"Singapore risks becoming a 'Taiwan story' and will lose its competitive edge globally if it closes its doors to foreign talent.”
This statement was given by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in defense of Singapore’s much criticized immigration policy. The DPM also say the nominal income of the average Taiwanese has flattened in recent years unlike Singapore.
Unfortunately for the DPM both statements have a small tinge of falsehood to them and he has been roundly criticized for them. Most Singaporeans noted that the nominal income of the average Singaporeans has not risen with our country’s open immigration policy.
Singapore’s average income has risen but the reason for that is because Singapore has been giving citizenships to rich individuals, no matter where they came from or how they got their hands on the money (cough, Indonesians, cough, corruption, cough). However the income of average Singaporeans has not moved in years.
However I find the DPM statement about Taiwan’s competitive edge to be stranger. Taiwan is easily the world leader in the electronics sector. Not only that, with their gradual opening to China, they are poised for more growth in the near future. In fact, some if not most global analysts are more bullish on Taiwan than they are on Singapore. Frankly you can say the statement that Taiwan has lost its competitive edge globally is wrong.
Now I can understand the Singapore’s government defense of their immigration policy (the DPM statement came less than a week after a similar one from PM Lee Hsian Leong) but Taiwan is NOT a country the Singapore government want to be compared to. Mainly because…well, they are poised to kick our ass.