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20 year old Singapore Indian feels threatened and marginalized by the rising numbers of Indian PRs and new citizens (Temasek Review)

20 year old Singapore Indian feels threatened and marginalized by the rising numbers of Indian PRs and new citizens

March 26, 2010 by Our Correspondent  
Filed under Life Stories, Opinion

Dear TR,
 
I decided to write to you after reading the stories of Ms Judy Eng and Ms Melissa Quek.

I am a 20-year-old poly student. My family and I live in a four room HDB flat that is fully paid up. I am fortunate that my father works for a Scandinavian company that really takes care of its workers (it fully restored pay cuts the moment sales improved).

As a student, I am yet to be burdened with housing costs and raising a family, but I still feel that something is seriously dysfunctional in our little island. The denial of subsidized transport fares for poly students is an injustice. My peers in JCs and ITEs spend so much less.

Polytechnic students are not all rich, you know. Despite a petition, there is little momentum in reversing this anomaly. When I see the refusal of the government to even subsidise public transport for disabled Singaporeans, I harbour little hope that our concerns will ever be heard.

I am also very disturbed by the influx of foreigners, especially students. In my secondary school, 20 scholars from China were brought in each year. Within months they outperformed everyone else even in English. Many Singaporean students felt they were being denied the chance to be the first in the subjects and tests. I have always wondered why the government is bringing in these PRCs and giving them free scholarships. Shouldn’t public schools be focusing on nurturing our own talents?

With the impending increase in poly, ITE and university fees, I worry how my parents are going to pay for my degree education. Why must the government keep raising fees for education when it can afford to lose billions in bad investments? Where is the sense of priority? Surely spending a few billion to absorb the increased costs is reasonable?

As a 1st world country, we should have free primary and secondary education. The PAP is so greedy that it claims school is free but charges a “miscellaneous” fee.

As a Singaporean Indian, I feel increasingly threatened by the rising numbers of Indian PRs and new citizens. Similar to the situation between PRCs and Singaporean Chinese, there is very little in common between Indian PRs and us. Little India has been all but overrun by them. Local Indians now try to stay away as far as possible. We have been crowded out from the restaurants, markets and temples.

Most PRs who come from India are not Tamil-speakers and generally look down on South Indians, who Tamils belong to. When my mother was shopping in Mustafa Centre, a group of North Indians (likely to be PRs) walked past her and she heard one of them uttering “bloody Tamilians” to his friends.

There is a belief among Indian PRs that they are in demand to work in Singapore because the local Indians are not as good as they are, and therefore they behave with a sense of superiority and snobbishness.

The scourge of castes has completely disappeared in Singapore. We see each other as Indians and nothing else. But these PRs are bringing in their prejudices from India and corrupting our local culture. We are beginning to see advertisements put in the paper asking for brides and bridegrooms from a certain caste.

Even the PRs in the parents’ support group in my sister’s school immediately enquired about our caste as soon as we introduced ourselves.

We are losing our unique Singapore identity to the policies of the PAP, which seems to worship foreigners like gods and trample on Singaporeans. Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and all other Singaporeans are one of a kind and special. No amount of money, social engineering or “integration” can ever transform foreigners into true-blue Singaporeans.

I live in the area that was once part of Cheng San GRC. I remember when I was little, JB Jeyaretnam came to campaign and even after he lost, he graciously returned to thank the voters anyway.

It has been nearly four years since the last election. My current MP (who daughter is infamous for an “elite” remark) has yet to visit my block even once. Without knowing residents’ concerns, it is no wonder why MPs have time to engage in frivolous debates about frogs, food museums and beauty secrets.

The man who killed his children, set fire to his flat and jumped to his death recently, lived only a few blocks from mine. When that incident happened, the reality of Singaporeans struggling with their lives really hit me hard.

It pains me each time I see an elderly Singaporean rummage through dustbins for cans to sell and toil as cleaners until their deaths. It is shameful for our leaders to proclaim our country as “first world” and being in a golden period when all the gold is flowing into the pockets of ministers. I think our seniors all deserve a big thank you and a comfortable retirement for their years of service to nation building.

It is time for Singaporeans to take back our country, eject unnecessary foreigners and start providing decent lives for ourselves. Foreigners (including PRs) must always remember that in Singapore, they live on our terms, not vice versa.

Singapore is our home. It’s worth saving.

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Reader Feedback

20 Responses to “20 year old Singapore Indian feels threatened and marginalized by the rising numbers of Indian PRs and new citizens (Temasek Review)”

  1. tom says:

    u got every right to say that.. I agree wit ur last sentence.. I am a foreign Pr myself.. I agree we have to live on SIngpaoreans terms..

  2. S'porean says:

    I am a S’porean Chinese, and even then, I can feel and see that S’pore is now flooded with Indian expats and PRs. Even way back in the late 1990s when I was working with a certain Dutch bank, I could already see the ‘tsunami’ coming. On every floor and in almost all major depts, I could see them everywhere. What vexed me most is many of them go around wearing the tag ‘foreign talent’ (thanks to our govt) and behave like they own S’pore. Once, after lunch, I entered a packed office lift only to find I’m the only local surrounded by Indian expats. I happened to be the one holding the lift door, yet not a single one of them said thank you. My local colleagues and I discovered that their tactic is that once one of them gets a foot in the door, they would start to recommend their own and the floodgates start to open. In this bank that I worked for, I had scores of opportunity to work with these indian expats across depts, functions and ranks. if you want my honest opinion on whether they are really the talent that they and our govt made them out to be, my answer is ABSOLUTELY NO. Of the many I got to work with, there was this one and only guy whom I would say is really good. The rest are either average or mediocre; some so shockingly mediocre i couldn’t believe that they were allowed to work here on a professional basis. In my mind, our fellow S’poreans are much better than them, any time, any day. I have a strong feeling the govt doesn’t look at their statistics or understand what’s happening on the ground. They only need to walk into one of the major foreign banks and they’ll know what I mean.

  3. JR says:

    I am a Singapore Indian and I cannot tell you how ashamed I am with these Indian PRs in Singapore. I work for an attraction and everyday we have ‘encounters’ with loads of them until now my colleagues are beginning to stereotype. They cheat in every possible way:
    1)refusal to buy tickets for their children by claiming their are below age when you can tell easily they are no toddlers
    2)buying child tickets for teenagers who fall under the adult category.
    3)demanding for free drinking water because they refuse to buy water from the food kiosks
    4)refusal to queue up and cutting queues
    5)pretending to be sick in order to get help in going around the attraction in our in house vehicles
    6)being rude and treating our staff without respect
    7)pretending to be sick and helpless and demanding for free wheelchair use when they do not actually need it.
    The list goes on. As an Singaporean Indian, I cannot tell you how embarrassed I am and refuse to associate myself with them. Whenever anyone enquires about my race I will say that I am a Singaporean Indian because I DO NOT WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THESE ILL-MANNERED, SNOBBISH, UN-CULTURED people.

    There are a lot of problems all around Singapore because of these people who think that they are so great that Singapore cannot do without them. They are everywhere and Singapore is beginning to feel so foreign to me.

    GOD SAVE SINGAPORE!

  4. Myint Soe says:

    Singapore indeed, cannot do without us. It’s official.
    Accept the fact. I am bringing my other friends from Myanmar to help this country prosper.

  5. Con U says:

    Oops! Internet Explorer could not connect to http://www.temasekreview.com

    If u cannot stand up for whats right then face whats not right

  6. kuku says:

    ->Myint Soe

    Talent from Myanmar, since you can help a country to prosper. Pls help your own country which in need for more help.

  7. KP says:

    I own a small IT company and employ a few staff from India. Although generally they are okay, but they are not top notch as made out to be. I have my fair share of problems with these staff. As for the general Indian expat community out there, they do not know who to line up or to speak softly. They crowd our libraries and talk at the top of their voices with their children, because they are too stingy to buy books for their children. I am Indian Singaporean and feel that I have the right to speak up for my own SINGAPORE INDIAN community that knows how to mingle and work together with the local.

  8. john says:

    yesterday i went to a birthday gathering of Indian expats’ children. I casually asked them why are they taking up singaporean citizenship, some quoted security, fed up with indian politics, terrorism/bombings but i was shocked when a few of them mentioned they are getting citizenship because of the singapore passport which is visa free for many countries Indians are subjected to much cross exam at the border/immigration eg UK, US, Australian and they also mentioned given up Indian citizenship is no problem they can get it back anytime as once an Indian national forever one. Leaves me to wonder if we will have a flood of short term Singaporean citizens whom will give it up once their needs are fulfilled eg education, money making etc; so why should citizenship be dispensed so easily ? should be given after their kids have done NS.

  9. disgusted singaporea says:

    i felt it so badlthat i have decided to pack my bags and leave singapore, will return to my homeland once PAP is voted out of office
    I am now in the states, bringing my children with me as well

    I felt there is no place for us singaporean any more, it belongs to the foreigners from Phillipines, China, India

    Everytime I call a company in singapore, it is always a filipino voice who answer the phone,
    just wondering if i called the wrong country

  10. NS Sucker says:

    Singapore has been ruined ! Because Singaporeans voted for …..

    Sinagporeans wake up before it is too late…

  11. ayoungcitizen says:

    I am indeed disheartened and angry at what the PAP’s policies are achieving in Singapore. It is truly neglecting the efforts, responsibilities and dedication that many Singaporeans have put into the building of today’s Singapore. True blue Singaporeans have studied hard in school, aced exams as best we could, appreciated the cultural differences that our Chinese, Malay and Indian friends (and even relatives) have to offer and served at least 2 full years of National Service, many of us in very tough combat vocations. Now, as a Singaporean Eurasian, I struggle to get a job because I’m not cheap enough, don’t speak Mandarin and of course have to turn up with my Full Battle Order every year for reservist. My last employer even pushed me to leave my position after I was absent for 2 weeks, at you guessed it, reservist.

    Way to go PAP and their amazingly fair policies. It’s no wonder emigration is rife among those who have the means.

  12. Speaking_tree says:

    I am a Indian PR living here for 8 years and I like to share my views with Singaporeans here . Being an Indian citizen, my comments will be more focused on Indian expats as I don’t know well about others.
    Most of the Indian expats here are IT professionals and other skilled workers who are not always from big Indian cities, but from more interior part of the vast country with limited or no exposure to global culture. Many of them arrive here with a job , but without any understanding of Singapore values and way of life . Its not that they feel like kings here or they want to destroy Singapore, their inappropriate behaviors are just a result of ignorance. So what is the solution ? How about a “mandatory cross cultural integration course” for 2-3 days for all new arrivals . It should clearly tell them, what is offered and what is expected in return . I have attended something similar in 1999 before going to Europe for first time and I felt it’s benefits.
    Next question, are these expats are of exceptional quality ? Not always and they are not expected to be at the first place . Singapore is not in a position yet to attract lots of exceptional foreign talents like US and Singapore does not even need that . Expats are here to maintain a stable supply of workforce required to keep a service intensive economy ahead of competitions . All of them are not going to start a technology company next year.
    There is no doubt that Singaporeans need to compete extensively with expats for jobs but completion is essential to maintain the edge of Singapore’s economy . If expects are asked to go, jobs will also flow out with them and Singaporeans need to compete even harder to keep those jobs here.
    Being an expat working here, I always wish and expect Singapore to prosper . If Singapore prospers, my life will prosper. If things go other way, I have to looks for a new place and start from the scratch. So clearly I have social ,economic and moral responsibility towards Singapore even though I am an expat . It’s a win-win situation for me as well as for Singapore .

  13. snailly says:

    I’m a Singaporean Indian, born and raised in Singapore, and frankly I’m embarrassed at how some of my fellow countrymen are so eager to generalise and stereotype Indian PRs.

    I’ve met quite a number of these PRs over the years, and my experience has been quite different from the picture painted here. Most of them, whether from the South or North, were down to earth and friendly enough, and share the same worries in life as us.

    Sure, I’ve met some truly snobbish Indian PRs, but I’ve also met SOME local Indians with really disgusting attitudes as well. Some act like thugs, some think they are Vasantham Princesses, some like to vent out their anger by harrassing innocent service staff, the list goes on. My point is, please don’t stereotype Indian PRs and tar them all with the same brush claiming that ALL of them are snobbish, look down on Tamils, etc. (Hello, many of them ARE Tamils!!!) It really isn’t any different from stereotyping Singaporean Indians as having X, Y and Z undesirable traits.

    Whether or not the influx of foreigners is beneficial to Singapore is definitely a good question for debate. But while discussing, please be civil towards your fellow human being. How would you feel if you were an Indian PR who has been nothing but warm and friendly, and you had to keep reading such hateful, untrue comments from xenophobic Singaporeans who have such a small comfort zone?

  14. snailly says:

    By the way, not all Indian PRs are caste-crazy as insinuated here. Some are, and some aren’t. Some are even progressive enough to date and marry out of their race; I personally know at least two who settled down with local women.

    • ranjeet says:

      Hi im maalaysian Punjabi Sikh generrally i agree with this statements,I even seen Indians especially from punjabis,sindhis,gujratis,and others from north indian stereotyping us local same thing happening in malaysia when they they get approached by me,which is I’m a Sikh they will look down on us as we are enemies,you know LA the the issues between us Sikhs and the indian government,they’re showing their superiority to us as if they are smart ass,I dedicate this to all those stupid idiot north indians,just shut up and do what you were suppose to do,dontgenralise us,discriminate us in what so ever ways because you all very igñorant assholes

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