Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong paid a visit to his ancestral village in China. An astute observer commented that the visit was intended to show that Singapore is a nation of immigrants and that the local people should welcome the new immigrants from China, India and other countries.
My late father came to Singapore from China 70 years ago. I also visited my ancestral village 20 years ago. I understand the sentiment.
I now have many friends who are recent immigrants into Singapore. I support and welcome their decision to make their future and home in Singapore.
But, I have to say these words on behalf of the local Singaporeans who appeared to be resentful of the competition for jobs, homes and space from new immigrants.
There are many things that need to be put right in Singapore. We are seeing the consequences of many decades of the policy of the current Government. They include:
a) A declining birth rate causing by the insecurity and unsatisfactory quality of life in Singapore
b) The burden of National Service faced by male Singaporeans, including competing for jobs
c) The loss of trust in our commercial and government institutions
d) An unjust society; the small people being treated unfairly
e) The loss of pride in being Singaporeans
Some of these issues have been voiced by many people, including me, over the past years. We need to address them and put things right, so that there is greater unity and cohesion among the people of Singapore. If we are confident and strong as a people, we will be able to welcome the new immigrants and help to integrate them into our Singapore society.
Tan Kin Lian
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