Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Singapore. The worst place in the world for a worker to be given the pink slip

Readers of this blog who are unfamiliar with the goings on in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, may think reading the comments that there are many who think Singapore is a democracy based on the rule of law. The reader is warned that they may be Singapore government employees whose job is to discredit those who criticize Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian rule. Please use your discretion as to how much weight you will give these comments.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was listening to the BBC radio World Briefings today 2 pm California time. On the world wide layoffs, someone, an expert on employment was asked to name the worst place in the world to be given the pink slip, a term referring to lay off notice. Not surprisingly, his answer was Singapore. He was in Singapore about 2 months ago, and gave an example. The casino which was under construction suddenly came to a standstill because the company went bust, and 3,000 people suddenly lost their jobs. Since jobs are directly connected to a particular employer, they were immediately packed up and sent home. Today you have a job, and tomorrow you are repatriated. As simple as that.

Not to say that in the US, jobs are not related to particular employers. But at least here, the police do not pick you up the very next day and put you on a flight to your country. And what is worse in Singapore is this. If that worker is unable to return immediately and delays leaving, if he finally wants to leave the country, he is arrested at the airport, handed over to the police and imprisoned. If that is not enough, the poor man will be caned, or rather tortured as well. A totally inhuman way to treat human beings, to say the least!

The man was asked which country is the best for layoffs, his answer being Denmark. There people are helped in finding alternative employment, or retrained and somehow helped to remain in the country. That you see, is a civilized first world country, not Singapore.

My message to foreigners is this. Whether you are a low wage construction or manual worker or a high pay executive, stay away from Singapore. It is a heartless country that treats their people no better than animals. Even a dog is entitled to better treatment than this.

Local Singaporeans fare no better. The government makes a great hoo haa about retraining laid off workers and providing assistance. All this is a so much of drivel, nothing more. The state controlled press of Singapore can say anything they want. At the end of the day, the poor unemployed Singaporean is much worse than any foreigner. At least the foreigner can go back to his country and somehow make do. In Singapore the unemployed have to permanently suffer at the hands of this totalitarian government, which continues to rule through their propaganda machine, the state controlled press.

Coming back to the foreigner, the pain of layoffs is great. Very great. When I was in Singapore's Queenstown Prison from Sept 20 to Nov 20, 2008, Gopalan Nair Prisoner Number 101232008, for criticizing a judge, Belinda Ang Saw Ean for her bias in a politically motivated trial against dissident Dr. Chee Soon Juan, one of my cell mates was a Chinese national who worked illegally in Singapore for more than 2 years as a masseur. He told me he came to Singapore with a visit pass, not an employment pass and worked illegally. The reason was the agents in China were asking for $10,000.00 for him to work in Singapore. Since he did not have $10,000.00, he did the next best thing. He worked without a work permit. He told me he will be caned 6 times for the overstay and working illegally, a brutal, inhumane way to treat a human.

Assuming he had the $10,000.00, if he lost his job within a day of his arrival, he too will be sent home. These people have to sell their houses and borrow money from loan sharks for the privilege of working in Singapore. If they are sent home, they face not only poverty and intolerable indebtedness, but also physical harm or mortal danger for them and their families. Lee Kuan Yew has no worry treating these human beings this way. A country so uncaring, it is unimaginable.

In the US, there are people who overstay their visas and even work illegally. They do get punished in the sense of their not being able to receive visas in future. But at least they can go home if they want without being stopped at the airport and handed over to the police.

The USA is a country that treats humans the way they should. Not Singapore which is a police state which treats not only their own people but also foreigners no better than animals.

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

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Anonymous said...

My dear comrades,the government of Singapore is a disgrace. I hope and wish for the downfall of it, and I can feel that it will happen one day. Nair, your work is priceless, I wish you from the bottom of my heart that all that you want for Singapore will come true.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right about the inhumane treatment of overstayers, Gopalan. But what do they care? All they can brag about is their economic success and achieved standard of living (whatever that means) which is often used as a lame justification whenever they cross the line of human decency and compassion. Just one fact. They don't give a F#%K about people. Only business and money matters to them.

Anonymous said...

In an unguarded moment, Singapore's very own flog'em-hang'em ex-Chief Justice, Yong Pung How, once blurted out that he no longer dispensed justice, but instead, retribution.

That is the mental attitude that permeates the whole of the government apparatus and explains its brutal, barbaric behaviour really. Legalised vengeance. Retribution without mercy. Year after year they beat, inflict pain physical and mental, to 'send a signal'. Yet there is precious little sign that draconian punishment is having much effect.

Perhaps after 50 years of grievous bodily harm the populace has become habituated to uncivilised conduct, much as the tortured at some stage no longer feel pain, and we have simply stopped listening.

Anonymous said...

Can you or someone verify that the building of the 2 casinos have come to a complete stop? And 3,000 workers there have been sent home? There was nothing in LKY's controlled media esp the ST about this importatnt news. A month ago the news was hunky-dory that the plan to open the casinos in sep09 is on target. Which is which? Thank You.