Xenophobia: Govt sends wrong signal to S’poreans?

In Public Administration on 05/01/2014 at 4:53 am

Readers will know I support deportation* as an administrative measure in lieu of being charged for criminal offences. Still as someone in agreement with the govt’s stand, the Law Minister’s explanation on the use of deportation, as reported here, is most shocking and disturbing:

Mr K Shanmugam, the minister in question, reportedly said that “repatriation happens on a regular basis.”

Of the 53, he said:

“If every case has got to go to court and a judge makes a decision, then repatriation decisions becomes [sic] judicial rather than administrative. Then every foreigner is entitled to stay here at taxpayers’ expense, housed here at taxpayers’ expense, it could stretch on a year or more.” (CNA)

By talking of the cost of judicial process for migrant workers, isn’t the govt telling us they are lesser mortals, where only cost is an issue? Hath
 59   not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
 60   dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
 61   the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
 62   to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
 63   warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
 64   a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
 65   if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
 66   us, do we not die?

(Shylock in The Merchant of Venice)

As Terry Xu of TOC put it on Facebook:

The total foreign worker levies collected were S$2.5 billion for the Financial Year 2011 and S$1.9 billion for the Financial Year 2010. Similar to other sources of Government revenue, the foreign worker levies are not ringfenced for any specific purposes. All Government revenue collected would go into the Consolidated Fund used to fund Government expenditures in general.”

And it goes up even more in the year 2012, 2013 given that there are more workers and that the levies have increased since then.

So yup, all these money does not include paying for the fair trial of workers who have contributed to this total collected sum of money, cause that is the government’s money and have to consider the tax payers money instead.

Terry Xu has a valid point even if I disagree (see above link) with him that the use of the workers’ levy is a reasonable use of the money.

The minister would have been on safer ground if he said, “Deportation is a lot less severe that imprisonment and caning. So why involve the courts?” He could have added, “Give FTs airfare home, kay pohs also bitch. What more do the kay pohs want?”.

*Actually, the kay pohs’ call for judicial due process in deportation cases ignores the fact that there is the possibility of judicial review as kick-ass, take no-prisoners, superhero lawyer, Ravi, has shown. He has asked for judicial review of a case where his client has been deported.

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