Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Help Yourself By Helping Others

Chinese clans plan centre for new citizens

A NEW Chinese cultural centre to integrate newcomers to Singapore and showcase the local Chinese identity will be set up by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA).

It will be a one-stop venue that Chinese community bodies can use for anything from performances and exhibitions to networking events and seminars.

The cost and site of the centre have yet to be finalised.

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Chinese clans' role still vital, says PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Chinese clan associations continue to play an important role in Singapore, especially in integrating new immigrants into society.

PM Lee was speaking at a Lunar New Year event organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations and networking group Business China.

Clan associations sprang up in Singapore many years ago to help ease Chinese settlers into a new life here.

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Clan associations have crucial role in community bonding: President Tony Tan

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam has spoken about the important role clan associations in Singapore play in community bonding and nation building.

In a speech at the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) - Business China Spring Reception on Tuesday, Dr Tan said that clan groups, together with new immigrant associations, can build and sustain a "uniquely Singapore Chinese identity".

He illustrated how in the early years, clan associations helped immigrants to secure accommodation and employment. This enabled the newcomers to gradually become rooted to what was once a foreign land, said Dr Tan.

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Clans still relevant: President Tony Tan

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam gave a speech on Tueday, Feb 12, at the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clans Associations.

He spoke about the important role that clan associations played in nation-building and their continued relevance today.

Below is his speech in full:

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SG Conversation: Clans and students share ideas 

More Mandarin should be taught as early as pre-school, and there should be more emphasis on Chinese language and culture throughout the education system, clan leaders said yesterday. 

They called for more classroom time for the Chinese language, saying it could help Singapore's national development as a whole.

More than 100 Chinese clan leaders attended the first Our Singapore Conversation dialogue to be organised by their umbrella body, the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations.

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Chinese Clans' sectarian mindset is barrier to integration

Forget about all the xenophobic hooha cries claiming that foreigners are not able to integrate with Singaporeans. Our very own heartlanders are doing a better job disintegrating the Singapore society. Who are these people? The clannish Chinese Clans.

I am not against any party advancing sectarian causes. I take issue when these lobbyists push their sectarian agenda and make it a national cause. As if those who have no links to their cause don't exist!

Unique Singapore identity a must: Heng Swee Keat
Note that the "unique culture" Singaporeans must have is.... Chinese Culture. Duh. What about the non-Chinese? They no Sinkieporeans, Mr Minister?

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As we know, Chua Thian Poh who is the President of the Federation of the Chinese Clans is also firmly behind the PAP, having acted as a seconder for Tony Tan during the latter's Presidential bid in 2011.

This time, he has come out to attempt to douse the flame over Shanghainese new citizen LiYeming who by the way had the impudence to tell us what constitutes a Singaporean core and lecture us on how to run this country.

Chua's logic is baffling. Will he still maintain the same stance if Li was a Singaporean and had criticised the PAP's immigration policy or made some "xenophobic" statements? Would these statements still represent his private views with no consequence for the Federation?

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The Mole From Within

By now Li Ye Ming (李叶明) has joined the ranks of the infamous, think Sun Xu et al. A PRC national who moved to Singapore 17 years ago, and signed up for citizenship only recently - shades of the colorectal surgeon who picked up his membership card 3 weeks before contesting the Punggol-East by-election - abused the platform of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations to attack a true blue born and bred Singaporean.

In response to Mr Low Thia Khiang's rebuttal of alleged xenophobia, Li has just added fuel to fire:

[I respect Mr Low’s logic. The reason why he has such fear obviously could not be due to me, who is just one new citizen. In fact, he recalled in his article his past where he had indelible fear, a fear which he called the "White Terror". I am not ignorant of the period of history Mr. Low mentioned.]

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A Chinese drama starring Li Yeming and Low Thia Khiang 

In the United States, where free speech is a cherished tradition, talking heads like to say this when they disagree: “I do not agree with you, but I will defend your right to say what you think!”

Poor Mr Li Yeming. In Singapore, the reaction so far over his very public disagreement with Mr Low Thia Khiang appears to have been more of the “I do not agree with you, so I will send an army over to flatten your home!” kind.

A quick recap if you haven’t been following the news on this closely.

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Member of Chinese clan body says WP chief was doing so in White Paper speech

WORKERS' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang has refuted a charge that he was "inciting xenophobia" in his parliamentary speech on the Population White Paper. 

In a letter to Lianhe Zaobao yesterday, he wrote: "WP's alternative proposal does not reject foreigners. It places importance on economic growth and even more so on creating a sustainable future for Singapore."

The anti-foreigner charge came from Mr Li Yeming, vice-chairman of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations research and publications committee, in an earlier letter to the Chinese daily.

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New citizen Li Yeming files police report against netizens 

New citizen Li Yeming from PRC has filed a police report against netizens whom he said falsely accused him of making anti-Singapore postings on the Net.

He said he did not post those Weibo microblog postings, including one, “I will send an army over to flatten your home (Singapore)!”

He also said in his police report that he did not make those postings, “stating that I scolded Singaporean(s), threatened to flatten Singapore and also commented on how lazy Singaporeans are”.

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Forum: Foreigner's appeal to Singaporeans

Li Yeming has every right to make a police report but was that a clever move? Of course not. You are now a SG citizen. If you are serious about your citizenship, you want to integrate to add to making a SG Plus. If you are committed to this place you would realize that you have not put in the work expected of you to help your compatriots from China integrate, yourself included.

We are bringing people like him here only to divide Singapore. This government only cared about the economic P&L

We warmly welcome long term stayers but only if they respect our way of life and want to add to it. Folks like Li Yeming wants to turn this into a mini China. Now the other arrivals e.g., the Indians would by instinct do the same. Eventually we are back to the tinderbox of race relations from where we inherited this place from the British. If this is not stupid, what is?

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Mr Li YeMing faces harassment

Article is about Mr Lee’s resignation from the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Assn due to harrassment calls and emails the clan received with regards to Mr Lee.*
Comments from the net :

  • <记者也尝试联络工人党,但工人当没有对此做出回复>
    It was an exchange between WP’s Party Mr Low and Mr Lee.
    Now that Mr Lee has been harassed, why did WP not have anything to say?
    It doesn’t matter if the harrassment come from WP’s supporters or not, but the fact that WP’s chief is involved, shouldn’t he speak up against such gangsterism?
    Is he condoning such act? 难道这真的就是所谓的 ”借刀杀人“? 若WP真的有朝一日成为我国的领袖,我们岂不成为流氓之国?太可怕了!

  • This is consistent to how WP’s supporters behaved during Elections period – ie – threatening other candidates. Nothing new really.
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New citizen Li Yeming resigns from SFCCA

Mr Li Yeming, 43, the new citizen from PRC currently at the centre of the storm tendered his resignation to the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) yesterday (21 Feb). He was the vice-chairman of SFCCA’s research and publications committee.

Earlier, Mr Li had written to Zaobao accusing Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Mr Low Thia Khiang and the party of “fanning anti-foreigner and anti-immigrant sentiments during the White Paper debate”. Mr Low later wrote back and rebutted Mr Li in Zaobao, categorically denying it. Mr Low said he was shocked that Mr Li had accused him of “inciting xenophobia”. Mr Low said Mr Li had selectively interpreted his speech and the WP’s parliamentary proposal. Mr Li later counter-accused Mr Low of taking his words out of context.

To make matters worse, Mr Li also responded to a kind Facebook user who showed him angry responses from Singaporean netizens. Mr Li asked:

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From SG Plus to SG Grave

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He shoots his mouth without realising that he is attacking Singaporeans with his insensitive statements. Even when a kind soul tried to advise him gently, he simply does not understand. Is this the kind of new citizens we want ???!!!

(Picture taken from Li Ye Ming’s facebook page. Pardon the broken translation by Bing. It does tell the idea. Please click on the image above to see a larger version)

Do note that the Chinese clan led by Li Ye Ming is appointed by PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) to integrate more PRC to be like him. This is the example of new citizens we have.

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I was deeply touched when I saw the headline "Building A Flourishing Population and A Sustainable Singapore” with Low Tia Khiang’s name clearly in sight in February 18 "Lianhe Zaobao”. Any Singaporean would love to see a bright vision. I eagerly read the full text, but unfortunately I could not find any specific proposal in the content. The content clearly did not live up to the headline. How I wish Mr Low would be putting forward something concrete proposals. After all, this Population White Paper affects the future of Singapore, our future. 

I respect Mr Low’s logic. The reason why he has such fear obviously could not be due to me, who is just one new citizen. In fact, he recalled in his article his past where he had indelible fear, a fear which he called the "White Terror". I am not ignorant of the period of history Mr. Low mentioned. But the world has since progressed, and new history is being written. Singapore has undergone one "watershed" after another. Having won a series of election campaign, and becoming the largest opposition in the Parliament, the Workers’ Party is now the darling of the day. Many concerned friends have even asked me, “Would you get into any trouble?” for me to write something criticising the Workers' Party and Low TK’s article at this point in time. I originally wondered if my friends were unnecessarily "frightened". But now I realised their concern is not without basis. For Mr. Low to characterise me as "wanting to cause the Workers Party to die/death", I suspect he is trying to incite discontentment among his supporters on me. Does he need to resort to inciting tragic, on this discussion between us?

Oh no! I used the word "incite" again, would this invite more ‘spanners’ thrown at my direction? Fortunately in today's Singapore, we have a healthy democratic society based on the rule of law. I should not have to worry about such "alarmist". Frankly, I was very admirable of Mr Low’s courage in entering politics under the difficult circumstances in those days. But shouldn’t Mr Low leave his grief behind, and start debating issues based on current democratic line of thoughts? Only then perhaps the issues could be discussed in a more rational way. And I believe only by leaving one’s grief behind, one can then embrace a better future.

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LI YEMING says: If you don't speak chinese to a Tiong you are NOT CHINESE!

"在中国人面前不说中文.... 我一定回敬他:no i'm Chinese, so you are not Chinese"

Wa that LI YEMING (李叶明) say if you refuse to speak chinese to a Tiong, you are NOT CHINESE leh! liddat then KFC how? Is KFC our second minority President in a row???

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What is Low Thia Kiang saying? 刘程强在说什么?

On the last day of the debate on the Population White Paper, I received two text messages. One friend forwarded Mr Low Thia Khiang’s Parliament speech from the day before, and asked: “What is this Low Thia Khiang saying?” Another friend was more direct in expressing his displeasure: “I can’t believe that’s what Low Thia Khiang said! How can all of Singapore’s problems be attributed to immigration policy?”

Strong rhetoric but ridiculous logic - The Workers’ Party (WP) is saying that the Population White Paper will dilute the Singaporean core. But how so? 

According to Mr Low, that is because the proportion of non-citizens would go up and allowing immigrants to become citizens is also a form of dilution. But I do not understand. Hiring a domestic helper will not change the core of a family, so how would hiring a few more domestic helpers and foreign workers dilute the Singaporean core?

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Xenophobia label used to attack opponents of bad policies

For those of us who are against xenophobia, we are dismayed that it has surfaced in the past few years. Singaporeans, being the children and grandchildren of immigrants, are generally not xenophobic and we have welcome foreigners in the past when they came in at a sustainable rate. B ad policies in recent years have led to negative effects that have caused Singaporeans to be angry.

Many have directed this anger at govt policies that they feel should be changed. Unfortunately, the mainstream media, the PAP and staunch PAP supporters have often pinned this term "xenophobic" on opponents of PAP policies.

The latest episode is the accusation that WP's Low Thia Kiang had incited xenophobia by speaking up against the White Paper.

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Foreigners accusing Low Thia Khiang of xenophobia

‘The Straits Times reported on how Mr Li Yeming, vice-chairman of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, had made a charge on Worker’s Party chief Low Thia Khiang that he was “inciting xenophobia”. Li “accused Mr Low and the WP of fanning anti-foreigner and anti-immigrant sentiments during the White Paper debate.”’

Can you beat this? Foreigners here accusing our MP Low Thia Khiang of xenophobia! No, worst, inciting xenophobia. This is serious and anyone doing so can be arrested, mind you.

We are only 3.3m people, including many new citizens in this 3.3m. In fact the number of true blue Sinkies are much lesser than 3.3m, and our population is 5.3m. How many foreigners are there in this island? And we welcomed them. But their presence is getting to become more of an annoyance and irritation. The people are angry but still tolerating.

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Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations' Vice-Chairman Li Yeming accuses WP and Low Thia Khiang of "inciting xenophobia"

The Real Singapore The Straits Times reported yesterday (19 Feb) on a new citizen who was originally from PRC, Mr Li Yeming, making a charge that WP’s chief Low Thia Khiang, was “inciting xenophobia”.

Mr Li, who is also the vice-chairman of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations research and publications committee, accused Mr Low and the WP of “fanning anti-foreigner and anti-immigrant sentiments during the White Paper debate”. His article was first published on Zaobao.

The Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, in fact, has very close-tie with the ruling PAP Govt. On its website, it listed PM Lee Hsien Loong as the patron of the Governing Council of the Federation.

Mr Low wrote back and rebutted Mr Li in Zaobao, categorically denied that he is inciting xenohobia. Full story
  1. The Mole From Within - Singapore Notes
  2. Chinese Clans' sectarian mindset is barrier to integration - Where Bears Roam Free
  3. Foreign Talent Journalist Lee Ye Ming's reply to WP Chief Low Thia Khiang - The Real Singapore
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