Discussion of immigration policy does not take place in a vacuum. If we keep describing the presence of migrants as illegitimate and a threat to Singaporeans, this has inevitable effects on the treatment of migrants who are already in Singapore. We must conduct any discussion of state policy in a way that is fully mindful of those effects.
For years, Government policy and rhetoric have marginalised migrants and others, for instance by not giving domestic workers full and equal employment protections. Even though the Government’s policies have an inevitable impact on societal discrimination, each of us must be responsible for the impact of our own contributions to Singapore’s social climate and political conversation.
Civil society has a particular role to play in working to take care of the needs of minority groups such as migrants, rather than contributing to their marginalisation. We should work to promote not only robust political debate, but also the values of equality and universal human rights. Those values are the true animating force of our desire for social change, and they require us to unite in rejecting the politics of division, xenophobia and hate.
Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE)
Beyond the Border, Behind the Men
Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME)
Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)
Chong Si Min
Farhan M. Idris
Siew Kum Hong
Alvin Tan Cheong Kheng
Teng Qian Xi
Teo Soh Lung
Mark Wong De Yi
Wong Pei Chi
June Yang Yajun
Yap Ching Wi