The Straits Times Forum (6 Dec) carried this letter:
Fewer PRC nationals than reported
THE Special Report, ‘Young dragons’ (Nov 22) gave some gross overestimates of the number of PRC nationals in Singapore.
Our records show that the total number of persons from all Asian countries (excluding South-east Asia) who are in Singapore is 852,000. This includes China, India, Bangladesh and 30 other countries. Hence the number of PRC nationals is obviously only a fraction of that, and not ‘close to one million’ as cited in the report.
Likewise, the number of nationals from these same countries who have acquired permanent residence or Singapore citizenship over the past 20 years is 239,000. Again, only a fraction would have been PRC nationals, and not ‘between 300,000 and 400,000’, as estimated by the Tian Fu Club.
Ong-Kong Yong Sin (Mrs)
Senior Public & Internal Communications Executive
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
I think it is plain to me that our immigration authorities have the figures but are unwilling to release the exact number of PRC nationals and PRs living in Singapore. This has led to the “gross overestimates” by even supposedly reputable sources like the Straits Times.
Why is it so difficult to release these nuggets of gold? Do Singaporeans not have the right to know how many foreigners from each country are in their midst?
Or is it because the ICA has something to hide — perhaps the fact that this “fraction” of 852,000 is closer to 9/10 than 1/2. I think our government owes it to Singaporeans to come clean with these figures. If it turns out that the vast majority of foreigners and PRs in Singapore originate from China, then they need to explain the reasons for this gross imbalance of immigrants. Are they trying to boost the population of a certain race, or is it just that China produces a disproportionate number of talented people?