SINGAPORE: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu said the government can probably give more information on the kind of foreigners it accepts into Singapore. But she cautioned against providing a list of requirements.
"We can probably give more information in terms of where the PRs (permanent residents) come from or what kind of employment status or income status that they have. That’s important but when it comes to application, I think, we prefer not to announce it, because when we do that you are subjected to gaming.
"I’ve seen some systems, where it works on a point system... You can see that actually there are people who would then game it by getting the right qualification...That’s not something that I think we should work towards," said Ms Fu in an exclusive interview with Channel NewsAsia.
There have been calls from Singaporeans for the government to be more transparent on its criteria for granting PR or citizenship status.
Ms Fu said the government takes a holistic approach to the criteria, which include a person’s education background, his assimilability, employment status and family background.
Ms Fu also touched on what she described as "the worrying trend" of anti—foreigner sentiments.
She said most Singaporeans understand the need for immigration and are comfortable with diversity, but feel the competition on space and opportunities.
The government is addressing this by ramping up the supply of flats and enhancing the public transport network.
But she added there is still a small group taking a negative view, and they are dominating public discourse.
Ms Fu urged the majority of Singaporeans to speak out when they do not agree with such comments.
"Treat others like how we would like to be treated. Although we may not agree with the number of foreigners in Singapore, we should still treat another human being like a human being," said Ms Fu.
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