FT policy: Dialogue? What dialogue?

In Economy, Political governance on 23/10/2013 at 5:09 am

“The “victimised Singaporean” framing does nothing to push these issues forward for intelligent debate. It does not encourage Singaporeans to think about how things can be improved while acknowledging what we have. It does not led to useful discussion over policy …

‘I have no doubt that the people who spout this line [I assume she means hatred of foreigners] love their home. I have no doubt that they have real worries and anxiety. I have no doubt that many of their concerns are valid. But if they really love Singapore and want the best for it, the best course of action would be to quit the melodramatic posturing and engage in real dialogue.” – Kirsten Han (

Were things that simple.

The unsaid assumption is that there are channels for discussion and dialogue, and that discussion and dialogue can lead to something meaningful being done to solve the grievances. All these “fruscos” need to do is to use these channels. Well, any dialogue or discussion has to involve the govt who initiated the liberal immigration policy.

For someone who perceptively writes, “Concerns over freedom of expression and other civil liberties need to be given attention”, I’m surprised that she doesn’t realise that there are no channels for discussion and dialogue on this issue, as on many other issues. NatCon is not dialogue and it didn’t exactly go into the FT policy.

And anyway the FT policy is not open for dialogue. By releasing the white paper when it did (juz before NatCon started, even an accademic involved lamented that fact), the govt sent a strong message that the issue is not negotiable. FTs are the Special Ones and taz a Hard Truth.See here and here.

By promising to focus on public concerns that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education, the govt is doing its best to ensure that its pro-FT stance does not further alienate S’poreans, and hopefully (from its perspective) wins back voters by bribing voters with their (our) own money.

To put it another way, all the public spending on housing, healthcare, public transport and education has as one as its aims mitigating the effects on S’porean PMETs of the “FTs all the way” position of the govt.

Even the trumpeted nearly 45% increase (to $102.4m, but as the retired chief economist of GIC points out this is 0.03 of a percent of GDP- a paltry amount in view of the fact that around 10 to 12% of households ( some 350 to 400,000 people) are way below the income per capita criterion of $550 per month and WIS payouts are way too stingy! Even if you take just the unemployed and aged poor (excluding working poor) of around 140 000 people) that’s barely $60 a month each!) in one year in welfare spending on the poor surely has something to do with mitigating the effects of the FT policy. After all, the welfare minister who sneered at the elderly poor is still in the cabinet, albeit in a post where he doesn’t have to deal with the poor, homeless or elderly.

Yes, yes, I know the govt and the constructive nation-building media are spinning that the govt is cutting back the supply of FTs especially to SMEs. The SMEs are screaming (, presumably because while the owners have to pay pay more for their bungalows, penthouses and CoEs, profits are reduced ’cause their access to cheap FT PMETs is being supposedly closed.

But until the numbers say so, I remain sceptical, very sceptical that a pro-FT leopard can change its spots. Go to Of the five people working in S’pore featured, the poorest paid (an elderish cleaner)  is a true blue S’porean: BBC spins she can afford a maid. The other local is a first generation S’porean. Both are ethnic Chinese. The other three are FTs.

Reading the article, and knowing the facts on the ground, one can easily understand the grievances of the people Kirsten Han referred to above, especially if they are poor and elderly, and ethnic Indians or Malays.

  1. My son who has an European girl friend,is one who sings “Jobs and Uni Places for FT, NS for Singaporean” with his young friends,although he does not dislike PAP at all as I do.They are speaking from personal experience.

    • Surprised that someone who wants oppo parties to go for anti-FT votes allows son to have ang moh gal friend LOL. Tot you would disinherit him . ))))

      • Yes,he likes Ang Mohs and stays among them,the only Singapore citizen not working =unemployed among the many Europeans fresh graduates who work in Singapore. BTW I do not want opposition parties to be anti-FT,but have no objection for them getting anti-FT votes.He is now employed thanks be to God,mother prayed for his job everynight.

  2. Well, have Ms Han name a time and place, I’d gladly debate with her! It’s human nature to exaggerate the frustrations and resentment on the ground, but it doesn’t mean these are not unfounded. Maybe what Ms Han needs to do is make the same commentary when she’s done with her stint at Cardiff University, and then tell us if she doesn’t feel the same way that many people do — especially if her job is taken over by an FT!

  3. No one takes her seriously lah, except u. From her proclamation which incidentally lacks the rigor of specifics. You can more or less dismiss her as someone who is highly confused. I wonder do you see organised criminals losing sleep over two drunks arguing over whether the mafia is bigger or smaller than the Mickey mouse club.

    Darkness 2013

  4. She’s only looking out for her ang mo boyfriend.

  5. I guess in a country that was founded entirely on the notion of foreigners coming to the island to work for a better life – we should be more accepting of foreigners coming here. We are by and large the children of poor immigrants (FT if I dare say) from China… who the British allowed to move to their Malay island.

  6. Now that explains why u take her so seriously. You need a man in your life woman, that should balance your hormones very nicely.

    Darkness 2013

  7. […] Kirsten Han (who thinks that S’poreans can have a dialogue with the govt on its pro-FT policies) and Heart Truths […]

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