alternative policy in place. Just admit it, the FT policy of the government today is the best one at the moment given the circumstances the country is in.

redbean said...

lets put it this way, am i paid to do the thinking? if not, why should i waste my time finding alternatives which will also be thrown into the bins anyway?

when we are talking about foreign talents, we are talking about a pool of more than 2 billion people to tap on. And we only need a small drop from them. just treat them decently and respectfully, some will come. say we want 1 million foreign talents over the years, is it that difficult to find?

China and India have a student population of well over 300 million each. if 10% are grads and professionals, there is a pool of 60 million coming into the market every year. we only need maybe 30,000 a year. and all we need is for them to feel that they are better off than at home.

many of them will look outside, to america and europe. they only come here when the doors are shut in those places. i am referring to the normal average talents or grads. not the highly talented and exceptional individuals that we have to go down our knees to beg them to come.

but the crux of the matter is that a country that does not take care of its people will lose the support of its people. and the tale of the foreign sheeps that was repeated by a blogger earlier is the best tale that has a strong moral on how a country treats its own kind.