Saturday, August 4, 2012

Foreign inflow pace 'to be adjusted': Chan Chun Sing

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing said Saturday that the pace of the inflow of new immigrants has to be constantly adjusted.

Speaking at an open dialogue called Singaporeans In Conversation with 150 students from local and overseas institutions, he said such adjustments depend on how much the society can benefit from the economic potential of the newcomers without accentuating social tensions.

According to The Straits Times, Mr Chan said Singapore has to evolve according to feedback and that it is difficult to define a static point.

He said the Government needs to find a balancing point between how much Singapore can accept new immigrants and the economic dynamism and fresh perspectives they bring.

When asked how the average man in the street is faring with the influx of immigrants, Mr Chan said that those feeling the competition are lower-end PMETS (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) in sectors which face competition from China and India, such as accountancy and IT.

Mr Chan also said that immigration policies often entail a fine balancing act; a country can open its doors, grab talent and let them assimilate, or it can wait until its infrastructure is ready and then open the door. However, it could risk missing opportunities.

At the dialogue, Mr Chan also addressed issues such as the Singaporean identity.

He said it is the sense of allegience or affinity which takes time to develop that defines identity.

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