Thursday 17 July 2014

Little India riot: The dog that did not bark by JunTian

Summary: Prior to that fateful Sunday, more than 20,000 foreign workers were bussed into Little India every Sunday, adding significantly to the human and vehicular congestion there. Foreign labour comprises almost 40 per cent of our 3.45 million workforce. Singapore continues to need migrant workers and their numbers will remain substantial with a thriving economy and even as we restructure our economy. Hence, it is imperative that we work resolutely towards enhancing the working and living conditions for migrant workers, including the regulatory environment that governs them. But it is abundantly clear that the days of sustained rapid migration are over. There is a limit to securing economic gains, clearest in the short run at the expense of the fabric of our society social effects are often clearer in the long run. Therefore, it would be a larger tragedy if we only dealt with the riot as a law and order issue, but did not engage the broader questions raised — especially the urgency of right-sizing the benefits and costs of our economic and immigration policies.

Opinion: I agree with the author's opinion that the real problem underlying the "Little Indian Riot" is what we really need to tackle instead of just the superficial issues. Firstly, the issue of overwhelming number of foreign workers is a common worry of Singaporeans. Singaporeans feel threatened in terms of competitiveness, safety, and the over using of public resources. Secondly, is the relationship between locals and foreign workers. Many locals are bias against the locals and this causes a split in the relationships. However, the truth is that Singapore cannot do without these foreign workers as we need them in order to improve our economy.  

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