The Singapore Skyline v3
The Singapore Skyline v3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Quadrilingual warning sign in Singapore. The t...
Quadrilingual warning sign in Singapore. The text is in the four official languages of Singapore, from top to bottom: English, Chinese, Tamil and Malay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Foreign construction workers at Little India.
Foreign construction workers at Little India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I will post this article as is, and I will post a new one that is purely my own... and I hope that it doesn't get me into trouble - for it is just my opinion, but it would be based on truth - perceived and actual...

Jan 10, 2013
by Chi Shing Hui

While I agree with the writer, in "Immigration is not long-term solution" (Jan 7), that our heritage and identity are priceless and should be preserved, the future well-being of the whole nation should not be paid as the price.

The Asian and global markets have become increasingly competitive.

When Singapore's annual birth rate has remained at low levels, letting in immigrants is one of the crucial approaches to ensure a healthy growth in the workforce so that Singapore can maintain its competitive edge.

We frequently hear voices about immigrants taking away jobs from locals. We should let the market take its course, though.

All things being equal, I do not believe that most employers would hire a foreigner over a Singaporean.

Yet, when a local and a foreign candidate ask for significantly different pay packages, this may become a major factor in hiring decisions.

This is why Singaporeans should strive to compete with foreigners, not on pay but more in terms of skills and productivity. This is also a message the Government is promulgating.

Reserving jobs for Singaporeans may end up with employers paying more to fill positions. Most, if not all, employers would pass the increased costs onto consumers, leading to inflation and an eventual drop in Singapore's overall competitiveness among its peers.

I recently read news of cleaning work not done in public areas and delays in construction projects owing to insufficient numbers of workers. I suspect the cut in the ratio of foreign workers to local workers may be one of the causes.

Last but not least, regarding the writer's question of what kind of legacy "we wish to pass to our children", I may not know all the answers, but a huge ageing population that cannot be supported by a diminishing workforce is surely not one of them.

Taken from; source article is below:
Compete with foreigners in terms of skills, not pay

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English: An aerial view of Parliament House in...
English: An aerial view of Parliament House in Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I would tend to agree with the writer's view...

Jan 10, 2013
by Sathia Varqa

I read with interest Mr Peter Heng's letter, "Immigration is not long-term solution" (Jan 7), and the subsequent online comments.

The immigration debate has many folds, but what often gets most attention in Singapore are the newcomers' lack of integration and lack of appreciation for Singaporean values and norms, even though what are exclusively Singaporean values and norms is subject to debate.

The deliberation over immigration has largely concentrated on the numbers coming into Singapore, the subsequent pressure on infrastructure and the socio-economic tension this has created. These are important, valid considerations.

However, immigration is not only about people coming here, be it construction labourers or expatriates in professional fields, to feed the pursuit of economic growth and then leaving. It must be evaluated from a broader perspective.

Immigration is also about the free movement of values, thoughts and interactions that form our view of people, ourselves and the beliefs we hold in a global city-state like Singapore.

The mobility of ideas and freedom enjoyed by Singaporeans in living and working with non-Singaporeans, whether we are conscious of it or not, has and continues to become an integral part of our society.

The regional states have set this direction to form a more united Association of South-east Asian Nations, with greater freedom of movement by 2015.

We hold Singaporean passports to identify our nationality, but we cannot claim exclusivity to the knowledge, sciences, advances in technology, unity of thought in achieving goals and many others which the multitude across the globe have contributed.

The debate cannot only be on whether we should have more or less immigration.

It should centre on how open we can be in making society a better place by sharing our values and norms as humans and, in this process, developing the capacity to change the bad into good and limiting the bad from worsening.

This would be a more people-centred approach in viewing the issue of immigration here.

Taken from; source article is below:
Immigration is more than just a game of economic numbers

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1888 cartoon in Puck attacks businessmen for w...
1888 cartoon in Puck attacks businessmen for welcoming large numbers of low paid immigrants, leaving the American workingman unemployed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am an immigrant to Singapore, and this would be one article that applies to me... or maybe not...

Jan 07, 2013
by Peter Heng Teck Wee

Most Singaporeans are Xth-generation immigrants. My grandparents originated from China, making me a third-generation Singaporean, and I am grateful for the contribution of immigrants to our fledgling nation.

However, I am not convinced that continuing immigration is a long-term solution for our socio-economic problems. First, we must ask if we can count on new immigrants to commit to Singapore.

Paddler Li Jiawei's return to Beijing, reported in "A grateful Li bids farewell" (Dec 28), serves as an example that immigrants may see Singapore as a place to eke out a living and not as their hinterland.

It is difficult to fault them for this, given that our tiny island cannot offer the security that underpins the concept of a hinterland.

Even if they stay for the long term, it is dangerous to rely on them to plug our demographic holes.

Integrating new immigrants who have not gone through national education or National Service is a trial-and-error process.

They are not immune from growing old, nor are they exempt from having dependents. Unlike Singaporeans, the elderly dependents of new immigrants have no economic safety net in the form of Central Provident Fund savings.

New immigrants may relieve immediate problems such as labour shortages, but it is a form of kicking the can down the road.

We have learnt that such relief comes at the price of productivity stagnation or the gradual displacement of Singaporeans.

If we are not careful, we will create a situation where ever greater numbers of "foreign talent" are needed to offset an ageing, unproductive population. Already, many top jobs at multinational corporations and financial institutions go to new immigrants.

Let us also ask ourselves if building ever more new towns and expressways to absorb a fast rising population is what we stand for.

How many more trees and graves will be given up in the name of development before we realise that what fills this nation's stomach may not be good for its heart? Certain things, such as our heritage and identity, are priceless.

We should think twice before sacrificing these in striving to be a hub for everyone and everything. In the new year, Singaporeans should ask: What is the kind of legacy we wish to pass to our children?

Taken from; source article is below:
Immigration is not long-term solution

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Pharaoh’s Slit Throat

English: Mummy of pharaoh Ramesses III. Русски...
English: Mummy of pharaoh Ramesses III. Русский: Мумия фараона Рамсеса III. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Watch out for schemers against your leadership...!

The New York Times International Weekly
Science & Technology

A Pharaoh’s Slit Throat

The pharaoh Ramses III, who ruled Egypt in the 12th century B.C., had a scheming wife who was intent on murdering him to bring their son to the throne. The plot is documented in an ancient papyrus, but the exact circumstances of Ramses’ death have been unclear. Now, researchers have used CT scans of the pharaoh’s mummy to reveal that his throat was slit.

“The big cut is in his throat, and it was very deep and large,” said Albert Zink, an anthropologist at the European Academy, who was involved in the research. “It would have killed him immediately.”

Dr. Zink, along with colleagues from Egypt, Italy and Germany, published their findings about Ramses in the British medical journal BMJ. They also discovered an amulet in the king’s wound. Called the Eye of Horus, it was supposed to guard against accidents and restore the wearer’s strength.

“This was most probably done by the ancient embalmers,” Dr. Zink said. “They tried to heal his wound for his afterlife.” The documents that discuss the coup are called the Judicial Papyrus for Turin. They cite the pharaoh’s second wife, Tiye, as the schemer.


Article taken from TODAY Paper, Saturday Edition, 05-Jan-2013
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