Addadude wrote:My friend, this is what I call the Taxi Driver Argument. As in I've heard this comment many times from (usually older) taxi drivers. That somehow, the Ang Moh deserted Singapore in its hour of need, leaving the local populace to the not so tender mercies of the Japanese. My answer to that comment was and is always the same: "yes indeed, the 'Ang Moh' did surrender Singapore. But then who won it back?" (One rather deluded taxi driver actually insisted that it was none other than Mr. Lee Kwan Yew himself who kicked the Japs out!)
Singapore has and always will need a rather heavy foreign presence to make it economically viable. LKY himself has admitted as much and geared the entire Singapore economy around this principle. The real key to this city state's success has always been its willingness to embrace external investment and to look outward to the world for trade and talent.
Now has this led to many "foreigners" (I hate that term) taking advantage of and exploiting this situation? Undoubtedly. If you've perused this forum for any length of time, you will have come across some of these chancers been severely taken to task by regulars here.
I on the rush now, so I'd only reply to your point that foreigners need Singapore.
Singapore is a trading port and a trading port has to have a foreign presence no doubt about that. This is applies to HK, which by the way, has many times much fewer foreigners than Singapore.
However, I think that obsession with money is not healthy, as Aung San Suu Kyi has pointed out. In the pursuit of money, the leaders of Singapore shouldn't neglect national identity, and to this respect I think the son has overdone it in recent years.
We are threading on dangerous grounds. In the event of an economic crisis (or housing bubble burst), or Asian Financial Crisis 2.0, no one knows how the various interest groups will react.
Any ponzi is not sustainable in the long run, and that includes population ponzi.
In my heart, I believe that this policy will not be stopped in the long run even if "moderated" for the time being.
As for the case of all ponzis, the government will need to reinflate it, and to do that the government will have no choice but bring in even more foreigners to boost the economic, this time probably from Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central America, Ukraine, etc, pushing the population to 8 million people.
So in 20 year's time, the children of the FT today that will have become Singaporeans or PR will face the same problem and probably worst.
p/s: As for TRE brought up by Addadude, I wouldn't be bothered by TRE, most Singaporeans don't bother to read TRE or don't even know about the existence of that website.