PM Lee: ‘Completely understandable’ that Singaporeans are uncomfortable with influx of PRC immigrants
Posted by temasektimes on July 11, 2012
Despite rising public disgruntlement and anger at the government’s immigration policies, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appears confident that the government is managing the issue well.
Speaking at the closing dialogue of the FutureChina Global Forum, Mr Lee said Singapore deals with this issue by managing the inflow of immigrants and getting them to adapt to the local way of life.
“It was “completely understandable” that Singaporeans may feel uncomfortable with the recent influx of mainland Chinese immigrants, who may look the same as Singaporean Chinese but sound and behave differently,” he told the audience.
PM Lee said the Government will continue to “manage” the social impact of immigration and urged newcomers to play their part.
“We have to encourage the non-Singaporeans who are living here to adapt to the circumstances in Singapore and understand that this is a different society with different values and cultures, and (a society that is) multi-racial and religious,” he added.
PM Lee had earlier urged native Singaporeans to do their part by ‘reaching out’ to the new citizens on a personal level and at work during a citizenship ceremony last Saturday.
In an interview with the National Geographic magazine in 2009, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared that it is a ‘good thing’ that Singapore is welcoming so many Chinese immigrants from China as they are ‘harder-striving’ and ‘harder-driving’ than locals.