The Straits Times
Published on Feb 18, 2013

PRs must share responsibility for S'pore


I COMMEND MP Inderjit Singh's reading of the feelings on the ground, as well as his candid criticisms of the current policies ("Delay population growth for 5 years: MP"; Feb 6).

His speech raised two points:

First, the population size needed to sustain growth and the infrastructural support that entails.

Most Singaporeans understand the need for foreign workers. But they put an unfortunate strain on our infrastructure.

The Government has taken steps to curb the foreign worker influx and remedy the situation.

This is a move in the right direction but adds to business costs without addressing the frustrations expressed by voters.

Second, the granting of permanent resident (PR) and citizenship status to foreigners, and their integration into Singapore society.

These foreigners are the ones who compete with locals for top jobs and houses.

I am not anti-immigration and I welcome with open arms PRs who have sunk roots here, call Singapore home and share our beliefs and values.

But for every such PR, there are many others who are here purely to enjoy the opportunities and do not try to integrate into our society.

I agree that PR status should be granted only to those whose hearts are here. Those who want to share the fruits of our success must also share the burden of responsibility.

Singapore is a small, resource-scarce country in a competitive and increasingly volatile world. We cannot afford to let opportunities pass us by. But let us remember to protect our social fabric and put Singaporeans first.

Yu Woon Chi (Ms)