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> Should foreigner be allowed to protest in M'sia?

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nikita zuleica
post May 12 2013, 08:13 PM, updated 9y ago

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Singapore has been no stranger to non-Singaporean protests; in recent years we have seen migrant workers participate in collective action in response to alleged unfair labour practices.
However, the latest case of non-citizens protesting in Singapore was not about abusive employers or withheld wages. Wednesday evening saw about 100 Malaysians in Singapore gathering at Merlion Park dressed in black to protest electoral irregularities in their recent elections.

The election returned Barisan Nasional to power despite it having lost the popular vote, and the Malaysians' protest coincided with a massive rally led by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in Kelana Jaya in Kuala Lumpur.
The peaceful gathering was labelled an "illegal outdoor protest" by the Singapore police, and five Malaysians -- thought to be organisers -- were called in to assist with investigations. Nine were subsequently issued warnings.
Following this news, I asked people on Facebook and Twitter what they thought about foreigners protesting in Singapore. Click here to read the Storify of the conversations that unfolded.
Many were in favour of allowing non-Singaporeans to protest in Singapore (of course, this could very well be due to the general mindset of my regular social circle, and not representative of the population), but there were others who said that foreigners should not be allowed to participate in protests in Singapore.
"They shouldn't bring their foreign issues into our country," was one school of thought.
"They should respect our laws," was another.
I can see where they're coming from, but does it really make sense to restrict the right to expression by nationality? People don't lose their values and beliefs once they leave their home country, and it makes sense that they might want to express support for particular causes or, as we saw on Wednesday evening, show solidarity for their fellow countrymen back home.
If these gatherings are peaceful, I don't see why people should be excluded from participating (or even organising) them simply on the basis of their citizenship. It's not about foreign interference, or bringing foreign issues into Singapore. More often than not it is about solidarity - relating to the struggles of others.
Solidarity is nothing new. Movements have emerged around the world in support of struggles in other places such as Myanmar and Tibet. Indeed, one could argue that without the involvement of voices outside of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi could still be under house arrest today.

The importance of solidarity movements cannot be underestimated; at the very least they send a message to those working hard in their home countries, letting them know that they are not alone.
Regardless of nationality, everyone has something to say. Asking someone to remain silent just because he or she is not a Singaporean seems a very silly thing to do. The opinions and experiences of those who have lived outside of our country may be useful to us; their perspectives may allow us to look at our own issues in a different light, and help us find new ways to overcome problems.

By telling them to shut up and not "interfere", we are losing out on these perspectives.

Kirsten Han is a freelance journalist and multitasker. Although she writes mainly about Singapore, she is interested in social justice and human rights stories from all around the world.

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporesc...-132513557.html
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This post has been edited by nikita zuleica: May 12 2013, 08:14 PM
darknight91
post May 12 2013, 08:14 PM

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inb4 bangla protest in Malaysia
nikita zuleica
post May 12 2013, 08:18 PM

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QUOTE(darknight91 @ May 12 2013, 08:14 PM)
inb4 bangla protest in Malaysia
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alrdy happened

QUOTE
100 Nepali workers stopped from holding protest over minimum wage

MUAR: About 100 workers from Nepal were arrested after information was received that they were planning to hold an illegal protest to demand for their wages.

Police detained the workers at several places in town while others were picked up at roadblocks here Sunday.

It was believed that the workers were upset that they had yet to receive their minimum wage for foreign labour.

Muar police chief Asst Comm Mohammed Nasir Ramli said that the workers had planned to gather at several spots in the town to protest against their employers.

“We had to stop them before they gathered as they could have started a riot. Teams of policemen were deployed in town to stop their protest,” he said at a gathering with villagers in Kampung Kelantan here.

He added that there were about 5,000 Nepalese workers in Muar.

A check at the Jalan Maharani bus terminal Sunday showed it was almost empty of foreign workers except for a few Indonesian and Bangladeshi workers.

All the detained workers were released later Sunday.

toothgnasher
post May 12 2013, 08:27 PM

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last time Iranians protest in KL too, our ppl ask them to balik iran tanam plutonium.
nikita zuleica
post May 12 2013, 08:28 PM

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QUOTE(toothgnasher @ May 12 2013, 08:27 PM)
last time Iranians protest in KL too, our ppl ask them to balik iran tanam plutonium.
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for what occasion ?
kimp
post May 12 2013, 08:30 PM

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ectt
post May 12 2013, 08:31 PM

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PR in both malaysia and singapore are not allowed protest if not mistaken.

TruthHurts
post May 12 2013, 08:36 PM

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Singapork don't want this as the problem lies in Malaysia and not singapork.

nikita zuleica
post May 12 2013, 08:51 PM

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frm the comment "like", it seems like most of Singaporean want to retain the status quo
toothgnasher
post May 12 2013, 09:00 PM

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QUOTE(nikita zuleica @ May 12 2013, 08:28 PM)
for what occasion ?
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apa lagik. election lah

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysi...n-protest-in-KL
nikita zuleica
post May 12 2013, 11:28 PM

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QUOTE(toothgnasher @ May 12 2013, 09:00 PM)
Persian election kinda useless , bcoz ayatollah is the prime power
Jyunkai
post May 12 2013, 11:39 PM

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yes.
and singaporeans being xenophobic, no surprise there.
TSOM
post May 12 2013, 11:41 PM

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they cannot protest but they can vote ...

They cannot protest until they've received their IC ..

then they can protest but must apply permit ... !! rclxm9.gifrclxm9.gifrclxm9.gifrclxm9.gifrclxm9.gif

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