Singapore to Take Expats at ‘Comfortable’ Pace
Lee news is no news. BusinessWeek:
Singapore will continue to take in foreigners even as citizens complain about overcrowding and increased competition for jobs, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said.
“We have slowed down the intake of foreigners but we will continue taking in foreigners at a pace” that citizens “find comfortable,” Lee, 89, said at a conference in Singapore yesterday. …
“We are in a particularly perilous position,” said the elder Lee, referring to the country’s population. “If we are not taking in migrants, immigrants, from China and from the region, we will be a diminishing and aging population.”
Singapore rejected more foreigner job permit applications and renewed fewer existing ones in the first seven months of 2012, Tan Chuan-Jin, acting minister for manpower, said in Parliament on Sept. 11. It also granted fewer permanent resident permits on average in 2010 compared with the annual rate from 2004 to 2008, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in a written reply to a parliamentary question this month.
The government has made it more expensive for companies to hire overseas workers by raising levies, and in the past year, it has increased salary thresholds and required better educational qualifications for some categories of foreigners.
“We have many complaints from our own citizens who see a large number of foreign faces on trains and buses and they say look, I am being squeezed out of my country,” the former prime minister said yesterday. Still, “we are short of workers,” he said.
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Tags: expats, foreign workers, immigration, lee kuan yew, population growth, singapore