The Straits Times
Published on Feb 21, 2013

Singapore must adapt or perish


SOMEONE once told me that there has never been a city-state that survived for long.

Singapore is a tiny city-state with hardly any natural resources. Even if it is not invaded, it may one day be rendered obsolete by the growth and development of its neighbours, not to mention that of the giants outside the region.

Singapore must have a minimum critical mass of talented workers, whether citizens or non-citizens, just to maintain its status quo, not to mention growing further.

We have to "adopt" more outsiders or else we have to outsource even our survival.

The United States is a good example of a superpower that blossomed due to the talents and skills of its many gifted immigrants. However, undesirable elements can also enter the country, but the US is large enough to survive and prosper.

Singapore does not have such a potent immunity. Hence, we must be careful.

Many complain that the flood of immigrants will change our way of life, our traditions and our core values. But everything is subject to change.

The world will not adapt to us; we have to adapt to the world.

We either "adopt" immigrants judiciously, adapt to the world realistically or exit inevitably.

Ee Teck Ee