With a general election expected in December this year, it was just a matter of time before it happened. As Singapore’s population crossed five million this year and over a third of the total population are foreigners, it was a matter of time before an opposition party played the immigration card.
To little surprise, it was the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) who went to bat first.
At a rally at the Speaker's Corner, SDP Secretary General Chee Soon Juan asked the Singapore government to slow the influx of foreign workers. Say what you want about the SDP, no one can accuse them of being afraid to take risks.
Unfortunately for the Singapore government, the immigration card will not be a big risk for the SDP. Since 2007, about 150,000 foreign workers have entered Singapore each year completing for jobs, housing with ordinary Singaporeans. Despite Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saying last month that the government would limit the number of foreigners this year to 80,000, for a lot of Singaporeans it is a case of too little, too late.
The SDP also called for a minimum wage and lower sales tax for Singaporeans at the rally but almost all the attention has been focused on the call to limit foreign workers. That tell you a lot of what the main focus will be in the upcoming elections.