by Augustine Low
Reach, the government’s feedback unit, has released survey findings which show that the majority of Singaporeans agree that the country should be open to foreigners.
This echoes a multitude of statements by Ministers that Singapore must remain open and connected to foreigners and the rest of the world.
As Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing put it recently: “Singapore is deeply cognisant of the importance of staying open and connected to the world. This will never change.”
But aren’t they all stating the obvious and avoiding the crux of the matter?
Singaporeans have NOT been vocal about closing the country to foreigners. It has always been about managing the influx of foreigners and ensuring that Singaporeans are not discriminated against in our own country.
The rallying cry has been that unfair hiring practices must be weeded out, that preponderance of foreign PMETs must be addressed, and that Employment Pass, E-Pass and S-Pass holders must be calibrated.
In short, Singaporeans want to level the playing field and not have to look right, left and centre and fear the worst for natural-born citizens and the Singaporean core.
But no one has been shouting from rooftops or screaming on social media that the country must be shut down completely to foreigners.
Do we need a government survey to tell us that the majority of Singaporeans agree that the country must remain open to foreigners?
Do we need Ministers to repeatedly tell us that Singapore must remain open and connected to foreign talents and the rest of the world?
Staying open to foreigners is one thing. Being swamped by foreigners is another. There is a difference between opening the country and opening the floodgates.
Either our politicians are missing the point or deliberately taking it to extremes and equating Singaporean sentiments about managing the influx of foreigners with closing the country to foreigners.Fullscreen Mode