PM Lee uses example of Germany to highlight importance of welcoming and integrating foreigners
Posted by temasektimes on April 30, 2012
In the latest posting this morning on his Facebook page, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong used the example of Germany to highlight the importance of welcoming and integrating foreigners in our society.
Sharing an article published by the New York Times on Germany luring foreign talents from southern Europe, PM Lee wrote:
“The thriving German economy is short of skilled workers. It is attracting talent from countries like Spain and Portugal, where unemployment is very high. Germany is benefitting: if the inflow continues, in the long term German industry will grow more powerful.”
He also insinuated that Singaporeans need to develop a ‘welcoming culture’ to foreigners like the Germans:
“But the Germans have difficulty integrating foreigners into their society too. They talk about needing to develop a welcoming culture. Their issues are quite similar to ours in Singapore.”
[Source: PM Lee's Facebook]
It is disingenuous of PM Lee to compare Singapore to Germany as the latter has a minimum wage law to safeguard the interests of local German workers and a tighter labor policy governing the hiring of foreigners – German companies can only employ foreigners if they are unable to find suitable local candidates to fill in the positions.
Some responses from netizens:
“Sir, I think many Singaporeans agree on the necessity for foreign labour and hands to supplement ours in the Singapore economy. But what many disagree with is the preparedness of our civil infrastructure, services and policies to deal with such immigration. And the impression Singaporeans are getting of their diminished importance. The pie can only carved so many ways, as they say.” – Stanley Lai
“Yes, we do accept foreigners in SG. Please hire more skilled workers in sg and hire more local talent for higher management positions. But please do not forget about our local students who are graduating, they too need organisations to give them a chance for them to earn experiences in the working world.” – Jonathan Kwah
“Dear PM, Germany is attracting SKILLED workers..”it has recruited thousands of the Continent’s best and brightest to this postcard-perfect town and many others like it, a migration of highly qualified young job-seekers…”, unfortunately, we seem to be getting cheap workers that displace our PMETs who are similarly qualified.” – Francis Oen