Foreigners needed for S’pore to compete worldwide: MM
Lee Kuan Yew tells Singaporeans to accept more foreigners. ST:
MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has weighed in on the continuing need to bring in foreign workers and talent from abroad so that Singapore could take on the world-wide competition for growth and progress.
Addressing Singaporeans’ concerns over the influx of foreigners who they fear are threatening their jobs, MM Lee said at a Tanjong Pagar GRC family day on Saturday evening that Singapore needs 900,000 foreign workers on two-year work permits.
‘They do the construction and other heavy work, jobs Singaporeans are not willing to do,’ he said.
He noted that while these foreigner workers are on two-year work permits , which can be extended several times, they will not stay here permanently.
On drawing talent from abroad, he cited how this has helped the United States to do better than Europe and Britain because it is an ‘embracive society, welcoming newcomers’.
‘This is one reason for the success of Silicon Valley where new ideas sprout up, are tested and implemented,’ MM Lee told the gathering of residents from Tanjong Pagar, where he has been the MP since 1955 when he first won the seat.
For the coming polls, the Tanjong Pagar GRC team is expected to comprise Mr Lee, Ms Indranee Rajah, Mr Baey Yam Keng, Dr Lily Neo, and new candidate Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing.
MM Lee, 87, also told the constituents how he stays fit. ‘I exercise every day, walking, cycling and swimming. If you do likewise, you will also keep trim and fit like me,’ he said.
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Tags: foreign workers, general elections, immigration, lee kuan yew