The Straits Times
Published on Feb 18, 2013

Don't treat singles like second-class citizens


I CANNOT help but feel a growing sense of uneasiness and disquiet over the Government's plan to grow the "Singapore core" through new citizens and permanent residents (PRs).

We should go for quality in the people we bring into the Singapore core.

There is a high number of PRs in Singapore. Those eligible should be offered citizenship, and their PR status stripped if they turn it down.

PRs get all the benefits without the obligations to the country. For example, a couple who are both PRs can buy a resale HDB flat, while a Singaporean who is single cannot, unless he is 35 or older.

PRs who are married to citizens also get priority in public housing over Singaporeans who are single.

When singles are eventually allowed to buy directly from the HDB, it is likely that they will face many restrictions, causing them to feel like second-class citizens.

I am a Singaporean single who has done national service and completed my reservist obligations. Will the Singapore in 2030 include someone like me? Are Singaporean singles part of the Singapore core?

I hope the Government does not neglect singles, who also want a better quality of life in the years leading up to 2030 and beyond.

Jeremy Teo Meng Chye