Despite having been born in Singapore and living here all her life, Yuvethra Selvanaiyagam, 32, is stateless because she was born out of wedlock between a stateless mother and a Singaporean father. The Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) even rejected her application for Singapore citizenship 4 times. When Yuvethra approached her local PAP MP for assistance, a PAP grassroot leader volunteering at undisclosed ward advised her to marry a Singaporean if she wants the citizenship.
This advice got Yuvethra infuriated and even could land her in jail for having a marriage of convenience:
“How is it that someone who came here to work can be a Singaporean while I cannot? Why must I marry for citizenship?”
Yuvethra has resorted to all legal methods but the ICA and authorities refused to budge. She tried writing on the Prime Minister’s Office Facebook but her request was ignored like all other comments.
“I have never thought I had to stoop to that. I feel like an alien in my own homeland.”
According to a parliamentary statement, there are 500 to 600 stateless people in Singapore applying for citizenship and about 90% are successful. Stateless people are treated as Permanent Residents in Singapore, but they face employment discrimination.
The Singapore government also practice a racist immigration policy where Chinese are preferred to uphold the 75% Chinese quota. The racist policy extends to HDB allocation where minority races are not able to get home units if there are too many homeowners of their race in the same HDB block.