Immigration: Keep it in perspective

Dear Mr Teo,

I refer to the 12 Sept 2010 Straits Times report of your comments at a post National Day Rally dialogue.

You surveyed your audience and got the following responses:
– 20% are not born in Singapore
– 30% have one parent not born in Singapore
– 50% have one grandparent not born in Singapore

What does that prove? It proves nothing. It only proves that if we continue to import foreigners in such large numbers, we will always have one parent or grandparent who is not born in Singapore. We will never have both parents or both grandparents who are born in Singapore.

You said if we draw the line somewhere, none of us will be here talking to one another and the hall will be empty. That is not true. If you drew the line on those not born in Singapore, then only 20% of your audience will not be here and the hall will still be 80% filled.

You said our choice is between a worker who may not as yet speak English versus no one to serve us at all. But there are nearly 90,000 Singapore residents who are currently unemployed. Surely one of them can speak English?

You said the competition is not in Singapore but in the world. But the LTA doesn’t compete with the world. The Kopitiams in Singapore don’t compete with the world. All the mom-and-pop shops in Singapore don’t compete with the world. So when you say that the competition is in the world, be sure that you qualify which industry and which company you are referring to.

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