I was first shocked to read what was reported from an INDIAN online news website that our dear Prime Minister has uttered the following words:
“Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here, all participating in one big Singapore family… So that we feel that this is a place which is special, which belongs to all of us and where we all celebrate one another’s festivals and happy events together.”
I thought I have read wrongly or that the Indian news website has misquoted our dear Prime Minister but after checking with Channel News Asia news report, those were the exact words quoted as well.
From my understanding, our Dear Prime Minister is basically saying, “Hey! Foreigners like you, whether you are PRs or just working here under employment pass, we treat you as one big Singapore family and this land belongs to you as well and we would be glad to celebrate any festivals or happy events with you here!”
Well, I may not have scored A in my English or General Papers but I believe my comprehension is as close to what our Dear Prime Minister has said. In fact, a simple check with TOC FB or TRS or TRE sites, all those who have commented on this statement have the same understanding as I have. It could not possibly be that hundreds and thousands of Singaporeans have misunderstood what he has said.
My Dear Prime Minister, just a few days ago, you have chided Singaporeans for protesting against PIDC (Pilipino Independence Day Council) for organizing a PUBLIC celebration of their country’s Independence Day at Orchard road as “a disgrace to Singapore”. Your fellow minister has also insinuated those who are against PIDC as “bigots”. With all due respect, I was wondering why PAP minister and our very own Dear Prime Minister have such harsh words against our very own Singaporeans without really understanding what we are really protesting.
I should save the details on how PIDC has been truly disrespectful, breaking our law and such but even on the surface, you and your colleagues should know very well that a PUBLIC celebration of Philippines sovereignty aka Independence Day is against well established Diplomatic protocols. Such public event is not just a simple festival event nor cultural event but basically a demonstration and celebration of another country’s sovereignty on our land publicly. This is totally inappropriate and trespasses on our country’s sovereignty.
With all due respect, my Dear Prime Minister, you are an Army General and trained to protect, defend and die for our country’s sovereignty. You have allocated over 10 billion dollars EVERY YEAR in our National Budget to defense spending and male Singaporeans have spent years in basic military training and suffered disruptions to their work and businesses in order to attend ICT yearly, just to defend our home country. I really cannot understand why, as a Prime Minister, you would not only willingly allow foreigners to trespass our sovereignty but on top of that, chided our own patriotic brothers and sisters for trying to defend our country’s sovereignty and dignity!
I also cannot understand why you could just GIVE AWAY our country by telling foreigners working and staying on this land that this country also belongs to them willingly without anybody firing a single shot! Aren’t we wasting our billions of dollars in defense spending and the time, effort, sweat, blood and even lives of our Singaporeans in National Service when your government is so readily to allow foreigners trespass our sovereignty or even own our country?
I have lived to believe in a country call Singapore in which I belong to and for which I shall lay my life to defend it. For all my life up till now, as an army officer, I have given numerous pet talks and speeches to my fellow Singaporean comrades in arm, to provide them the very reason and need for their sacrifices in training to fight and defend this country. My Dear Prime Minister, unwittingly, your remark here has just destroyed years of efforts made by thousands and thousands of officers trying to convince their men the need for them to make the necessary sacrifices for this land which we call home. Do you really know what you have done? Or do you really know what you are saying?
Only the true blue Singaporeans who really belongs to this land, this country, this home, will put in the effort and even risk their lives to train and defend it. Will your foreigners who just happen to stay here, work here or study here risk their lives to defend this country if there is really a war? My Dear Prime Minister, the answer is no. They will be the first ones to flee this country at the very first sight of trouble and you jolly well know that! In fact, you should know that every year there are thousands of “second generation PRs” who have chosen to give up their PR status just to avoid National Service! Thus, My Dear Prime Minister, how could you ever utter those words, saying this land, this country also belong to the foreigners who are PRs or those with employment passes?
We are NOT Xenophobic, neither are we racist against foreigners who came to work or study in our country. We are not against foreigners staying here to celebrate their festivals or organize their cultural events. However, make no mistake about it, My Dear Prime Minister; Singaporeans will always be the only owners of this country. Celebration of foreign country’s National Day or Independence Day public in Singapore is deemed as a total disrespect to our sovereignty. Any foreigner who wants to belittle or trespass our sovereignty, disrespect and break our law or even try to claim that our country belongs to them, will have to be dealt with respectively. Does our country belong to foreigners staying here? Over my dead body, My Dear Prime Minister.
My Dear Prime Minister, you have enraged so many Singaporeans in one master stroke by making your unwarranted remarks. Just read all those comments on the internet sites! You have evoked so much anger from Singaporeans and congratulations, you have outdone all the past Prime Ministers of Singapore. In all my life, I have never heard or read any well respected political leaders in the world history, not even ancient Emperors and Kings, telling foreigners that their own land or country belongs to the foreigners!
My Dear Prime Minister, you have indeed lost the respect of so many Singaporeans and most important of all, the honour and moral authority to lead Singapore by such utterance. I would urge you to apologize for making such disgraceful remark, resign and step down from your office. That would be the only last dignified thing you can do for Singapore, our country, our home land.
Goh Meng Seng