409,659 new PRs & 196,840 new citizens granted last decade?

Photo:TODAY filePhoto:TODAY file

Why do we continue to grant so many new citizens and new PRs every year?

I refer to the article “PM Lee welcomes new citizens to Singapore, urges them to contribute” (The New Paper, Sep 24).

It states that “Citizenship ceremonies, held every three months or so in GRCs across the island, aim to foster a deeper sense of belonging among new citizens.”

According to the web site www.strategygroup.gov.sg – “In 2016, 22,102 Singapore Citizens (SCs) and 31,050 PRs were granted. Besides immigration, citizenships are also granted to children born overseas to Singaporean parents (“citizens by descent”). Last year, such children made up about 1,500 or 7% of the new SCs granted (Chart 13). Chart 13: Number of SCs and PRs granted”

I added the figures in the chart and they totaled 409,659 new PRs and 196,840 new citizens granted in the last 10 years. from 2007 to 2016.

The 22,102 new citizens granted in 2016 was a 10-year high, and the 31,050 new PRs granted was a 7-year high, with 2008 being the highest at 79,167.

New citizens who are working or may eventually work may make the Singaporeans’ unemployment rate look lower than it actually is.

In this connection, the Government should disclose the incomes and employment growth statistics for Singaporeans, instead of just ‘locals’ (which includes PRs), in the public interest, and in line with the online falsehoods’ committee’s recommendation that the Government should give the reasons for decisions not to disclose information to the public, and to gain the public’s trust.

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.