I agree with this view to a large extent. I think that the influx of migrants into Singapore has brought about mainly negative impacts. Firstly, let us define what a ‘migrant’ is.
It refers to someone who has moved from one country to another permanently. Also, for the sake of clarity, ‘Singapore’ will refer to locally born Singaporean citizens. Let us first consider a positive impact that the influx of migrants into Singapore has brought, before evaluating it alongside the negative impacts.
The influx of migrants provides continuous economic stimulation for Singapore. Contextually speaking, Singapore has been facing a decline in her citizens’ fertility rate, having fallen to 1. 20 births per women in 2011. If no action were to be taken, there would be insufficient manpower in the future to support the workforce, adding on to the increased burden of taxes and parental care to the citizens of Singapore. Thus, in the first place, there is a necessity to bring in more migrants.The influx of migrants comes in two main forms: low-skilled foreign workers and highly-skilled foreign labour.
Low-skilled foreign workers take on low-skilled jobs which are conventionally not taken on by home-born Singaporeans who are often more educated, thus supporting infrastructure which leads to more stability. High-skilled foreign labour provides a ‘human capital’ for Singapore which is one of the few viable economic strategies Singapore can take to become a major player in the global economy.Both stability and human capital are highly attractive to multi-national companies who want to set up administrative centres, and can lead to these multi-national companies establishing themselves in Singapore, providing more high-skilled jobs for Singaporeans, thus benefitting Singapore. Economically, the influx of migrants is highly feasible. However, this act brings along with it many social problems for Singapore. The rapid influx of migrants has brought the social problem of the difficulty of assimilation for the foreigners.
The most prominent incident that had appeared as a result is the ‘curry incident’, where PRC nationals had demanded their Indian neighbours to stop cooking curry (which was a central ingredient to Indian cuisine and much of Singaporean cuisine). The lack of assimilation leads to nationality-based conflicts between local-born Singaporeans and foreign-born ones. These conflicts may increase in intensity if left unsolved and eventually lead to physical violence and instability, which is a negative impact for the country.The influx of highly-skilled foreign workers, or ‘foreign talent’, has also brought discontent among the local-born Singaporeans. Local-born Singaporeans have expressed their discontent along two lines: the violation of national identity and the lack of job opportunities as a result of the influx of migrants. They feel that there is a violation of national identity as they worry the rapid increase of migrants dilute the national demographics, leading to citizens becoming a minority and the erosion of national fervour.They also feel that there are fewer job opportunities as they feel ‘foreign talents’ are chosen to take highly-skilled jobs over local-born Singaporeans by multi-national companies who establish themselves in the country.
Discontent within local-born Singaporeans leads to political, economic and social instability, which is a negative impact for Singapore. Evaluating both kinds of impacts, I think that the negative impacts would be more far-ranging than the positive ones.This is because the negative impacts are primarily social ones. Singapore, being a nation and not a corporation, is still made up of people. Should social stability be removed, the country is unable to operate in all domains, including in its economy.
However, if economic stability were removed, the Government would still be able to manage the situation, by ensuring the infrastructure is still in shape and making attempts at rebuilding the economy.