Siew's response to a stereotypical article written by Gilbert last week
Article shared by TRS reader Melanie Tan
Gilbert Goh is an interesting fella that not many people know about. He is the sort of character that is easily forgettable. One that operates as a champion of underdog causes. Someone that strangely appears on your facebook feed from time to time, and leaves you wondering, “where have I seen this name before”.
Sometime in Apr 2012, Gilbert Goh called for a nationwide boycott in May 2012 against companies that hire “more than 10 people and 80% of them must be foreigners – even though they are permanent residents”. Back then, Yahoo Singapore Newsroom promoted Gilbert’s call to boycott which targeted chain establishments such as Breadtalk, Mcdonalds, Crystal Jade…etc. After protests from these businesses, Yahoo Singapore was quick to clarify that:
“We’ve reached out to the companies named here and also to the Ministry of Manpower, and we understand that these establishments are compliant with the 50% dependency ratio requirement that is in place, and this in turn will also be cut to 45% in due course. It is possible that the foreign workers Mr Gilbert Goh could have seen previously at these outlets were PRs, who are not counted as foreigners, which could explain his sentiment.”
There was however no apology by Gilbert for his damning and unfounded insinuations. Rather, a defiant Gilbert clarified that “many critics have also slammed me for being xenophobic but if being patriotic make me looks like one then I have no choice here.”.
Patriotism is indeed a fine personal trait (but reckless patriotism blinded by one’s prejudices, is ‘xenophobia’, no questions about that).
Which is ironic, considering that Gilbert Goh himself spent a few years in Australia, Sydney, and from what I read online, a place where his wife and child currently reside (Oh no, the Australians have no issues with Asians and embrace their presence wholeheartly, not!).
“While living in Australia, there is this free spirit that inhibits most of us staying there and I thoroughly enjoy thecosmopolitan culture and care free attitude.” – Gilbert Goh
Convenient to enjoy the ‘cosmopolitan culture’ when you are part of the reason for that cultural mix. Back in Singapore, diversity to Gilbert is four-letter word and the result of a three-letter political party acronym.
But I hear from the grapevine that he spent CNY dinner alone. With the current state of his marriage (shhhhhh, sensitive topic), it is apt that he facilitates a Singapore Support Site for the Divorced (but I hardly think “steadymarriages” is an appropriate name for the group).
The most aptly named group that Gilbert Goh heads is of course Transitioning.org. This is the group that is organizing the Speakers’ Corner event “so Singaporeans just come out and unite together to save ourselves! Say NO to 6.9 million population!” (an event i am sure has created a little stir in the pants of the MIW).
Gilbert Goh is indeed transitioning (but not in the Pinkdot/377A way). Defender of the unemployed, the cyber-bullied and the divorcees of the Singapore. A politician, a philanthropist, and a patriot? He sure transitions alright. … Next stop, Australian PR?
*Article first appeared on http://unbrandedbreadnbutter.com/2013/02/10/gilbert-goh-transitioning-fr...
Another TRS reader who wishes to remain anonymous also said:
I had been seeing this name on FB frequently and found out that he was the chief organizer for the protest in Hong Lim Park against the 6.9 millions White paper. I google him and if his full name is Goh Keow Wah, then he is one confusing prick. No wonder he has to crawl back to Singapore after trying to abandon Singapore for Australia. He is actually very pro-foreigner and openly wanted us to welcome the cheebye FTs and treat them well. So why is he so anti-foreigner now? He just want to be popular?
He left Singapore for Australia, couldn't survive there and even wrote about his failure in the papers.
Encourage foreign talent to stay
Tue, Nov 10, 2009
I REFER to Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong's recent speech, in which he spoke about managing the inflow of foreign talent in Singapore to ensure Singaporeans benefit from their presence.
Other countries in the world are trying to attract talent.
Hence, if Singapore is not aggressive in trying to woo talented migrants, it will face a serious brain drain.
After all, many Singaporeans have left the country for seemingly greener pastures.
Yet, for a small country like Singapore, there is a limit on the number of immigrants it can receive before overcrowding becomes a pressing issue. Overcrowding not only stresses the population, but also lowers the quality of life.
Job competition in a small economy is also challenging.
Compared to the situation five years ago, Singapore has become a more stressful society, due to serious overcrowding and the struggle to make ends meet.
Also, rising prices in the Housing Board resale market may be because of permanent residents chasing after resale flats.
Despite this, there is a role for foreigners here. I agree with SM Goh that foreigners working here should contribute to Singapore, in terms of skills and talent.
There will be those who will come to our country to earn as much as they can before returning home to enjoy their wealth.
It would be ideal if these foreigners remain in Singapore and become citizens here, so that they have a stake in the success of our country as well.
As Singapore continues to bring in more foreigners, let us try to welcome them. Doing otherwise will only make them temporary stayers.
More can be done to ensure that foreign talent remain in our country.
Those who come and go will not really help propel Singapore in the long term.
Mr Gilbert Goh Keow Wah
''S’pore not that pricey''
MY FAMILY recentlymoved to Sydney, Australia, and we are still trying to come to terms with the high cost of living here.
The prices of most staples, such as bread and rice, are double those in Singapore.
To give you an idea of how expensive the Australian city is, here are more examples of the prices of some common items and services.
A five-minute bus trip costs A$1.80 (S$2.30) and a one-station train journey sets one back by A$2.60 – one way. A 10-minute taxi ride can be as
costly as A$8. The cheapest newspaper costs A$1, while a movie ticket is about A$12. A simple meal of noodles can cost as much as A$6.50.
As for homes, a two-bedroom apartment in the suburb costs about A$350 a week to rent, and that does not include any furnishings. To live within
5km of the city, one must be prepared to fork out at least A$600 a week.
If one wants to own a home here, it costs about A$400,000, with a mortgage repayment interest rate of 9.25 per cent per annum.
So far, I have not come across any government housing. Due to the high cost of dining out, my family eats out only once or twice a week. Eating out
at a food court, for example, costs about A$30 to A$40 for a family of three.
On the plus side, however, we have more family time together, as we cook at home and brainstorm ideas to make homecooked meals delicious.
Moving to Australia has made me realise something: We should not grumble too much about the cost of living in Singapore.
Many cities in the world have high costs of living, but in Singapore we have world-class infrastructure and facilities at relatively reasonable prices. It is no
wonder that many foreigners want to settle in Singapore.
Mr Gilbert Goh Keow Wah
About racial harmony, respect and tolerance
Date : 30 July 2008
TODAY - Treat foreigners the way you want to be treated?
30 July 2008
Letter from Gilbert Goh Keow Wah,
Sydney, New South Wales
WHENEVER I read about the challenges facing permanent residents and work permit holders in Singapore, I have mixed feelings, for I am a Singaporean who has just left the country to live and work in Sydney. So far, in Australia, I have yet to face any of the discrimination of which I have been warned. But, I feel how foreigners in Singapore may feel and hope that the locals will welcome me, and not see me as a threat to their livelihood.
In Sydney, I have seen a medium-sized company of about 100 employees boasting people of 10 different nationalities.
Such a diverse workforce not only allows creativity to take place but also creates respect and tolerance for one another’s culture and religion.
There are two distinct nationalities settling down in Singapore: the Chinese and the Indians. They have formed almost 75 per cent of all our foreign talent for the past five years.
Many are competent professionals who are deserving of their residency in Singapore, but their cultural habits and working attitude are not much different from the local Chinese and Indian workforce. There is not much diversity they can bring to the workforce. In order to boast a strong cosmopolitan work force, our Government needs to cast the talent hunt search wider, from Europe, Africa, the United States and so on.
But, no matter where they originally come from, Singaporeans must welcome such foreign talents, which is what good global citizens should do. At the very least, we must not give them a hard time. For, one day, you may end up working and living abroad. Just like me.
(With thanks to TODAYonline.com)