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Interviewed on foreign workers in Singapore, for Rappler, 9 August 2015

" ... Kenneth Paul Tan, vice dean at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, told Rappler that the sentiment against foreign workers began emerging only 10 years ago when the government liberalized its immigration policy. Since then, concerns about congestion and property prices often come up as Singapore tops the list of the most expensive cities. 'All of a sudden, Singaporeans were feeling in a very palpable way that Singapore is not their own country anymore. It's not the familiar place they are used to. They walk around the streets, and they hear languages that they do not speak or are not used to hearing. Singapore felt like a country being taken away from them. It's a very recent feeling you're seeing,' Tan said.


Economists see continued tightening of the immigration policy, at least in the near future. The government aims to raise productivity by pushing companies to invest in technology and training instead of relying on low-skilled, low-wage foreign workers. Still, Vice Dean Tan said the approach so far has not addressed the issue. 'When they do that as they have kind of done in the last few years, it has created problems for the small and medium enterprises who find that they cannot staff themselves adequately. The danger is they close down. What happens to SMEs when they're non-viable?' ..."

Full article, "#SG50: Foreign workers less welcome in Singapore?", available here:

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