Response of the day: Tan See Leng urges PSP NCMP to not undermine cohesiveness

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng urged Progress Singapore Party’s Mr Leong Mun Wai not to undermine the cohesiveness that the country has painstakingly built over the years in his Committee of Supply speech on Mar 4. Here’s an excerpt of his speech.

“Based on his cut, Mr Leong Mun Wai continues to assert that the government’s policy is poor, because its statistics are poor.

As Minister for Finance said in his Round-Up Speech, we get the sense that the persistent requests coming from him for more information are red herrings – they are distractions from the key problem at hand.

During the July 6 Ministerial Statement, I already shared that the majority of local PME growth over the last decade went to Singaporeans born in Singapore. I repeated this in Parliament in September, and stated that this is the same for PMETs.

But Mr Leong persists in drawing these divisions. Asking for statistics, splitting between original citizens, new citizens, and permanent residents.

I’ve also alluded at that particular point in time that as a society, we should not constantly be drawing such lines.

Many of our new citizens and PRs share family ties with Singaporeans. Or they’ve studied, they’ve worked, they’ve contributed, and they’ve also lived here for some time.

They contribute to our strengths, as a society and as an economy.

Singapore is an immigrant nation and openness is one of our society’s core strengths that has defined who we are.

I urge Mr Leong – have a care. Please don’t undermine the cohesiveness that we have painstakingly built over the years. And please ask people who share your point of view to also have a care for the rest of us.

Let me emphasise once again, Singapore is and Singapore will always be committed to remaining open to foreigners who complement our local workforce, and who are able to add vibrancy to Singapore’s economy.”