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In 2008, Mr Lee Kuan Yew told the media that “without [foreigners], the jobs will not be there to begin with.” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated this view in 2011: “Without the foreign workers, we would not have attracted [investments].”$CUT$
The irony is that these statements are the gravest indictment of the PAP’s education policy.
The party has had more than half-a-century – uninterrupted – to educate the populace. Yet, it has not been able to equip our people with the talent, knowledge, and creativity to ensure the survival of our economy without having to depend on foreigners.
And not only are Singaporeans unable to generate jobs for our own people, local talent is leaving the country in alarming numbers. In the report, Mr Lee Kuan Yew pointed out that about 1,000 Singaporeans are leaving the city-state for other countries every year – and the number is growing.
He added that “every year, there are more people going abroad for their first or second degree” and many of them are not coming back. These people make up the top 4 or 5 percent of skilled Singaporeans that our economy needs.
How did we come to such a state where our education system cannot keep our best and brightest at home or, after they leave, attract them back?
This signal failure is causing Singapore and our people great harm and putting the future of our nation in peril. But instead of taking a good, hard look at where it has gone wrong with its education policies, the PAP has decided to bring in foreigners to replace us.
The gambit has already roused much anger among the people. Because of the influx, the cost of living has climbed while the quality of life has slid. The social friction between locals and foreigners will, sooner or later, erupt in the ugliest of ways, and the presence of such huge numbers of foreign nationals is a threat to our national security.
The SDP has drawn up an alternative population plan in our paper Building A People. The proposed measures will, in the immediate term, tighten up the Government’s lax immigration policy.
For the longer-term, we need to put in place an education system that will foster creativity in our people and prepare ourselves for the 21st-century global economy – one where we depend on the skills and talent of Singaporeans to generate good-quality jobs for Singaporeans; where, even without foreigners, we can still attract investments; and where Singaporeans who have left will want to come home to to educate their children.
We will spell out measures to achieve the above goals in our launch of our education policy paper Educating for Creativity and Equality: An Agenda for Transformation tomorrow, 17 May. Please join us.
Here’s another irony. Despite all that has happened, Mr Lee Hsien Loong says that the PAP has “far-sighted leadership who can anticipate problems, plot a safe path through the dangers and find new ways to maximise our opportunities.”