Singapore wants new immigrants to integrate with locals


Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has not rolled back the mat for immigrants but has advised them to absorb Singaporean values.

The Sunday Times cited Goh as saying that immigrants, planning to make Singapore their home, should actively contribute to the community.

“The immigranta who come in must very quickly absorb the norms and values of Singaporeans.

Learn to speak English if you can’t speak. You have to communicate and service Singaporeans to reach out to Singaporeans.”

“As you become part of us, the next generation, your children, they will now study in our schools and will be very much like any other Singaporean.”

“(But) If they come in to Singapore, convey the impression they are a community apart, that they are here just to take from Singapore and not go give back, then they must expect that sooner or later, the pressure on them will be great,” said Goh, adding that Singaporeans would then question the immigrants being in Singapore.

Singapore takes in foreign talent as permanent residents and citizens as part of its economic and demographic growth plans.

However, some Singaporeans have expressed concerned about the increasing number of foreigners benefiting from the city state’s prosperity while staying away from the local community.

The former prime minister who leads as one of the top government officials was speaking at his Marine Parade constituency grassroots events hosting some 350 Singaporeans and new immigrants.

Commenting on Goh’s message, permanent resident Srikanth Matamari, 32, said “If you don’t integrate, you won’t get a sense of living in the place.”

Matamari, who is from India but works here as a consultant, is one of the growing numbers of new immigrants in Singapore.

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