I felt the frustration in every one of you, and the agony you have faced in the endless wave of foreigners flooding into Singapore.
I know the issues you’re facing in your day to day interaction with the foreigners – the good and the not-so-good.
And the reason in which I understand how you feel? Almost 90% of the people I’m working with in my workplace are foreigners.
The government’s argument for the need of foreigners:
The government has long argued that without foreigners, Singapore will lose her competitiveness.
I find that statement partially true.
I would have argued instead – Without a sustainable population, Singapore will lose her competitiveness.
If there’s sufficient labor force in Singapore, Singapore will continue to prosper and grow
But why the government always stood by their dogmatic argument on the need for foreigners?
The reasons are simple and I’ll explain the rational to you.
The real reason for the need of foreigners
For a country to need foreigners, it only means that the country own population is declining.
And the reasons for the population decline are:
- The local population is migrating out of the country.
- The local population is not reproducing itself sufficiently.
On Population Decline Point Number 1:
ESM Goh Chok Tong had acknowledged in 2009 that Singapore is experiencing a “brain drain” and the talent pyramid is being chipped away at the top. This is a challenge that needs to be solved urgently.
Although this is highlighted at the national level ages ago, did the government really attempt to solve this issue seriously? Is the government being transparent about the brain drain and understand the real reasons for Singaporean wanting to migrate out? Has the government been producing migrating statistics on a year to year basis and proof that the government is serious about tackling this issue?
I believe the answer to the above questions is no – The government is not serious to tackle the “brain drain”.
On a more sinister note: Does the government understands the issue, knows the reason why Singaporean migrates out and instead, make a conscious decision to do nothing to address this “brain drain”?
I’m not sure.
On Population Decline Point Number 2:
It’s a known fact that Singaporeans are not reproducing and replacing themselves sufficiently. Singapore birth rate is low and the government always attributes this phenomenal as a problem associated with a developed country. But is this really a phenomenal encountered by a developed country?
The basic ingredient for having children is a happy family. And the fundamental components of a happy family are as follow:
- Money (Income, Cost of Living excluding housing)
- Under a Roof (Housing)
- Security (Career, Environment)
- Time (Work, Travel time between home and work)
I call this a MUST for a family and this is always the long-term pursuit of happiness for a family.
Although the government has attempted to address the declining population issue by giving out baby bonus – to me, this is a short-term incentive.
The government is not addressing the long-term issues adequately and the government is not looking at the big picture on why Singaporean families are not having children of their own.
The long-term (and key) issues here are the high cost of living & housing, lengthy work hours, unsecured working environment (due to weak labor laws) and marital matters.
Given the above, how can an ordinary family afford to raise a child adequately?
The real reason for the government to bring in foreigners is that the government has failed to resolve the actual reasons (point number 1 & 2) behind Singapore population decline.
Instead, the government is choosing the easiest way out and unleashed a loose policy for foreigners – because this best suits the government’s interest also.
This is a “population replacement” strategy adopted by the government and its ultimate intention is to replace you with foreigners.
Moreover, the government had conveniently ignores the side effects that accompanied with the influx of foreigners. These side effects are:
- Bullying, Discrimination and Lack of Equal Opportunity against the local population
- Straining the infrastructure of Singapore
- Increase in cost of living
- Social tension between local population and foreigners.
I have a special and intimate feeling on the bully and discrimination part, because I’ve been through that painful experience before. I was bullied and discriminated by foreigners in my own country.
Ask the government not to use short cut and urge the government to focus on the well-being of Singaporean, so that the social fabric can be weaved by the local population who is loyal to the country.
Remember: Only the local population will stay on with Singapore during a crisis, not a foreigner.
*Article first appeared on www.transitioning.org, a support site for the unemployed by Gilbert Goh