29 March 2005
It is with interest that I’ve decided to pen a few words which I feel will open up someone’s eyes as to what is happening in my beloved Singapore. I’m a 3rd generation Singaporean of Indian decent, I had always respected and conformed to all rules & regulation in this country till I came face to face with the ugly side of this wonderful country.
It took place some 6 years back at the immigration in Kallang. A friend of mind from India whom I met in Bahrain while working there came to Spore for a visit. He had called earlier to inform me that he had booked the hotel (Peninsula) and that he wanted to stay for a week for shopping. After arrival and checking into the hotel, he called me to say that the immigration at the airport had only given him 3 days stay. He was very upset. Anyone in his shoes would be! Spending all this money for some good holiday break, only to be told to leave after 1 day. As a S’porean, I told him “No problem, we can go down to the immigration dept. at Kallang and have it extended”. You guessed it, my application to sponsor this person to stay another 4 days was rejected, this was even after being told at the immigration that I can sponsor him as I was a S’porean with the necessary qualifications.
When I went over to the immigration to ask for an explanation with my friend in tow, the officer told me, sorry I don’t have to give you a reason! What does that make me, a Singaporean!
I’ve given up on this country too. The only option people in this country have is to stay and accept things the way they are or leave like me! This episode is only one of many I’ve written, and it has all added up to make me think hard and decide my future. I just hope Singaporeans will wake up to the fact that “what you see is not always what you get.”
SDP: Dear Quitter,
The Singapore Democrats have received numerous letters on incidents such as the one you have experienced. We feel the anguish as much as you do when the authorities treat citizens like serfs. We want to help you and many others like you to overcome this problem and let our citizenship as Singaporeans really mean something.
Unfortunately we cannot do much if you choose to leave this country. If everyone who feels disenchanted with the government packs up and leaves, we will just fulfill the self-prophesy that we are helpless in the face of PAP domination. If everyone who cares leaves, then we will never be able to change anything.
The truth is that we are NOT helpless. Not if we all stay put in Singapore and band together. The Singapore Democrats need you and you need the SDP. It is by standing together that we can eventually overcome our plight. It is not impossible. Peoples in other countries have overcome even greater odds.
The process to reform the PAP system has already begun and the SDP will work tireless with all concerned to turn this into an honest to goodness movement for democracy. We are too aware that the road to freedom is long and paved with difficulties and hardship. But nothing worthy in life has ever been obtained without sweat and tears.
Instead of leaving Singapore, come join us. We’re at 1357A Serangoon Road, Singapore 328240.