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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Singapore’s carefully calculated migration stance provides food for thought

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Singapore’s carefully calculated migration stance provides food for thought

A first-of-its-kind survey by Ipsos for Euronews indicated that only 16% of European voters think that EU leaders have been up to mark in tackling what the poll characterized (though as an understatement) as “irregular” (illegal) migration.

On the other hand, 51% of Europeans in the Ipsos poll expressed “negative” sentiments regarding the EU’s migration policies, with respondents from France (62%), Austria (60%) and Hungary (58%) showing the most criticism. With around 355,300 people entering the EU illegally in 2023, it is little wonder why a considerable number of respondents in the Ipsos poll felt that tackling illegal migration should be an EU “priority”.

However, rather than face up to the problem of illegal and uncontrolled migration, Euronews, effectively a mouthpiece for the globalist EU, portrayed “far-right parties, like Alternative für Deutschland (Germany), Rassemblement National (France), Party for Freedom (the Netherlands) and Chega (Portugal)” as responsible for “fuelling” concerns about illegal migration.

Separately, another recent poll disclosed that around 70 percent of French people are in favor of a referendum on immigration.

Separately, another recent poll disclosed that around 70 percent of French people are in favor of a referendum on immigration. An April 2024 report titled “Non-European Foreigners and Social Housing in France” contended that under France’s social-housing system (HLM), sub-Saharan African migrants greatly benefited from state housing welfare, unlike impoverished French citizens who have been effectively unable to access it. Such a situation as described by the aforementioned French report has prompted France’s conservative National Assembly party (formerly National Front) to lambast “the foreign preference” in council housing.

Even left-leaning EU mayors, such as Giancarlo Muzzarelli of Modena from the Italian Democratic Party, pointed out migrant-linked crime and violence in Italy, according to reports from the newspaper Il Giornale, reinforcing a 2019 report that asserted that migrants were culpable for almost 50% of rape crimes  in Italy.

Across the Atlantic, CBS News reported in 2023 that the number of migrants entering the US illegally reached a “record” high, with the US Customs and Border Protection documenting two-and-a-half million cases of detaining or refusing people trying to enter the US from Mexico . In March 2024, Fox News reported that New York City officials started giving out prepaid debit cards to illegal immigrants as part of a $53 million pilot program. Purportedly, the cards are being disseminated at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan to migrant families who are lodging at hotels functioning as emergency shelters. Just like in the EU, migrant-linked crime rates have escalated in the Big Apple.

Contrast the situation in the West to that of Singapore, a tiny country in Southeast Asia with limited natural resources, land, and population.

Contrast the situation in the West to that of Singapore, a tiny country in Southeast Asia with limited natural resources, land, and population.

Although Singapore has historically experienced various waves of migration, the country’s migration policy, largely centered on economic considerations, has been tailored over the years to attract both high and “low-skilled” migrants (temporary or long-term) to boost its labor force and economic competitiveness.

Under Singapore’s current migration policies, professionals from all over the world with the requisite qualifications or in-demand skills to contribute to Singapore’s IT-based economy can obtain specialized work passes in Singapore, while enjoying the prospect of possibly acquiring Singapore permanent residency or even citizenship eventually. High income earners, such as top-tier professionals or managers hoping to move to Singapore, can even apply for a Personalized Employment Pass, and, depending on the situation, have to pay income tax to the Singapore government. Furthermore, migrants skilled in construction, ship repair, or other forms of manual labor can also work in Singapore under regulated work permits.

Notably, Singapore’s border control authorities and police force are relatively stringent (compared to their EU and American counterparts) when it comes to cross-border entries (from neighboring countries like Malaysia, for example).

Notably, Singapore’s border control authorities and police force are relatively stringent (compared to their EU and American counterparts) when it comes to cross-border entries (from neighboring countries like Malaysia, for example). In 2023, Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officials were prompt to detain just one man walking across the Causeway linking Malaysia to Singapore.

A report by The Straits Times (ST), Singapore’s national newspaper detailed the incident as following:

“Officers from Woodlands Checkpoint intercepted him before he could pose a risk to ongoing train operations, and the man was found without any original identity documents or travel documents in his possession.” 

The same ST report continued:

“Citing the Immigration Act, which carries a fine of up to $1,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both, ICA said it takes a serious view on attempts to enter or depart Singapore illegally. In 2022, 414 immigration offenders were arrested, up from 355 in 2021.Of the 414 immigration offenders, 57 were illegal immigrants, while the remaining 357 were individuals who had been caught overstaying in Singapore.”

Even if migrants somehow managed to enter Singapore under various pretexts, or overstayed their legal permitted duration in the country, Singapore authorities regularly conduct patrol activities and random checks to uncover any possible criminal activities, including drug trafficking, a crime that can be punishable by the death penalty.

Even if migrants somehow managed to enter Singapore under various pretexts, or overstayed their legal permitted duration in the country, Singapore authorities regularly conduct patrol activities and random checks to uncover any possible criminal activities, including drug trafficking, a crime that can be punishable by the death penalty.

To boot, political considerations have prompted the ruling party in the Singapore government  to regularly amend manpower and labor regulations to placate local discontent amid foreign competition in Singapore’s workforce.

Strikingly, under the Destitute Persons Act 1989, begging is outlawed in Singapore. The Act reads:

“Any person being a habitual beggar found begging in a public place in a way that causes or is likely to cause annoyance to persons frequenting the place or otherwise creates a nuisance shall be guilty of an offense and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.”

Regarding the issue of refugees or asylum seekers, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) posited the country’s long standing stance:

“As a small country with limited land and a high population density, Singapore is not in a position to accept any person seeking refugee or asylum status, regardless of background. States have the sovereign right and must have the ability to control their borders and manage migration flows in accordance with their domestic laws, policies, and circumstances.”

Such a migration stance does indeed refreshingly resonate with that of Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.

Unsurprisingly, Singapore’s unflinching attitudes towards policing its borders, as well as cracking down on illegal migration and crime, have earned the country a reputation for being one of the world’s least corrupt and one of the world’s safest.

Unsurprisingly, Singapore’s unflinching attitudes towards policing its borders, as well as cracking down on illegal migration and crime, as Daily Wire Matt Walsh has noted, have earned the country a reputation for being one of the world’s least corrupt and one of the world’s safest.

Certainly, granted that Singapore is a much smaller country than many EU states, let alone the United States of America, it is arguably easier for the Southeast Asian country to monitor illegal migrants, potential criminals, as well as any possible source of societal tension.

Besides, this article is by no means an attempt to whitewash the flip side of Singapore’s style of governance, including the country’s nanny-state approach to citizens’ lives, draconian COVID-19 measures and lockdowns, massive COVID-19 “vaccination” campaign, and silencing of dissenters to the COVID-19 narrative parroted by COVID-19 czars like Anthony Fauci and Joe Biden. Also, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s alleged extensive influence in the officially secular state of Singapore merits another article of its own.

With regard to migration at least, however, unlike many oikophobic and woke Western governments, Singapore, together with other Asian countries like Japan, at least understands what “national sovereignty” and “borders” mean.

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Last modified on Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Angeline Tan | Remnant Columnist, Singapore

Angeline is a Catholic writer who enjoys Catholic history and architecture. Her favorite saints include Saint Joseph, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Saint Philomena and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of all Saints.