Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

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Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby LOLMum » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:53 pm

hi, if need, pls merge this with "5.18 M population" thread.

..Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

By Seah Chiang Nee
.PostsWebsite .By Seah Chiang Nee | SingaporeScene – 10 hours ago..


Who opened the floodgates in Singapore that let in three new waves of immigrants during the past 24 years?

Most Singaporeans probably feel they know the answer but at least one serious analyst has pointed the finger, not at their influential ex-Minister Mentor, but at Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Although a few people had privately talked about it, this was the first time it was articulated publicly that the mild-mannered Goh's role was more than a passive one.

A regular contributor on the republic's history and current affairs, Chua Suntong wrote in The Online Citizen that Goh was the starting force behind the influx of foreign PRs.

The ill-prepared policy, one of modern Singapore's most important, has been the cause of a number of problems for locals, ranging from jobs and public transport to housing and education.

It also led to one of the worst election declines for the ruling party.

In his article, Chua said that as Singapore's fertility rate fell to 1.4 in 1987, Goh — who was then Deputy Prime Minister and due to succeed Lee Kuan Yew — started a pro-immigration policy.

Chua, who describes himself as a home-grown Singaporean, is a regular commentator on finance, history, languages and logistics.

Pointing the finger

He alleged it was Goh who had openly promoted mass immigration in 1987 when he was DPM. There has been no official confirmation from the two retired leaders.

During the past 20 years (1991-2010) some 726,768 PR permits were issued — mostly to foreign professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), who were directly competing with middle-class Singaporeans.

"Goh regularly used the term 'foreign talents' (FTs) to describe foreign PMETs and foreign-born students in local higher-level academic institutions," the columnist said.

At one time, he also strongly nudged as many PRs as possible to take up Singapore citizenship.

Chua's article was an analysis of the "Sept 2011 Population Report in the Larger Context" issued by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a think tank.

"After promoting foreign immigration without really defining its meaning from 1987 to 2011, the ESM relinquished his Cabinet position," Chua wrote.

"He expressed hopes that a younger Cabinet would be able to carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation. His policies probably caused this situation."

The IPS report attributed no names of leaders responsible, but the writer indicated several times that Goh had been pushing it for a long period.

Several waves

It opened the door for 20,000-plus new PRs a year from 1987 to 1997 (up from 8,000 average). The figures rose steadily in two more waves until 2005-2010 when between 50,000 and 80,000 arrived every year.

"The ESM remained in the Cabinet after stepping down from the prime ministership in 2004," Chua added. The tempo of PR arrivals increased.

What he said of the role of the former well-liked Prime Minister has come as a surprise to Singaporeans, who had all along believed the immigration policy was solely Lee's idea.

Chua said that even after he handed over leadership to PM Lee Hsien Loong, he had continued to work on the programme as Senior Minister, and PRs kept coming in.

In another comment, social activist Ravi Philemon also said that it was the government under Goh which relaxed the stricter yester-years immigration policy of Singapore.

In fact, the excessive arrivals resulted in Lee Kuan Yew warning him that 60,000 new residents a year was "politically indigestible" and that 30,000 was more realistic.

Singaporeans generally read with some disbelief that Lee had allowed such an important decision as mass immigration to be decided by Goh.

The majority of informed Singaporeans still feel the original initiative had come from the founding leader himself — and that Goh was only a very convinced implementer.

A minority opinion, however, was that Goh and, subsequently, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were just carrying out Lee's ambition to have a six million to seven million population by 2030.

Setting the record straight

At that time, Lee had frequently been telling people that his successors were calling the shots and running Singapore and that he was merely — as Minister Mentor — giving advice on the side. It wasn't always taken seriously.

"The truth will emerge one day as to who really made the call to let in so many foreign settlers without adequate preparation," said a retired businessman and strong admirer of Lee.

"In the event that Lee was only minimally responsible for the excess, then it is good that someone puts it on record before he passes on. Otherwise, it will not be fair to him."

That was a period when most People's Action Party (PAP) leaders were pro-immigration, including both the two Lees. It is only now that the numbers are being cut back.

Lee Senior had said it allowed Singapore "to punch above its weight". The difference was, of course, how big a figure.

Three years ago, Lee signalled a redirection, saying he now preferred an optimum population of 5.5 million — instead of 6.5 million.

Others like former PAP MP Dr Tan Hui Heng had even called for a "big bang" approach in doubling manpower.

Tan, in fact, suggested admitting not only the highly talented, but also those with lower and intermediate skills, arguing that a big bang approach would prevent erosion of asset values.

The new young arrivals, Goh had hoped, would make up for Singapore's baby shortfall.

The story has not ended. More foreign PRs will likely arrive in this migrant society — but staggered over a longer period.

A former Reuters correspondent and newspaper editor, the writer is now a freelance columnist writing on general trends in Singapore. This post first appeared on his blog http://www.littlespeck.com on 12 November 2011...

LOLMum
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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby Oppsgal » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 am

Who cares about who opened the gates to immigrants :? :shrug:

I am more worried on the problems if any, and how the problems are being solved.

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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby Sky71 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:55 am

It take sTWO (Lee & Goh) hands to clap... :gloomy:
There's still time to rectify this flawed (to say the least) policy... :wrongmove:

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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby verykiasu2010 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:01 am

just look at the torrent of responses to the letter written by a Virdi Bhupinder to the Straits Time forum page a few days ago, and yesterday a whole lot of rebuttals from singaporeans
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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby verykiasu2010 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:07 am

Just take a look at the "firework" of a Bhupinder letter below :
========================================


Roadblocks to a multicultural Singapore

I AGREE with the observation by the National University of Singapore's Malay Studies department head Syed Farid Alatas ('Singapore is not yet truly multicultural'; Wednesday).

I was born in London and am of North Indian descent. I moved to Singapore 16 years ago and have since made it home after marrying my Singaporean wife, and taking up citizenship.

Sadly, my experiences with the Chinese, Malay and local Tamil Indians have been far from welcoming, and I feel I have not been truly accepted as a fellow citizen.

The majority of our neighbours are Chinese who have never bothered to mix or get to know our culture, let alone greet us in the common lift.

They have no clue as to our North Indian customs or eating habits and stare at us as if we are aliens.

Our greetings are often returned with stares.

I have been fortunate to have lived in Canada, Britain and India, where hundreds of diverse languages are spoken and everybody gives and respects each other's space - not just tolerate one another.

Singapore is far from a multicultural society. 'Throwing in' people from different races does not create a multicultural society.

A society evolves over thousands of years and not by setting a quota for a certain race, whether it is in an HDB estate or elsewhere.

How many Indian expatriates, or for that matter expats from elsewhere, bother to mingle with Singaporeans?

By forming their own enclaves, there is no integration but an ever-growing gap instead.

A truly multicultural society does not have 'guidelines' to decide who lives where, and therein lies the problem of true integration.

Virdi Bhupinder

http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Sto ... 33000.html

SAMPLE OF A REPLY :

I FOUND Mr Virdi Bhupinder's letter ('Roadblocks to a multicultural Singapore'; last Saturday) amusing albeit a tad arrogant.

Despite having assumed Singapore citizenship and living here for a long time, he prioritises himself to be of North Indian descent and segregates one of his targets of unwelcoming Singaporeans as 'local Tamil Indians'.

I was born in Singapore and am an Indian Singaporean. I consider myself a Singaporean first, then an Indian, not North or South Indian.

If unfriendly neighbours treat Mr Bhupinder like an 'alien', he can cultivate neighbourhood friendships via community clubs, residents' committees, public and private organisations, and inter-faith groups, which organise events regularly to foster social understanding and harmony among new citizens, permanent residents and multi-ethnic groups. Bonding takes time and happens in different ways.

Mr Bhupinder's observation that everyone in Britain and India 'gives and respects each other's space' is curious, given the recent violent race riots in British cities, and the ethnic violence and class discrimination in India. I also find it incredulous that he chose to be a Singaporean despite Singapore's 'poor' multiculturalism and when there were greener pastures elsewhere.

Singapore's racial quota policy for public housing may not have been stupendously successful, but Mr Bhupinder is welcome to contribute towards making it better.

Singapore has a rare and thriving multicultural tapestry. Fostering multiculturalism is an organic part of our education policy; we work on it socially and it is at the heart of our national values.

It is with optimism that I propose that new citizens adopt patience and perseverance to assimilate into Singapore's context of multiculturalism. Put one's lofty ideals to rest and appreciate and, if possible, contribute to building a better Singapore.

Vasanthan Kanmani (Mrs)


Acceptance

'The onus is on the new member to earn it.'

MR GOH RONG REN: 'Mr Virdi Bhupinder expects to be welcomed into a community he had chosen to make his new home ('Roadblocks to a multicultural Singapore'; last Saturday). Acceptance into a community, as with all places, is not an entitlement The onus is on the new member to earn it by demonstrating his sincerity and effort to assimilate himself to bridge the cultural differences and the lack of an inherent commonality. New members must convince us they can make a meaningful contribution .'

Make the move

'I shall be happy to understand Mr Bhupinder's culture over coffee.'

MR NEO ENG CHONG: 'I wonder if Mr Virdi Bhupinder ('Roadblocks to a multicultural Singapore'; last Saturday), who has lived here for 16 years, has made the effort to understand the cultures of the Chinese, Malay and Tamils, rather than criticise expatriates for keeping to themselves. I hope he will eventually get to know his neighbours. In the meantime, I shall be happy to understand Mr Bhupinder's culture over coffee if he contacts me.'

Log onto http://www.straitstimes.com to read the complete letters.

http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Sto ... 34341.html
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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby janet88 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:11 am

Oppsgal wrote:Who cares about who opened the gates to immigrants :? :shrug:

I am more worried on the problems if any, and how the problems are being solved.

By opening the flood gates to foreigners, Singaporeans born here are now suffering the BIG increased population...new social problems when newly converted SC import their mentality from country of origin. A recent article in forum is about an Indian staying for past 16 years who sees himself as North Indian. Here, we are Singaporeans first, followed by Chinese, Malay, Indians and Eurasians.

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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby Chenonceau » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:19 am

Actually... I hate to say this because I've never thought of myself as xenophobic but I get REALLY upset when I see PRC children peeing on grass verges outside the mall when all the parents need to do is to bring the child INTO the mall. It hardly takes 3 minutes. Firstly, the child bares his privates for all to see. Secondly, it is unhygienic for every passerby who needs to smell urine for the next 2 days.

I also get peeved when the PRC people don't queue. It usually happens at the weighing station. They crowd around and jostle for the weighing staff's attention. It is rude to the staff and rude to other shoppers.

I do know that this is a cultural difference but I do reckon that in my home country, I would not have to adapt to other countries' cultural quirks. Not all PRC people are like that. What I don't understand is why we have let foreigners in that have no cosmopolitan manners at all. Surely, some degree of cosmopolitanism should define the word TALENT?

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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby janet88 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:31 am

Chenonceau wrote:Actually... I hate to say this because I've never thought of myself as xenophobic but I get REALLY upset when I see PRC children peeing on grass verges outside the mall when all the parents need to do is to bring the child INTO the mall. It hardly takes 3 minutes. Firstly, the child bares his privates for all to see. Secondly, it is unhygienic for every passerby who needs to smell urine for the next 2 days.

I also get peeved when the PRC people don't queue. It usually happens at the weighing station. They crowd around and jostle for the weighing staff's attention. It is rude to the staff and rude to other shoppers.

I do know that this is a cultural difference but I do reckon that in my home country, I would not have to adapt to other countries' cultural quirks. Not all PRC people are like that. What I don't understand is why we have let foreigners in that have no cosmopolitan manners at all. Surely, some
degree of cosmopolitanism should define the word TALENT?

Yes, precisely. Some of the PRC sales assistants expect you to speak Mandarin just because you are also Chinese. They don't bother to attempt to converse in English.
At supermarkets, some PRCs have absolutely no manners when they select vegetables...ransacking the piles of raw vege neatly arranged by supermarket staff. They talk at the top of their voice on the bus or shouid i say anywhere and everywhere. It's sickening when we have to put up with their lack of courtesy, rudeness and their culture in in homeland.

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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby smurf » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:48 am

er, i let ds pee on grass outside mall before. coz the toilets inside the mall are so dirty!!! i rather little children pee on the grass (its NOT smelly at all, and its fertilizer for the plant...hee) than they anyhow 'shoot' in the toilet bowl. can create nuisance to the person waiting behind. but for gals, maybe not so advisable.
the mall toilets are not so clean. have u seen any cleaner mops the cubicle toilet floor (filled with water and urine) and then using the same mop, 'mop' the flush button??

i have not met any PRC that ransack bunches of vegs,t-shirts, etc. but I hve seen locals do that. but PRC do TALK very loudly though.

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Re: Who opened the floodgates to immigrants?

Postby LOLMum » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:13 am

and dont call a prc woman "小姐", might get whacked.

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