LEE KUAN YEW: S'PORE PRs ARE VETTED CAREFULLY BEFORE THEY CAN BECOME NEW CITIZENS

Mr Lee said that 10per cent of the pool of foreigners here are new PRs, while another 20per cent are PRs who have been here for some time.

THE government looks closely at permanent residents' (PRs) contributions to Singapore before deciding which ones can become citizens, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday night at a Tanjong Pagar GRC event.

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'So please put up with the new immigrants. We are very careful about who becomes a citizen,' he said, responding to criticisms over the growing influx of foreigners living and working here.

There were more than 1.2million foreigners in Singapore last year.

Mr Lee said that 10per cent of the pool of foreigners here are new PRs, while another 20per cent are PRs who have been here for some time.

'This 20per cent, we will look at their performance and slowly absorb those who can help us. If they don't help us raise the level, they won't be citizens. We are not stupid.'

As for the remaining 70per cent of foreigners who are here on work permits, 'they are not citizens and never will be', he added. 'They will go home after two years. They do the difficult jobs and without them, MRT stations will not go up.

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