Reach out to S'pore PRs abroad to get addresses updated

It is worrying that there may be Singaporeans and permanent residents who are unaware of their obligations under the National Registration Act to update their addresses (Important for overseas S'poreans to update foreign address with ICA, by Assurity Trusted Solutions; July 15).

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority needs to address this issue.

It has to reach out to Singaporeans and PRs who have been physically absent from Singapore for, say, the better part of five years, and ensure that their addresses are accurate.

Inaccurate addresses, particularly those on identity cards, could potentially be a point of vulnerability and pose very real risks, especially during these times of heightened security concerns.

The ICA should especially reach out to PRs, where the updating of foreign and Singapore addresses is concerned.

Singapore permanent residency is, after all, a privilege and not an entitlement. PRs should respect and appreciate this by giving an account to the ICA if they have been residing outside Singapore.

The authorities could also reciprocate by engaging these overseas PRs so that they are in regular contact with the Singapore authorities.

For PRs who are overseas because their spouses are based overseas for work, solutions should be crafted to help to bring them as well as their spouses and children home to Singapore.

With the global fight for talent intensifying every day, keeping tabs on our PR talents and bringing home those who reside overseas is the right thing to do.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2017, with the headline 'Reach out to S'pore PRs abroad to get addresses updated'. Print Edition | Subscribe