3.23 million citizens and 1.84 foreigners (incl PR). Foreigners make up 36% of the population. The % does not include those who took up citizenship as adults.
During the ND Rally, PM Lee asked Singaporeans to do their part and help to integrate the new arrivals. He also explained the benefits of having foreigners and other countries are doing it. Lets put it this way - Singapore's immigration policy is not the same as what other countries are doing. The PAP govt policy borders on the extreme. For example, in the US, immigration is also a hot topic but the foreign born (including those who took up citizenship) is only 16%. We frequently hear our PAP leaders tell us to be more open and accepting etc as if Singaporeans are very xenophobic. I find these remarks insensitive and unfair. I tell you, frankly, that Singaporeans are the most open people in the world. There was hardly a whimper of concern when the number of foreigners hit 16% because people trusted the PAP govt and the state controlled media on this issue. No where else in the world can you find such a high level of acceptance of foreigners. It was only when the numbers crossed 25% that Singaporeans realised something was amiss. It was when serious structural unemployment emerged and family breadwinners had difficulty holding on to jobs and income that they suspect something is wrong. For the residents in Jurong it was when the public transport reached 'crush-load' that they woke up and began to understand what the govt has done.
After implementing an extreme policy (immigration on steroids?), the PAP leaders went round to chide Singaporeans for being small-minded. Citizens from big countries like Australia,US and UK raised their concerns about immigrants when the % of immigrants were much lower than in Singapore.
Singapore's immigration policy has never been about benefits for the citizens. It is a policy driven by business demand for labor from China & India and the PAP's fixation with high GDP growth. Now at this late hour with the elections coming and voters who have woken up to what the PAP govt has done, the PM tries to reframe the entire thing as something done for the benefit of citizens. This is ridiculous. How many people will believe him? While many feel the pain from the rising home prices, crowded public transport and increased competition for jobs, the real tragedy is found in the thousands of low income families that have been pushed further into poverty as the cost of living rose and their wages became depressed. Netizens and bloggers are not small minded, they are concerned about the plight of their fellow Singaporeans especially the less educated who are unable to speak up for themselves.
Singapore population tops five million, 36 pct foreigners
SINGAPORE - Singapore's population crossed five million this year and more than a third of the total are foreigners, the statistics department said on Tuesday.
The city-state's total population stood at 5.08 million people at the end of June, it said in a statement.
Of the number, 3.23 million are citizens, 540,000 are foreigners with permanent residency and 1.3 million are foreign professionals and workers along with their dependents, resulting in a 36 per cent share for foreigners in the general population.
The population growth rate was 1.8 per cent in 2010, reflecting a slowdown in the number of permanent residents and foreign workers being admitted into the country, the department said.
The number of permanent residents rose by 1.5 per cent, down from at least 6 per cent growth per year between 2005 and 2009, it said.
Growth in the number of non-residents, or those on professional employment passes and shorter-term work permits, slowed to 4.1 per cent, off from peaks of 15 per cent in 2007 and 19 per cent in 2008, it added.
Because Singaporeans have not been producing enough babies, the government had for years rolled out the welcome mat for foreigners, whose numbers rose drastically during the economic boom from 2004 to 2007.
But after the 2008 global financial crisis, the government has taken a fresh look at its open-door policy following complaints from citizens that foreigners are competing for jobs, housing and medical care.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the problems in a speech on Sunday and vowed to review immigration policies, cap new foreign hiring this year and enhance benefits accorded to citizens. -- AFP