LETTER: Asylum Policies Must Consider Risk of Exploitation

BY TAN TECK CHYE Theophilus Kwek’s article on asylum policies (“Safer Waters: An Asylum Policy for Singapore?”) is well-intentioned but requires further consideration before it can be applied to reality …

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How Immigrants Don’t Want Other Immigrants

We’ve been extraordinary in economic development. We can be as good at defeating xenophobia. BY ROYCE QUEK Rome wasn’t built in a day: and it also wasn’t built by the people and riches of its own lands. Instead, its armies conquered Greece, North Africa and Asia Minor through the manpower of not just Romans, but the many Roman allies: fellow Italian cities which had been subjugated by Rome and were forced to give soldiers to the Roman war machine. With this strategy of co-opting other cities into its growing dominion, Rome swept all before it. But the Italians weren’t happy …

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On the Ground, In our Minds

Relooking Cultural Integration and Cosmopolitanism in Singapore BY Z.H. From the rash of online sentiments directed against foreigners during the 2011 General Elections through the Anton Casey, Ello Ed Munsel Bello, and Sun Xu incidents, it might appear to some observers that xenophobia has finally taken root in Singaporean society. Is the apparent level of antipathy some citizens hold for immigrants truly fuelled by irrational … Continue reading On the Ground, In our Minds

A History Worth Remembering: Forced Labour and National Identity in Singapore

BY THEOPHILUS KWEK “Until very recently Singapore’s past was a matter of supreme indifference for most Singaporeans simply because they believed this island never really had a history worth remembering…” – S. Rajaratnam, ‘The Uses and Abuses of the Past’, 1984. A quick Google search for “slavery in Singapore” returns references to “Modern-day Slavery”, as many have termed the conditions of foreign, and especially domestic … Continue reading A History Worth Remembering: Forced Labour and National Identity in Singapore

Are Singaporeans Xenophobic?

BY ZACH ISAIAH CHIA It seems that globalisation has resulted the rise of nationalism and xenophobia. We see it in the rise of UKIP in UK, New Dawn in Greece, Donald Trump in the US and the Swedish Democrats in Sweden. A recent Op-Ed in the Singapore Policy Journal argued that the local-foreigner divided was threatening to tear Singapore asunder. In the article, writer Samuel … Continue reading Are Singaporeans Xenophobic?

Our Calloused Hearts: Xenophobia and Racial Disharmony in Singapore

BY SAMUEL MYAT SAN “Regardless of race, language or religion…” This phrase in Singapore’s National Pledge has been a cornerstone of the city-state’s approach to racial harmony. The principles behind this policy are already unraveling, with Singaporeans becoming increasingly intolerant of foreign races, languages and religions. This “citizen-foreigner divide” may undermine racial harmony in Singapore if left unchecked. The government’s own harsh treatment of refugees, … Continue reading Our Calloused Hearts: Xenophobia and Racial Disharmony in Singapore