Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke at length on immigration issues at his National Day Rally address on the weekend. With the economy booming, the city is seeing immigrants arrive in five figure numbers per year and with this come fears of overcrowding, limited resources, and concerns that Singaporeans’ own status may become devalued in a more competitive environment. With a recent survey showing Singapore’s population would triple if world immigration were completely open, PM Lee said Singapore would be ‘swamped’ without controls, underscoring the need for slow change to give locals time to adjust, while maintaining a workforce large and skilled enough to keep the economy ‘hot’.

More foreign workers would create thousands more jobs, he said, and cutting off the flow would be impossible without also stifling the economy. To Singaporeans who worried they would lose jobs find it difficult to find housing or suffer wage losses in a larger population, he said the government understood well, but that the benefits of immigration would trump any disadvantages. He encouraged citizens to get skills; be more competitive to maintain their advantage. To immigrants, especially those planning to stay long-term rather than as temporary workers, he said they must make an effort to integrate into Singaporean society by learning English, adopting Singaporean values and accepting the city-state’s cohesive multi-ethnic culture.

source & full article: Straits Times