Sep 15, 2009

Citizens in the Vice Trade Up Against Strong Foreign Competition

ST Sep 15, 2009
Tougher rules for new hotels
By Kor Kian Beng

THE Government will come down hard on new hotels that rent rooms by the hour, as it tightens the rules for these places which are often seen as hotbeds of prostitution.

Newcomers applying for an operating licence have to justify why they are offering such rates. In addition, they have to install closed-circuit television systems, and hire guards to preserve the safety of their guests and look out for possible illegal activities.

Hoteliers with an eye on offering such rooms in residential areas will face an even harder time. They are required 'to engage the community and respond to concerns of residents', said Mr S. Iswaran, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, without elaborating.

He announced the new measures in Parliament on Monday. Singapore Tourism Board's director of resource development, Ms Rebecca Lim, said the new rules take effect immediately but apply only to new hotels.

In the debates about foreigners versus citizens in Singapore, the sad plight of our local prostitutes is often neglected.

In the first place, the fact that you've chosen to be a prostitute will often mean that you're already hard-pressed to find any better way of making a living. Unfortunately, nowadays you not only have to compete with other Singaporean prostitutes, you also have to compete with prostitutes from different countries.

And the competition is growing.

When I was a DPP many years ago, I would come across criminal cases involving foreign prostitutes every now and then. (Prostitution itself is not a crime in Singapore - however, prostitutes tend to show up in criminal cases from time to time, either as victims or witnesses). Back then, foreign prostitutes tended to be either from Thailand or the Philippines. Nowhere else, really.

Nowadays, the Thais and the Filipinas are still here, but there are also foreign prostitutes from a much more international background. Even Wikipedia, the world's most popular online encyclopaedia, comments on the wide range of prostitutes' nationalities at Orchard Towers - "They are primarily from Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine and a few from mainland China and South America".

The ladies from China even give newspaper interviews now and then. And the wide selection of nationalities available at Geylang recently won praise from a German expatriate.

How did all these women get here? It cannot be the case that the Singapore government has not noticed their presence. Perhaps the PAP has been too liberal with its foreign talent policies.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me share with you my experience with foreign talents in the business field.
I used to work in a foreign bank. I have had a couple of foreign colleagues who came here because:
1. The unit overseas was overstaffed.
2. This one guy was very close to the bis boss, and saw an opportunity to have some fun working overseas.(And so he did have fun. He used to tell us of his many local girl friends and the many short trips he took).And to prove my point, he was eventually replaced by a local 3 years down the road( Coincidentally,the big boss, his pal, was no longer holding a position of power). He had 3 years of fun.

I'm not against foreign talents, but the Govt do need to put in place stringent criteria for foreigners who want to work here. Or else, a lot of Singaporeans who can do the job are side-stepped.
There were nothing spectacular about these two guys' skills set.

Anonymous said...

Anyone can come here on social visit passes. Or student passes. And from the world wide world.

There is no law to say young foreign women cannot.

Even if some were banned from entry due to previous "records", they can always come again under a new identity.

So how to control?

kelvin said...

Problems will probably be out of control when the two IRs are up.....
Uniquely Singapore!!!

Anonymous said...

A lot of (male) foreign workers means the corresponding need for A LOT of female foreign workers lor. As they say, Singapore lacks natural resources and got dwindling population... so can't expect our Singapore Girls to work horrendously OT.

Onlooker said...

Actually This is really sad for Singapore.
PS. We ARE BECOMING Amsterdam.minus the political freedom and real racial diversity.(and there is a racial quota.)

Anonymous said...

Foreign prostitutes are also more talented i suppose, that's why the Government pretends not to know or do not want to do anything.

Hey, they do need such talents to serve the foreigners which they are trying to lure to gamble here when the two IRs come on steam. Then we will become the gambling cum vice hub of Asean too. Kills two birds with one stone.

Anonymous said...

I thought Mr Lee Kuan Yew threatened to make foreign maids out of Singapore Girls?

Or Mr Lee prefers to make old maid out of Singapore Girls with his foreign talent policy? Maybe Mr Lee wanna kills two birds (low birth rate) with one stone?
Singapore Girls, how to compete?

Anonymous said...

i think what this govt did not dare to say openly is that the foreign talent influx is to maintain GDP growth.

More workers = GDP growth, regardless of whether people are having individual income growth.

The Outer Layer said...

Wang, I find this "solution" stupid.

Supply is available upon demand. We should not under-estimate human creativity. What will happen next is the emergence of a middle-man community who block books the hotel rooms and sublets them by the hour.

What will hurt now, are the Singaporeans.

The Government and the moralists forgot that with our donderful ideals of shrinking the HDB flat size, many legitimately married couples now hire hotel rooms by the hour to consumate their love. Because private space at home has been so restricted. Now we will have even more frustrated people who need "services".

Way to go in counter-productivity. Idiots to cut the branch and introduce new shoots.

I say, sack 50% of the scholars we have. That should wake some people up.

Anonymous said...

the presence of foreign prostitutes hint strongly at the amount of human trafficking going through singapore every year that most of us chose to close our eyes to and not notice.

Anonymous said...

Interesting news article..however,what kind of illegal activity are they talking about? as Mr Wang pointed out,prostitution is not illegal but solicitation is.So if couples make it to the hotel,it would mean the soliciting has already happened.what else can be illegal??

Anonymous said...

These prostitutes are even soliciting in public as well,they just want to earn their keep,even in housing estates,@ kopitiams,@ Orchard Road parading around in their fashion style red carpet "area",Singapore has become a sin city,far more worse that Sydney or Taipei,even Shibuya in Japan faces competition...

Wonder what the local gals think about all these happenings??!They may be wondering,if a prostitute can dress up,what about me?Can i be a substitute?Nah,even a destitute dresses up,local gals have poor dress sense,that's why these foreign prostitutes are so brazen in wearing killer clothes to entice more men to sleep @ a hefty price...

James Michael Parthi

Singaporean against discrimination said...

seems like all the internet chats on disadvantages of being Singaporean has finally reached the very top.

I totally disagree with how PM Lee frame the issue.

It is NOT about Singaporeans wanting more. Rather, the key issues are removal of discrimination against Singaporeans, and more equitable compensation for doing NS and reservist.

Anonymous said...

Cosmopolitan in every way Wang San,
co$mopolitan in every way....

The said...

/// Interesting news article..however,what kind of illegal activity are they talking about? as Mr Wang pointed out,prostitution is not illegal but solicitation is.So if couples make it to the hotel,it would mean the soliciting has already happened.what else can be illegal??
September 15, 2009 6:37 PM ///

Well, how about illegal gambling, mini-casinos, drug dealings, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Wang

U seem unhappy with the only group of FTs that does not need help to integrate with our society ...

Ah Wang

singaporeshortstories.blogspot.com said...

Agree.

One just need to pay a visit to Geylang to see what has become of the place!

Anonymous said...

Wang, can clarify "solicitation"?

Solicit on whose part is illegal? The seller or the buyer? Or both?

If it is illegal on both, then legalising prostitution has no meaning.

What constitute a "solicit"? Body signals? Hand signals? Verbal communications? Newspaper adverts? Word of mouth introduction?

Anonymous said...

I think the papers quoted some PRCs as saying that Geylang is the true Chinatown?

Ah Wang

The said...

/// Wang, can clarify "solicitation"?

Solicit on whose part is illegal? The seller or the buyer? Or both?

If it is illegal on both, then legalising prostitution has no meaning. ///

The seller lah. Imagine you are the prostitute. This means you cannot walk the street and accost any Tom Harry's Dick - that would be soliciting. But if you stay put in your cubicle in the brothel, and the customer come to you and come in you - you are not soliciting. Or you wait for customers in Orchard Towers while nursing a drink, then you are not soliciting. But you are still prostituting. Get it?

SMS said...

The presence of the foreign girls providing "special" services to the large number of foreign workers is necessary to keep your Singapore daughters safe. Where else can they release their "seed". I am sad of their presence but it is a necessary evil.

teacherlet said...

lol, talented foreign prostitutes.

wonder how long has the problem been festering.

Anonymous said...

It is not inconceivable that some time in the near future, there will be public listed companies in Singapore operating as so called "gentlemen club" All you have to do is merely initiate a marketing program projecting the trade as prestigious and high class (much like the way they do it with gambling)I'm sure the economic benefits would be substantial. Well, economic progress at all costs! And by the way, how to you sell gambling or IR if there are no extra entertainment to supplement it. It like having burgers at Mac without the fries. It's just so incomplete isn/t it?

Kim said...

"Wonder what the local gals think about all these happenings??!They may be wondering,if a prostitute can dress up,what about me?Can i be a substitute?Nah,even a destitute dresses up,local gals have poor dress sense,that's why these foreign prostitutes are so brazen in wearing killer clothes to entice more men to sleep @ a hefty price..."

wow, would that hefty price be $20? local girls don't dress like prostitutes. thank god.

Anonymous said...

My garang guni man is an Ah Tiong from China, no, I do not think he is the father of a young adult working professional as he is only in his late thirties to early forties. He has been around my block for the last 6 years.

So how come a garang guni man can also be a Spore PR? Does it mean to say that PAP now recognizes rubbish collection as a highly valued occupation.

Anonymous said...

this may be a stupid question but I just wonder by the law, can a Singaporean girl (the one who holds singapore citizenship) choose to be a prostitute LEGALLY?

I have heard that prostitution in singapore is only applied to international workers. If a singaporean girl wants to do the same job, she first has to give up her citizenship.

Is this true or not?

Tks.