Thursday, 28 February 2013

the great population debate

I am not very political, I don't indulge in debate nor do I wax lyrical about the plight of the common man etc etc.  That doesn't mean I don't care, I am just apathetic as the little peoples voices aren't heard.  However the powers that be in our tiny nation recently released a White Paper on Population
It got everyone all riled up about  who or what is a true Singaporean and do we have too many foreigners in the country, how many new citizens do we allow in each year and is a figure of 6.9 million in terms of population by 2030 realistic.  do we  really need to have all these people?

 I can understand why people want to come and live and work here. I can also understand why my fellow Singaporeans are bitching about this, its driving up real estate prices, its taking away jobs, its making our city state crowded.  Its making all Singaporeans appear xenophobic and hateful.

I saw what immigrants faced when I was in England in the late 1970's,  I was studying there and as I am of Asian origin,  I was naturally  the target of a little bit of xenophobic abuse (not very much but enough to piss me off)  Favourite eloquent phrase for them to utter was of course "Pakky go home"  Pakky being  a derogatory term for someone from Pakistan,  which to me back then, didn't make much sense as I wasn't from Pakistan. 

Immigrants leave their homes to find a better place to live, hoping to be able to live in peace, and give their children a better life.  It doesn't help that citizens of their chosen haven treat them with distrust and disdain.  Singapore is a country of immigrants, 90%  of the population is made up of people whose fore fathers came from places like China and India.  I myself am a second generation born Singaporean.

 Are Singaporeans really xenophobic, are we not welcoming of  foreigners?  I don't think so.  I think we are a pretty decent lot, we work hard, we do our best and we may be humourless (seriously, most of us have no sense of humour)  and strange but we aren't xenophobic.  What we are is tired of being pushed around in our own country by our elected leaders.

Leaders who were elected into office by us and somehow have lost the plot.
Read here one citizens comments 

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