Most powerful passport: Most open immigration?


Why are we the most powerful passport in the world, and also the most open in immigration policies?

I refer to the article “Singapore has the ‘most powerful’ passport in the world: Passport Index” (Straits Times, Oct 25).

It states that “the Singapore passport is now the “most powerful” in the world, with a visa-free score of 159.”

Is it not somewhat ironic that we are the most powerful passport in the world, but arguably also one of the most liberal in the world for immigration policy?

In this regard – from 2004 to 2016 – we granted 555,659 and 228,840 new PRs and new citizens, respectively.

From 2004 to 2016 – the number of foreigners (excluding PRs) in the population also increased from about 0.75  to 1.6 million.

With regard to jobs – from 2006 to 2016 – the employment growth for locals and foreigners was 376,800 and 701,900, respectively.

Do any of the top 10 passport countries have such liberal immigration policies as us – whereby practically – any Tom, Dick and Harry in the world can come as a tourist to find a job – and then stay on when they find one?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.