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Vice activities of some Vietnamese in Singapore not representative of residents here: embassy official

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SINGAPORE: The vice activities carried out by some people here are not representative of the Vietnamese population in Singapore, said a Vietnamese embassy official.

There are around 15,000 Vietnamese living here in Singapore.

Many of them work in the food and beverage industry such as restaurants and hawking centers, or are here to study, said the embassy’s deputy head of mission Le Cong Dung.

“Those (who work at KTV) are a very small number… not all Vietnamese come to Singapore for jobs at KTV,” he said.

“It’s just bad luck that this Vietnamese woman got infected… and that it (created) a public image of the Vietnamese community (KTV jobs),” he said.

“But I can assure you that the Vietnamese here are one of the easiest people to get along with. We work (mostly) with hawkers… that’s one of the main things Vietnamese with work permits do here, ”he said.

Mr Dung was responding to reports of discrimination against Vietnamese in Singapore after the index case of lounge group KTV – a Vietnamese short-term visitor pass holder – tested positive for COVID-19 on 11 July.

On Wednesday July 21, the cluster was linked to 215 cases.

It is also linked to the Jurong Fishing Port cluster, with infections genetically different from the viral variant seen in other local clusters, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday.

READ: KTV and Jurong Fishery Port COVID-19 clusters ‘linked’: Ong Ye Kung

Even though the Vietnamese woman was the first case detected in the cluster, the director of medical services of the Ministry of Health (MOH) Kenneth Mak clarified last Friday that this does not mean that she was the source of the infection.

Since the woman has been in Singapore for some time, it is “extremely” likely that the cluster’s seeding was the result of early community propagation, he said at the time.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) confirmed on Friday that the woman entered Singapore in February via the family ties route.

She was sponsored by a Singapore citizen who had indicated on his application form that he was her boyfriend.

READ: Timeline: From KTV lounges moving to F&B outlets, to spike in local COVID-19 cases

“We have integrated into the community of Singaporean society over the long term (so) we see ourselves as Singaporeans, long term residents… we do not associate with the people who come to Singapore on the short term. way, ”said Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (VietCham) President David Nguyen.

“And I think most of the people here, (including) Singaporeans … understand that these kinds of activities or short-term visitors who come to Singapore are mostly organized by Singaporeans themselves, (like) the owner of bars, clubs, ”he told CNA.

“It’s not related to the Vietnamese residents here who stay, integrated into the community here and living peaceful lives in Singapore,” Dr Nguyen said.

VietCham is working closely with its members to ensure that they comply with the country’s laws and policies, including measures for the safe management of COVID-19, he added.

Although the embassy has not received any complaints from residents, Mr Dung acknowledged that there might be cases that went unreported because those involved did not want to draw attention to themselves. .

“We Vietnamese tend to hold back when something like this happens and (hope) the weather will make it easier,” Mr.

“It’s really sad that such a thing has happened,” he said.

“I hope that (people living in) Singapore have a better image of the Vietnamese community here.”

THE COVID-19 VIRUS DOES NOT DIFFERENTIATE NATIONALITIES: SUN XUELING

MP Sun Xueling (PAP-Punggol West) shared in a Facebook post on Saturday that a resident wrote to her to express concern about the Vietnamese community.

In her email to Ms. Sun, who is also Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development, the resident said Vietnamese women faced verbal abuse and hate speech after the discovery of the index case linked to the KTV cluster.

In her message, Ms. Sun urged the public to be more discerning and compassionate, so as not to hurt those who are “innocent”.

Speaking to CNA on Wednesday, Sun said the resident noted that these Vietnamese women who are “mothers, wives, frontline workers” face verbal abuse when in public for buy essential items.

The resident shared the example of a woman who was asked to get out of a taxi, as well as a six-year-old who saw her mother, a Vietnamese woman, being “spoken to nastily” , she added.

There are several families with children in her ward who have Vietnamese family members, Ms. Sun said.

“I see them everywhere when I make house calls, in playgrounds, in supermarkets. I have helped several of these families in the past when they have encountered housing or financial assistance issues. Maybe that prompted the resident to contact me, ”she added.

“I told her that I would raise awareness of the issue she raised and encourage respect and civility. We should not be tarring an entire community with one brush because of the misconduct of some. ”

The coronavirus “does not distinguish” between nationalities and professions, Sun said.

“We are in the same boat and we have to be responsible together. We are only as strong as the weakest link, so we need everyone’s collective efforts to stay safe. “

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