New fault-lines in Singapore society: immigrants must make the effort to integrate

Reading netizens’ comments, one would be struck by the negative comments by the vast majority on the subject of integration of foreigners and immigrants. Netizens make their true feelings known on Yahoo!, TR EMERITUS and other blogs.

Netizens stress two things in particular:

1. It’s ridiculous to spend $10 million of the taxpayer money to fund the integration exercise, money that should be spent helping the older generation instead.

2. It’s downright absurd to ask Singaporeans to integrate with foreigners and immigrants. In all other countries, the onus is on the newcomer to make the effort to conform with the societal norms of their adopted country.

From their tirade, one can judge how strongly many Singaporeans feel about this.

An intriguing question is whether foreigners are really interested in integration in the first place. Many have been here in the last ten to twenty years perhaps and yet they have failed in integration.

The reason is simple. Their numbers are very large. Their huge community provides everything they need from their own foodstuff, entertainment, social and religious gatherings.

There’s nothing strictly wrong with this. It’s human nature to stick with one’s own kind in a foreign land.

However, if they wish to make Singapore their adopted homeland and contribute towards the country, they have to make the effort to adapt and integrate with the locals. If not, the locals will see them as economic opportunists and squatters.

In recent weeks, the government has warned us of this fault-line. Weren’t they aware of this possibility when they opened the floodgates to foreigners?

The government has been sleeping on the job, and now playing catch-up which is becoming a bad habit.

When in Rome, do as the Roman do.

Ignored and cast aside pioneer generation: netizens don’t approve of the $10 million set aside for the integration exercise

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