28 June 2005

Only Singaporeans Need Apply?

After the earlier interesting discussion about Indian nationals coming to work in Singapore, I started composing a post about globalisation and foreign talent and all that. I was trying to convince myself that times have changed and no job in this country is truly immune from foreign competition.

Then suddenly the counter-example dawned on me:

"Hehehe. Hehehee. Hahahaa."

Well, okay. I'm not in the mood today to argue that non-citizens should be allowed to run for elections in Singapore. But let's simply start with the Nominated Members of Parliament. Current rules say that only Singapore citizens are permitted to be NMPs.

But why should this be? After all, one in five persons living and working on our little island is not a citizen. We are unnecessarily shrinking our pool of potential candidates if we insist that only citizens can be NMPs.

Some may raise the issue of loyalty. However, citizenship itself is no guarantee of "loyalty". Singaporeans emigrate in droves anyway. Meanwhile, there are large numbers of permanent residents who have the intention to do what their status implies - permanently reside in Singapore.

Since the Singapore government is so determined to throw its arms wide open to foreign talent, well, doesn't it make sense that all these foreign talents also have a voice and be represented in Parliament?

Remember, Singapore is not a home. It's just a hotel. To be a six-star hotel, we must always strive for excellent customer service. Let's pay attention to what our top customers have to say.


Anonymous said...

And I would recommend we use the song "Hotel California" as our new national anthem. =)

Servant of YHWH עבד יהוה said...

I would not want a non-Singaporean making decisions for the country. It is dangerous, will lack the deep rooted interest of the local people, and the nation's future.

GK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

A valid recommendation. After all, the National Wages Council has foreign members on its board.

While we are at it, let's give PRs and expats who have demonstrated a commitment to make Singapore their home rights of suffrage too.

Link to NWC


tscd said...

I think if they want to have a voice in Parliament, then they also have to agree to other rights of citizenship - like serving NS.

Anonymous said...

I think I have to disagree..

Look at it this way,

Assuming that MPs represent the interests of the FT, while the NMPs represent the residual permissible interest of the citizens, there is no need for FTs to represent themselves.

They have (more than) adequate representation...

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

It is not merely a question of ensuring that non-citizens get representation in Parliament.

It is a question of putting the best people in Parliament to articulate views and ideas on government policy.

If some of those best people are non-citizens, why not?

Bear in mind that I was talking about the NMP position. NMPs don't have voting rights (not that it really matters in a Parliament where one party holds 79 out of 81 seats and exercises the party whip).

NMPs are in Parliament because they are highly intelligent, knowledgeable and experienced people (in one field or another) and can contribute usefully to parliamentary debates.

Now we have an ever-increasing pool of foreigners in Singapore. Some of them are here to stay for the long term, and some are highly qualified people who may possess special knowledge and insight precisely because of their background, insights and connections to another country.

Why shouldn't we tap these people?

dsea said...

we can look at the HK "functional" constituency. or we may remove some voting right of such fcmp, much like the fact that NCMPs cannot vote on certain matters

Anonymous said...

I propose reunification with the motherland Malaysia