The Effects of Singapore’s Immigration Policy


No country is immune by the effects brought on by globalization. Singapore’s government white paper states that it aims to increase the population size from 5.5 million to 6.9 million by 2030. Although this change is necessary to combat the aging workforce of the city state, it is, however, detrimental to the country, especially the populace who already feeling the impact of the immigration policy.

Firstly, with the increasing number of foreigners entering Singapore within the last few years, one of the areas that are effected by this influx is the labor market. For example, wages are suppressed due to foreigners which are willing to take on lower salaries. These workers are usually from countries with a weak economy, and they will use this at an advantage due their country’s its lower exchange rate against the Singapore dollar. Another example of the effects visible today is the saturated workforce. There are more job-seekers than there are jobs available today. There has been a decline of jobs present today because of the rising costs of business operations in the city-sate. Many companies have outsourced their operations to countries like China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam as companies seek cheaper alternatives. Another crucial issue in the job arena is issue of tribalism. Foreign workers in key positions are more inclined to hire their countrymen rather than a suitable candidate. As an example, there is a higher percentage of Indian nationals working in the IT sector than there are locals, and it is no surprise that the hiring managers are of the same nationality. These effects have greatly impacted the livelihood of the city-state’s citizens with regards to jobs.

Another area that is impacted by the immigration policy is infrastructure. The frequent number of public transportation breakdowns is undesirable. This is caused by the need to increase the operating frequency in order to support a larger number of commuters. In 2015, there is a 40% increase in breakdowns in MRT trains due to this. Another effect of the immigration policy is the decline in Singapore’s reputation as the‘cleanest country’ in the world. There have been a number of cases which has shown the debilitating condition on the country’s cleanliness. A few of these foreigners, especially those from third world countries, are inept in areas such as hygiene and the evidence can be seen especially in highly populated areas.

Lastly, housing is one of the areas that has been effected negatively by the immigration policy. A rise in the number of foreigners pouring into the country also brings about with it demands for homes and this is correlated to the upward surge in the price of properties. With higher housing prices, the effects can be felt by the blue-collared working class that cannot afford to pay for pricey homes. These impacts on infrastructure are alarming, and it puts a lot of stress on the population because of these changes.
Finally, there has been a rise in crime for the past few years, according to government statistics. In 2013, Singapore has seen its first riot since 1955. The incident occurred due to a size-able group of drunkard foreign workers assaulting a local bus driver who mistakenly moved off while one of their friends was climbing onto the bus. Because of this event, a new law has been passed by lawmakers prohibiting the selling and consumption of alcohol in public areas after 10 pm. Another example is an increase in number of road accidents. Foreigners make up 45% of motor vehicle accident, according to a news report. One case involves an 81-year-old woman who was run over by a tipper truck near the junction as she was lugging a stack of cardboard sheets across the road. In addition, there is also a steady rise of ‘hate crimes’ in Singapore. There have been a surge of reported cases that involves foreigners discriminating the locals. One reported case is of a Filipino who made disparaging remarks about Singapore on social media, infuriating local Netizens. One the other end of the spectrum, however, there are local Netizens discriminating foreigners with social media sites like Facebook having its fair share of derogatory postings by locals towards foreigners. As a result og the exodus of foreigners into Singapore, the crimes rate will inevitably be intensified.

In conclusion, the double-edge sword effects of Singapore’s immigration policy is necessary, but it also brings about negative outcomes. With the saturated job market, where there are more job-seekers than there are jobs available; the escalation in housing demands that leads to increases in property prices; deteriorating public infrastructure, which has environmental impact; and finally, the rise in crime are among the key factors that effects the lives of anyone and everyone living in this city state.


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