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Lim Tean urges the public to keep an eye on CECA, claims racism “is not a problem in Singaporeans”

Opposition leader and lawyer Lim Tean has called for Singaporeans to focus on the issue, and not be “distracted by the dead cat of racism.”

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Singapore — Following the announcement by Health Minister Ong Ye Kung that statements will be made in Parliament next week regarding Singapore’s Free Trade Agreements (FTA), including CECA, opposition leader and lawyer Lim Tean has called for Singaporeans to focus on the issue, and not be “distracted by the dead cat of racism.”

Mr Lim wrote in a July 2 Facebook post that “Racism is not a problem in Singaporeans.”

The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed by Singapore and India in 2005 to strengthen bilateral trade. It has allowed more Indian nationals to come to work in Singapore.

Mr Lim, who heads the People’s Voice Party (PV), has long made public his opposition to CECA, to the point of even starting a petition to abolish the agreement.

On Jul 1, Mr Ong, a former trade negotiator, announced in a Facebook post that he and Manpower Minister Tan See Leng will deliver Ministerial Statements about FTAs. 

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He connected his post to recent verbal and physical assaults on Indians, which he called both “disturbing” and “not reflective of what Singaporeans are.” 

The Minister  also noted the “undercurrent of sentiment against immigrant Indians” and acknowledged that there are “concerns from Singaporeans that need to be addressed.”

However, he also took aim at Progress Singapore Party (PSP), whom he seems to hold at least partly responsible for this sentiment.

“The unhappiness is also fuelled in no small part by false allegations by the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) about how the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) has given Indian PMEs a free hand to come here to work,” wrote Mr Ong.

But Mr Lim sought in his post to center the issue around “the devastating and horrific impact of CECA on the local Singaporean workforce.”

He claims to have seen its effects “in places such as Changi Business Park and Marina Bay Financial Center.”

Moreover, the PV leader added, “When no cogent or convincing answers can be given on CECA, what is the convenient solution? Why! Let’s throw the dead cat of racism so that people will be distracted and shout in unison – ‘Jeez! There is a dead cat on the dinner table!’”

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Mr Lim also wrote that the intention behind the recent focus on racism has been to “overwhelm the public discourse with ‘racism’ so that the public’ unhappiness over CECA and other issues will be pushed to the back burner.”

He then appealed to Singaporeans to keep their eyes on CECA, and to not be distracted by racism, which he claims “is not a problem in Singaporeans.”

“It is important for your future and your Next Generation’s, that the good paying jobs go to Singaporeans First and not to Foreigners!,” he added, claiming that PV is “the only Party that wants CECA abolished!”

/TISG

Read also: Ong Ye Kung to deliver a ministerial statement on Free Trade Agreements, says racial unhappiness partly fueled by PSP’s false allegations on CECA

Ong Ye Kung to deliver a ministerial statement on Free Trade Agreements, says racial unhappiness partly fueled by PSP’s false allegations on CECA

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