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Government has miscalculated immigration policy and Singaporeans’ reaction to it

Posted by temasektimes on September 12, 2012

It seems like a government in damage-control mode. As usual for this government, they’re completely unwilling to recognise that they’ve miscalculated the reaction of Singaporeans to the influx of immigrants into the country.

So they’ve resorted to their usual tactics; threats (the old man’s favourite) and their ‘put up and shut up’ approach (we know better).

The wife and I were talking about it the other day, and we think the problem is two fold. One, the indiscriminate influx of immigrants and two, the frequency the government is handing out residency and citizenship.

Let me be clear, I’m not against migration. Good, controlled migration brings significant economic benefits to a country. The problem is uncontrolled migration. For the last 10 years, the government in the UK encouraged migration to stimulate the economy and to drive up GDP. This, coupled with the unrestricted working rights of some EU citizens created a population boom in the metropolitan areas. This overwhelmed public services (health, social housing, schools) and completely drove up the cost of living (rent, property, etc). Singapore is experiencing the same thing. The current government tightened up the immigration requirements, making it very difficult (and expensive) for non EU citizens to come to the UK to live and work.

And getting residency and/or citizenship in the UK is like negotiating a minefield. The process in intentionally made complex, forms and guidelines are intentionally confusing and their websites are intentionally made to be as unhelpful as possible. Plus, it’s cripplingly expensive. And it can take at least 6 months to process an application, with no guarantees that it will be granted. The whole process is designed to let migrants in to work, but for only the best to stay on to get citizenship and/or residency. It’s not perfect but it seems to do an adequate job.

The USA and Australia has a similarly complex policy to residency and citizenship.

But this means that you’d have to want it badly enough to apply. This also means that it’s worth something to you.

I get the impression that it’s very easy to get residency and citizenship in Singapore. Somehow it doesn’t seem to mean as much to someone if something can be obtained so easily.


*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.


8 Responses to “Government has miscalculated immigration policy and Singaporeans’ reaction to it”

  1. fpc said

    it is really true.

    • distant drums said

      This PAP government really? The salient truth,the pap government has no moral courage to admit their willfull wrong doings to the Republic of Singapore

  2. Tichy said

    Even the USA, an ultra capitalist nation, do not dish out residency and citizenship to foreign people

  3. Singapuraboi said

    I once came across a govt website that is well known overseas but locals r not aware of. The websites really painted a fabulous picture of Singapore and. Website visitors think Singapore has lots of ample spaces to growth and there are lots of jobs waiting for them. Everything makes it easy for them to apply for work and the necessary documents. It is a one stop website that does recruitment, job placement and even accommodation and document processing. No other such sites in the world except ours. A friend living overseas told me of the huge career fairs they have in shanghai, beijing, chennai, Delhi. The size is never seen before, not even on Singapore. What kind of message do you think the foreigners would get? And all these fairs are organised by EDB apparently.

  4. Non wisdomed mind said

    Non wisdomed mind

    Miscalculation because of “narrow mind”, “yes man mind”, “not willing to take in criticism mind”, “non compassionate to Singaporeans mind”, overall “non wisdom mind” etc

  5. Naivety said

    I am in IT sector. Singapore productivity is dropping due to huge influx of foreign professionals especially in IT sector which suffers the worst productivity (this data was released by Singapore government).

    By now we should know most of these foreign professionals come due to the FTA/ CECA. In fact, someone exposed on the Internet that CECA was signed between Singapore and India in 2005 and our PM just visited India few weeks ago to renew it. In the CECA, there is a clause which states that both countries are to allow free movement of professionals in IT, Healthcare, accountants, engineers, etc.

    According to an Indian website, India government pressurized Singapore to open more job sectors for the CECA renewal in 2010. The Singapore IT sector employs huge number from India, followed by Filipino professionals and I am not surprised that the IT sector has the worst productivity drop based on the work ethics I have observed. Sadly, some of these professionals get PRs and bring their family and parents over to Singapore.

    As DBS expands its business in India, Singapore will have to take in more Indian professionals.

    • Commando Pants said

      Thats why I left, 80% + Indian of very little skill and a massive attitude..

      • Mark said

        You are right. Most are ‘NATO’ – No Action Talk Only. Good ones had already left, average ones are thinking of leaving, CMI ones stay behind just to survive. Just reported our productivity drops again compare to last year, why can’t that man and his ideas wake up?

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