Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who are the Singaporean refugees?

In a recent story for Asia Sentinel, a sister publication of Asian Correspondent, I revealed that a small but determined bunch of Singaporeans have been seeking asylum in western nations over the last few years.

Despite its obvious curbs on key political freedoms, Singapore is far, far from being considered a pariah nation by the West, so I was surprised to discover that quite a few Singaporeans have been accepted as refugees in Canada and the US.

Twelve of the 29 Singaporeans who applied for refugee status in Canada between 2005 and 2009 were granted asylum. Another 26 were granted asylum in the US.

Canada and the US, like other Western nations, set the bar pretty high for those seeking asylum so I wonder what prompted them to accept these recent refugees from Singapore.

So far, I've been unable to track down any of the successful refugees but, if you are in this position or you know of someone who is, please drop me a line at

I will treat any information you wish to share in confidence.


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