Time to face the hard truth: Why integration is no longer possible with the present wave of immigrants
Posted by temasektimes on May 6, 2012
“I will never argue for zero immigration, but the reality is that when you invite more people than you can handle, you no longer integrate them.”
His statement encapsulated what we have been promulgating all along: We strongly believe Singapore must remain OPEN to immigrants, but we have to be extremely selective of who we take in and we may have now reached the stage where integration is no longer possible.
Though most of our forefathers were immigrants themselves, the present generation of Singaporeans are fully integrated as one people after three generations or more – we no longer see ourselves as being from China, India or Malaysia. Singapore is our home where we all belong.
Similarly, the American Chinese did not become Americans overnight. They are only fully assimilated after three generations. And neither did the French immigrants in Canada’s province of Quebec became Canadians overnight.
Integration is a natural process and cannot be fast-tracked by simply throwing money to hold a few carnivals and festivals to promote it and pray that it will happen automatically somehow.
Human beings are not mere economic digits or emotionless robots. There is more to integration than simply reciting the National Pledge and changing the color of one’s identity card.
Before integration is possible, three conditions must exist:
1. The desire of the immigrants to settle in Singapore permanently.
2. The proportion of immigrants in the population.
3. The rate of intake of immigrants.
It is time for both Singaporeans and the government to face the hard truth that integration is no longer possible simply because we have got it all wrong right from the very beginning.
Read rest of article here.