Survey: do you agree with my views? Give your answer here.
One reader of my blog suggested that foreigners should pay more for basic services, such as health, school fees, or public transport. I do not like this approach.
I prefer that foreigners should be treated in the same way as locals in most aspects of their daily life. If there is a need to differentiate, it should be done through a different system of taxation or levies for foreigners. After they have paid their levies or tax, they should be treated similarly to citizens in all other aspects.
The Government has set a bad example by requiring foreigners to pay higher fees for medical care and school fees. This causes additional work and confusion at the payment counters. Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate who is a foreigner or a local, especially if they did not bring their ID card. It is also not clear about how to treat the family members of foreigners or locals in some situations. We have to develop some many complicated rules to deal with the different classes. Singapore has become a convoluted society.
I hope that the Government will set a better example for other people to follow. Stop putting people into different classes according to their residency status, income levels, type of housing, etc. Treat people equally in their daily lives and do not remind them about the differences. Levy the appropriate level of taxation and keep it as a private matter between the government and the individual citizens.
By treating people equally, we strengthen the sense of belonging and community for everyone who lives in Singapore - local and foreigner.
Tan Kin Lian
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