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8/28/2006

soliciting for new citizens

Cheng Yoke Wah, a column writer for Today, has been here for 20 years. She married her husband who is also a PR. But when the question was raised, why not citizenship, it becomes a different matter. Her reasons, as she penned in the Today paper, is a matter of heart. Singapore is an adopted country, adopted parents, and her home country is where her biological parents are. In her view, it smacks of being ungrateful to disown her own parents by becoming a true blue child of the adopted parents. But she is loyal to Singapore. She sang the Singapore anthem with gusto and sincerity. Or is it a mixed up sense of being grateful to Singapore for giving her a good life, a fair and equal opportunity to live well and with respect? It is understandable that people have feelings. The bonds of the home, the memories of childhood and the familiar surroundings where one grew up are important bits and pieces of our emotional ties. To severe this link by taking up a new citizenship, is a big pyschological decision to make. There will be many who will instantly trade in their passports for our red passports when they compare what they could be as from what it would be. As we move pass this group, there will be many who will take the plunge for less desirable reasons. We should not buy citizenship. We should not prostitute ourselves to anyone. We should go all out to buy PRs and talents. Citizenship is still a valid concept today and has more intrinsic and psychological values than just a piece of paper or a red passport. Many who are from the more developed and established nations will not want to part with their citizenships for ours. Many will temporary part with their less desirable citizenships for ours and planning to swop it for even more desirable citizenships. What's wrong with the current policy of having PRs, WPs and EPs? If numbers is what we want, these schemes will continue to provide us the numbers when we want it and to cut down when we do not want them. We have the best of both worlds. To consciously push for citizenship may not be the solution even to hope for more NS men. More of the undesirable or uncommitted could be more dangerous than having less. We can get the numbers through the present array of employment passes and PRs. Many of the talented are highly mobile and are happy just to be PRs and live in any where of their own choosing. We need not rush headon into something that can have a lot of adverse consequences in the future, by taking in everyone willing. The wider the door is thrown open, the higher the possibilities of inviting more trouble.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

redbean, you're joking right ? What intrinsic value does our SIng passport have ? The right to live in a hot, stuffy island with hordes of uncouth and rude people for countrymen ? Give me a break.

redbean said...

let me add that the value of our passport is relative. it all depends on what passport one is holding. compare to many of the developing countries, our passport is quite well regarded in the developed countries.

ok, other than that, it is better to hold a PR here than the red passport. that i must agree.

Anonymous said...

well-regarded, my ass. try overstaying your tourist visa in a developed country and let's see if your red passport can save you from being thrown into a detention centre.

redbean said...

anonymous, even if you got an american passport, if you break our laws here, you will be caned.

lets talk sensibly. an offence is an offence. anyone who overstays will be dealt with according to the law regardless of what passport you are carrying.

just a little distraction on fringe benefits of the red passport. i was caught in a long queue in riyadh one early morning. the queue at the custom were very long and took hours to clear. our neighbouring countries' citizens had to unload everything in their bags for detailed inspection. each taking at least 15 minutes.

when it came to my turn, after flipping through my red passport i was waved through. so did my friend. and the next few guys continued with spreading their belongings on a long bench and every item inspected. even a tube of colgate was squeezed out, emptied, to see if there is any undesirable things inside.

Anonymous said...

You forgot that the American passport is so well-regarded here that the number of lashings were reduced from six to four. Now, if say, you were to be sentenced to 100 lashes of the cane in Saudi Arabia for consuming alcohol, do you think your red pssport can help you get a reduction ?

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

can't expect our passport to be a gate opener everywhere lah. but in some places it can be useful and in some it can be a liability.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, aside from visa free entry to the US for visits not exceeding 90 days, I don't really see our red passport opening any gates anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else notice the irony ? About the only privileges accorded to Singaporean citizens are visa-free entry and preferential immigration clearance OVERSEAS. Within SIngapore, the gahmen screws us citizens every way we turn with price hikes, NS, GST, ERP, TV Licence.

redbean said...

you remember the nipple red proton saga story?

they will be plenty of suckers around. but with milk to suck, better than empty stomach right?

Anonymous said...

Not if the milk is rotten.

redbean said...

fermented you mean. like fermented grapes, could become wine : )

Anonymous said...

Cherche:
Anon- I know people who view a Singaporean passport very favourably. They think life in Sg is fast-paced, prosperous and expensive. Especially those from countries which are not politically stable, e.g. Lebanon.

Alternatively they want it because a Singaporean passport makes it easier to get Australian/American citizenship.