SINGAPORE - Singapore accepts an inflow of immigrants, residents and citizens to keep population numbers steady, but must manage the inflow carefully, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (May 27).
The people who come must be able to integrate into the society, have the abilities and skills to contribute to the economy, and have their hearts in the right place, he said at a citizenship ceremony at Townsville Primary School.
About 20,000 people become new citizens here every year, adding to about 30,000 Singaporean babies born. This 50,000 growth will allow for a stable population, he added.
He also said that ideally, more Singaporean babies should be born, as the total fertility rate is only about 1.3 now, so the Government is trying to improve marriage and parenthood policies.
Mr Lee, who is an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, presented 150 new citizens with their citizenship certificates and identity cards at the ceremony.
"You have chosen to take up Singapore citizenship because you believe in Singapore and identify yourself with what Singapore stands for - a harmonious multi-racial, multi-religious country, a fair and just society where people have opportunities to succeed if they work hard, (and) a cohesive community where Singaporeans care for one another and help one another to succeed," he told the residents of Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West SMC.
"Singapore congratulates you. We welcome you."
"I hope you will play your part, to continue to deepen your roots here, enrich our society with your experience and contributions and work with fellow citizens, old and new, to build a better future for all of us," he added.