Last Saturday's newspapers featured a story about the plight of foreign brides in Singapore who are mistreated by their Singaporean husbands. It also included a small section on how the children of these couples suffer. Moved by that section, I wrote a letter to the Straits Times Forum.
Here's a comparison of what I had emailed to the Straits Times and how it was finally published.
The ST Forum editor's butchering of my letter has left me feeling even more distressed now. He/She appears to be more willing to sacrifice objectivity for maintaining Singapore's squeaky clean reputation publicly. Against the bleak backdrop of the Saturday feature, this move appears hypocritical.
Singaporean children of foreign bridesChildren of abused foreign mums deserve state protectionproper care
I refer to the article, "Bride and gloom" (ST 19 March 2011).I feltam distressed that such horrific situations still occur in modern Singapore, where women who are strangers in a strange landthere are foreign brides who are helpless against their abusive husbands ('Bride and gloom'; last Saturday). (removed paragraph break) But whenWhen I read about the plight of thetheir children, I felt even more hurtpain. Not only are theseThese children are not only theinnocent victims of predicaments that are out of their control, but it also appears that they have been forgotten by the authorities.
We should not forget that these children are Singapore citizens. As such, they deserve all of the rights and privileges accorded to them. This includes providing state protection and welfare from their abusive fathers.These children should be protected like any Singaporean. And toTo ensure that the childrenthey continue to enjoy the love and care of their one responsible parentmothers, such protection should also be extended to their foreign mothersthese women.
One obstacle is the sponsorship of the foreign mothers' long-term social visit passes.
But this should be a trivial matter against the bigger picture.If thedelinquent fathers are unwilling to sponsor their spouses' passes, thenthe immediate next-of-kin should be allowed to sponsor the mothers on behalf of the childrendo so. This ensures that the bond between mother and child is maintained amidst the family turmoil.
How many more of of these children need to be street vagrants in foreign lands and suffering from psychological problems before our government brings them back into the safety of their homeland?
I implore theThe Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports toshould take up the challenge of helping these children. Besides it appears hypocritical that on one hand, the government constantly urges its people to procreate, while on the other hand, it neglects these young citizens.
The part that hurt me most was that all mention of the rights and privileges of Singapore citizenship was completely erased from my letter! But that was my whole point! Without that stance, my letter becomes nothing more than something written by a guy with nothing better to do than complain into the wind.
The Straits Times completely lost the plot to appease the government.
Moral of the story:
- Singapore citizenship has no place to be mentioned in a newspaper forum.
- NEVER mention Singapore in a bad light!
- NEVER make a snide remark at government policy!
- When suggesting a next step, leave emotion out of the picture and focus purely on intellectual, logical, pragmatic reasons.
- Also, when suggesting a next step to the government, use indirect language. (Government of the people? pfft!)