HAS THE PRESTIGE OF BEING S’POREAN BEEN LET DOWN BY OUR MILLIONAIRE MINISTERS?

I came accross an Investopedia article entitled 5 Countries Where It’s Easy to Gain Citizenship to Retire.While I do not suppose that citizens from other countries would come to Singapore just to retire (Oh, aren’t we the most expensive city in the world?), but the write-up is most certainly interesting (to quote in exact form):

“4. Singapore

Singapore offers a simple route to citizenship. First, obtain permanent residency by establishing a business in Singapore, obtaining employment there or marrying a citizen of Singapore. After two years of residency, you can then apply to become a naturalized citizen. Opening a business, however, can be a costly enterprise: Check carefully for the latest financial requirements; it’s not just simply depositing a certain sum in a Singapore bank.

Cautionary note: Singapore requires National Service from its male citizens. If you are of retirement age, you are likely safely outside the age window that obligates you for national service, but if you just won the lottery and are retiring at age 25, you might want to double-check just to make sure you do not have to join the Singapore army for a couple of years. A male permanent resident can also apply for citizenship after completing National Service. Singapore does not allow dual citizenship. You must renounce your prior citizenship to become a citizen of Singapore.”

The cautionary note is most certainly interesting. While the intention of NS was to build loyalty to the country, it is interesting to see the hoards of ASEAN scholars who have been given free education and a pathway to residence but almost certainly do not have to serve in the army.

[So while it may be the case on paper, I suppose the reality is different altogether!]

Other than that, I view Singapore is the 2nd most desirably location on the list after Canada, considering that the other countries are rather less developed (HDI will be a benchmark) while Ireland does indeed have some political uncertainty and is less cosmopolitan.

Interestingly though, Canada requires “proof of funds to immigrate as a skilled immigrant. After becoming a permanent resident , you can apply for naturalization as a Canadian citizen after four years“.

And the key term here is Skilled Immigrant, which is rather interesting when one considers countries such as Australian have a skilled labour shortages list and point system for immigrants.

On the other hand, I’m really not so sure about Singapore when you have people such as Nisha and Yang Yin becoming citizens and Permanent residents..
I don’t think Singaporeans are xenophobic per se and am sure that Singapore has managed to attract some top talents, but the fact that there are constant instances within that media that have cast doubt on the quality of our immigrants – PRCs-turned-citizens who run massage parlours offering bribes to policeman, anyone?

And the tone from our political leaders are not much better, with one saying that Singaporeans commit more crimes than foreigners while another saying that Singaporeans can pack up and leave as much as any migrant.

So really, can we say that our prestige as a country has been let down by millionaire ministers and civil servants?

Kheng-Liang Tan

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