THE TEMASEK TIMES

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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

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29 Responses to “PM Lee uses example of Germany to highlight importance of welcoming and integrating foreigners”

  1. fxxkyoualltwice@gmail.com said

    he is totally missing the point. the point is many foreigners have lower talents than the locals and we are shipping them into singapore in containers. germany is a welfare state. why don’t LHL start with that? Plus germany has its own loads of problems with unemployment. I will be shocked to see any reports, stating that germans welcome foreigners. not to say that they hate them but it is always natural, human instincts to cast doubts on the new comers. So it is the foreigners who have to force them to integrate with the locals.

    NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND. PLEASE. IT JUST DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

    Prefer Alien Party can draft any idiotic policy to force locals to integrate with the foreigners but it will not WORK.

    They should start putting foreigners into their courtyard and see why common singaporeans are thinking otherwise.

    Singapore ministers are all just totally detached from the reality. TBH.

  2. fxxkyoualltwice@gmail.com said

    one more point. the current german ruling party will nto last the next election. can LHL please read up some of the current affairs please before he single out any stupid article that only help to clarify one point instead of addressing the whole problem? omg. no wonder singapore has come to this stage. poor leadership

  3. denzuko1 said

    To make it a fair comparison, Singapore should fully adopt German’s law before using Germany as an example.

    • Allen Teo said

      Don’t compare S’pore ministerial pay with other countries: DPM Teo
      Mon, Jan 16, 2012

      He also explained that the option of benchmarking local ministers’ pay to that of foreign leaders was
      rejected because salaries at foreign countries may not correlate to Singapore’s situation, and that it was more appropriate to peg ministerial salaries based on local factors.

      http://sg.news.yahoo.com/s%E2%80%99pore-ministerial-pay-cannot-easily-be-compared–dpm-teo.html

      When it doesn’t suit them, they say don’t compare because situation is different.

      But when it suits them, they say look at other countries.

      Hypocrites!!!

  4. js said

    He must be a moron to use Germany as an example. The Germans, in fact, the entire Western Europe are dealing with the rise in popularity of the right-wing, as the people are pissed with immigrants. Rightly or wrongly, it is not for me to judge as I do not live there. But LSL doesn’t live there as well.

    LSL – Stick to matters in your damn country! If you like it so much at Germany, immigrate there. I’ll buy you an airticket using my CPF.

  5. Cheap Labour Addict said

    You may like to read about an ex-German finance minister’s views on immigration and culture. His name is Thilo Sarrazin.

    Warning: May be construed as racist.

  6. As always, they like to use selective comparison to their advantage. Why not use UK or France this time? Because these two countries have realized that their liberal immigrants policy is destroying their local social and economic situation and is working hard to reverse it.

  7. Jenny said

    He has nothing in his sleeves anymore, and that’s a good sign :)

  8. Badass Ed said

    Agreed, agreed, agreed.

    One major difference. Only the best skilled workers with unassailable credentials are allowed to work in Germany.

    Here, we are scrapping the bottom of the proverbial barrel and scammers with fake degrees, questionable work experience and other nefarious pretexts comes in under the unsuspecting nose of the MOM and ICA displacing deserving Singaporeans and turning them into taxi drivers way before their use-by dates.

    Herein lies the grievance.

    • it's so typical.. said

      Can’t really blame him cos he’s so used to scrapping the bottom of the barrel.. Look at the talents PAP have been recruiting these years? TSL, TPL, CCS, FMH.. the list goes on and on.. He’s an expert in this art.

    • jaded said

      the barrel bottom still not broken with all the scraping?

  9. Jaded said

    same as usual, only show people one side of something. Only the daft 60% will get taken in.

  10. Rick said

    Enough of your fact twisting rubbish!
    Why dont u show how much foreigners Germany has in their nation!??

  11. Rick said

    PMLee why dont u look at Germany’s First World Electoral system. If we follow their system, there should be 40% seats allocation for oppositions in parliament.

    If u want Spore to be a first world nation, we have to change the fundamental electoral system first. Do u have the guts and ability to do that?

    German Electoral system: http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/literature/introbwg.htm

  12. Victor said

    That LHL comments just shows that he is totally ignorant of Germany migration laws. They have most laws in place to ensure that migrants possess specific skills or knowledge which is in demand in Germany and most of their own citizens do not have them.

    To ensure migrants integrate into their society, all potential migrant need to show proof of their German Language Proficiency before even being considered migration.

  13. Exaggerated said

    I am thinking if PM Lee is speaking to the government of Germany or the citizens of Germany. I personally just came back from Germany and spoke to my friends over in Munich. They are not feeling like what PM Lee is claiming. We compared netween country to country, Germany has a strong non government pro labour union to protect the citizens workers there. The country also has many welfare policies to help them. Being both as first world country, we have many big differences. Can we really consider ourselves as a first world country?

  14. A Sinkie said

    It is obvious that our dear PM either failed to understand the issue on the grounds or chose to brush it aside with such an irrelevant example used again!

  15. Joker Lee said

    well Pm lee can keep on doing what he wants, come 2016, a freak shock is awaiting.

  16. it's so typical.. said

    Germany has GRC during elections? Can they change boundary lines every election? Will a candidate like TPL make it into the German Parliament? LHL.. please.. Singaporeans are smarter than you think we are.. Cut the crap..

  17. anakin said

    Please look at Scandanavian countries, High GDP, High fertility rate, high creativity and low immigration rates

  18. screwed leadership said

    Don’t cherry pick what is beneficial to your incapable leadership.
    The Germans has reduced NS to 8 months, why don’t you follow that too?

  19. SalesExec said

    Singapore to Expand Benefits, Tighten Foreigner Curbs After Poll Backlash
    By Shamim Adam – Aug 15, 2011 1:23 PM GMT+0800 .Facebook Share LinkedIn Google +1 0 Comments
    Print QUEUEQ..Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will expand public housing and medical benefits and tighten curbs on foreign workers, after a backlash over the cost of living led to record opposition gains in the May elections.

    The government will raise salary thresholds and require better educational qualifications for some foreign workers, Lee said in a televised speech late yesterday, stressing the nation needs to ensure policy adjustments don’t hurt Singapore’s attractiveness to investors.

    Singapore Tightens Foreign Worker Rules After Poll Backlash Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg
    Officials are working to resolve crowded transportation and a shortage of public housing even as those issues will take time, said Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    Officials are working to resolve crowded transportation and a shortage of public housing even as those issues will take time, said Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong. Photographer: Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg
    .“We can keep the thrust of our policies but adjust them to deal with specific problems,” Lee, 59, said in the annual National Day rally speech, the first major policy address since a May 7 election. “Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It’s very dangerous.”

    Lee’s ruling People’s Action Party won this year’s general election with the smallest margin of popular votes since independence as citizens expressed discontent over rising costs and competition with foreigners for jobs and housing. He has pledged to be more responsive to criticism of government policies and unveiled measures yesterday to widen the social safety net for elderly and lower-income Singaporeans.

    “The issues that are close to the people’s hearts and were big agenda items during the election, such as housing, got an airing and voters will want to look for a continued attitude of being more consultative and open to feedback,” said Selena Ling, head of treasury research at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. “For investors, the message is that Singapore remains open for business as usual.”

  20. ;ABC said

    The PM`s use of Germany as an example is worrying. How can he be ignorant of the tide in that country against immigrants, particularly the non-whites and the Muslims? A favourite technique of the leaders in Singapore is to resort to special pleading. One can always point to a country in the world as an example for anything you support or oppose. Margaret Thatcher has the intellectual honesty to refuse to resort to special pleading to defend her policies and we expect our leaders to do the same.The result of not doing so has resulted in a stubborn refusal to change direction in the face of the realities on the ground.

  21. Observer said

    Immigrants, Not Australians, Must Adapt, Says Aussie Prime Minister

    http://cmpaul.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/immigrants-not-australians-must-adapt-says-aussie-pm/

    Australian prime minister flags immigration curbs

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/34387/australian-prime-minister-flags-immigration-curbs/

    “… the key factor to determine future immigration rates should be governments’ capacity to provide the roads and services needed to sustain a larger population.”

    You would imagine a group of people who claimed to be the elite in Singapore and demanded to be paid many times what PM Julia Gillard is paid should know better. Well, that’s why the Australian economy is one of the strongest in the world today. If only these self serving hypocrites from PAP will ever wake up.

  22. Hijacked said

    Our leader must stop his complacency. Is this all he can say to defend his policy after importing over 2 million foreigners in a span of less than 5 years? Why was he selected to be the leader? Who selected him?

  23. Zach tells you The Other Hard Truth said

    With the FT (read Foreign Tsunami), Singapore can truly punch above its weight. Our taxi drivers have the highest academic qualifications in the world.

    With the Super Magic Training Bunny that the goondus like LSS always pull out of their hats, soon our cleaners will also have PhDs, albeit being paid only $800 a month

  24. anon said

    Would you believe that the only person who wants LHL as PM is his senile old man?

  25. Junnie said

    The very fact that local people who happened to be born male have to sacrifice a significant part of their lives in NS and reservice, and tolerate all that BS, unfair, unappreciated, and uncompensated mis-treatements inside; while FTs and many other locals doesn’t and are taking over jobs that Singaporeans who have already served NS and caught up with their studies and frequently with more-qualified degrees (w/o financial help from government after all that lost time) can do, needs to be taken into account.

    When SAF calls up personals to do re-service, IPPT, or to report to mindef, they should reimburse transport (TAXI fairs) and compensate those who are studying but couldn’t get deferment and had to go for ICT just because they are born as males. Compensation to those who are earning a salary should be well beyond their “pay rates” alone ~ as nsmen are not only sacrificing their work time, they are also sacrificing their civilian lives and freedom, risking injuries and mental health, having to cut their hair stupid short and other encroachments and significant inconveniences just for being born the wrong sex and having that THING between our legs. People who are unemployed, studying, and doing commission based jobs are especially under compensated. The requirement to apply for an exit permit with penalty otherwise is a huge insult to us who have already done our time.

    The money for PROPER compensation ( especially to those who did their time much earlier, having to unreasonably slave for more than 2 freaking years of the best part of their youth ) can come from reducing tax and counter taxing at a drastically higher percentage for FTs and any others who do not not have to serve the sexist male-mandatory national slavery.

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