Who are 'locals' in IPS survey?

The report, "Survey: Fewer young Singaporeans think of emigrating" (Sept 29), published the results of a study carried out by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on attitudes towards issues such as emigration and foreign talent.

The report said that the IPS had "interviewed more than 2,000 local 19-to 30-year olds" for the survey.

The term "local" as used by government bodies, such as the Ministry of Manpower, refers to a group comprising Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs).

So, what does "local" in this survey mean - Singaporeans and PRs as well as foreign workers on employment passes and permits?

Clearly, the inclusion of PRs and foreign workers in the survey would have an effect on how questions such as attitudes on emigrating and foreign talent are answered, and on the overall results of the survey.

So, how correct is it to describe the results as "Singaporean attitudes" on the issues surveyed?

Lest Singaporeans, and those relying on the survey for policy studies have the wrong impressions about the results, the IPS should clarify and provide relevant information, such as the resident statuses as well as the educational and employment backgrounds of the group interviewed.

Also, why were the survey results released two years after the event?

Tan Soon Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'Who are 'locals' in IPS survey?'. Print Edition | Subscribe