The god has spoken. No one can be mistaken that this refers to the godlike figure in the person of the pompous Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. He was in his element when he delivered his bombastic discourse at the first Singapore Indian New Year Celebrations at Serangoon Road last Saturday on the highly distressing subject of immigration. He chose an Indian environment to address this subject because he could be assured of a docile and captive audience who could expect nothing short of his obsequious compliments to the Indian community. He was talking glibly about the better-endowed, educationally and financially, Indian immigrants whom the Singapore government was trying to attract. They do not present any major demographic or economic problem to the government. The Indian work permit workers are the ones giving some social and sanitary problems wherever they congregate.
The ones giving Singaporeans perennial social and political problems are the Chinese immigrants. Singapore has seen an overwhelming influx of Chinese immigrants since time immemorial and their presence is so ubiquitous that they can be found in such unlikely places as Indian restaurants working as waitors and waitresses. Singapore commuters find scant comfort in their public transport travels, be it in buses or MRT, where Chinese immigrants could cause crowding to an intolerable degree, sometimes worsened with hordes of Indian work permit workers.
The speed with which Chinese immigrants were able to obtain Permanent Resident (PR) status and citizenship had to be witnessed to be believed. The irony is that many of the new citizens and PRs were not really enamoured of Singapore. They regard China as more dynamic and grandiose in size, politics and economy and as their motherland where they belong. They were merely birds of passage whose aim of getting Singapore citizenship or PR status was to get employment and more importantly to purchase HDB flats which they could sell at a profit when they returned to their motherland for good. Have the Singapore leaders, especially MM Lee, awakened to the fact of pseudo-patriotism displayed by these Chinese immigrants? Were they not partly the cause of the phenomenal price increase of our HDB resale flats? Singapore prospective purchasers of HDB resale flats are the ones who bear the brunt of the deceitful behaviour of these Chinese immigrants. Even other Singapore non- flat purchasers join in the chorus of protest.
Then there is the question of employment. We have 30,000 PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Engineers and Technicians) who have been unemployed for quite a long time and we now have Chinese and Indian immigrants competing with the PMETs for limited employment opportunites. Is it not incumbent upon the Singapore government to give priority to our PMETs in finding them employment before the Chinese and Indian immigrants? Perhaps some of the Indian immigrants may have special IT qualifications and may be treated separately. Apart from the PMETs there is a large number of unemployed Singapore citizens needing government attention.
There is a well-known saying: Charity begins in the home.