Rape of our nation – Whither Singaporeans?

Was ex-minister George Yeo’s cryptic Facebook post “Whither Singapore” actually referring, not to the Punggol By-election, but to the White Paper proposal to have 6.9 million people here by 2030? If it were, then the question should be “Whither Singaporeans”, true blue Singaporeans to be exact.

There has been a national uproar and outcry by Singaporeans against the preposterous proposal by our government to bring in many more foreigners with a target of 6.9 million. Like my fellow men and women, I am shocked and incensed.

First of all, let’s call a spade a spade, the government was probably aiming for 7 million but was advised that the clever thing to do is to say 6.9 million as it would sound less alarming that 7 million. Cheap marketing gimmick. So they want to up the population in our overcrowded island by 30 % within the next 16 years to SEVEN MILLION! At least be honest about it.

And what’s this nonsense by Minister Khaw Boon Wan that the 7 million (6.9) is actually not a target but a “worst-case scenario”?  Clearly, he said that (and PM Lee Hsien Loong quickly agreed with him on Facebook) in an attempt to calm the rage of the people. Worst-case scenarios apply if the country is being overrun by illegal immigrants and you can’t control it. The 7 million is clearly a Target as it refers to controlled and planned in-takes of permanent residents and new citizens.

But then again, maybe this is another attempt to be clever. Maybe, just maybe the government’s real target (or best-case scenario) is 6.5 million. This is how it goes in negotiations. Start high and bargain down to a win-win scenario. Make the buyer feel grateful and happy with a “discount” while the seller achieves his real goal.

The government has taken pains to stress that Singaporeans will remain the core of the population. Take a look at this chart done up by The New Paper in a feature explaining the White Paper’s objectives. This Chart depicts the proportion of Singaporeans versus Foreigners (Permanent Residents + Non-Residents) which works out to about 55% vs 45%.

core

What do you see when you look at this chart?

To the government, they see their proposed core of Singaporeans and lots of foreigners making up the rest of the numbers. But to many of us, I reckon we see us Singaporeans being encircled and squeezed into a smaller and smaller corner to the point where we are becoming the minority!

If the government were honest with us, which it hasn’t been, it would spell out the fact that the 55% or 3.8 million so-called Singaporeans would include a significant portion of new immigrants. Deduct about 10% of the new citizens and we will be left with only about 40+% of true, blue Singaporeans! That makes us a MINORITY in our own country! How preposterous is that?

Like many rational Singaporeans, I acknowledge the problem of our low fertility rate and aging population. I also acknowledge the need for a good mix of foreigners to help fill jobs and to create a good cosmopolitan balance. However, is the solution to keep importing foreigners by the planeload into this tiny over-crowded island? Isn’t that overly-simplistic solution simply postponing the problem and ignoring the negative impacts on our society and our people? What our government is proposing goes against everything that a nation stands for – the uniqueness of its people, its sense of identity and solidarity, the rootedness and unity of the people who build the land.

Try proposing such an abominable plan to reduce the born and bred citizens to less than half of the total population in any other country and there will most likely be a national revolution! No patriotic citizen from China to India, from Finland to Italy, and from the US and New Zealand would tolerate such a proposal. Neither would any other patriotic government in the world make such a crazy and demeaning proposal to dilute its own people to such an extent for the sake of economic objectives!

The fact that our PAP-controlled government did so, despite GE 2011 and their broken promises to reduce the influx of foreigners, shows great disrespect for every single one of us. It is, to me, the equivalent of raping our nation, of selling out our country and forcing seemingly powerless citizens to accept a repulsive change to the place they call home. It is a gross violation of the rights of all Singaporeans who had given blood, sweat and tears to build our homeland.

Whither then Singaporeans if such a scenario comes to pass where we become the minority in our own country? Kiss goodbye to trying to forge a Singapore identity as we had envisioned for one. The identity as we know it may no longer exist one day.

Over the past year, I had made some new young friends from among the new citizens. I had initially mistaken some of them for expats. One was a good-looking Arab guy who spoke with a posh British accent. The other was a young lady of Sri Lankan descent who looked like she was from a western country with her Californian looks and her easy American English. Both surprised me when they told me they were Singaporeans. Neither displayed any Singaporean traits nor accent.

The Arab guy said he was raised here but had lived and studied mostly in London where his family had two homes.  As for the lady, she flashed her pink IC to prove she is Singaporean and explained with a laugh that she doesn’t speak Singlish at all because her mum (who had migrated here), used to beat her every time she uttered Singlish while growing up here. Singlish is forbidden in her family.

I felt sad when I heard this  and I felt sadder when I met an American recently who asked me if I were  “Really Singaporean” when I told her my nationality.  When I asked her what she meant, she said:”Well, there are Singaporeans and there are Singaporeans. You have so many new immigrants here don’t you?” And not too long ago, a young Malaysian had told me off-handedly “there are not many Singaporeans left in this country”.

What’s my point of sharing these personal encounters? For one, it is to share that I am starting to feel like a minority in my own country. My nationalistic pride is hurt and I am sad to see where my country is heading.  I hope such personal stories, of which there are plenty I am sure, will highlight to the government that the assimilation of foreigners into Singapore isn’t as easy as they think.

Many of the new citizens come from countries with decades if not centuries of history and different cultural norms and heritage. Many are affluent and have set ways of behaviour and lifestyle. Unlike our poor forefathers who came to Singapore in the early 1900s to eke out a living and who had to assimilate, these new immigrants have a choice on how they want to live and where. Try to make them more Singaporean? With us as a minority, the chances are not looking good. If anything, the majority of foreigners may end up changing our cultural norms and rewrite our future and our Singapore identity. Singlish as we know it, may be a whimsical phase in our history one day in future.

Singapore as a country will certainly be here long after many of us have passed on. But Whither Singaporeans? That’s the real question to ask.

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45 Responses to Rape of our nation – Whither Singaporeans?

  1. ;Annonymous says:

    Great piece although you have not taken into account the number of “true blue” Singaporeans who will migrate. To achieve the target of 7million they therefore have to import even more foreigners. That makes the proportion of “true blues” to foreigners even smaller.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Yes there will be a number of true blue Singaporeans leaving the country for good in the coming years as more become disillusioned with what’s happening here. And that will certainly dilute our “core” even more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup. Me included. Thinking of Perth, New Zealand or Canada.

    • Priska says:

      I am one of the true blue Singaporean and I am really upset when others thought i was from China/Thailand or whatever nationality they can think of.

      I am already in the midst of applying PR to Australia. Thinking to reside in Sydney with my spouse and his family in years to come.

      I understand about the ageing population and low fertility rate issues in Singapore. I am also certain there are other options rather than importing new immigrants here to squeeze with us knowing Singapore is only a LITTLE RED DOT on world map

      How sad.

  3. LazyCat says:

    Actually it should be Whither Singaporeans and Singapore.
    Singapore as we know it is also disappearing. It is not
    evolving. Old bldgs are being pulled down willy nilly, so are
    Much younger bldgs. Either they are earmarked for removal,
    or they go under the harsh en bloc devt. Go away for 5 years
    and you will find yourself in a strange country when you return,
    because many of the landmarks you know will not be there.

    Rows of terrace houses are disappearing, replaced by condos.
    Bungalows are going, replaced by semi-d’s. Entire estates go
    en bloc. All this in an effort to squeeze more into the space that
    exists. Parks are wild patch of greenery are going. Even the trees
    are changing. From fruit trees to ornamental ones which don’t
    offer as much shade. And of course it is all being down lickety
    split. As fast as strange faces are being brought in.

    So the physical landscape is being changed fast, the people who
    live on this island are seeing a huge turnover, and of course, food,
    culture, habits (hey no more making out in a car), old haunts are
    changing. And all at one helluva clip.

    This is progress?

    • Hi LazyCat, I agree with you. Singapore as we know it has changed a lot and way too fast with all the destruction of old buildings and enbloc sales. It certainly reduces our rootedness to the country when so much of our history is wiped out.

  4. wakeupjoe says:

    first, what is so great about speaking Singlish that if you don’t, you cannot be called a Sgean? you premise is totally flawed. I grew up here and Singlish was discouraged at my home. i speak it though. but to say that if you don’t speak singlish, you aren’t singaporean, is quite immature.

    second, i am a minority in Sg and have always felt like one. even with so called ‘democracy’, a minority is made to feel like a minority. for minorities, the influx doesn’t create any more problems. but the influx is a problem to the Chinese majority because it threatens your status. So now you feel the pinch when the heat is turned up. When it was necessary to make good on promises we all made during our initial years, the majority was silent. now you are crying bloody murder.

    its not the rape of Singapore, it should be the continued plunder of a fishing village. Suck it up.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is sad to see that you have so much pent up rage and displeasure for your fellow Singaporean “Majority”. If what u say is true, the Singaporean born Chinese would more than welcome these Chinese from the PRC, as it increases our racial demographics. This is definitely not the case. May i dare say that we (locally born and foreign born) are of a different breed. In fact, I draw a much closer connection and can better relate to a Singaporean born racial minority, than to a Chinese from the PRC.

      This huge influx of foreigners is already causing strains on our local infrastructure, and to make matters worse, these will not be the only problems. There are many other social issues that will affect all Singaporeans.

      I feel sad for you when u drew up such clear racial distinction amongst “true blue” Singaporeans at a time when we are supposed to unite to reduce this onslaught of foreigners. Very loop-sided government policies of maintaining competitiveness and efficiency at all costs have undermined hardworking singaporeans.

    • Singaporean says:

      It is sad to see that you have so much pent up rage and displeasure for your fellow Singaporean “Majority”. If what u say is true, the Singaporean born Chinese would more than welcome these Chinese from the PRC, as it increases our racial demographics. This is definitely not the case. May i dare say that we (locally born and foreign born) are of a different breed. In fact, I draw a much closer connection and can better relate to a Singaporean born racial minority, than to a Chinese from the PRC.

      This huge influx of foreigners is already causing strains on our local infrastructure, and to make matters worse, these will not be the only problems. There are many other social issues that will affect all Singaporeans.

      I feel sad for you when u drew up such clear racial distinction amongst “true blue” Singaporeans at a time when we are supposed to unite to reduce this onslaught of foreigners. Very loop-sided government policies of maintaining competitiveness and efficiency at all costs have undermined hardworking singaporeans.

  5. Hi wakeupjoe – I agree with you you don’t have to speak Singlish to be Singaporean. However, the pt I was making in relation to those 2 young new citizens was not just about them not speaking Singlish. It was about their entire package where they came across as foreigners despite being raised here, from their accents to their behaviour as there was nothing recognisably Singaporean about them. On Singlish though, it is a charming part of our Singaporean identity which makes us unique lah. Most of us true blue Sporeans can speak a mixture of Malay, dialect words and Singlish even if we choose to speak proper English at work.

    On your pt about feeling like a minority in Sg, I understand where you are coming from.But it is not fair to tar and feather all Chinese. Many of us, myself included, grew up with and have good friends of different races. The current system though has its flaws and can certainly be improved to promote better racial understanding and integration and to minimise discrimination.

    But back to the current uproar by Singaporeans over the White Paper. The objections are against the huge influx of foreigners as it will bring a host of national problems including overcrowding and reducing true blue Singaporeans to less than half of the population. This is a major national concern for all of us regardless of race or religion.

    • wakeupjoe says:

      hi Blog Owner,
      Thanks for your reply. This whole thing about a true blue Singaporean is an excuse to differentiate one from the other. I like to say i’m a true blue Singaporean – but the there are others that feel i’m not or never have been – why, because i’m not chinese, or because i’m not local enough – the list goes on, just like yours.

      Your arguments on true blue Sgeans are based on convenience. You can never get an immigrant to be true and blue on the day he/she becomes a citizen. it takes a long time for an immigrant to adjust: and My point, is this: if someone wants to be a Singaporean we should welcome them and stop bitching about how Singaporean he/she should be.

      The real point i believe that is being contested is this: who are we letting in and why are we letting in so many of them.

      the answer to this lies within us: we let the PAP go amok in running our Republic. we have no one else to blame but ourselves. when some ppl wanted to stand up to oppose the PAP we looked the other way. we sent JBJ to his grave, CSJ to political suicide, and a bunch more because we didn’t bother. Now all of a sudden, we want to correct our past.

      we deserve the govt we have and the policies they shove down our throats. we deserve nothing more.

      • I am sorry you feel this way. But I have to respectfully disagree as I know many Malay, Indian and Eurasian friends etc who are and who feel Singaporean. The muli-colours make up our country and that’s one of the things we love about Singapore.

      • Hi wakeupjoe, I can see your point on who we are really accepting to be our citizens. Speaking Singlish isn’t the only defining traits of a Singaporean – although there is certainly a warm, closeness feel whenever I hear Singlish while in overseas.
        Methinks, it’s the hardworking, non-confrontational, multi racial and religion acceptance that is the defining traits. ‘No one owes us a living’ attitude that defines my parents’ pre-65 generation true-blue Singaporeans.
        Alas, I see such traits and attitude waning in this insufferable rat race and I wonder, whither Singapore, with 6.9 million in less than 2 decades.

  6. Humour me here. Define true-blue Singaporean.

    • True-blue singaporean says:

      Qualitative test. You know it when you see one – tone of language and dialects, slang and usage of words, curry, mee rebus, nasi lemak, roti prata, etc.

  7. True Blue Singaporeans know who they are. Anyway thanks all for your comments to add to this discussion. 🙂 There are definitely many pts to discuss regarding this very sensitive hot-potato topic. My take on this is that firstly Singapore is a fairly young republic and for the past couple of decades the government and the people had been discussing how to forge a Singapore identity. We are all still gelling as a people and are still trying to build that elusive patriotic spirit and love for our country.

    And yet not only were we suddenly overwhelmed by a big surge of foreigners n the population over the past 10 years, we are now told there will be another major influx of foreigners, continuously, over the next 17 years. And whatever happened to the government’s promise during and post GE 2011 to reduce and moderate the influx?

    Society and immigrants take a long time to integrate and patriotism needs time to grow. How do we ever gel as Singaporeans and forge our identity when we are talking about a a constant intake of large numbers of foreigners? The issue is that it is Too much, Too soon, Too fast. Plus let’s put things in perspective. We are not talking about immigration in a country the size of America, we are talking about competing for space and jobs etc on a teeny tiny island called Singapore!

    Let me also state I have nothing against foreigners. I have never been xenophobic and never want to be. I have many friends of different nationalities and I meet them often. But liking them is one thing. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take a stand when it comes to speaking up for my country when I see the national policies are hurting my fellowmen and women.

    • Soooo, if someone’s a true-blue Singaporean but does not agree with the sentiment of many self-proclaimed true-blue Singaporeans, how?

      In all sincerity, define it. I’d like to see how you define it.

      • HI Sean, obviously you are entitled to disagree so need to bait me 🙂 The issues I have raised are not unique to Singapore. They are issues of nationalism and there will be passionate views on this all over the world. As for defining true, blue Singaporean, you know well there is no cut and dried definition on this. As I mentioned earlier, Singapore is a young nation still in the throes of defining itself and our identity which is why another major influx will be unsettling. For the sake of a serious discussion, I would start off by saying true blue Singaporeas would include all those who were born and bred here within the past century, and who have a strong connection to their Singapore roots and lifestyle. Many of these would be second or third or fourth and even fifth generation Singaporeans. But then again, these are just my views and there will be many more people who can add to it. It will be a interesting discourse for another blog post.

      • Was not baiting, was bringing it up because that’s the direction the debate is going these days, where if one disagrees with the self-proclaimed new citizens one is Pro-FT/Anti-Singapore or Anti-Singaporean.

        If there is no cut and dried definition, nothing solid, how can it be threatened? As you’ve said, we’re in the midst of developing our identity, so any new culture can be absorbed much more easily than if it was a solid, fixed identity. Is that really a bad thing? If so, why? Are we afraid that Tagalog is going to wind up as part of Singlish, for example?

        That’s a very arbitrary set of numbers. So what if someone is born and bred here, but does not receive their IC till much later in life? Or was not born here, but grew up here? You know, 1st gen citizens who spent their entire lives here, who are steeped in the culture, who do understand why Singlish is so important to us and even speak it well. Do they count? If they do, should we really keep bashing the people that make up their family and drive home a sense of alienation? Also, does that mean that you – much like ESM Goh – view those who fall in the category you defined but choose to leave as quitters? And what about those who fall in the category but constantly put down not just the government but the country itself, or keep going on about how they plan to leave Singaporean(especially should a time of trouble come)? There are plenty of self-proclaimed true-blue Singaporeans doing that. Do they count?

        Have you ever looked at the breakdown of foreigners who come to Singapore? The wealthy ones make up around 10% of the total, close to 20% if you want to add students. Close to 85% of them are either the low income blue-collar workers or domestic workers doing all they can. Not too dissimilar to the story towards the end of your post. You may want to check your historical facts however. Our forefathers were not all poor men who had no choice. If that were true, where did the large merchant class come from? Fact is, quite a number were rich and well off, in many cases from using the labour of those who were poor. And no, not even most of the immigrants assimilated or saw Singapore as their home to die in. Just look at how much money was sent back to China during WW2, for example. A lot stayed here long term for other reasons, and their kids became the ones who grew up feeling the love. Which is how these things usually work pretty much everywhere. Which is why one should compare the pattern and effect immigration has had on other countries, even if not the numbers.

        See, the reason I’m not a big fan of this “true-blue Singaporean” argument is because it’s a damn amorphous term that’s hard to quantify. So just about anyone could possibly “know they are”,to quote you, whether they actually are or not – by the standards of those who are quick to profess they are true-blue, at least.. Also, with regards to people asking you about why the focus on Singlish: There are many (going by your definition) “true-blue” Singaporeans who don’t speak Singlish, see no need for it, etc. I would not be surprised if some of those who question you are of that group. So your reply to asdf, where you say “true-blue” Singaporeans would get it? You’ve just excluded a whole chunk of multi-gen SIngaporeans who don’t talk way for whatever reason. Might wanna think about that.

      • I am not going to get into an unnecessary protracted argument over what is true-blue Singaporeans as my article is focused on objecting to the White Paper proposal in the first place. Your pts are noted and yes Singaporeans do include first gen citizens who are steeped in our culture too. We are not trying to alienate any of you. Singaporeans have by and large been welcoming and accepting of new citizens in fact which also explains why so many have been able to settle down here easily.

        But there is no denying there is still that core of multi-generational Singaporeans who feel a deeper attachment to our country and hence a deeper sense of alienation by the government’s policy of having a large percentage of foreigners (PRs and foreign works and expats etc) who will make up half of our population in a short span of time. It is for that core group that I am writing on behalf of.

  8. asdf says:

    you must understand that economically, there are few viable options to increase (or maintain) growth. one of these, as the government has rightly pointed out, is for more foreign labour to join the ranks of the working classes. the other, with a longer gestation period, is to increase productivity. now tell me, with all your experiences in dealing with singaporeans, would the latter option prove to raise ‘less’ hell among the populace? already calls to become ‘cheaper, better, faster’ have been met with disapproving voices and malicious remarks. (i neither actively insinuate nor claim that singaporeans are an indolent bunch) i don’t pretend that i’m not perturbed by the large amounts of people we have to ‘import’, but that’s the way it is if we want to enjoy economic growth. you might think that i’ve presented in this instant a fallacy, that there must be other ways to lead an economy. well in this case you have my full attention.

    the point of economic growth is often questioned, and usually cast as taboo whenever someone argues it’s goodness. after all, it’s effects are indirect and sometimes intangible. but let us not forget that stagnant or even slow growth could spell turmoil in a market as volatile as singapore’s. retrenchment could occur, relocation of MNCs could happen… interest rates, property appreciation, investments (you know the works) would all be thrown into great confusion. people can lose their jobs, even in the absence of a pervaded foreign body.

    i would like to address your point on singlish, with which i take offense. your thoughts on this particular matter does no justice to singaporeans who strive to use a proper, internationally recognized, language in place of the its pidgin, creolized form more common among the inhabitants of this island.

    if you think the ability to speak singlish is what makes a ‘true blue singaporean’; if you are unwilling to entertain former foreigners who have pledged themselves to this country on the premise that they’re not ‘true blue’; if you think that spending extended periods away from this small claustrophobic island somehow diminishes the ‘true blue’-ness of a person, then i’m very sorry for you.

    by the way, there have been cities in my travels (london and los angeles being very good examples), that contain vast amounts of foreign people. and if these flourishing cities are anything to go by, i don’t think you’ll make very good examples of it.

    stone me, because singlish is forbidden in my family too.

    • @asdf – The world isn’t black and white. there are many shades of grey. To say that importing foreigners by the planeload is the only way forward for economic growth is overly simplistic. There are too many unanswered questions that our government haven’t been upfront about. Could economic growth be tweaked? Is the projected 6.9 million too much? Has our government explored all possible options? And more importantly why haven’t they consulted Singaporeans on this matter? There should be a referendum to discuss the White Paper as this matter affects all of us and our children. It is too important to be decided by just one party. Also, I need to stress that Singaporeans by and large have understood and accepted the need for foreigners to supplement the workforce. But now the issue is the proportion and the large percentage whereby foreigners will make up at least half of our population! Surely you can understand the shock and the worry of Singaporeans over this?

      As for Singlish, I had never said that alone is what makes a true blue Singaporean. Reread my telling of the encounters to understand the nuances of what I was trying to say. Singlish is one of the many unqiue traits of Singaporeans. Why else is it called Singlish otherwise? Many of us can speak both English and Singlish. We use it interchangeably and sometimes it’s a combination. I would reckon, going by some of the comments I am reading here, that many new citizens and foreigners don’t understand the place that Singlish has in our country – therein lies the difference.

      Everyone has the right not to use Singlish if they so wish of course. That is a free choice. But many of us Singaporeans do use it. Why? It is a part of us and our families who have lived here over a few generations. It is an amalgamation of our history and cultures. It is our rich lingo honed over many decades that incorporate English, Chinese dialects, Malay etc. When we use Singlish in our conversations, we are bonding and building our Singapore identity. True blue Singaporeans will understand what I am talking about.

      PS: I have travelled to and lived in other countries too. LA and London that you cited are not good examples indeed. Why? Because they are just one city within a vast country. Singapore the tiny city is also the tiny country which is all we Singaporeans have.

  9. Sgcynic says:

    I dread the day when every 3 people that stand in front of me, only 1 is a Singaporean (he and I form about half of the population). How horrible is this scenario? Just imagine how the PAP pees in its pants when every 9 MPs standing in front of the PM, only 1 is not from the same party. He already has to spend his time fixing the minority. I have to make plans for my own survival.

    Btw, just what is a true blue Singaporean? I don’t know, but I know that if your dad comes know one day with a new wife and proclaims that the young ones next to her are your new brothers and sisters, you won’t be leaping with joy and embracing them immediately, would you?

  10. YN says:

    Speaking from a perspective of a naturalised Singaporean who has been here since 4 years of age, and having been through the Singapore system, I feel that many Singaporeans do have this sense of entitlement to the privileges and identity that was so painstaking built by our forebears. I have always believed in learning, working hard and contributing back to this society that has so carefully nurtured me, and instead of hopping on to the xenophobic bandwagon (which you are guilty of in the latter parts of your essay) and then generalising the fact that all foreigners are here to marginalise native Singaporeans in terms of working opportunities and culture. In this age of globalisation, the amalgamation of cultures is unavoidable and this can be difficult for some to take. But at this point, I would like to remind my fellow Singaporeans that to survive out there, do note that it is not the strongest, nor the most intelligent species that survive but those that are the most adaptable. Let us learn as much as we can from others, and imbibe what’s good, yet at the same time work hard and keep ourselves relevant in this day and age. Cheers

  11. hi YY – I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say many Singaporeans have a sense of entitlement. I would say though as Singaporeans with a stake in our country, we should have our citizen priviledges. We also work hard for it and contribute to our society which is how we have built Singapore over the decades contrary to PAP’s tendency to take credit for it.

    Your accusation of me being xenophobic in my commentary is unfounded. My comments were not against foreigners and new citizens and naturalised ones like youself. My comments echo how many born and bred Singaporean feel, the sense of loss that we are feeling in our country. The latter part of my post simply stated valid observations that with the large influx of foreigners (who may make up more than half of our population), the Singapore identity as we know it will change. This is an inevitable evolution when you have many new cultures all coming in at the same time. No where did I say that foreigners marginalise native Singaporeans so pls dont put words in my mouth so to speak.

    I can understand that newer citizens like yourself may feel sensitive and possibly marginalised by some of the things that native Singaporeans are expressing. Please do not take it personally but try to understand it from our perspective instead. Our issue fundamentally is with our Government and some of their policies which are hurting the well-being of Singaporeans. Singapore is the only home we have for most of us and it is just a tiny island.

    • Singaporean says:

      Hi

      I salute you for all your responses. Singaporeans really need more people like you. You are able to articulate all the thoughts i have about what’s happening in our tiny island accurately. If only our government took the time to understand and not just listen.

      A true blue Singaporean is one who will stay in Singapore, be it due to patriotism or purely due to circumstances in times of hardships. (by that i mean economically or even in the event of a war) These new migrants have no roots or allegiance whatsover, at least not with this country called ‘Singapore’. Singapore to them, is at best a 2nd home, a place where they can achieve financial gains through businesses/employment. These are the same people who do not understand what playing in a traditional “sand-pit playground’ feels like. They do not understand or appreciate hawker food like we do (I want the malay uncle to be cooking my quality nasi lemak, not by some PRC, similarly, i do not want to go to kopitiam to see my chicken rice stall being run buy a PRC, who cant cook half as well and cant understand what i want)

      I admit that Singapore is a very globalized country and society, and things do change at a more rapid rate due to assimilation and dilution, and rightfully so as our economic success and well being lies heavily upon our ability to adapt. However, there must be a bottom-line. How much is too much should be the question.

      There are many variables and factors attributing to what a true blue Singaporean is, but one thing is for sure: Dear readers, if you cannot understand what this writer “jentrifiedcitizen” is writing, you are definitely NOT a true blue singaporean.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This article might be meant for those who understand who are true-blue Singaporeans.

    Singlish
    Here i go (Singlish mode) :” Haiyo Sean ar… why you want to define… sibei boliao. I was a PR and now i am a Singaporean. I live among the singaporean and blend with their culture. Is okay mah.. Singlish is nothing wrong de, it is actually quite fun. It is a mixture of Malay, Hokkien, Canto, Indian and english. I love Singlish, it makes me feel at home ( especially when i go back to ICT) . So hor, Sean ar. if you dont understand it is ok. We dont need to explain anything to you or even Define LOR. ” As a Singaporean, who watched all the funny “Local” TV shows and “Local” News, we do not need to explain “TRUE BLUE”

    Citizenship
    I spoken to so many expats and “FT”. None of them would want to stay in Singapore. Anyone who can do their maths ,knows it is not wise to relinquish their current citizenship for a tiny island with no natural resources. Foreigners ( including PR) are just here for investment. To seek Oppurtunities. To reap the benefits from our Country.
    Our govt is fully aware of that. That is why they want to tax ( as many people as they can ) and increase all expense to make sure money flows into country.

    Conclusion : there are many PRs out there that have no desire in becoming a Singapore citizen. They buy flats and invest in our country. When the time comes, they will pull out all their assets and leave for good. We are building seriously too many condos for “FT” to invest. Once the property bubble pop. We will be in Deep shit. Young couples who bought their 4 room flat at 450k can watch the property price dropped to 320k or maybe 280k if the Ponzi Scheme fail to attract 7million people. And if the govt manage to attact 7million people, Young couples in 2030 cannot afford a 800k 4 room HDB flat.

    TRUE BLUE SINGAPOREAN ARE HERE TO STAY, WE PAY OUR TAX AND CPF FOR BUILDING OF ALL FACILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE. “PR” can withdraw their CPF anytime. “FT” do pay tax, but it is not alot.

    Economic Direction:
    Our GOVT need to focus in building industries. The biggest joke made was :” With the 2 casinos, Singapore will generate revenue of more than 120 Billion a year” For f#$% sake, generating revenue through casinos? really? These casinos are not even owned by our own country. And I dont see this as an viable and sustainable industry. But i believe the follow are better choices:

    Oil and Gas Refinery Hub
    Aviation Maintenace Hub
    Electronics servicing Hub
    IT Service Hub
    Education Hub
    Supply Chain and Logistic Hub
    Banking and Finance Hub
    Marine Offshore Hub
    International Law services Hub
    etc

    Create more industries, more job oppurtunities and SOHO apartments.

    But no, all these are too difficult, our govt prefer faster solution. The solution is

    “Increase population up to 6.9 Million by 2030” <== personally feel the Title of the white paper is already a joke.

    • T.B.S. says:

      I like to refer to this “TRUE BLUE SINGAPOREAN ARE HERE TO STAY, WE PAY OUR TAX AND CPF FOR BUILDING OF ALL FACILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE. “PR” can withdraw their CPF anytime. “FT” do pay tax, but it is not alot.”

      I think that this really sums it up. Be it locals born here or foreigners whom have taken citizenship here. The ones who are Here to Stay in good times or bad times, for better or worst can truely be called True Blue Singaporean. Simply because Singapore is their home. A place where they will fight for or grow old and be buried here. How many of the 6.9m will have this view I wonder? I am a true blue Singaporean not only because I am born here. This is also the place that I am willingly to lay down my life if needed, grow old and see my grandchildren.

      It is very sad to see how things are moving and what we have become. It may be that by 2030 that I am no longer true blue Singaporean but a true blue Australian.

  13. AksiMatYoyo says:

    So many good written essays here. Reminded me of my secondary school days when we had to learn social studies as a subject. In case some of u didn’t know, that subject is taught mostly to incorporate Singapore’s identity and its values from past, present and future. Particularly, i remember a part of the subject when it states, Singapore is a small country with which has no natural resources but what she have is “people”. We import products from all over the world but we rely on Singaporean to work hard and it’s talent to make Singapore grow. However, at this stage, in this era, i reckoned this motion has been dismissed since we not only need to import products but people too.

    Does this mean Singaporeans are have no more or less talent?
    Do they believe that Singaporeans do not work hard enough?
    Or is this land just a Business HUB for people and “ciao”?

  14. Mid-Thirties says:

    I have 2 young kids and I have no plans to put them though hours of tuition and stress just to churn out good grades term after term. But now I cannot be sure. With the projected population increase, Singaporean kids will face more stiff competition in schools and when they enter the workforce. Being parents, the straight thinking way to prepare our children for this is to become EVEN MORE KIASU in raising the kids. Must enrol in more enrichment courses, more tuition, die die have to go good schools, get MBA, PHD. Otherwise how can our children compete with the foreign talents? The population policy may say that Singaporeans are its core interests, but private companies hires staffs based on their own interests. Well-to-do families can migrate and spare their kids from such harsh growing environment. Well-to-do families can afford the monies to give academic headstarts for their children. Worst case the children can rely on the family wealth. But what about the average and low income families? What does the future lies ahead for their kids? And what about ourselves the parents? When I bridge the forties, I will have increasing insecurities on possibility of being replaced by cheaper labour. The future does not seem rosy for the typical Singapore family. In such looming future circumstances, do young Singaporeans want to get married and have more children? Our confidence have already been shaken in the way that government policies were poorly carried out in the recent years. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister and a born and bred Singaporean, I do not want to see Singaporeans being marginalised in the own hands of our government which we have put our faith all these years. If this policy is shoved hard and cold through our throats without listening to public feedback, Singaporeans will know what to do come GE2016.
    To put in enough Opp MPs to voice and block policies that are not in Singapore interests.

  15. Gladtidings says:

    The single most important point which both the government and the locals (a la “local-born, foreign imports) have not considered in the proposed plan to augment the population of Singapore is the issue whether both would gladly lay down their lives in defense of Singapore. When the chips are down, and the country faces an external enemy, my guess is that foreigners will make a beeline to return to their country of birth ot some other safe haven. Their only loyalty is to themselves and their money. It should be obvious that a PR status is but a passport to enjoy the good life here. These well heeled foreign imports will not give you the loyalty so essential in nation-building. Singapore should not sell its soul to the devil !!!

    • Ah Lau says:

      You know what will be a good profession to get in now? Immigration consultant. You can charge fat fees from both sides….those who want to get in and those who want to get out.

  16. Ah Lau says:

    Good piece. At least you met these new citizens who hopefully can contribute to Sungapore. Once u met an Indian in a welcoming party for bew cituzen. I asked him why he wants to become Singapore citizen. His quick answer:”I want to go to USA!” These FT is using us as a stepping stone only. Anything happens to Singapore, they will be the first ones to run.

  17. Singkieu says:

    Interesting blog and blog post, equally intriguing responses.

    I’ll chime in here with a post I made recently on my facebook page, on the topic of ‘6.9M by 2030’.

    Here are some figures to ponder:

    Current population of Singapore = 5.31M. Total land area = 714.3 km2.
    Current SG Population Density = 7,434 persons/km2.
    Projected 2030 population of Singapore = 7.00M. Total land area as above.
    Projected 2030 SG Population Density = 9,800 persons/km2.
    Current population of Hong Kong = 7.00M. Total land area = 1,104 km2.
    Current HK Population Density = 6,341 persons/km2.
    2011 census population of New York City (5 boroughs combined) = 8,244,910. Total land area = 786 km2. 2011 census NYC Population Density = 10,490 persons/km2.

    On the topic of ‘true-blue’ Singaporean,

    My NRIC is pink and the first two numbers are 7 and 3.
    I can remember trishaw rides home from the wet market in the 70s.
    I can remember playing in the street with kids who were my neighbours, when it flooded after heavy rain in the 70s
    I can remember 50c noodles and 10c drinks at the school tuckshop in the 70s.
    I can remember my PSLE score.
    I can remember $2 stall, $3 circle and kacang puteh in the 80s.
    I can remember the first air-conditioned SBS bus service number and its route.
    I can name all the subject papers I wrote for my GCE ‘O’ Levels and my score for each.
    I can name at least one instructor and a sergeant-major or two from my NS days, who were particularly memorable characters.
    I have completed 2 high keys for my Reservist obligations, one of which was in a foreign country.
    I am 40 years old this year and have spent nearly 15 of those 40 years studying or working in 3 different countries on 2 different continents.
    I am currently living and working as an expatriate in a developing ASEAN country, from which I can still manage to get home every month to enjoy my laksa and rojak.

    I consider myself a ‘true-blue’ Singaporean, but I also recognize that there are others such as Sean, who may not have the same memories as I do, as I have described above, that would consider themselves the same.

    What sets us apart is our diversity and tolerance. Please lets not lose that.

    • HI Singkieu – thanks for your contribution too. Yes there is diversity in what makes a Singaporean and yes we should continue being tolerant and adaptable. Many Singaporeans who grew up here, like myself, would share your memories of days gone by and of places we used to enjoy like Satay Club and Van Cleef Aquarium! I recall too the tock tock man who used to sell noodles door to door by knocking on his wooden tool and I recall watching football with the Kallang Wave at the National Stadium. And dont get me started on the wonderful food and ambience at the Open Carpark hawker centre that used to be in Orchard Road. Those were fond memories indeed.

  18. BE OBJECTIVE says:

    Dear All, the main issue is infrastructure planning and not the numbers. The civil servants are not doing enough or are just too complacent in their planning.

    A reshuffle is needed and their productivity must be increased by removing more of them from the govt or GLC workforce to the SMEs. My suggestion a cut in 20% civil servant or GLC workforce to compensate the SMEs lost in foreign workforce.

    In the past when economy is good and there are lesser people, there are still lots of singaporeans leaving for other countries.So true blue or not does not make sense to me. What makes sense to me is how much commitment and benefits or convenience you have in Singapore that makes you want to be a Singaporean or carry on to be a Singaporean regardless of past nationality or race. This is the internet age and diversity is important. Our younger generations are listening to K POP and speaking korean. Please upgrade and look forward….

    • agree with you on the need to improve infrastructure and productivity but the numbers are still a key issue. One doesnt make a drastic prroposal like this without getting the people’s views and agreement and without proper analyses of the full implications of a big jump and change in demographics. There are major socio-cultural ramifications as it affects the living and future of all Singaporeans new and old. As it is we have issues currently from the overcrowding, the stress on the people, the cracks in the transport systems etc. The government should show it can resolve these effectively first before trying to ram the 6.9 million plan down our throats. Just cos they say so doesnt mean they are right. We are the ones who have to live with wrong policies long after they are retired.

      • BE OBJECTIVE says:

        Precisely the point that everyone is not confident of this numbers mainly because of the complacency of the top civil servants or GLCs workforce that leads to all infrastructure issues. They have lost the touch as they are just busy taking easy money fulfilling their individuals’ KPI without looking at a holistic KPI. There must be a shakeup to wake them up.. its iron rice bowl to them for too long.

        Simply just ask a middle management civil servant that how is life in Singapore and they will tell u its good. Of course its good as they are comfortable. If you ask a SME middle management and you will find a different answer.

        Complacency leads to failure. Many failures make lots of us lose heart.

        The govt can come out with good policies but the people who is executing them are not thiinking. The culture is wrong.

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    • Hi Molly? yup, you can quote my blog so long as you credit and link it back to me. However, not sure how my blog can help you as yours is abput interior decoration while mine is about sociopolitical matters in Singapore 🙂

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