Commentary: Foreign Investment Welcomed But Citizens Cannot Be Disadvantaged

Dear All Singapore Stuff

As I watched NCMP Leong Mun Wai quiz Mrs Josephine Teo on the stresses society face with an influx of foreigners at an unsustainable rate of 35,000 job creation verses the immigration of 50,000, I cannot help but feel a bit perplexed at Mrs Teo’s unwillingness to further query her purported residents who voiced their displeasure at policies that differentiate between citizens and permanent residents due to their spouses being PRs.

I wonder why Mrs Teo did not probe the genuine reason behind these spouses not wanting to become citizens and sink roots in our Country since they had married a Singaporean and I suppose they are raising a family here with their offspring as Singapore citizens?

My belief is that the answer lies in our Country disallowing dual citizenship. I know this may sound contentious to some quarters and politicians are unable to say it for fear of losing votes but we cannot expect the Singaporean spouse to be paying lip service to our Nation while their foreign spouses are able to take them out of the Country should we lose our economic viability someday or simply to retire somewhere cheaper like how Mr Khaw Boon Wan had previously flouted the idea of the JB nursing homes which drew flak!

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While I personally accept and embrace new citizens as “converts” to our homeland, there may still be that uncomfortable feeling among male Singaporeans who had sacrificed 2 years of our lives serving the Nation with there being no such requirement for some male new citizens above a certain age to do so but nevertheless, still enjoy the same privileges as those who did. Kudos to LO (Leader of Opposition) Pritam Singh for demanding that those who stand for election with him are required to have served their NS as Mr Chen Show Mao did.

On progressive wage and WIS ‘credits’ that the House has been clamouring about, we can cry until the cows come home and nothing will change unless minimum wage is implemented as with most First World Countries. A minimum wage levels the playing field for all blue-collared workers as employers will now be unable to exploit cheaper labourers from third countries and have to consider the Singaporean applicant first as hiring both costs the same with additional tariffs for work permits and S-pass applicants. Since we have already have a CPF minimum sum, why is it we cannot have a minimum wage?

Ultimately, it all boils down to the profit margins and how much gains the business owner and government is contented with. As the saying goes: “pay peanuts and get monkeys”! Is it anyone’s guess why language proficiency and productivity in our Country are on the decline ever since we adopted a liberal immigration policy in 2006? The government has additionally, repeatedly refused to come clean on its alleged apprehension of having a Singaporean core at top management levels?

The WIS ‘credits’ is seriously pathetic as most goes into the CPF that we can never touch in our lifetime while the cash component is meagre. The policy of reducing and terminating altogether, the “workfare” benefits as one toils harder and longer should also be revised as it encourages people to work less in order to gain more. Certainly not in line with a wage progressive model!

I fully agree with the WP’s assertions that Singapore is “open for business” and will continue to be so if WP wins more seats or forms the government one day but it should be open for business without exploitation! We cannot expect citizens to be disadvantaged in the name of being open or soliciting for trade. Foreign corporations and investors are more than welcome to operate here when they respect our core values and labour laws, play their part as they would in their home countries as Singapore and Singaporeans are not third country people to be taken for a ride.

However, it will be a different case when they are here to interfere with our politics, in the case of “Nas Daily”, “Foreign Spectator” and are rendered preferential treatment when they are doing so for partisan purposes!

Dan De Costa

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