Saturday, 9 April 2016

MP Denise Phua apologises for 'walking time-bombs' comment

Denise Phua Lay Peng Facebook

I recently made a short speech under the MHA budget debate. The speech is appended here.

I have no intention to undermine any specific group. I should not have used the phrase "walking time-bombs" to describe congregations of high density.

I personally get along very well with the foreign cleaners in my constituency. To them and the other foreign workers in our country, thank you for your help and please accept my sincere apology if I have caused you concern.

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Singapore MP Denise Phua apologises for calling foreign laborer groups ‘walking time-bombs’

A MEMBER of parliament in Singapore today apologised for describing groups of foreign laborers as ‘walking time-bombs’ during a debate to discuss the Home Affairs Ministry’s budget recently.

Denise Phua said she should not have also labelled them “public disorder incidents waiting to happen” when addressing fears on the repeat of the 2013 riots in Little India.

“I should not have used the phrase ‘walking time-bombs’ to describe congregations of high density,” she said in a posting on Facebook today.

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S’pore MP sorry for hurtful barbs

A Singaporean MP who said crowds of South Asian workers were “walking time-bombs” who needed to be fenced off from residential areas in the city-state’s Indian quarter apologised for her remarks.

Denise Phua sparked a public outcry online after a speech in parliament on Wednesday, prompting her to say sorry on her Facebook page.

“I have no intention to undermine any specific group. I should not have used the phrase ‘walking time-bombs’ to describe congregations of high density,” Phua, from the ruling People’s Action Party, wrote yesterday.

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Singapore MP Apologise for Remarks on South Asian Workers

A Singaporean woman MP's remarks that crowds of South Asian workers were "walking time-bombs" and must be fenced off from residential areas in the country's

Indian quarter triggered angry reactions on the social media, forcing her to apologise.

"I should not have used the phrase 'walking time-bombs' to describe congregations of high density," she wrote in a Facebook post.

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Singapore MP Denise Phua calls foreign workers in Little India 'walking time bombs'

Singapore parliamentarian Denise Phua referred to foreign workers in the Little India area as "walking time-bombs," drawing ire from expatriate workers.

Phua made the disparaging comment during a parliament discussion on the budget. She said her constituents in Jalan Besar GRC should be "protected" from the expatriate workers and that community amenities in Little India like playgrounds and void decks should be fenced-off from foreign workers.

She likened the Little India situation to the December 2013 riots, saying crowds in the area have grown to the levels during the riot.

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Singapore Lawmaker Sorry For 'Time-Bombs' Comment On South Asian Workers


A Singaporean lawmaker who said crowds of South Asian workers were "walking time-bombs" who needed to be fenced off from residential areas in the city-state's Indian quarter apologised today for her remarks.

Denise Phua sparked a public outcry online after a speech in parliament on Wednesday, prompting her to say sorry on her Facebook page.

"I have no intention to undermine any specific group. I should not have used the phrase 'walking time-bombs' to describe congregations of high density," Phua, from the ruling People's Action Party, wrote.

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Singaporean politician calls foreign workers 'walking time-bombs', incites furore

A local politician's remarks have caused uproar after she referred to foreign workers in the Little India neighbourhood as "walking time-bombs."

Denise Phua, a member of parliament, made those comments during a Parliament Budget debate on Thursday, according to local reports.

Many foreign workers here who reside in the neighbourhood come from parts of South Asia like Southern India and Bangladesh.

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PAP MP Denise Phua apologises for labelling foreign workers as ‘walking time-bombs’

Member of Parliament (MP) Denise Phua has issued an apology to foreign workers on her Facebook page in reference to a speech she made during the Committee of Supply (COS) debate in Parliament on April 6.

The Jalan Besar GRC MP, who oversees Little India, admitted that she should not have used the phrase “walking time-bombs” to describe congregations of high density of people in the area.

In her speech on the Ministry of Home Affairs (COS) debate, she proposed measures “to ensure that the Little India riot of December 2013 will not happen again”, adding that “congregations of such high density are walking time-bombs and public disorder incidents waiting to happen”.

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Denise Phua: I personally get along very well with the foreign cleaners in my constituency

Following the brickbats the she received after her comment likening foreign workers in Little India to ‘walking time-bombs”, Member of Parliament (MP) for Jalan Besar GRC, Ms Denise Phua has offered a sincere apology in her Facebook to those she might have offended.

“I have no intention to undermine any specific group. I should not have used the phrase “walking time-bombs” to describe congregations of high density,” she said.

“I personally get along very well with the foreign cleaners in my constituency. To them and the other foreign workers in our country, thank you for your help and please accept my sincere apology if I have caused you concern,” Ms Phua added.

related:
Denise Phua should know segregating foreign workers will create time-bombs
Foreign workers in Little India are walking time-bombs, PAP MP Denise Phua

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Denise Phua’s “Xenophobic” Speech Smacks Sorely of Class and Race Segregation

It sounded like something straight out of a SingFirst rally, and only upon close look would you realise that this seemingly xenophobic comment came from Jalan Besar MP Denise Phua.

She was speaking in parliament, after taking a walk in Little India.

Ms Phua has since apologised for using the phrase “walking time bombs”.

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MP Denise Phua Tactlessly Calls Little India’s High-Density Congregation “Walking Time-Bombs”, Causes Online Furore

She left an apology post on her Facebook post which left many puzzled — because it is not a real apology.

In her post, it does not seem that Ms Phua understands the social damage her comment (could) cause.

She even wrote, “I personally get along very well with the foreign cleaners in my constituency. To them and the other foreign workers in our country, thank you for your help and please accept my sincere apology if I have caused you concern.”

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Denise Phua had a foot-in-mouth moment comparing high-density congregations in Little India to ‘walking time-bombs’

Member of Parliament (MP) Denise Phua delivered a speech during the Committee of Supply (COS) debate in Parliament yesterday (April 6).

She, as the Jalan Besar GRC MP overseeing Little India, proposed measures to “to ensure that the Little India riot of December 2013 will not happen again.”

She said that “pre-riot crowds have returned to Little India. Congregations of such high density are walking time-bombs and public disorder incidents waiting to happen. It is important that we do not take our eyes off this matter lest we want history to repeat itself.”

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MP Denise Phua thinks foreign workers are walking time-bombs and wants her constituents in Little India ring-fenced from them

Ms Phua made one of the fastest apologies ever after her speech in Parliament on Thursday. “I have no intention to undermine any specific group. I should not have used the phrase ‘walking time-bombs’ to describe congregations of high density,” she wrote in a Facebook post yesterday.

Poor woman. If you want to be generous to her, take a look closely at what she actually said during the debate on the Ministry of Home Affairs budget: “Recently, I was at Little India with Home Affairs Minister Shanmugam and members of the Police Force. It was obvious that the pre-riot crowds have returned to Little India. Madam, congregations of such high density are walking time-bombs and public disorder incidents waiting to happen. It is important that we do not take our eyes off this matter lest we want history to repeat itself.’’

Take out Little India and you have an MP wondering about “congregations of high density’’, which could mean the ang moh crowd at Boat Quay, the ah beng crowd in Geylang, or any place where there are plenty of people jostling in a defined area. Throw in some alcohol and you have… a Molotov cocktail in the making?
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Security measures are reviewed at hot spots

From improved lighting to additional police cameras & auxiliary police officers, security measures at Little India and other foreign worker hot spots will continue to be reviewed to ensure there is no repeat of the 2013 riot.

Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee made this clear yesterday when he responded to Ms Denise Phua, who told the House that she noticed on a recent visit that foreign workers at Little India have returned to pre-riot numbers.

'Congregations of such high density are walking time-bombs and public disorder incidents waiting to happen,' said the MP for Jalan Besar GRC, which includes Little India. 'We want to protect our residents from the disamenities that arise from large gatherings of visitors, including foreign workers, in the communal areas, such as playgrounds, void decks and staircases.'

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Full Coverage:
MP Denise Phua apologises for 'walking time-bombs' comment
MP Denise Phua apologises for describing large crowds at Little India as 'walking time-bombs'
Denise Phua apologises over remarks in Parliament on large groups of foreign workers
Denise Phua should know that segregating foreign workers will create time-bombs
Singapore Lawmaker Sorry For 'Time-Bombs' Comment On South Asian Workers
Singaporean politician calls foreign workers 'walking time-bombs', incites furore
Singapore MP Denise Phua calls foreign workers in Little India 'walking time bombs'
Singapore MP Denise Phua apologises for calling foreign laborer groups 'walking time-bombs'

related: Denise Phua: She wants to end segregation in schools

She's been called the People's Action Party's conscience, and a "lone voice in the wilderness" on topics like the casinos, which she opposes for economic and moral reasons.

Known as an advocate for people with disabilities, Moulmein-Kallang GRC MP Denise Phua, 54, took on the whole education system this week by proposing a pilot scheme of 10-year through-train schools with no streaming or high-stakes exams.

She talks to Rachel Chang about the importance of taking a stand.

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