Dear PM Lee,
I’d like to congratulate you on your landslide victory in this year’s election three weeks ago. Many have analyzed how PAP garnered such a resounding victory. To me, the main reasons are as follows:
1. the SG50 effect and the goodies that were dished out, in particular to the Pioneer Generation (the latter from tax payers’ money).
2. The demise of LKY and the “beholden” effect to the so-called “founding father”.
3. Strategic error of oppositions contesting in all constituencies, resulting in fear among the more conservative voters that there could be a “freak” result.
4. as per some internet blogs, new citizens since last 2011 election, which contributed approx 280,000 out of total votes of 2.4 mln. That is approx 12 % of total votes casted.
Hence no surprise we saw a 10% swing to PAP compared to 2011.
By next election, the first 3 factors will be less influential. For the forth factor, the oppositions should come to the realization that majority of new citizens voted for PAP as they compared Singapore’s quality of life to the countries they come from, be it Malaysia, China, India or Europe, but that is where the comparison should end and they should turn to assess their new life as Singaporeans.
For self-centered reasons, they should assess the implication of this loose immigration policy, which enabled them to become Singaporeans. The continued influx of foreigners will immpact theirs, and their children’s, career prospects, cost of living and overall quality of life. They would soon want the door to be shut as well, just like the true blue Singaporeans.
A Swiss friend who is married to a Singaporean once told me that he feels the threat of head office in Europe posting more and more expats to Singapore to be above him. Such thinking is understandable as this is how true blue Singaporeans feel as well.
Singapore now is different from the days our forefathers. When they migrated here in the early years, it was vastly a lowly inhabited island. That has changed and we are much more crowded today. It would be highly selfish of the PAP to use this policy to gain new votes without due regards to the adverse effects on Singaporeans.
I am heartened to hear that you and your Ministers adopted the party line of “humbled by the results”, Ministers “are the servants of the people, not master” and your expressed willingness to listen to your voters. To me, being humbled should not just be a mantra. Humility should imply treating opposition members with the proper respect. After all, they are fellow Singaporeans who are willing to sacrifice their time, monies, and face public scrutiny to try to contribute to the betterment of Singaporeans. Sincerity in being humble also involves genuine and active listening to the people especially in opinions that defer from PAP’s. Only through critical assessment of PAP’s own policies could Singaporeans truly benefit from your proclaimed “with you, for you and for Singapore” policies. In short, to truly see your party’s motto of being humble, we should see objective and opened reassessment of policies that lead to improving the quality of life of Singaporeans, not just the transient gestures mentioned above.
I am sure that you are aware that the loose immigration policy and its related adversed impact has been a source of unhappiness for Singaporeans. But some how the political commentaries and analysis in the press do not, or dare not, directly cite this as a policy for your reassessment. Are there any PAP party members that are dissenters on this policy that you could perhaps seriously listen to? Or, are all your members unanimously in agreement with the current policy?
A few years ago, I was rather disappointed to hear the word “xenophobic” being used on Singaporeans. We are not xenophobic, but just against the liberal immigration policy. Perhaps the usage of the word was an effort to try to get Singaporeans to help the foreigners to be assimilated but it has not been successful as Singaporeans are not willing to have so many of them living here and the foreigners themselves tend to stick to their own kind. Thishas created a “divide” in our community that in time could lead to tension.
The government’s silence on further discussions on the population white paper has led to speculations that PAP is looking at 10 million once the 6.9 mln target is achieved.
To continue with my discussion, I must set a few perimeters straight:
1. I am not xenophobic but am against the liberal FT policy.
2. I make a distinction between FT and Foreign workers (again Govt statements do not make this distinction).
3. I think Singapore must forthwith reduce the number of foreigners residing here and when that happens, many of the problems and issues will naturally be defused and resolved for example, the high cost of living.
I am of the view that focusing on the impact of foreigners on Singaporeans is highly important, especially now that the proportion has reached more than 40%! In Sweden, with only 14% foreigners and the locals are already protesting. You must also know that the people in Europe, Canada and Australia all share the same concern of runaway immigration numbers in their countries.
Economists and the policy makers have been obsessed with macro growth numbers but managing a country should not be just feeding the Economics alone. Obsessive pursuit of economic growth without due regards to the other social implications would, in my view, lower the social happiness of the people.
The liberal FT policy has also caused many Singaporeans to lose their jobs, from technical to managerial. It has also caused Singaporeans to be discriminated against for jobs.
A Canadian professor once did a survey and concluded that if the growth of population is faster than economic growth, then the per resident benefiting from this growth is actually lesser. Simply put, if a pie grows at 3%, and number of persons eating it is growing at 10%, the pie per person is actually smaller.
Building a population using imported foreigners is like a “Ponzi” scheme whereby a bigger base is needed to support the current one. I have never seen a Ponzi scheme that has a happy ending. I worry for our future generation as it will need a bigger base to support the current one. Have we seriously systematically thought through the challenges? What about the impacts like even more elderly when we actually hit 10 million?
Over relying on foreigners for certain critical sectors like healthcare and hospital work also puts us in a precarious situation. In the event that Filipinos were to leave Singapore in flocks, we will be caught in a dilemma where no one is left to work in our hospitals. Perhaps a better solution is to pay Singaporeans well in crucial
industries than to adopt to short term solution.
I sincerely hope that this email will reach you and in the not too long future, we will hear an announcement that gives Singaporeans a pleasant surprise !
Very truly yours,