New Foreigners, Housing, and a novel approach for the Old ForeignersWhilst i’m highly critical of the xenophobia that afflicts the ‘new media’ and many bloggers - who got their training for xenophobia from the previously practiced oversights in the face of the interests of ethnic minorities - I am not, when it comes to economic pragmatism, pro-immigration myself. I support the influx of new foreigners provided the following conditions are met,
They are not brought in as relatively cheaper labour,
And that locals are given first digs at the jobs that might be offered to new foreigners.
With regards to point 1, I would support the influx of relatively cheaper labour if the cost of living, HDB flat prices, etc, are structured to make it affordable for new foreigners, and these prices, available to locals.
So, these new foreigners, must potentially be able to purchase a HDB flat as opposed to sharing a flat with other foreign workers. To not do this is to subject old foreigners plus natives (local Indians/Chinese and Malays respectively - i do not, for now, consider either the local Indians or Chinese as ‘natives’. That will be discussed in another observation.) to similar strains as the NFs. But unlike the NFs, OFs and natives do not have a native homeland where the cost of living is far lower, and where they could potentially hope to build a bungalow with their financial gains in singapore.
What oppositional elements ought to be doing is not speaking against the influx of NFs, but demanding that life in singapore is made comfortably affordable for them, and that this affordability is naturally extended to locals as well. Not doing so leaves OFs and natives with similar strains as the NFs, minus the benefits of a bungalow overseas. If we keep the inclusive approach above self-absorption, we could head toward a reality where everyone gains at little expense to anyone else. But not doing so simply sets the foundations for us to suffer as everyone else, or even worse.
With regards to point 2, that is self explanatory.
The term ‘new foreigner’, as opposed to ‘FTs’, ‘PRCs’, ‘foreigners’, and so on detracts one’s attention from the fact that the bulk of ‘native born’ singaporeans hail from foreign ancestry themselves. It is this detraction that leads to the compromise of that degree of empathy required to turn a thus perceived disadvantage into an advantage.
The above is just a taster. I’ll let any true democracy-aspirant out there to make more of this little tongue-in-cheek observation, if there are any out there that is.