OPINION: Singapore’s Impotent Immigration Policy

Asia Sentinel, 2 Apr 2014
It appears counter-intuitive to suggest that a cosmopolitan hub like Singapore might have a problem with xenophobia.
Yet xenophobia has emerged as a major political concern in the city-state. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has routinely addressed the issue of immigration and foreign workers in his National Day Rally Speeches since 2009 — and in 2012 he openly warned Singaporeans to refrain from overt expressions of hostility towards foreigners.
The trigger for this new xenophobic fear was former Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng’s 2005 decision to engage in massively expanding the intake of foreign workers to avoid an anticipated recession. This directly led to the current situation where nearly 40 percent of Singapore’s residents are foreigners — many of whom have no interest in developing ties to the country or the opportunity even if they were interested.
The government confessed that it had failed to take any steps at all to provide infrastructural or social support for this influx of foreign workers. Full story

Geylang descends into 3rd World sleazy gangland hotspot controlled by PRC mobsters - report

TNP.sg, 29 Mar 2014

Step into some parts of Geylang and you might think that you have just stepped into the set of a gangster movie. Many of its lorongs are a hotbed of vice and crime.
Streetwalkers openly parade in tight clothes despite the presence of surveillance cameras. Nearby, motorcyclists flash their bike lights, a signal that they are interested in buying contraband cigarettes.
Other vices that are part of the landscape of Geylang: Sale of illegal drugs such as codeine and sex pills, and gambling dens.
But in recent years, the prostitutes and their pimps have become more brazen.
Foreign workers are now acting as lookouts, runners and promoters of the women.
And they are willing to resort to violence to escape arrest. Full story

OPINION: MOM director Kevin Teoh's incredible claims about how well migrant workers are treated by the ministry

Yawningbread.wordpress.com, 24 Mar 2014
A divisional director from the Manpower ministry gave testimony last week at the Committee of Inquiry looking into the Little India riot. Based on a report in the Straits Times, his statements more than support a view that I have long held: there is a strong tendency in this government to confuse theory with practice. There is unwarranted faith in policy papers penned in cloisters. Either there is naive ignorance of the shameful reality out there, or a resistance to unearth empirical facts, or both.
There are four arguments made by Kevin Teoh, divisional director of the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM’s) foreign manpower management division, which are egregiously off the mark. They show beliefs that are detached from reality.
1. There are no abandoned foreign workers;
2. Out-of-work foreign workers can seek alternative employment (subject to permission);
3. MOM has ensured that foreign workers all know their rights;
4. Untrue that workers are forcibly repatriated.

Full story

50 foreign workers fought with weapons at Little India

Omy.sg, 23 Mar 2014
这起殴斗事件发生在去年3月31日晚上9点,地点在花拉公园地铁站“G”出口与仰光路(Rangoon Road)第677座组屋间的空地。 根据法庭文件,涉及案件的有40至50名客工,他们是来自两个敌对派系的成员。Full story
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