4/14/2009

The appreciative new migrants

More than half a century ago many migrants came from neighbouring countries, including India and China. They were actually running away from poverty in their homelands. Somehow it was not possible to start anew in their home countries, or it was not as easy as trying out in a new country. The going was tough. But there was the promise of a better tomorrow. After a life time of struggle, some made it, some didn’t. Some made it in one generation, some took more. Some never. Fast forward, we are seeing new batches of migrants landing on our shores. They too were looking for a better tomorrow. Some were hungry, some not so. But their conditions were never like those who came earlier. The island is much richer, with better infrastructure and a more conducive socio economic environment to start a new life. Many quickly find success in double quick time, with govt assistance and a more level playing field. They are grateful for the new opportunities. So were the migrants of the past. Why are the locals, who were migrants once, feel left out and less happy with the situation? Or do they? I think many just do not bother. Any expression of unhappiness is likely to be personal and not a common reaction of the populace. Neither is the unhappiness that serious a matter that will be troubling to the policy makers. The govt is reviving the grateful migrants formula and will ride on their votes to power again. Equal opportunities for all, new and old citizens. New migrants will become old migrants and the cycle will be repeated again and again.

9 comments:

Jaunty Jabber said...

Redbean, your post have reminded me to recall that it was Singaporeans who first try to make a living in China. When China opens up, many Singaporeans travelled to the mainland to work as an overseas posting or to start some businesses. Did the people there complain that Singaporeans are there to 抢饭碗?

redbean said...

hi jaunty,

my article is about new migrants being more appreciative of the opportunities being offerred to them. the other point to note is that singapore has a population of 4m. the student population in china, just students, is 300m.

a hundred thousand singaporeans in china will still be lost.

oh, i don't think singaporeans are against the migrants. no demonstration or attacking foreigners incident. most foreigners are living quite freely and happily in our midst.

Jaunty Jabber said...

Oh I have made myself appearing to have misunderstood your article. I sounded like I am writing in against something you wrote, nope it is not. Sorry.

I meant to say that your post have lead me to think about how some people are saying that many jobs are taken by foreigners and left Singaporean with no job, when they might have forgotten that there are many Singaporean who made their living from the mainland.

My comment was intended to prompt people to look at the situation objectively. Depending on how each country progresses, who to provide the opportunity, who to provide the labours. Citizens of the world people could be just playing musical chairs, taking turns to sit on whichever seat that offers the comfort.

Anonymous said...

Happened to watch the Newscast on Channel News Asia where a few foreigners thanked the Minister Mentor for welcoming them and providing them good education and good living.

But, i simply failed to understand why only the backs and the long shot(from afar) of the speakers(foreigners) were telecasted. Are the foreigners too shy to show their faces or the Reporting Agencies fear backlash from the locals ?

patriot

redbean said...

ya, singaporeans who find it difficult here will become foreign talents overseas. foreigners who find it difficult at home will become foreign talents here. novelty has some value.

if we allow 1m foreigners to come in and fight for jobs, that is almost 50% of our workforce. not a very comfortable proposition.

Anonymous said...

Just asking the rich who live in semi-detached house whether they can offer their backyard for the poor to build tent and live in. i believe most will reject it right. It is too much for tiny Singapore to let many in lah. We are really too small.

Anonymous said...

The new migrants are a lot smarter than the old ones, Redbean. They will amass their riches here and then scoot off back to their countries of origins which are now engines of growth, rather than bastions of abject poverty as they once were.

redbean said...

quite true. and they are also not as desperate as our parents and grandparents.

they will grow the moment they feel uneasy.

redbean said...

oh jaunty, don't worry. we are just chatting and it is every easy to read things differently : )