By Leong Sze Hian -
Joshua Chiang, the former Chief Editor of theonlinecitizen alerted me to the following population data.
Between 2008 and 2011, the number of permanent residents (PRs) granted plummeted by about 65%, from 79,167 to 27,521.
The number of new citizens granted dropped by 23% over the same period, from 20,513 to 15,777.
Overall drop or increase?
So, does the above mean that the consistent rhetoric in recent years that the influx of foreigners will be curtailed, has been met?
Well, I think to answer this question we may need closer examination of the population statistics.
Does granting less PRs mean that the influx of foreigners is being curtailed? Maybe not, because most of the PRs granted may already be in Singapore as foreigners. So, it may just mean that their status remain as foreigners instead of PRs.
Similarly, does granting less new citizens mean curtailing as well? Again, maybe not, because most of the new citizens may already be in Singapore as PRs.
What is perhaps more significant to answer the question, may be the overall growth in foreigners’ statistics.
6 months increase 74,000 vs 12 months 80,400?
According to the analysis in the TR Emeritus Editorial “Foreign population continues to increase unabatedly after GE 2011” (Aug 21), for the six months from June 2011 to December 2011, the number of foreigners and PRs increased from 1.926 to 2.0 million. This is an increase of 74,000.
In contrast, the increase was 80,400 for the 12 months, from June 2010 to June 2011.
Rate of change of growth up 83%?
Therefore, the rate of change of growth in foreigners has actually increased by 83% (73,600 increase in 6 months compared to 80,400 increase in 12 months) on an annualised basis at the current rate of growth.
So, the answer to the original question as to whether the influx of foreigners is being curtailed, is NO!
In fact, it may be growing even faster!
Letting in more foreigners whilst granting less PRs and new citizens does not escape the fact that we are still letting in much more foreigners than before!