Our population has reached 5.08 million in a recent survey by the local statistics department. Singapore has always been a country that welcomed foreigners and they have played a part in our success. Our forefathers are largely foreigners too and without them we won’t be here.

Here’s the related the blog article:

S’pore population tops five million, one in three are foreigners

SINGAPORE, Tuesday 31 August 2010 (AFP) – Singapore’s population crossed five million this year and more than a third of the total are foreigners, the statistics department said Tuesday.

The city-state’s total population stood at 5.08 million people at the end of June, it said in a statement.

Of the number, 3.23 million are citizens, 540,000 are foreigners with permanent residency and 1.3 million are foreign professionals and workers along with their dependents, resulting in a 36% share for foreigners in the general population.

The population growth rate was 1.8% in 2010, reflecting a slowdown in the number of permanent residents and foreign workers being admitted into the country, the department said.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the problems in a speech on Sunday and vowed to review immigration policies, cap new foreign hiring this year and enhance benefits accorded to citizens. (via Yahoo Singapore News FTP)

I feel there’re some unjustifiable resentment towards foreigners. Had Singapore not opened the country to foreigners in the 1900s, many of us probably won’t be here. In the 1900s, people are just here to earn some money back home. No one’s probably loyal to Singapore. We went through a world war to bring about this loyalty and this sense of belonging. Foreigners who did not leave Singapore during the 1940s (yes, they probably have nowhere to run to, too) fought for Singapore and later earned their right to be called Singaporeans. Foreigners today don’t have the chance (and thankfully they didn’t) to earn the title “Singaporean” in a similar way. The most they can ever do is to work in the country and thereby contributing to the economy. Today, we seem to be overvaluing our right as citizens when we haven’t do a thing. We just happen to be born in the right place.

Now, what is the difference between a foreigner and a citizen? Have we undervalue their presence? We are citizens and are enjoying the wealth that the country has produced. We are just refusing to share it with foreigners, aren’t we?

I’m just asking that we reexamine how we reached the conclusion that foreigners are not good for Singapore and why we can make claim we are better off. Is curbing the foreigner influx just a convenient way to ease, what appears to be, overpopulation?

[I am a Singapore by virtue of birth and I count myself lucky since day one. I’ve just heard one too many negative remarks toward foreigners.]

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