23 August 2006

Immigration, public opinion and seizable offences

Immigration was the main theme of PM Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech. In it, he acknowledged that many Singaporeans were uneasy about it, so he set out to convince people otherwise. Strange that on this issue, the government didn't feel bound by "conservative" public opinion. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

1stly, is it really true that the "conservative" public opinion is strongly against LGBT? Most young people (in their 20's) whom i know are neutral abt it; and some even think that the LGBT group is hip for standing true to themselves.

2ndly, did LSL really used the phrase "we all" so many times? Shouldn't the "Good English" version be "all of us"? Perhaps LSL (or his scriptwriter) can polish up on his English and be the poster boy for the government's Speak Good English Movement?

Anonymous said...

Bravo Yawningbread!

You say it like it is! The speech made me so angry and disturbed that it took quite awhile for my wife to calm me down.

$%*#! the PAP!!!!

Anonymous said...

Talk about TIME BOMB. This "brilliant" immigration solution will be another TIME BOMB courtesy of the allmighty. Earlier ones planted include those STOP AT TWO brainwash ideas from the old emperor.

Using a time bomb to fix a previous time bomb problem...think about it.

Local newspapers saying many ppl polled support PM's immigration solution, really?, I do not!

boon said...

"My background is that I am gay, as are a few hundred thousand Singaporeans."

Can you back this statement up? This figure sounds unbelievable.

Your article started off well, then meandered into an anti-gay rant. Natural-born Singaporeans felt sidelined by the government, and it had nothing to do with our sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

Just for political correctness of language in view of equality of the sexes/sexuality, shouldn't the sub-text be "throwing your children out while inviting guests in" instead of "throwing your sons out"?

Anonymous said...

The government is stuck in a perfect catch 22.
They want Singaporeans to keep voting them, so they sell themselves as being the only ones who can manage Singapore. Yet the reality is there are just too many issues that are beyond their control.
To maintain control over what they can within Singapore, they want Singaporeans to believe only in them, so they sell themselves as the most capable and honest of all Singaporeans. But the reality is many issues, even within Singapore, are areas they do not understand and which cannot be solved simply by exerting control.
To solve these issues, they need talented people both in Singapore and from abroad, so they paint Singapore as an open, all inclusive society. But talented, creative people in open society will have many ideas which break the control lines set by the government, and worst, show the government to be wrong, incapable, contradictory or dishonest.
To protect themselves, the people in government reacted in the only way they know – which is hitting back. So they contracted themselves yet again, and try other clumsy excuses which turn away even more thinking voters.

So what can a Singaporean do?

I watched a sad programme a few months ago. The 83 year old founder of the nation was supposed to have a dialogue with young Singaporean. Some of the young men were impudent. The old man lowered himself to their level, and was determinedly engaged in verbal fist brawl, showing no trace of patience, benevolence or grandfatherly love. Both sides were clearly frustrated.

So, if you wish to take on the establishment, then you must be prepared to be killed. (Look at past examples). The attacks from the government will only get more intense as the efforts move more people to your side. Take it as life’s experiences which will only toughen you up. If you live long enough, they will be beautiful stories to share with your grandchildren sitting on your lap.
You can choose to accept some things as they are, and get on with your own goals in life. Where they meet the governments’ goals, you collaborate. If not, find another party to work with. Because the fact is, much as we intellectuals think highly of ourselves, the government is fearful only about the 80% of the population. Their top priority was, and will be, to keep this group of voters in line and happy.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

In reply to Boon, 24 August 10:24, the number of non-heterosexuals in a population is one of the most difficult things to measure, partly because of definitional problems, partly because pervasive prejudice makes many people lie in any survey.

In any case, no such surveys have been attempted in Singapore.

In the USA, where such surveys have been done, results from reputable surveys with good methods tend towards these:

5 to 10% of the population engage in sex with same-sex partners.

1.5 to 3% would be prepared to declare themselves as "gay" or "lesbian".

Note: if you do a websearch, there are plenty of other "surveys" - usually conducted by anti-gay fundamentalist Christian organisations. They almost always show percentages of just 1 - 2 percent, but reputable researchers dismiss them for poor methodology.

Given that there are 4 million people in Singapore, a 5 - 10 percent figure means 200,000 to 400,000 individuals.

Monkey said...

i concluded that the government is not just throwing out our LGBT, but also our women. Our immigration policies have always been so gendered up till late 1990s (1997? I can't remember). Talk about eugenistics and discrimination! We are not just conservative. We are absolutely living in the dark ages when it comes to such issues.

I've ranted enough on Mr Wang's blog but the worst part is when I was talking to my groupmates in a migration module I am doing for school, none of them really care about such issues! To the "regular" "normal" singaporean who makes up the majority, these are pinpricks unworthy of notice. So at what point does anything become worthy of attention - when there is an outright exodus? Would it be not too late by then?