For some reason that I cannot understand, most netizens seem to oppose the government in everything it does. A psychologist looking at this behaviour will probably understand it better but I'm not a psychologist. It may very well be that we humans naturally take the side of the underdog and the government of any country is never seen as the underdog.
Take the example of the SMRT bus drivers from China who participated in a strike recently. A few of them were prosecuted and some of them were repatriated. Going on a strike is illegal in Singapore. One may or may not agree with such a law. The same applies to all laws. Not everyone will agree with them. But laws are not laws only because there is a universal consensus among all citizens. And besides, these bus drivers are all foreigners from China. Personally, I like many of the laws in Singapore but I don't like some. It's the same with everyone and in every country. But my duty to obey the law is not restricted to only laws that I personally agree with.
These China workers came to Singapore for an obvious economic reason. They love it here. They are paid considerably more here. When their Malaysian counterparts are paid slightly more, they hit the roof. They forget they are given accommodation while Malaysian bus drivers are not. In their utter selfishness and egocentricity, they didn't factor in this additional cost. They take it upon themselves to break Singaporean law.
I laud the government for taking a firm stand against these miscreants. If the government hadn't done anything, it would mean that the laws in Singapore can only be broken by foreigners with impunity. That would be totally unacceptable. I have read what some Opposition parties have said regarding this matter and I think they should be ignored. They will take a stand against the government anyway. I don't care two straws about Hong Kong workers demonstrating in front of the Singaporean embassy. They can stop work in Hong Kong for a year and demonstrate day and night for all I care. Going on a strike and demonstrating are things up their street anywhere so they should go ahead and do what they are good at. This is a free world. Nobody forced these China workers to come to Singapore. If they don't like it here, they can get the hell out and a repatriation order does precisely that - it tells them how to get the hell out in the speediest possible way. They can't come here to work, enjoy the much higher remuneration, break the law here and hope to be let off because they are foreigners.
Singaporeans who take the side of these migrant workers should ask themselves what it is they really want. Are we cutting our nose to spite our face? I know there is a rabid, anti-government and anti-establishment culture among netizens everywhere in the world. Let's be rational. If we oppose a particular law, it's Parliament that should change it. To allow foreign workers who come here for monetary reasons to break the law with impunity is to show scant respect for the process of law in Singapore. The voice that decries our easy immigration policy and denounces foreign talent is the same voice that now says it's all right for foreigners to break our law. Even if we must be insanely anti-establishment and contrary, we should at least, be consistent.