Monday, November 9, 2009

Change Your Argument

I’ve said a lot about immigrations in Singapore already, so I was thinking of avoiding the topic for awhile. However when Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong spoke on the issue twice in three days, what the hell!

SM Goh said that new immigrants help sustain and enrich the quality of life of Singaporeans and that Singapore needs new Permanent Residents (PRs) and new citizens, or Singapore will not be able to expand the population.

All good, fine and well. However when he said that “it is possible for new immigrations to become loyal to Singapore, to Singaporean values, and to contribute to Singapore society”; that’s when I have a problem.

It is possible; that’s without question, but when you have a Chinese PR who went back to China, took part in the Chinese National Day parade and then openly said that she is unsure if she want to return to Singapore, that’s a little rich. The vast overwhelming majority of immigrants are here strictly for the money and they own little loyalty to Singapore, which is fair in my view because Singapore is NOT their homeland. I can understand perfectly why that Chinese PR above felt more loyalty to China than to Singapore.

SM Goh also said that he understood how Singaporeans felt crowded out by all the new citizens and PRs, whether in housing, jobs or schools, and that new immigrants were perceived as "taking advantage" of better opportunities here.

I do not understand why the Singapore government continues with this line of argument. First off, the sheer number game tells you there’s not enough new housing of all the new immigrants. Singapore has accepted more than 100,000 foreigners per year while HDB only built like 8,000 flats per year. What else is there left to say on that?

As for new immigrants being perceived as coming to Singapore to take advantage of better opportunities here; of course they are here to take advantage of the better opportunities here! Seriously, why else would they be here? If Singapore didn’t have better opportunities, these new immigrants wouldn’t be here.

SM Goh is right when he said that this is an emotional issue for most Singaporean. That is why the Singapore government needs to come up with better excuses/reasons for the Singapore people. The Singapore government also needs to be honest about the problems the new immigrants are causing. Our housing market is over-heated yet we have a government minister saying “HDB figures showed that eight in 10 first-timers could get a flat on their first try if they were not choosy ; the success rate was 96 per cent for the second try”.

The other problem the Singapore government has is that most Singaporeans believed the government is only saying this stuff now because there is a general elections coming. Once the elections are over, the government will go back to its old habits.

Now that’s a view the Singapore government do not need.


ummie said...

As I can see it, more & more S'porean are renting out their flats & looking for homes to stay in JB, despite the constant crime-news that had been inflicted in many fellow S'poreans.

Anonymous said...

Well, what else can you do when you have foreign talents taking away your jobs at lower salaries? The only asset you have here is your HDB flat or condo, and renting out is one of the viable options left, which exposes the owner to possible risk of crime by the tenants.

While it is true that foreigners can enrich our country with their multi-social cultures, but it does not prevent the bad apples among them from creating problems in our society. Unfortunately there is no quick and permanent fix to this issue...

Ghost said...

Actually I have no problems with foreigner entering the Singapore workforce, but say it as it is. They are here because they are willing to take lower salaries which lower cost. The Singapore government didn't let them in because of any enrichment of Singapore culture

Anonymous said...

We don't have to worry about these foreigners or new citizens not being loyal to Singapore. Even existing true blue Singaporeans are also not loyal to Singapore. How many of them have migrated and how many are still going to migrate?

When there is enough critical mass, the foreigners who become new citizens will demand for power. Then they will topple the PAP and take over the governing of Singapore. Then they will become loyal Singaporeans.

I am looking forward for that day to see this foreigner import policy backfires upon the brilliant vision of the PAP leaders of today - just like the "Two-Is-Enough" policy that has backfired today.

Go, go, go, SM Goh!

Anonymous said...

They may even sell Singapore to China in 50 years time.

Ghost said...

"When there is enough critical mass, the foreigners who become new citizens will demand for power. Then they will topple the PAP and take over the governing of Singapore. Then they will become loyal Singaporeans."

That's if they stay.