Sunday, August 26, 2007

Apartheid in Singapore!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

South Africa, until recently; when the black majority formed the government; had the internationally condemned practice of apartheid, where blacks, among other forms of racial discrimination suffered by them; were prevented from living in places of their choice anywhere in South Africa; but in places and townships specifically reserved for them, such as Soweto and Sharpsville. This prohibition against their freedom of movement in their choice of residence location within their country was internationally condemned as an egregious form of racial discrimination; totally condemned by all democratic countries in the world.

Will you be surprised to know the government of Singapore, even today continues to practice this discrimination against the minorities citizens of Singapore, the Malays and the Indians. Again, as in almost all other cases of high handedness by this government; acting without any lawful authority; it is openly carrying out this illegal practice in it's housing policies.

Almost 90% of Singaporeans live in government built housing, the Housing and Development Board flats, because they are too poor to afford private housing. Therefore one could reasonably say that almost the entire population of Singapore live in government built housing under long leases of 100 years.

One of the policies of the HDB is not to permit Malays and Indians to lease a flat in the location of their choice even though there is a seller of that flat ready and willing to transfer it to him. This is because the HDB or government policy is to prevent too many Malays or Indians living in close proximity to each other, because they believe; although the government will not say so; that the Indians and Malays tend more to support the opposition during national elections, unlike the majority Chinese, whom they believe are more supportive of the PAP. Therefore this is another way to prevent; as this government has said in the past, a "freak" election, by which they mean the opposition winning and forming the government!

As I understand it, the rule now is that each housing estate requires a makeup of 75% Chinese, 15% Malay and 10% Indian. This means that Chinese will always form the majority in each housing estate since every housing estate must have 75% Chinese. The Indians and Malays on the other hand; although they already form only a small minority; are forced to be dispersed even further, throughout the island of Singapore, and therefore end up with a handful of Indian families or Malays families in an overwhelmingly Chinese neighbourhood. This breaks up even further the already fragmented Indian and Malay community by destroying even further what little familial and social cohesion there was in their community; by forcing a brother to live in Tampines, an uncle to live in Jalan Kayu and a sister to live in Jurong. They would have preferred to live in the same neighbourhood, by being of help and assistance to each other, but Lee Kuan Yew will not permit it. Their being together raises a threat to his continuing as the Singaporean despot and therefore Malays and Indians, despite their numbers in Singapore already being small, have to be spread out even further.

All international and United Nations conventions and laws clearly make one thing very clear. It is the right of every citizen to live anywhere within his country and the forcible removal and deportation of persons from one location to another, and preventing people to live anywhere of their choice is clearly a violation of international law and it is no better than apartheid; such as the South Africans faced under the government of Van Smuts or Pik Botha.

It is about time my Malay and Indian friends inform Mr. Lee Kuan Yew that this racial discrimination is not acceptable and they should be able to live anywhere in Singapore in their HDB flats. I am sure I have the support of my Chinese friends who I am sure are equally supportive of the Malays and Indians of this, their very fair and just demand.

Lastly and needless to say, such actions of preventing the free choice of Singaporeans in their right to choose their residence locations is a clear and direct violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution prohibiting racial discrimination. But then, when did Lee Kuan Yew ever respect the Constitution anyway!

Thank you sirs.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

1 comment:

Hady said...

that is so true. well-written article. but i wonder where do u find ur chinese frens who are equally seeking justice and want to end this despotic rule of the Lee Dynasty. in my experience, unfortunately, i keep meeting chinese schoolmates/colleagues who are apolitical, unaware or outright deny the clear racism going on and are so happy for what the PAP has done for Singapore. but i understand why they're lk that. as are other Singaporeans of other races. because PAP has made sure that our 'wants' are met. not our needs. our wants. to the point that most of us don't really know or remember what we truly need and that is freedom. sad it is that we live in a democracy that only exists for the politicians and the elites. no wonder a lot of singaporeans find it hard to be patriotic. bcoz nothing really belong to us. it just belongs to the Lees