The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

Don't rock the boat


OTHER countries have natural resources like petrol, gas, rubber, tin, gold, timber and other products.

Singapore has no natural resources. Yet, for the last 50 years, it has made progress that is envied by many nations. This is possible because of the Government's wise policies and our people.

When I say our people, I mean Singaporeans and the immigrants (after all, many Singaporeans are either immigrants or descendents of immigrants).

As a result of the Government's new policy of limiting the number of immigrants, small and medium-sized enterprises are suffering. A number of them will have to close down if the Government does not change its policy.

Business associations and chambers of commerce have made such statements ("9 foreign chambers oppose labour curbs"; Tuesday).

I have reason to believe that the Government realises this but, because of the losses of a Group Representation Constituency in the 2011 General Election and the Punggol East seat in the recent by-election, it is afraid to change its new policy.

I have been following the debate on the Population White Paper in Parliament. No one has raised the fact that our only asset is our people, that is, the Singaporeans and immigrants.

Let us not "kill" this resource. The Government should realise that the majority of voters have accepted its policies - that is why it is still in power. Changing previous policies and stopping the progress of Singapore, just to satisfy the minority, is a blunder that it must rectify.

The Government should impress upon voters that Singapore has no natural resources. The progress of our country is dependent on its people, which includes Singaporeans and immigrants. The Government should prove that the policy of selective immigration is successful.

I hope the voters will realise this and not rock the boat that is sailing smoothly.

B.H. Melwani