Work permits part of 'rules for survival'

Work permits for Malaysians were among some of the "rules for survival" announced by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the opening of the Singapore Conference Hall and Trade Union House in Shenton Way.

Mr Lee said work permits were needed for non-Singaporeans in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs.

"For the skilled, we welcome you from anywhere in the world.

"But, if all you have are bare hands and a hungry stomach, I say please ask your Minister for Social Welfare in your territory to look for a job for you," he told an audience of local and Afro-Asian trade union leaders at the opening of the $4 million building.

Singapore had a net gain of 10,000 young men aged 20 to 30 from Malaya in 1964, he noted.

"We are not here to resolve other people's problems, even though it hurts us to have to do this. This is an exercise in survival. If we do not have this resolution, even if it hurts our own kith and kin, then I say we will not survive," Mr Lee said.

Issuing a warning to friends and foes, communists and non-communists alike, Mr Lee said: "Gentlemen, this is an exercise in survival and it calls for some very savage and brutal methods sometimes. I am determined that we survive."


Never... but sometimes, I beat him.

MOTHER-OF-THREE SITI ZAHARAH ISMAIL, 37, who said this with a smile when a Syariah Court judge asked if her husband Mohammed Said Alias, 45, beat her when they quarrelled. She successfully sought a divorce from him on the grounds of non-maintenance

Research by Ms Doris Goh, Information Resource Centre, Singapore Press Holdings

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 11, 2015, with the headline 'Work permits part of 'rules for survival''. Print Edition | Subscribe