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Anti-Immigration Populism

I make no secret that I detest Donald Trump. I was instantly turned off when he started going on about Mexicans coming across the border being “rapist” and how there was a need to build a wall to prevent horrible people from Mexico coming across to steal jobs from innocent Americans (read – the White variety), I wanted to vomit because, well that’s not true. I hated it when I saw people lap it up and what was particularly distressing was when you had people of colour in Singapore think of this as “speaking the truth,” (read if only we Singapore Chinese had a champion like Trump).

I’m a “loser” of the open market system in as much as I had to take a blue-collar job in my late thirties so that I could pay my bill. My colleagues were predominantly Indian and Pilipino and I developed a good deal of affection for them.

Maybe it’s just me but I can’t understand this belief that your job is being stolen. Whenever I’d hear “my people” complain about dark skinned Asians stealing our jobs and how Trump was really a great guy for proposing what he did with regards to the Mexicans, I’d look at the Kitchen Thambis and Pinoy waiters and ask myself planet these people were living in. The Kitchen Thambis and Pinoy waiters were the guys who had my back and yet the so called “concerned citizens” were supporting the idea that these guys were somehow my enemy.”

Birthday with the Kitchen Thambis and Bruno’s Bistrot on Telok Kurau Road.

The same transpired when in my insolvency work. I was involved in a liquidation of a construction company. We had to sack or transfer over 30 workers who had not been paid. The receivables came in but somehow the bureaucracy was all about being fair to all creditors including financial institutions and so on (and to be fair to “my people,” the contact point in the financial institution we were dealing with told me privately that whenever a company went into liquidation, he’d always advise his side to write it off – his word were “You’ll pay me 10 cents on the dollar at most. It’s money that can’t interest me – get it to the people who need it the most). Somehow, paying the workers become less and less of a priority.

In that time, I broke the “rules” of working for an insolvency practitioner and extended money I didn’t exactly have to some of the workers. I remember a colleague telling me that I was breaking the “rules” as if this was the worst thing I could do. I was, as they say, “unprofessional.” It was even explained to me that “Indian and Bangladeshi” workers cannot be trusted.

I didn’t know how to explain to people who knew what I was doing that this was the right thing to do. Firstly, I wasn’t giving a handout but an advance on what they had claimed in their Proof of Debt form. Secondly, I also reasoned that although it was money that I couldn’t afford to toss about, it was money that I could make back by sitting in an airconditioned office for a few hours a day while these guys had to slog it out in the sun for the better part of a day so that they could provide “cheap” infrastructure to people like me and profits to slave traders like some of the creditors in this case.

Sure, I was open to accusations of being “unprofessional” and acting against the rules. How do you explain to people that if it’s a choice of being “human” or “professional,” its always better to be human?

I’m glad to say that when we did get round to distributing the dividends, I got paid most of my money and got to see the gratitude on the faces of these guys. One of them even felt that I was important enough to be the first guy outside his family to know his wife was pregnant with twins. He took me out for dinner the day he flew back to India.

Today, if you ask me about the moments, I feel most successful, I will inevitably tell you its when one of these guys remembers me. It makes my day when they send greeting cards or as one of them recently did, called me from India just to wish me well.

So, I detest anti-immigrant populist because from what I’ve experienced, they’re going after the people who I know to be for the most part, hard working and decent. Its like this, when a group of skin heads walk around town chanting “Jews will not replace us,” they make the case for why they need t be replaced. When someone like Sebastian Gorka gets on TV and talks about how the Proud Boys were started as a “Joke,” I’m tempted to think that Mr. Gorka should be placed at the wrong end of the Proud Boys activities and let’s see how funny he thinks it is.

Sure, I know these communities have their bad eggs but for the most part they are comprised of hard-working people trying to make a living. They are stealing jobs from the natives by doing the jobs that the natives won’t do. Sure, I’m genuinely against the use of violence, however, when it comes to the nut jobs who chant “Jews (or any other ethnic group) will not replace us and think its OK to intimidate, I’m all for using whatever means necessary to eliminate the problem.

 

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be

 

 

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15 Responses to “Anti-Immigration Populism”

  • You R Talking Cock:

    I am from the Merdeka Generation And I am talking from Experience. During the 1960, 1970 and the 1980 most of the low end workers in the Construction and other industries came from my kampong. Every end of day I saw them coming back in lorries or bicycles. They were very hard working and happy to do their jobs. Same like the foreign workers.

    But the difference now is that the foreign workers can always work as kitchen thamby and waiters in their own countries such as India, Bangladesh, Philippines. Malaysia etc. Why the sudden rush to work in Singapore ?

    It is because these people are greedy and can earn at least three times or more here because of Singapore currency. Some of them can own numerous private properties and companies even working as kitchen thamby and waiters when they return after working here for ten years. Will they come here if our Singapore Dollars is on par with their own countries currency and will India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Malaysia governments allow Singaporeans to go there and work ? These countries will be protecting their own citizens interest unlike our STUPID PAP government.

    Why are we helping these countries to solve their Unemployment or Under employment problems ? Now why do our people not want to work as kitchen Thamby and waiters ? Its simply because they are paid very low salaries and they cannot survive in the High Cost of Living environment.

    The PAP pay their Ministers and top civil servants millions of Dollars salaries that they will not have a problem if coffee or tea cost S$10 a cup. The Rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

    We definitely need to sack the PAP in the coming GE. Diew Lay Loh Moh.

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  • Difference Between US & Spore?:

    No Difference. USA is exporting factories to make the businessmen richer. Instead Singapore is importing cheap workers into Singapore to make the business owners richer. Both are countries screwing their own citizens.

    Donald Trump is doing the right thing to take care of American citizen first unlike our LHL.

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  • Boh Kia See:

    In all my readings on this issues written by Singapore citizens, I have yet to come cross people saying that foreign workers should not be allowed into Singapore.

    the issue has always been one of the numbers of foreign workers in our midst and where they are concentrated, which country and which industry. That has always been the issue whenever I read of citizens’ concern about foreign workers.

    So let’s not get to folksy about the tread of the argument concerning
    concerning foreign workers.

    it is the PAP that tried to solve temporary problems with long term solutions that is causing problems and will continue to cause problems with each generation to come. Their central planning is flawed and static and should be discarded.

    Campaigning for the next election should commence immediately to oust the PAP for the good of the country.

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  • FW COE:

    Sure, it’s love for small number of immigrants.

    With 6 millions squeezing you everywhere in tiny red dot Singapore, you want another 10 million more?

    It’s possible to admire individual cars, but with 10 million on the road, you still love the vehicle exhaust while you are jammed for hours?

    It’s time to implement COE for foreign workers. It is exactly the same reasoning for car COE.

    There is limited space, and we must limit the numbers, whether cars or people. Let employers bid for foreign worker COE.

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  • oxygen:

    TANG LI thesis is shallow pandering, though not entirely wrong.

    When economics SUBSTITUTE cheap foreign labor in displacement of productivity achievements to grow and prosper, THE ENTIRE ECONOMY IS ROTTING AND SINKING, living on borrowed times.

    The Economics Strategies Committee warned us in 2010 that this is UNSUSTAINABLE.

    And they are right.

    Present Tense confessed just 5 years later, our economy MAXED OUT.

    And now this pandemic is scarring 20% of our economic base, according to Ravi Menon, MAS boss.

    WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE IS THIS BEATEN SUNKEN STATE?

    @ Tang Li will get lots of “liquidation jobs” to keep him busy.

    The rest of retrenched Sinkies starving whilst he celebrate and publishes his (not incorrect) moral platitudes in his deluded utopia here???

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  • YouHowMuch?:

    Because of the conditioning of an educating system geared towards wealth creation or riches,  many cant see the immorality behind what is basically human trafficking- or buying and selling of the souls of men and women.

    Millions of women,  could be your daughters, wives and mothers have been sold to make a living around the world.

    Since china followed Sin City, millions of their women have crossed borders for sale.

    Millions abandoned their land to seek fortune or to serve the rich in other lands, which is not a good thing.

    You don’t “take/steal” from your neighbours garden to make your garden look “good” or  like shining fake trees.

    The consequences or penalties(social and economical) will be great in your land if you do.

    Lawlessness will rise in the world.

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  • Donkeyology:

    Trying to tell the world that he is the only true friend of foreign workers in Singapore?

    Very narrow minded and seems to see things in the wrong perspective!

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    TangFastic “TURN AROUND” from “DARKIE” to Kitchen thamby and Pinoy….Well can’t blame him for the Bastard who CON-you once Declared that QUOTE: “Change is the Essence of Life, when you STOP to change you begin to DIE”

    Keep changing Tang it will do you [email protected] you aspire to be…whatever that is!!!

    The TRUMP has done his JOB…good bad or ugly…replaced by an IDIOT similar to what we have in our system…

    ie MONEY TALK!!!

    But “TRUTH” will be UNFOLD eventually and the US constitution will be Saluted after The TRUMP…”In God we TRUST” everyone in the DEMonic world pay CASH!!!

    Watch the Unfolding of the “TRUTH” in Pence & Kushner in 2025…after The Crash of 2020-2025

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    In that case , wats the fiasco with the malay is indian or indian is malay issue.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    You R Talking Cock:
    I am from the Merdeka Generation And I am talking from Experience. During the 1960, 1970 and the 1980 most of the low end workers in the Construction and other industries came from my kampong. Every end of day I saw them coming back in lorries or bicycles. They were very hard working and happy to do their jobs. Same like the foreign workers.

    But the difference now is that the foreign workers can always work as kitchen thamby and waiters in their own countries such as India, Bangladesh, Philippines. Malaysia etc. Why the sudden rush to work in Singapore ?

    It is because these people are greedy and can earn at least three times or more here because of Singapore currency. Some of them can own numerous private properties and companies even working as kitchen thamby and waiters when they return after working here for ten years. Will they come here if our Singapore Dollars is on par with their own countries currency and will India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Malaysia governments allow Singaporeans to go there and work ? These countries will be protecting their own citizens interest unlike our STUPID PAP government.

    Why are we helping these countries to solve their Unemployment or Under employment problems ? Now why do our people not want to work as kitchen Thamby and waiters ? Its simply because they are paid very low salaries and they cannot survive in the High Cost of Living environment.

    The PAP pay their Ministers and top civil servants millions of Dollars salaries that they will not have a problem if coffee or tea cost S$10 a cup. The Rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

    We definitely need to sack the PAP in the coming GE. Diew Lay Loh Moh.

    Bro you are just after my Generation The Pioneers or The FOUNDING Generation with the Founding Leaders in 1959…When Working – Toiling and Sacrificing for Family & Nation was a Pride we are truly PROUD of…Sweeper Construction and Hawking from Morn till Dawn we took PRIDE in our work and the take-home was sufficed to raise a family of 3-8 in Joy and Happiness when everyone contributes and have dinner together…The daily wage for construction during your generation was $50-70 per day and TODAY??? slave wage for FW $18-25

    A Bastard viewed family life among the lower echelons or lower MORTALs as a deterrent for his Evil Vision of a Master Race Like Hitler bur named it as Elite Society…[email protected] and LEEgalzed ABORTION(murder) or be PENALIZED…

    A WHOLE GENERATION of workers for Lower income to Middle and Higher income was DISTORTED to Create his Evil Intention of an Elite society…

    we have a Majority of lower or retired P & M generation working for peanuts to survive and a small % of Privileged earning Millions to call ourselves a 1st World and Elite Society…

    The ILLUSION CREATED is for all to see…no need to say more!!!

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  • bbs:

    I went to a HDB market which is not wet near Hougang, it was a week day, every 2 steps someone would block the way. It is very frustrating to shop like that honestly, we are talking weekday. I asked the people, they said weekend better don’t come.

    Singapore is a tiny island, yes we can build 100 storeys HDB and dug all the forests, dug all the graves and reclaimed many acres of new land to house more people. But at what cost? We are going to be next Hong Kong where people lived in ultimate stress and cost?

    The PAP has only 2 concerns, vote bank and GDP growth. This is why they will not stop importing all these third world foreigners and brand them as foreign talent. If they brand them as inferior worker, how would they justified their 9.9M campaign? Of course, they are converting these third world foreigners into citizens and let them manage the local bornts, this explains why locals are becoming self employed as PHVs, taxi drivers, insurance agents or property agents.

    This massive immigration plan will not stop until PAPpy loses big numbers in parliament and worry. Currently they have the numbers and most new citizens voted PAPpy to continue to bring in their friends, relatives and villages. And with new citizen votes and those kiasu/kiasi locals, PAPpy does not have any regard to Singaporean online complaints. They are using MSM, fake accounts to shape public opinions and brainwash locals into accepting we need more and more foreigners.

    Mind you, population grown from 4M to 6M in 20 years and still growing, another 20 years we will hit 8M not far from 9.9M.

    This third world FT immigration will never stop until they are voted out.

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  • Tremendous:

    I am still back to the issue of fertility which will cause the village to sink into new depths, and villagers have less than 6 years of reaction time to kick the current chiefs out.
    The village society is going through a turnmoil with many young girls turning dating sugar daddies or trading their bodies for cash. In the village itself in case one thinks that it is in another village. Don’t tell me they are doing these to increase fertility. All happening while the chiefs still squeeze moral education in schools. Once idiot chiefs, forever idiot chiefs.

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  • xoxo:

    The word * immigrants* is cliche.
    Migrant workers, anti-immigration is really ANTI-DUMPING OF cheap migrant-workers.

    Even vice-businessmen dump FT-prostitutes which can be broadly classified as *migrant workers* too???

    The world is becoming more CRAPPY!

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  • Harder Truths:

    Is it not ironic that all the construction or other such work needed to be performed by foreigners are for the foreigners themselves?

    If you remove the foreigners as a group, there will be no need for major public works nor a large housing market. Team Despot will not be falsely able to justify their huge salaries or so-called ‘economic growth’ which is just debt growth by banks and the property sector.

    In Australia for example, the quality of construction work is very high and paid very well. You have full employment plus wages that locals can comfortably live on. Everybody is happy.

    Unfortunately in $G what Team Despot wants is what everyone else also gets. Shitty but true.

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  • this circular justification:

    //Is it not ironic that all the construction or other such work needed to be performed by foreigners are for the foreigners themselves?//

    aiyoh. easier for them to manage and also a good way for them compete away jobs (at lower pay aka wage arbitrage as they cannot get a stronger sgd dollar pay equivalent in the home countries ???) from daft sinkies lar ???

    the reason why when these FTs or converted sinkies reach a good critical mass or number (power in number ???) , their voice (with all the wayang twisted rationale) for even more FTs will overwhelm daft sinkies ???

    //If you remove the foreigners as a group, there will be no need for major public works nor a large housing market.//

    haha. so higher population needs more infrastruture needs more tax dollars feeding on one another and the white idiots can ‘confuse’ us with this circular justification for chasing an end which never ends ??

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