Re: Why Singapore did not accept Vietnam refugees ?

On Oct 28, 6:14 pm, "kingkong" <hah...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Any idea why Singapore turned away those Vietnamese refugees in the 70s and
80s ?

Imagine if Singapore accepted them similar to the US, Australia or Canada,
we don't even need to import many foreign workers now.

Isn't this a case of clear discrimination by the PAP govt ?

In the 80s, the minister explanations was that Singapore could not afford to
accommodate so many refugees.

Ironically, now, we could afford to handle 1.68 million foreigner.

There is a Vietnamese Boat People Refugee Camp in Singapore at 25
Hawkins Road, Sembawang.

*** A newspapare article:

"The remaining 99 Vietnamese boat people who had been in Singapore
since 1990, were repatriated this afternoon, as a Vietnam Airline
flight took them back to the Ho Chi Minh City.

Danilo Bautista, head of the Liaison Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said at a press conference at the
Changi Airport shortly before the repatriation that the 99 boat people
left Singapore today under the UNHCR's Voluntary Repatriation

The 99 repatriants consisted of 60 male and 20 female adults, 13 male
and six female children. This group was the last group of Vietnamese
boat people remaining in Singapore.

They had been living in the Hawkins Road Camp, which is located ... "

*** Singapore played other roles ...

In May 1975 the South Vietnamese city of Saigon fell to Communist
forces. This led to a flood of refugees into Thailand by land and by
May 1977 triggered the flight of people by sea. People started landing
in neighbouring Southeast Asian countries by boats. Many perished in
stormy seas and attacks by unfriendly forces.

The plight of the "Boat People" prompted World Vision to begin
Operation Seasweep in May 1978. A 345-tonne converted landing craft
was chartered and it sailed in the South China Sea aiding the boat

This was replaced by a 1,500-tonne freighter with facilities for a
medical crew, mechanics and interpreters in July 1979.This operation
was gradually wound up in mid-1982 when the number of boat people
began to dwindle and the vessel was sold.

The efforts of World Vision to save the Vietnamese boat people led to
the establishment of a field operation through Singapore in the late
1970s. This task expanded in 1980 when World Vision began to assist
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in running a medical
clinic at the Hawkins Road Refugee Camp in Sembawang.

Towards the end of 1983, World Vision decide to run a full national
office in Singapore. Personnel were recruited and in March 1984, the
administration of World Vision's Child Sponsorship Programme linking
supporters in Singapore and Malaysia was transferred from Hong Kong to
the Singapore Office.