To be really open and inclusive, a society ought to engage in exchanging views and ideas with foreigners, who are part of the global community.
Of all the argument that the PAP advanced to reject our application to hold this forum, the ludicrous claim that they do not want foreign interference in Singapore sound the most absurd.
It shouldn't come from the PAP, which is heavily dependent on the so called foreign talent and massive foreign investment to propel its tortoring economy. The PAP always tells us to invite foreigners in our mist with open arms. In this age of globalization, Singapore can't be an island by itself.
What is wrong with foreigners sharing their views on democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of association with us. These noble ideas are not something strange but are found in our constitution and in the national pledge that our children are made to recite everyday.
It looks like it is alright if foreigners praise the PAP system. Only a couple of days ago, a foreigner of all places, Finland, wrote a flattering letter in the Straits Times justifying the ministerial salary and agreeing with the PAP that the government in Finland is mediocre. This Finnish guy happens to be the person who assaulted on of our Singaporean women. We do not want such character to pollute our thinking. In fact, he should be sent back to Finland, where he is wanted by the authorities there. We should be more cautious in giving PR's to such people rather than denying these honorable Members of the European Parliament from exchanging views and ideas on parliamentary democracy, which the PAP claims it supports.
It is the PAP, which seems to be over reliant on foreigners. Even in our National Wages Council, which determines how much our workers ought to be paid, there are foreigners. Council members from Germany, Japan and the US decides the worth of our workers. This is indeed the most disgraceful thing to the sovereignty of our country.
The PAP frequently organizes seminars and conferences in Singapore, inviting foreigners to speak. So, what is wrong in inviting European and Asian Parliamentarians, who had just finished their annual meeting in Jarkata to stopover in Singapore to address us on issues pertaining to democracy?
The hot topic now is the ministerial multi-million dollar salary. Since Denmark and other European countries came up for mention not so favorably in our Parliament, we thought it would be a good idea for our MEP from Denmark to put the issue in proper perspective. What is wrong with that? Should we not encourage more such interaction? Will it not be good for an "open and inclusive" society that our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong often admonish us to be?
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
(14 Apr 2007)