Saturday, April 17, 2010
S’pore needs more well-educated new citizens : LKY
S’pore needs more educated immigrants to make country dynamic, says MM
SINGAPORE : Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has reiterated
the need for Singapore to attract more educated immigrants.
Speaking at the Indian New Year celebrations in Little India on
Saturday, Mr Lee said Singaporeans must recognise that with a
declining population, the country needs such people, including those
who have studied or worked in the US and Europe.
With the economy in a buoyant mood after the government upgraded its
growth forecast for the year, Mr Lee said Singapore needs to grow as
an attractive hub for international trade, investment and talent to
sustain long—term growth.
"We benefited from being open to immigrants from around the world,
especially China, India and the region. Throughout history, Singapore
has welcomed migrants. When I first took office, we had 62,000 babies
every year from a population of 2 million. Today, Singapore citizens
produce only 32,000 babies in a year when we should have 60,000 just
to replace our population," said MM Lee.
Little India is a glowing example of how early immigrants have
flourished and taken root in the country.
Mr Lee said the government understands the concerns of Singaporeans
over new immigrants and foreign workers. So it has taken steps to
moderate the inflow and widen the differentiation between citizens and
Having educated immigrants here, said Mr Lee, makes Singapore more
competitive and dynamic.
"The majority of the new PRs and citizens are skilled workers and
professionals in finance, IT and R&D. They bring new skills, global
connections and a strong drive to create better lives for their
families," said Mr Lee.
Mr Lee gave an example of how one immigrant is making a difference.
"Shyam Srinivasan came from Chennai at age 14, and went to Geylang
Methodist Secondary School and Victoria Junior College. He took up
citizenship and obtained a teaching scholarship from the Public
Service Commission," said the Minister Mentor.
"Last year, he graduated top of his class in Physics at Oxford
University. He is now doing his Masters in Applied Physics at Columbia
University. He will come back and complete his NS. He will educate and
inspire the next generation of Singaporeans," he said.
Their presence has also helped to shape the Singapore landscape.
Mr Lee cited how many Indian temples today have been refurbished to
look "elegant" and "colourful".
"Our immigration policies have brought in better educated and wealthy
Indians who have made that qualitative difference to our lives. Their
support of these temples has resulted in this transformation,
reflecting the transformation that is taking place throughout
Singapore," said Mr Lee.
Mr Lee said the challenge is to integrate newcomers into Singapore
society and an event like this Indian New Year Celebration is a good
example of how integration can be done.
The event brings together different communities, not just among the
different Indian ethnic groups, but also Singaporeans of all races. -CNA
What is the definition?
We have more than enough native educated Singaporeans!
These FT are like the Romania ambassador.
When they need you, they will sing how good SIN is but when they are going off they will bad mouth SIN until like they were forced to stay in SIN city.
I think the govt seriously do not know what is happening on the ground.
Do we really need those normal educated FT?
the unhappiness on the ground is real.
i already felt it when i was doing my ns.
back in the 90s, people talked alot, made noise, but i never got the feeling they were unhappy. but around the late 2000s, things changed. people talked, and they were starting to get genuinely unhappy. they started citing examples of unhappiness, something which was not done previously.
i had many of my guys in ns coming to me asking why they are forced to slog so much in ns out in the field when many others did not, and new citizens did not need to. frankly i had no good answer to them, and today i still have no good answer.
and now the guys have largely grown up---and what are they thinking of nowadays?
obviously the FTs here are not educated enuf...we need MORE!!??
haha...obviously by opening the flood gates, any kuchi kurang also can come in....so not very right...
in order to attract the capable and really proper FTs, the brand and the citizenship should be coveted....right now...the citizens here are like 3rd class...how u expect to attract the Good Class FTs?....