Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Will the children and grand children of our ISA exiles be given citizenship?

  Happy New Year 2012 from the children of Jiangxi

This looks like an unthinkable question and most likely a stupid question from a wise man’s point of view.

But who know many years down the road when Singapore becomes more mature and achieve the first world democratic status.  A history relooks and re-evaluates may ‘correct’ the political norm of today. This will give a fair assessment to those people who left or forced to leave Singapore for political reasons.

The BBC report on “Latin American exiles queue for Spanish citizenship” is an interesting article.

The report said:

<A provision added in 2008 - known as the Law of Grandchildren - offered citizenship to anyone whose parents or grandparents were born in Spain but left the country because of their political beliefs or economic hardship between 1936 and 1955.>

And interestingly children and grand children of foreigners who helped to fight against the dictator are also eligible:

<Citizenship was also offered to foreign volunteers who fought for the Republic in the International Brigades.>

Political exiles are small in numbers and few have noticed their existence. However, they are people who are forced to leave or asked to leave (renouncement of citizenship) due to language or political reasons.

In fact, the word ‘prisoner’ may not be a correct word for an ISA detainee. ISA detainees have not been charged in courts so far.  And very likely, in view of the recent withdrawal of Malaysian ISA, the ISA in Singapore will not be used for political purpose. It is now a political liability to detain a person under ISA.

Everything looks possible in politics as happened in Arab and North Africa and even Europe. Changes may not be 100% right and good but it seems unavoidable.

What kind of springs will we have in years to come?

In the mean time, when we approach the end of 2011, let’s celebrate the New Year with a greater confidence of change. 2012 will be a difficult year for our economy – job security, income stagnation, inflation, etc.

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