I didn’t expect the response to an article recently posted by a Burmese permanent resident to be so robust and fiery.
We must have received close to 150 comments on the two articles featuring mainly the young Burmese displeasure with the xenophobic sentiments brewing here.
To his credit, the Burmese is straight talking, not afraid to step on some big toes and unpleasantly frank.
If you criticised him, he will make sure that you have it ten times back!
I have always felt that our foreigner friends are make of sterner stuff due to the harsh upbringing in their third world environment and their will to survive is certainly stronger than us locals.
I have to admit that our local youngsters need to learn a thing or two about handling hardship from our foreigner friends.
However, does this mean that Simon has the right to criticise us though he has always emphasized that he is merely retaliating and not initiating anything critical towards our local people.
We have always advocate a mutual two-way respect for one another even though the person is a foreigner residing and working in our midst.
Transitioning also wants to reiterate here that we are not anti-foreigner in nature though some of our campaigns have given that impression.
We merely want to bring to attention some of the adverse consequences of the huge foreign influx experienced by our local PMETs.
On another note, Transitioning has all along wanted to provide another platform for our foreign friends to speak their mind on issues that matter to them but it is tough to get them on board - perhaps they are afraid of the aftermath once they are engaged in a hostile online tiff.
Some outspoken foreigners who chided Singaporeans online previously have faced strong rebuttals from netizens and eventually the law came in to remove the irritant.
So it is a pleasant surprise to see a young foreigner coming in so strongly with his hard-hitting views on the current xenophobic sentiments.
A few months ago we also received an email from a Indian IT manager who complained about work place bullying and that was the only interaction we have with our one over million foreign contingent.
In our online interview with him, he has indicated that he is not keen to convert to citizenship due mainly to the xenophobic sentiments here:-
Transitioning: Will you take up citizenship and sink your roots into Singapore?
Kumar: Never. The way new citizens have been treated here, never in my dreams also.
We have always hope that if there is the possibility of an online exchange between foreigners and local Singaporeans it will be two-way and cordial as I guess Singaporeans also want to know how the otherside feels.
However, I know that the exchange – if it happens - will never be as cordial as I wish it would have as the topic is emotional and touches on the livelihood of both the locals and foreigners living among us.
Simon, the 23-year-old diploma Burmese, was also pursuing a personal vendetta here as he was unhappy that he couldn’t receive his citizenship after serving out his national service liability recently and complained that maybe the authorities are concerned with the anti-foreign sentiments developing from our website.
It used to be the case that once you complete NS as a PR you would be given citizenship.But now it has changed.This could also due to many of your friends and fans complaining too much about FTs and PRs – so this could be a new measure by ICA to stem the flow of PRs getting citizenship.
This is why I asked you to be careful of what you are spreading. Your complaints and grumblings can affect people like us who have done everything that you locals have done but are now left in this situation. Tell me if I have the right to be angry about this or not?
If you label ciitzenship as a “burden” maybe you don’t deserve to be one? The reason I am applying for citizenship here is that I feel that I have grown up here and that this is the country which I have invested so much of my time in. Although I will never look down or forget my home country, the fact of the matter is that this is where everything I care about is. Having left my country at a very young age, I have most of my friends here. And most of my memories are of this country. Although I will visit my home country occasionally, I know I will settle down here. I don’t see citizenship as a burden. But you who is already a citizen feels that it is. Just goes to show you are not content with the advantages that you have over others. You just want more and more. Oh yes, I will continue to apply for citizenship but I will also continue to defend my own people and other foreigners who have been wrongly accused and insulted. (Some, not all) Its not that I am biased to my own people. I want everyone to be respected as human beings not be insulted just for their nationality. And if you think that’s wrong then that’s your problem, not mine.