The “conspiracy theory” behind the need for New Immigrants (aka New Citizens)

Written by Askmelah 5 May 2011, updated 7 Jun 2011
There have been various conspiracy theories floatied by various internet forumers on the need for new immigrants. The argument that these new immigrants, regardless whether they are from China, India, Inodnesia, Philippines, Myamar, Eastern Europe countries are likely to return the favour for the open door policy bestowed to them by the Singapore Government. Having experienced the inefficiencies and corruptions in their home countries and the sheer difficulty to be accepted as citizens in more developed countries such as US, UK, France and Australia (the popular traditional destinations for would-be emigrants), these new immigrants will likely to vote for the ruling party than otherwise, thus tilting the level playing field in favour of the ruling party. The ST Forums’ letter by China new immigrant Feng Wei certainly reinforces this argument.

“If we do not take migrants from Malaysia, from China, from India, our population will be shrink by half. It will be an ageing population and the whole economy will slow down. But at the same time, because we are taking so many new migrans, our old citizens feel a little uncomfortable in the buses and trains to see such new faces. So we have to balance the trade-off” – Lee Kuan Yew (The Straits Times, 27 May 2011)

“….as much as i don’t like a crowded singapore, we do not have a choice that once the foreigners leave, the SGD would be worthless and its people would lose jobs ……we are actually being trapped. its like drug addictn. overtime, u need more n more of these aliens to sustain all sectors of economy. once they stop coming for some strange reasons, our hse of cards wld jus collapse. it’s legacy of the old one and a catch22 situatn for the younger one.A forumer Bystander
I think Mr Lee is trivalising the issue, it is very different if you take the MRT once compared to if you were to take the train twice everyday – the experience is very different. Coming back to the topic, while the Government has often touted the immigration policy is to boost the GDP and to make up for the falling fertility rate. The arguments are flawed in that
  • These immigrants are in their mid 30s and 40s instead of in their 10s or 20s, we are actually adding to the aging population to the baby boomer generation that we already have. Are the Government actually adding to the severity of the aging problem that is already lurking in 20-30 time? Something which the Government have done very little to address thus far. The Open door policy does not help to address the aging issues, many of these new immigrants also have only one or two kids due to the high cost of upbringing in Singapore. Are the current leaders being responsible to push the problem to the next generation of leaders to solve?
  • The second flaw in our immigrant policy is the quality of the immigrants. Are they more qualified than our own people? Why majority of the new immigrants are from the third world countries? Are they helping to create more job opportunities instead of taking away the jobs that Singapore can do? Ask many PMETs who are still looking for jobs and the answer is obvious (see Social and Workplace Enclaves in Singapore). My argument is this: you need not have to give citizenship to create jobs. PRship and work permit schemes are created for that purposes.
  • The third flaw is the overwhelming new immigrants are from China, who have difficulty to fit in the Singapore society due to their poor command of English. Many Singaporeans also find their social behaviour very different from ours such as talking loudly in public places and spitting. The less clear indication from the Government: Is the large influx of China immigrant to balance the racial composition in Singapore given the lowest fertility rate of the local Chinese population amonst all the various racial groups in Singapore? If this is not the case, why not set a quota just like the green card lottery system in US?
whatever the case, the large influx of immigrants are causing a lot of unhappiness and stress amongst the heartlanders ranging from escalating prices of HDBs, crowdedness in MRTs, buses, shopping centres, competiton for jobs and school places, inflation, social integration and etc which likely to cost the PAP some dissenting votes in the coming election. What is not clear is how the new immigrants votes help to swing in favour of the ruling party.  It is beyond any reasonable doubt that new citizens will be grateful to the ruling party that grants them citizenship and keep PAP in power, what is not so clear is the drastic social implications of replacing the entire true blue Singaporeans with grateful FTs. The open door policy needs to be reviewed fast and critically access the impact on the aging, social integration and job opportunities for Singaporean after the election and made known to the public at large for transparency.
“The policy makers should be more open and upfront in what are the challenges that we face as a society. Immigration is one area where more openness and explanation are needed” – Nee Soon GRC MP Muhd Faishal Ibrahim (The Straits Times, 27 May 2011)

She’s crystal clear about her vote

Source: ST Forums, 5 May 2011

I RECEIVED my poll card last Friday and will vote for PAP candidate Lam Pin Min, who is contesting Sengkang West Single Member Constituency, come Polling Day.

Why do I, as a new immigrant from China, vote firmly for the People’s Action Party?

I recently received a letter from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, reminding me that my passport was expiring soon. There was an application form attached, which had already been filled. Being a forgetful new mum, I did not even realise that my passport was expiring, and did not expect the Government to remind me.

This is just a small issue but it shows how well the Government is functioning. Singapore’s Government may not be doing everything right but it is certainly insightful and effective.

Feng Wei (Ms)


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