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