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 TODAYOnline.com; source article is below:
Immigration is more than just a game of economic numbers

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