Saturday, 15 August 2009

We need immigrants

Channel NewsAsia - Friday, August 14
SINGAPORE: Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has highlighted two challenges for Singapore to undertake in order to do well in the next five to ten years.


Speaking on Thursday at the annual National Day Dinner at his Tanjong Pagar constituency, the minister mentor said Singapore can reach a new level of development, but difficulties will crop up along the way.
To resolve them, the nation must always face them squarely and work together.
The first challenge is integrating new citizens and permanent residents (PRs) with the local population. The speed of this process depends on the openness of Singaporeans who are born and raised here, and the willingness of new citizens to adapt and be part of the Singapore society.

Mr Lee explained that without immigration, the ageing problem will be too heavy a burden for the young. Immigrants who can be integrated without upsetting the racial balance are in Singapore’s interest. He said: "We need immigrants to make up for the children we are not having. That’s a very hard fact of life. Between age 25 and 40, more than 30 per cent are unmarried — that means single and childless.
"Those who marry have an average of 1.8 children — replacement is 2.1. If we do not have educated Malaysians, China Chinese and India Indians and others from the region, our economy will decline and our labour force will shrink."
Mr Lee, however, assured Singaporeans that the government is conscious of protecting the interests of citizens. In fact, there is a clear distinction between citizens and PRs in terms of HDB housing, hospital charges, education fees and the Resilience Package.

On the other hand, he added that Singapore cannot make the immigration process so onerous that no one comes. For example, it cannot insist that PRs or new citizens be fluent in English when even some existing citizens are not.

Mr Lee’s second challenge is to encourage Chinese Singaporeans to speak more Mandarin and to take up scholarships to study in China’s top universities.
He said Singapore needs 200 to 300 A—level students to be proficient in both languages and cultures to manage the work with China — both government—to—government and in the private sector.

He added: "This does not mean we are displacing English as our working and common language — our first language. English will remain the master language for all Singaporeans.
"Our new immigrants know that in Singapore, without an adequate command of English, they cannot go far. The command of English is the decisive factor for the career path and promotion prospects of all Singaporeans."
As for the resident population, Mr Lee said the government is conscious of the need to keep the character and values of the Singapore society, so it is carefully controlling the inflow of PRs and new citizens to maintain this balance.
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3 comments:

ငွက္ကေလး said...

ကိုမင္းအိမ္ျဖဴရယ္ တတ္သေလာက္ေတာ႔ ဖတ္သြားတယ္ ဟြန္႔ မ်ားက အဂၤလိပ္စာ အားနည္းပါတယ္ ခ်ိဳမွ ေနာ္ ဟြန္းးးးးးးးးးးးး

ငွက္ကေလး said...

ေရြ ငါ ၁ လား ဟားဟားးးးးးးးးးး

mae said...

ဒါ ကုိယ္တုိ႔ ဘဘႀကီး ေျပာေနက်ေတြပါကြယ္.. လြမ္းေတာင္ လြမ္းသြားတယ္

အဟတ္