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PM Lee: It is ‘crucial’ to have our population and integration policies ‘right’

Posted by temasektimes on June 17, 2012

Six years after opening the floodgates to foreigners, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong finally realized the importance of having our population and integration policies ‘right’.

In a note posted on his Facebook in response to two commentaries written by Prof David Chan of Singapore Management University (SMU) which was published in a government-controlled paper recently, PM Lee said it is important to encourage ‘discussion’ among Singaporeans on immigration issues:

“Getting our population and integration policies right is crucial to our social cohesion, economic wellbeing and sense of belonging. This is why we are encouraging discussion and dialogue on this difficult problem.”

PM Lee reiterated that Singapore must acknowledge the need for ‘foreign talents’ due to demographic ‘realities:

“We must also acknowledge our economic and demographic realities – our need for enough workers and more talent, as well as our shortage of babies and aging population. Only then can we anticipate the challenges, and address the problems comprehensively.”

Unfortunately, Singapore may have reached a point of no return with too many foreigners being accepted within too short a period of time, making integration an almost impossible task.

The relentless influx of foreigners in recent years has led to stagnant wages, rampant inflation, sky-rocketing property prices and an obvious decline in the quality of life.


40 Responses to “PM Lee: It is ‘crucial’ to have our population and integration policies ‘right’”

  1. 龙的传人 said


  2. CKMPD said

    LHL should ask himself whether he has been right or wrong with his Population and Integration Policies over that last six years. Has he done irreversible damage to Singapore and Singaporeans with his high influx of 3rd world cheap labour with questionable skills and qualifications and bad social behaviours??

  3. patin said

    我觉得不是新加坡人在排外..而是有些事件造成新加坡人的不滿..本地机構為了..報章上時常提起…未來经济不明朗..就未雨綢繆..把薪水較高的员工..抄掉..而用外來人..那新加坡人就為了這而只能走兩条路…1. 失业..2..忘掉你之前如何辛苦, 苦讀得來的文憑. 学位..去做一份與自己学位不對称的工作..認命吧 !!
    真不明白這些公司, 机構..老板..是在嚮應..政府開放移民政策…還是失去理智, 良心…看着新加坡人..走向绝路 ???

  4. David said

    I agree that Singapore does need some (real) foreign talents, BUT not any Tom, DIck, Harry, Ah Tiong, Ah Neh or Ah Noy and definitely not at such massive magnitude. Also, you might be interested to know (if you are still unaware of) that in small number, the chance of integrating the foreigners with the locals are better. On the other hand, in such big number, foreigners form their own enclaves and thus more unlikely to integrate with the locals. Worse, as has already been exhibited in some nationalities, some foreigners even develop the impression that Singapore belongs to them and start acting like they are the locals while Singaporeans are outsiders. Another point I would like to make is that while you argue that Singapore’s low birth rate leads to the need for more foreigners, but have you also consider from the other perspective, i.e.the need for more foreigners could further depress Singapore’s birth rate? A vicious cycle.

    • seah said

      there are more thrash than talent.what i can see.what had happen to my belove seen to belong to other.

    • pin said

      I agree with what you have said David, not only does the government need to understand that their policies is a vicious cycle, but rather, more importantly i suppose in their mind is the GE 2016; if it is not us singaporeans who will overthrow them, the foreigners who are gaining more attention will. Once all Singaporeans have lost hope in their government, migrating will become an option, and thus far the foreigners will become the majority, creating their own governance.

    • archie said

      Well said, we must help our MPs seriously reverse the immigration n employmrnt policies

  5. Invictus said

    PM Lee, is the public discussion on the topic to be held after the policy is implemented, like what we have now, or before a policy is set. If it’s the former, please don’t include me. Rather I’ll just let you see my thoughts about your discussion in 2016.

  6. Desmond said

    Obvious decline in the quality of life. I have got to support that.

  7. P Koh said

    It is never too late to do something to at least alleviate the social problems that have been created. Knowing is just one aspect but getting things done to address it is now very crucial. Can the government now draw up plans to address the increasing tide of unhappiness that the influx of foreigners have brought about? It is a need to know basis as opposed to realization of the issues at hand.

  8. Ken Lee said

    though PAP have already integrate with them ten over years ago?? PINOY being with HDB design dept 10 over years ago!
    we have integrate with them since! that why our HDB design is so screw up!

  9. Your wisdom will see Singapore through difficult times

  10. Jack said

    I am glad that you are listening again

  11. alexa said

    Its too late MR.LEE. After people on the ground make so much noise about your foreign policies you say we were noises and daft but now u say its crucial to have integration but still we dont trust you. Your words now are just like a prata man flip flop. You say we dont have enough workers and talents but why you let the companies to retrench our workers and let them employ the FT as replacements. Did you know that alot of Singaporeans are unemployed and retrenched because of your foreign policies.They prefer cheaper FT then to pay the locals here who serve this country. Now it is us who suffer with the influx of foreigners everywhere in every companies and and all work place and everywhere. And we lost our income to them too while you and your governments collect our country growths for yourself and your party benefits. Ask yourself who make the policies…we or you. Whatever you say now is of no use cos we the people know that at the end of the day you will still insist that your party policies is right and you will still pursue the growth and your interest not for the country not for the people but yourself and your party. Anyway its too MR.LEE your time and your party is up…its all written.

    • Julie Ong said

      Thanks Alexa for speaking your mind. I’m terribly sorry that Singaporeans have lost their jobs or livelihood because of the overwhelming influx of cheaper foreign workers. I’ve always associated Foreign Talent with highly skilled and professional expatriates who are sent to Singapore by their head offices at mammoth salaries and benefits. This in turn has benefitted Singaporeans as we work alongside them and learn from their effective way of working and management. Today FTs is a disguise for importing cheaper workers. What a devious way to treat of all people your own fellow citizens who put you up to run/govern the country. It is also a clear sign that this government is incompetent. If allowed to fester this bad idea of having huge numbers of people in without the necessary facilities in place will only lead to social discord and resentment. The general election of 2011 is over and if we do not see a change for the better then we should decide on voting for someone else or some other party that has the well being of Singapore and Singaporeans paramount above all things else in GE2016.

      Meantime we’ll just have to make do with the situation we’ve been put into.

      Life must still go on. Live it well! Be optimistic. I’m sure the sun will still rise again.

      • mahbok tan said

        FIRST we must change the GOVT of the DAY ( pro Alien Party ) in GE2016 and then we all decide for our next course of action ….if still no change we have to vote for something else…..maybe vote for obama or hosni mubarak….!!!

      • CKMPD said

        Hi Julie,

        Well said. It’s so sad that the pap has lost touch with the ground and is all out for GDP growth at the expense of singaporeans’ misery. We must vote against the pap to save Singapore

  12. Edmund said

    what do you think?

  13. mahbok tan said

    It looks as if SGporeans are BLIND or PLAIN STUPID ….!!!!

    To accept foreign talents even to drive our buses,taking care of security at the Airport,cruise centre and other installation. Even to man the fastfood restaurant in Singapore….!!!!

    Allo Lee and familee….. since you cannot increase the salary of your fellow citizen , wat you do is to import all these cheap labour and coining the term of FOREIGN TALENT !!!! I say Phuck phuck phuck U la….!!!!

    We SGporean have been well educated by your father to THINK and ACT accordingly but …prease la don’t try to sell bullshit to us your fellow citizen of SGPORE….!!!

  14. Happy said

    Met so many Indian from India, majority of them working in the oil and gas industries , contruction, sipyard, local MNC in engineering or technical as claimed . Everyone claimed engineer that is their styles.

    Some are earning above S$1800 coming in as S-Pass becasue the quota from the manufacturing quota for non-SPass already used up for some factories. So HR bypass the system and engage them on S-Pass. This is how the HR is working and they gainfully get reemployed and came back to Singapore. While our local poly, ITE graduates are without jobs.

    What is the objectives of asking Singaporean to keep upgrading, training and retraining while most of the jobs are for the FT/FWs. If so , why CPF board has yet to revise the CPF payout for FT/FW to be the same as all Singaporean upon empoyment. Why there is a double standard in this area of policy.

    Not forgeting some employer subsidy their living quater. this mean the FT/FW are getting even much higher pay than the local after taking in all the subsides into consideration even with a lower CPF.

    Lastly, MR Lee suggest you allow others who has better ability, foresight and clear mind to see the future of Singapore. Singaporeans are being trash by PAP FT policy todate. Many are unemployed and drawing on their special account to service their housing.

    Are we going to have the next ten and twenty years a new batch of FT/FW drawing the same wages of today. Like a recycliing process that is keep recycling for the cheapest worker in the MNC, local MNC as well as in the civil service.

    This result in not only increasing the chances of Singaporean being prositutes at the end of the day and more will be seeking sugar daddies for a living. This is the “way and this is what we see the future of Singaporean someday”. (no flaming pls and it will be coming , fitest of the survivors).

  15. Lollapalooza In SG said

    And a cousin just encountered 2 PRC taxi drivers yesterday not knowing where Collyer Quay is?! Which she did not board coz’ she does not know how to direct them. They are now even snatching the rice bowls of our local taxi drivers, who most likely became taxi drivers after losing their previous jobs to the FTs!

    • mahbok tan said

      wah laike dat arh …si…liao…..SGporean all better jump into the sea smiling la….!!!

      Phuck man wad the heck are they doing….taxi oso got FT…..better we all go mati….!!!

      • Yes, the future looks depressing.. Even jobs that are reserved for Singaporeans now go to PRs or new citizens. I believe new citizens will also fill up the Singaporean / foreigner quota in a company. There is no privilege to be Singapore born citizens at all.

    • Angry Bird said

      i guess they are new citizens.

      • Yes they should be since it’s one of the criteria to be a taxi driver, ie. to hold a Singapore NRIC. So we are now not only losing jobs to FTs but also to new citizens (who are in fact FTs originally). They are now able to take over jobs “reserved” for Singaporeans!! This is really scary, in the future, we’ll see more foreigners driving our taxis and worse if they are not familiar with our roads!

    • Compatriot said

      when the taxi stops to pick you up.check the driver,if he’s a prc tell/her you changed your mind

      • I will if I have a choice.. But we have limited taxis in SG (think around 20k taxis serving 5m ppl?) so can’t really afford to “choose” sometimes (esp. during peak period and if in a hurry). Imagine if 20% of the taxis are driven by foreigners in the future, how to say no?

  16. Jobless said

    Opening the floodgate ten yrs ago is very easy with the over influx of FT we the true born sg are the one to suffer due to your failed policies. After 10 long ys then tell us to welcome FT with open arms.
    “crucial to have our population and integration policies ‘right”.

  17. AngryBird said

    Haha.. We will see what will you do to save your fellow Singaporeans and not by just saying all these?? We need to see the actions. People have lose trust in you. You can give a public apology but ended up,screwing your people. To trust you easily again is putting us to be slaughter again.

  18. A Singaporean Abroad said

    It is important for people in power to engage the brain before making major decsions that will impact the lives of many. A foolish decision will harm the multitude and cause irreparable damage. Encouraging disccusion and dialogue should come BEFORE the decision is made, it is utterly pointless to try to engage in discussion and dialogue now when the society is effectively messed up. It seems that the people in power have never heard of the phrase “prevention is better than cure”. Very sad indeed.

  19. startnowelsetoate said

    PM lee, you need to start looking at employment agencies FAST. relook at employment policies.

    theres a huge process gap there. employment agencies owned by foreign elements have resorted to hiring people of their own. this is a KNOWN fact.

    these employment agencies are used as proxies of big mncs and other companies to be compliant. i dont need to teach you what to do. Start now.. your citizens are sufferring.

    what’s the purpose of national service for our young males nowadays when you leaders up there have lost your moral compass? your men are sufferring!

  20. Wolfglare said

    Before u PAP flood Singapore with your foreign trash make sure that every Singaporean are taken care off that why we elected you into government….and not cause more suffering for your people….a lot of us Singaporean are jobless and even those who have a job can hardly earn enough to feed their family….with your FT here our wages are getting lesser and lesser each year how are we to survive

  21. Tony said

    LHL got it wrong again. His really The PM (“Prime Mediocrity”). Who will take him seriously considering his numerous blunder which include:

    (1) low productivity of Singapore economy
    (2) low birth rate
    (3) depressed local wages
    (4) brining in large number of foreigners without properly planning for it
    (5) shortage, “shrinking” and high cost of public housing
    (6) shortage of public buses
    (7) shortage of MRT trains
    (8) shortage of hospitals
    (9) shortage of doctors
    (10) shortage of nursing homes
    (11) shortage of teachers
    (12) shortage of places in schools and universities for Singaporeans
    (13) shortage of jobs for Singaporeans
    (14) foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans
    (15) frequent breakdowns of MRT trains
    (16) overcrowded public transport (buses and MRT trains)
    (17) bailout of public transport (failed privatisation)
    (18) frequent 50-year “ponding” (or flooding)
    (19) high inflation (Singapore now more expensive than Hong Kong)
    (20) high cost of education
    (21) high cost of healthcare
    (22) high cost of electricity (another failed privatisation)
    (23) high cost of private transport and fuel
    (24) depleted CPF accounts after buying “affordable” HDB flats
    (25) many CPF accounts below CPF Minimum Sum
    (26) massive (billions) losses of taxpayers’ money by Temasek and GIC

    • Julie Ong said

      Tony, I really appreciate the trouble you have taken to educate us about the failures and shortcomings of Mr Lee Hsien Loong. Frankly, I am quite tired after writing several highly emotional e-mails. You have expressed and summarized it up well. I will never give up though. I still believe that Singaporeans have been sold out and short changed by the PAP government. It is poignant. Elections after elections see the PAP returned with a crushing mandate ……. and then the betrayal: huge numbers of immigrants were brought in resulting in severe disruption and change to what we have been used to. Personally I welcome foreigners whether as tourists, workers or immigrants. However too many workers and migrants
      in a short time has certainly caused many Singaporeans to be alarmed for reasons that are already well debated and publicized. I am comforted in that there are still good and able people willing to stand up and speak on behalf of the silent majority. People like Ms Sylvia Lim and her colleagues in the Workers Party. I hope that they will continue the good work. Maybe one day they will form the government (General Election 2016) perhaps. The PAP government has gone past it’s use by date. No fresh and innovative idea, but the same lecturing which has become awfully tedious.

      Again, thanks Tony.

  22. Singaporean said

    I think small lee has messed up big time here. I am beginning to hate his policies and the miw.

  23. Singaporean said

    He should stop importing so many foreigners. Enough is enough. There are still jobless singaporeans. Anyway, they can say all they want, but if people are unhappy and they don’t manage, things might get worse. They got to listen and stop rebutting via shitty times.

  24. kakilangOcracy said

    startnowelsetoate said@ at 6:51 am
    I fully 200% agree with you..where i work(white collar finance) only 1 out of over 20 is a local born-bred Singaporean,reason…simple..recruitment was done based on lobang..and not from open market…so it just opened a backdoor for the FTs here to import more of their friends from the same flock…the few locals who were there also left cos the working language completely became t____l_g…..fill in the blanks….environment has become quite unbearable..

  25. mahbok tan said

    SO all those 60.1% , you all are the traitors to the well being of your fellow SGporeans…..prease repent before you all follow the senior peoplee into their condoGrave with full AC ….!!!!
    KNNBccb…to MIW’s….!!!

  26. SomethingVeryWrongSomewhere said

    Hey Honourable PM!

    Please explain ur true real motives and actual rationality to mass import huge container loads of FTs + FWs since Year 2005 resulting in more than 2 millions of them now in Singapore.

    As you know because of this policy, this had resulted in stagnanting & reduction in real wages, rampant inflation, skyrocketing property prices, undue strains on our facilities, resources & infrastructures such as transportation systems, decline in the quality of life (Singaporeans), high unemployment of native Singaporeans (displaced by cheap FTs/FWs), etc (the list is too long & exhaustive to be fully specified here).

    To put it simply by using an analogy: If Singapore could only create 500,000 jobs or vacancies & you had imported in more than 2 Millions FTs & FWs todate that would result in at least 4 FTs + FWs fighting for over each job, right?

    What about the thousands of jobless & unemployed native Singaporeans that we have currently which you have obfuscated the actual unemployment rate, will there still be jobs left for these native Singaporeans?

    I seriously doubt so as you are purposely creating a glut situation in the labour market by having an over supply of labour situation versus few demand for jobs (available jobs in the marketplace) & naturally, salary & wage levels will fall & decline drastically because there are simply too many people (include FTs + FWs) chasing over too few jobs created!

    Even profession such as GPs & Doctors are not spared with your relentless importation of foreign doctors from the Philippines, China, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, etc as one of my friend doing their housemanship in one of the hospital is saying that his salary is at least 20% lower than his peers who had graduated 2 batches earlier than him!

    If your sole main aim & objective is not “To Punish & Terkan All Native Singaporeans” because of the huge drop in votes percentage suffered by you during GE 2011 then, please tell us what are your real motives for the “Continued Unabated Relentless Influx Of FTs + FWs To Singapore” please?

  27. SOS Bukit Brown said

    Land is scarce? – an argument which often justifies the demolition of places and for ‘progress’.

    the increase of population is unclear and unconvincing but we are suppose to think that land scarce and traffic is bad is a reason for demolishing Bukit Brown?

    No, land is not scarce – this is a scenario which is relative to population and traffic is bad in all cities at peak hours. The solution is not knock it down and build more roads. Do tell the truth about the issue.

    Land is scarce because we want to increase the population to x Million.

    We need more roads because we want more cars on the streets. We have no intention of decreasing the car population.

    If you don’t like this logic behind these decision, do loudly so. Sign the open letter.

    If you wish to help save Bukit Brown.

    Get as many people to make some noise by doing so:

    Like the SOS Bukit Brown page,

    Put your name/ic/ID number/email down for the open letter. Email to
    read open letter

    These 2 numbers reflect the ground sentiments,translate into the concerns and strong interest about Bukit Brown.

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