Internet Cafes of the People of Each Ethnicity, By the People of Each Ethnicity, for the People of Each Ethnicity: Temporary Migrant Workers in Singapore and Singaporean Policies of “Racial Harmony” in Hdb

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Tomohisa HIRATA, Gunma University, Japan
The aim of this presentation is to clarify the problem between the integration policies of Singapore and temporary migrant workers in it by focusing on the concentrated areas of internet cafes and public housing (zone) for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents which are offered HDB (Housing Development Board).

The reason why I pay attention to internet cafes and public housing (HDB flats) zone for considering Singaporean integration policies is that public housing in Singapore play a role in a symbol of “racial harmony” of Singaporean people, and at the same time internet cafes as the main internet infrastructure for temporary migrant workers are eliminated from public housing zone by an ordinance enacted by Singaporean government. In this sense, the internet cafe in Singapore is something like a symbol of “racial disharmony” and in fact, according to my field survey, the concentrated areas of internet cafes in Singapore are the places such as Little India (Indian people), Geylang (Chinese people), and Lucky Plaza (Pilipino and Indonesian people) where temporary migrant workers of each ethnicity gather.

In my presentation, firstly I will figure out the concentrated areas of internet cafes in Singapore on the basis of my field survey. Secondly, according to my interview survey, I will demonstrate the relation between the different uses of internet cafes in each area and Singaporean policies of migration and integration including those of HDB flats. Finally, focusing on a speech of a Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Manpower at the 1st Foreign Domestic Workers Day held in 2010, I will discuss the importance of deeply understanding of the social and economic situations of temporary migrant workers not only in their working country but also in their home country in policymaking in matters concerning migration and integration.