PR exercise or genuine response to Singaporeans’ needs?

August 1, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The changes to the cabinet and theintroduction of the new ministries by the Prime Minister isaccompanied by little useful information but much public relationspuff.$CUT$

Statements like Singapore entering a”new phase of development”, the need to “strengthenour families”, and focusing on “building a cohesive andvibrant society” have been stock phrases that the PAP makeswhenever it feels the need to assuage Singaporeans about itspolicies.

What Singaporeans want to hear arespecifics on how the Government will reform its policyof allowing the sudden and massive increase of foreigners in thiscountry. Making motherhood statements like promoting “harmoniouscommunal relations” is meaningless and changes nothing inreality.

In fact, the setting up of the twoministries – Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and theMinistry of Social and Family Development – seems suspiciously likean effort to manage Singaporeans’ resentment to its foreign workers’policy rather than a genuine attempt to understand and resolve thehardships that the people have to endure as a result of thispolicy.

The PM’s statement that “socialand community issues are increasingly important in our shared home”seems to be code for making Singaporeans accept the currentimmigration policy. Singaporeans are not looking for a new Governmentministry to tell them to continue to tolerate the intolerable. Instead they want concrete steps taken tostop the immigration flow and only accept foreign talent that ourcountry genuinely needs.

The problems of the influx of foreignworkers has been going on for years and the PM is only now making ashow of paying attention to them. His latest statement seems like areaction borne out of after-thought than a studied immigration policyplan that addresses the longer-term needs of our society.

The SDP will continue to stay on thematter and speak up for the people until the Government sees thelight and acts in the interest of Singaporeans. Until then, noamount of reshuffling of the cabinet is going to fool anyone.