A few days ago, I commented on “Dairy of a Singaporean Mind” although many rich foreigners may have come here to Singapore invest, buy a house and get Singapore PR, they do not stay long.
I was responding to an anonymous post that said,
“So many foreign rich come here to invest, stay or become citizen. These include even film stars and kongfu actors. Also on the other end the poorer foreigners are also welcome for being cheaper labour. So the Gini index will of course widen further.But the country will continue to be stable. This is very important and hence even more rich and poor”
I disagree with the comment and responded by saying that Singapore have seen some of our foreign PR soccer players who have went back to their homeland once their playing career are over. Also some foreigners may have gotten Singaporean PR but they got it, they spent more time outside Singapore than in Singapore.
So when I read on the internet that Chinese action star Jet Li has taken up Singapore citizenship and bought a property in Singapore worth nearly $20 million, I feel I have to put my 2 cents in on this. Jet Li seem to be following in the footsteps of Gong Li, who became a Singapore citizen last year. These foreign PR are the main reason why the Singapore property market hasn’t really suffered even though Singapore is in the midst of a recession. However is it really all good for Singapore to have all these PR who get citizenship and then leave the country immediately?
Li has taken up Singapore citizenship and bought a property in Singapore, but how much time will he be spending in Singapore? Will he (like many others) get the IC and then spend more time in China and Hong Kong than in Singapore? I don’t know about you but I am very uncomfortable about Singapore selling our citizenship like this. Spend money, buy property, invest in Singapore, and you can get Singapore citizenship. How about some rules on the amount of time they have to spend in Singapore?
I know of a Malaysian friend who had to wait years to get his Singapore PR, this is even though he was living in Singapore since his secondary school days. I disagree with how long he had to wait to get his Singapore PR, but I’m even more against foreigners who get their PR just because they have enough money to buy a property in Singapore.
I remember a few years ago the Singapore government was talking about forging a Singapore identity; maybe they should look into that again because it’s hard to forge a Singapore identity when Singapore citizens buy a property in Singapore and then disappear to another country for months on end.
What Singapore identity can be forge from that?