"Are we a nation yet? I will not say we are. We’re in transition."
With these words, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said that Singapore is a work-in-progress and is still not a nation.
I agree with him. When it comes to nationhood, the people in the country need to feel a sense of belonging. They must live in the country and has an express willingness to continue living in the country.
Singapore does not have that.
In a country that has so many foreigners, what is the Singapore identity? The answer is that we don’t have one. How can we when so many foreigners come in, get the PR but have no intention of staying long-term in the country.
I read in the Strait Times recently that Australia recently refused to renew the PR of a Singapore couple because they did not spent enough time in Australia so it proves that they had no intention of staying long-term in Singapore.
I don’t know the details of that case but the Australians are on the right track. Why give citizenship to people who had no intention of staying long-term in the country? This is something Singapore can learn from.
Singapore has already seen some of our foreign PR soccer players gone back to home country once their playing careers were over. Some people may say it’s no loss as their soccer careers were over already but how can Singapore be a nation if we hand out citizenship like this? Just because we want their skills, we give them citizenship but once we don’t need their skills they can go. Is this the way to build a nation? Is this the way to give Singaporeans a sense of belonging to our country? It might be a good way to run a corporation, but a country is another matter.
So I agree with the Minister Mentor; I just wish the Singapore government can do something about it.