PM Lee urges newcomers to the Republic to play their part in adapting to society
Jul 11, 2012
SINGAPORE - Hong Kong and Singapore, which have seen an influx of Chinese immigrants in recent years, have had to adjust to the social impact of a rising China, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
Speaking at the closing dialogue of the FutureChina Global Forum, Mr Lee said Singapore deals with this issue by managing the inflow of immigrants and getting them to adapt to the local way of life.
He felt it was "completely understandable" that Singaporeans may feel uncomfortable with the recent influx of mainland Chinese immigrants, who may look the same as Singaporean Chinese but sound and behave differently.
Mr Lee said the Government will continue to manage the social impact of immigration and urged newcomers to play their part.
"We have to encourage the non-Singaporeans who are living here to adapt to the circumstances in Singapore and understand that this is a different society with different values and cultures, and (a society that is) multi-racial and religious," he said.
"(They) have to make those adaptations which the Singaporean Chinese have adapted and learnt over several generations.
"Of course, we also have to manage the numbers and the flow and make sure we're not overwhelmed. We have to make sure there is effort on both sides to make this a working, adapted and well-adjusted relationship."
The forum brought together more than 60 speakers to share insights on China's evolving society and culture.
On the issue of attracting and retaining talent in the Republic - a problem faced by cities around the world - Mr Lee said: "We must expect that people will go and, at the same time, we must attract people who can make a contribution to Singapore to come to Singapore."
Singapore is an attractive choice because there are opportunities here and it is an exciting and good place to live, he added.
"We try to make it such that if you come (to Singapore) and make a contribution, you can do well and fulfil your potential. I think we have to be like that if Singapore is to prosper."
On the business front, Mr Lee said Singapore companies can benefit from the continued cooperation between the two countries. The key to success is to ensure that companies continue to deliver and that the Singapore brand does not get tarnished, he said.
It took a lost of a GRC for the PAP to realise the seriousness of the situation on how ordinary Singaporean are sick to the neck of the open immigration policy of the government.
Hsieng Loong used to tell Singaporean on how much we need to rely on foreigner and Singapore will be collapse and lose it competitive edge if we don’t have them.
Now after losing the record number of seats in the parliament the PAP is stating to sing a different tune.
They are now finally putting a filter on the open flood gate and is now telling the immigrant to changed instead of asking the Singaporean to change.
Frankly I think it is too little too late and I foresee the PAP will lost more seats in parliament in the next GE. Why? Because the changes PAP promised in the last GE is taking too long and till now I don’t see any concrete improvement of Singaporean lives since.
What we need now is to send stronger signals the incumbent that your Elite pro policy is obsolete and we demand changes. Give me back the Singapore we want!
These policy makers are sitting comfortably in their ivory towers, they don’t sit and eat at the same table with the immigrants, they don’t fight for seats with them on the MRT and buses, they don’t queue up at the supermarket with them and they don’t wait in line at the polyclinic with them so how can the Elites know the Peasants problems?
Till now I cannot see how serious the PAP is to make life in Singapore better for the ordinary folks.
So I guess the people will not take you seriously too dear Hsien Loong.