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Preparation for PSLE 2010 starts now

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By Cassandra Ho
October 21, 2009

Cheryl Tan is a pupil in Primary 5, but she is already preparing for her Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) . She has completed the Primary 6 Mathematics syllabus will be starting on practice papers from past yearsPSLE.

This is not unusual for primary school pupils . Their parents are anxious to get their children ready for the big examination in  Primary 6, especially after the furor that happened this year.

The Singapore Examination and Assessment Board (SEAB) came under fire once again as the recent PSLE in October sparked off many comments from parents of primary 6 pupils . Most commented that the Mathematics paper, in particular, was too hard.

A parent, who did not want to be named, said, “My son told me that he was stuck at some questions which were really difficult and that he felt unconfident about the rest of his  papers after sitting for the Math paper.”

This is reminiscent of what happened in 2007, where similar complaints were made to the SEAB about the difficulty of Math and Science papers.

One example of a difficult question in the Math paper was, “Jim bought some chocolates and gave half of it to Ken. Ken bought some sweets and gave half of it to Jim. Jim ate 12 sweets and Ken ate 18 chocolates. The ratio of Jim’s sweets to chocolates became 1:7 and the ratio of Ken’s sweets to chocolates became 1:4. How many sweets did Ken buy?”

This question was posted on online forums, leaving many adults stumped and asking their fellow forum users for solutions to the question.

Some parents believed that the Math paper was made more difficult this year as this is the first time calculators are allowed to be used in second paper of the PSLE Math examination. This paper consists of 15 to 18 long-answer questions and make up 60 per cent of the total score.

Alison Ngiow, whose daughter attends one of the top primary schools, thinks that examiners set the papers harder as it is the first time calculators are introduced in the exam. She said, “ I don’t think it’s fair as the calculators only help them speed up their calculations and not to solve problems”

However when questioned by MediaCorp News, SEAB said in defense that the paper was a  “judicious balance of easy, average and difficult questions” and they had taken the necessary steps to make sure “the questions are within the respective syllabus and within the pupil’s abilities and experiences”.

In response, The Ministry of Education also added, that the paper was of the same format as previous years’ and that the introduction of calculators into the syllabus did not affect the difficulty of the paper.

However, this affirmation has not eased the parents’ worries.

“Singapore is known for its good education system, that’s why I brought them here. But after hearing all these horror stories, I worry that I have done more harm than good,” said Mrs Rimi Kim, who brought her sons over from South Korea two years ago to  pursue a better education here.

Her two sons, Jae Hwi and Jae Huan, are in Primary 5 and have Math tuition three times a week. However, these sessions are to prepare them for PSLE next year and not to help them with their current syllabus.

Mrs Kim added, “I want them to do well and it is so competitive here, so they need to learn everything earlier and faster.”

This preparation for the PSLE by students like Cheryl, Jae Hwi and Jae Huan, is not uncommon in Singapore’s competition education climate, noted Hanna Wee, a private tutor.

“I tutor three primary school kids who are in Primary 4 or 5, and their parents have asked me to accelerate the tutoring and start on the Primary 6 syllabus,” said Hanna. “The pressure placed on these children to do well is immense.”

Her students receive tuition at least three times a week with a minimum of two hours each session.

Mr Ian Boon worries for his daughter who is in Primary 3. He thinks that the pressure will lead to a loss of self-confidence early in her life.

He said, “All these help may come to naught when they see such hard questions. Is there really such a need to set the standard so high?”

The competitiveness of the parents has inevitably passed on to their children, who now feel the heat of the exams next year.

“I do nothing but PSLE papers now even though I have my exams coming soon. My mother says the PSLE is more important than a school exam so I practice really hard to make sure I will get A* next year,” said Lincoln Fong, a Primary 5 student.

“The Jim and sweets question? It’s so simple and I solved it in minutes. There are way harder questions that I can do,” he added proudly.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:35 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local

Challenging Trends in PSLE Maths Exam

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By: Goy Soon Ting Elisa

Singapore—He thought that acing the Maths paper will not be a problem, but Lim Hei Weng found this year’s Primary School Leaving Exam Maths paper a tough nut to crack.

A Primary Six pupil from Yumin Primary School, Lim was a high scorer in maths, achieving approximately  80 to 90 marks in most of his tests and exams.

His maths grade dipped during the preliminary exam conducted by the school. However, his teacher assured him that the maths preliminary paper was set intentionally harder than the PSLE paper.

Yeo Hwee Huang, his 50-year-old mother, was concerned about his preliminary grade. “I bought him a pile of preliminary exam papers from top schools and ensured that he worked through them,” she said.

Despite slaving over tons of revision and practice papers given by his mother, Lim found that the PSLE paper was more difficult than ever.

Lim’s experience reflects the sentiments of most Primary Six pupil sitting for this year’s PSLE maths paper.

In 2000, 86.5 per cent of the students taking the PSLE maths exam had passed. However, the percentage had dropped to 83.2 in 2008.

The performance of top schools like Nanyang Primary School was also affected. In 2006, Nanyang Primary School achieved a passing rate of close to 100 per cent for the PSLE maths exam. However, their passing rate fell to approximately 97 per cent in 2008.

These figures show the rising trend of challenging PSLE maths papers for Primary Six students over the years.

Lim said, “The PSLE maths questions are not similar to any of those questions I have encountered in the prelims and past year exam papers from other schools.”

Another Primary Six pupil, Mui Fang from Rosyth School, faced difficulties in solving complex questions. She said, “I can understand the question, but sometimes I can’t solve the problem because it is difficult and I don’t know how to do.”

Private tutor, Samuel Tan, 31, said, “Students are normally taught to do straight forward application of concepts in schools. They may not know the maths concepts well enough to apply them to more complex questions.”

In order to help pupils understand maths concepts better, the model drawing method is one of the popular tools used in Primary school maths to aid students in learning maths concepts, analysing and solving maths problems.

Liu Yueh Mei, Curriculum Planning Officer for Mathematics in the Ministry of Education, said, “The model drawing method is a good tool which allows children to analyse information in the math word problems and translate the information given into the model drawing. This allows children to understand the information given and lead them to devise a method to solving the problem.”

Contrary to Liu’s views, Alan Tan, Principal of Young Prodigy Learning Centre, said, “Models are not a good illustration for maths problems because when the question is complicated, the models don’t make sense. It is not easy for students to understand. This is also the reason why many students solve the maths problems without drawing models.”

Tan Yuan Lin, 12, a pupil from Jing Shan Primary School, scored an average of 40 to 50 marks for her maths tests and exams.

Besides having two maths private tutors, she also attended maths classes at the AIM Tuition Centre.

These tutors had quizzed and coached her on challenging maths questions from top school’s preliminary exam papers.

Despite these intensive coaching, she said, “Sometimes, I don’t know how to use models. I am not sure how to split the model further for difficult questions.”

In contrast, Lim found that drawing models was  a valuable tool in solving his maths problems. He said, “I know how to use models and it helps me to understand concepts like algebra. The models help to illustrate how many units a person has in the question.”

The command of English language also plays an important part in understanding the maths problems.

Tan Yuan Lin said, “I don’t understand some of the questions in the PSLE maths paper as I do not know what they want.”

Ngoi M.L., 62, a former primary school teacher with 35 years of teaching experience, said, “The mastery of the English Language is very necessary to help solve mathematical problems. If a child does not understand the language well, he or she will not be able to understand the problems involved in the maths question.”

Pupils should not avoid difficult questions but instead tackle them head on. Alan Tan has this piece of advice for budding A scorers. He said, “As practice makes perfect, students should practise more challenging maths problems frequently to sharpen their analytical skills and intellectual ability to breeze through the PSLE Maths paper.”

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:31 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local

The Dying Trade

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By:  Dawn Quek

Darren Tan stands out from the rest of the stallholders and workers at the Block 85 Bedok North St 4 wet market, despite being barely 1.5m tall.

As a woman looks through some packets of food, he eagerly provides her with a quick description of the product. She walks away without making a purchase and Tan sheepishly sits down. But upon seeing another customer approaching, he hops up again and gladly entertains her.

Tan is a 13-year-old student, and helps out regularly at the market over the weekends at his mother’s stall with his sister and brother, aged 14 and 12 respectively.

But while Tan’s mother took over running the processed and frozen food stall from her father about three years ago, it is unlikely that Tan will take over the store from his mother when he grows older.

With the prospect of not having anyone in Tan’s generation to take over the business, some stall owners at wet markets are not optimistic about the future of the wet market in Singapore.

The future of wet markets has come into prominence with the sale of five privately owned wet markets to supermarket operator Sheng Siong Property Pte Ltd.

The Straits Times reported the furor in the possibility of the conversion of wet markets to supermarkets, with residents and wet market stall owners bemoaning the loss of people relations and a sense of belonging to the estate.

Teo, a shoe stall owner at the Bedok North St 4 market is quick to point out that the outcry over the conversion of wet markets to supermarkets is unnecessary.

The 60-year-old confidently points out that Housing Development Board-owned markets would not be bought over so easily by private companies.

“It’s a general misunderstanding”, Teo said. “Why would the government give up these markets when they can make money from it? People are thinking that all markets will become supermarkets now, but it is not the case.”

Previously at Kampong Bedok, the 60-year-old was given a stall at the Bedok North market after being relocated and has been there for the past 30 years.

He has been paying the same amount of rent since he was allocated the stall.
Teo’s optimism about the wet markets being around for a long time because of the convenient location and affordable prices of the wet markets in housing estates.
He explains, “There will always be people who will buy things from the market. The government will not close down the markets as long as they see a demand for it.” He also wants to continue running his shoe stall till the day he dies

Despite Teo’s attachment to his stall, he is not disheartened about the uncertain future of his business, which he hopes to pass on to his children. He gave a resigned smile and remarked, “It’s entirely up to them, if they don’t want to take over, it’s okay, we’ll get the compensation.”

Contrary to Teo, Quek Puay Kee, 55, is less optimistic about the future of the wet market business. The 40-year seafood stall her father had passed on to her and her elder brother allowed her to raise her three daughters and fund their education.

“My father’s generation passed it on to my brother and I, the second generation. After us, it is not feasible for the next generation to do such a job because of the progressing society,” she said.

Koh Shinuan, Quek’s daughter, agreed with her mother. The conveyance secretary at a law firm surmised, “I believe the stall owners will give up the stall after they retire, because there are certain jobs you won’t get Singaporeans to do.”

Mohammed Farouk is a former mutton stall owner who was visiting his friend at the wet market. The 57-year old used to own a stall at the Bedok South market for more than twenty years.

When asked about the next generation taking over wet market stalls, his smile fades. The silver-haired burly man is insistent about his children doing something else instead of the wet market business.

He said with a furrowed brow, “I’ve suffered the setbacks and the pay is barely enough for survival. Ten years down the road, perhaps the wet market business won’t be around anymore, or at least it won’t be run by Singaporeans. It will only be beneficial to the consumers because of the lower prices, but for us, it is quite a thankless business.”

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:30 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local

Less Wet Markets, Higher Food Prices

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By: Ong Chiew Ling
28 October 2009

His plan was to garner 3,000 signatures to turn the situation around.

For Kim Boon Lee, initiating a petition and putting up banners to protest against the wet market acquisition might be the last thing he could do for other stall holders, whom he gained respect from over the years.

More  importantly, Boon Lee needs to save his 5-year-old joss paper stall from the hands of the supermarket chains because that is the only source of income to pay for his family’s expenses.

“Nobody would want to hire a middle-aged person who lacks a proper education these days. I still need my stall to earn money for my children’s school fees,” said Kim, the 42-year-old joss paper stallholder. 

The commercial negotiation was between the boutique property developer Heeton Holdings Limited and supermarket chain Sheng Shiong Supermarket Private Ltd.

According to Heeton’s press release, five of its wet markets in Yew Tee, Serangoon, Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang were sold to Sheng Siong Supermarket Private Ltd at S$25.55 million.

News of the wet market acquisition caught stall holders at Serangoon Avenue 6 unprepared. They were pinning their hopes on garnering enough signatures to convince HDB to preserve their wet market.

However, hopes were shattered following a media release by the HDB, which claimed that it could not take over the wet markets nor interfere with commercial negotiations.

When asked if there were any plans to retain current stallholders, a spokesperson from Sheng Siong Supermarket said that talks are currently underway with the stallholders of the affected  wet markets.

“We have not received any official statement from Sheng Siong regarding our stall tenancy but even if they are willing to let us stay, I would expect the rental rate to increase,” said Tan Yi Hua, the 51-year-old owner of Shuang Fu Fa Snack Shop at Serangoon.

Another stallholder at the Serangoon Wet Market hopes that Sheng Shiong Supermarket would consider allowing the original stall holders to stay.

“I hope Sheng Shiong would quote us a reasonable rental rate so that everyone can continue to do their business here,” the 54-year-old owner of Kwang Soon Provision Shop at Serangoon Wet Market said.

However, not all stallholders of the Serangoon Wet Market are against the idea of Sheng Siong wet market acquisition.

“If the new management is going to turn this place into an air-conditioned wet market and draw more crowds as a result, I wouldn’t mind the market takeover,” Teo Meiting, a  42-year-old vegetable stallholder said.

She explained that business had been going downhill at Serangoon Wet Market and were hoping that a revamp of the wet market could draw more crowds.

Increasingly, supermarket chains are getting a stronger foothold in the food retail industry.

According to a 2007 grocery retail industry report by Enterprise One Business Information Services, a business information and advisory services company, supermarkets had gained 60 per cent of the market share in the food retail industry in Singapore.

This is a 14 percentage points increase of market share as compared to 2006. Today, traditional wet markets are now faced with intense competition from the supermarket chains.

Sheng Siong is among the supermarket giants in Singapore to have increasingly flexed their financial muscles in the acquisition of traditional wet market. Just recently, another supermarket giant NTUC FairPrice had successfully taken over the only wet market in Sembawang.

Without the traditional wet market that serves as a cheaper alternative in the food retail industry, consumers might have to pay more for less in near future for their grocery items.

“Food prices has the tendency to rise as supermarkets’ food is highly processed, cleaned and packaged where high labour costs and other sunk costs are involved before food reaches the shelves,” Arti Srivastava, a honours-year NUS Economic undergraduate, said.

She explained that grocery items sold in supermarket chains tend to be more expensive as the cost of advertising and marketing is usually passed on to the consumers.

“Unlike supermarket chains, wet markets do not incur any such costs and that is how consumers can benefit from it,” Srivastava said.

Intense competition among supermarket chains would also lead to an increase in advertisement and marketing costs, and the food prices in supermarkets are expected to increase under such conditions.

“I do not think that consumers can expect cheaper food price as the market structure of supermarket chains resembles oligopoly, where prices are fixed to a level with collusion and cartels,” she added.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local

Problems for the young and the old in an ageing population

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By: Wendy Toh

Married women and mothers employed in the labour force today complain about working double shifts. But for Elaine Tan, 55, daily responsibilities, even in singlehood, encompass two shifts as well.

“Every day I make sure there is food on the table for my mother before hurrying out to work,” the office cleaner said in Mandarin. “When I’m back at home I need to make sure my mother’s needs are met, on top of doing household chores.

“But most importantly, I am responsible for her healthcare and daily expenditure, on top my own,” she adds.

The load of providence for an aged parent falls solely on Elaine’s weary shoulders. This is a likely scenario that will face Singaporeans employed in the labour force in the future, except that this economic load could be from complete strangers.

With our population age forming an inverted pyramid, two Singaporeans aged 15 to 64 will be supporting an elderly by 2030. Due to fertility rate and old-age support ratio falling steeper by the year, 25% of the population will be at least 60 years old by then.

Currently, an elderly’s economic and healthcare needs are provided by approximately seven able-bodied men and women contributing to the nation’s Gross Domestic Income. And this statistic will further diminish.

The dwindling old-age support ratio has prompted the government to make amendments to the Central Provident Funds to better equip individuals with greater economic independence as old age approaches. From 1 July 2009, the state has phased out the 50% withdrawal rule at age 55, and raised the minimum sum required in one’s CPF account to S$117, 000. In addition, the Medisave Contribution Ceiling will be set at S$32,000 instead of S$29,500.

Nominated Member of Parliament Paulin Straughn said that life expectancy rates are going up, and these efforts undertaken by the government would ensure sufficient funds for retirement and healthcare payments when individuals are no longer capable of employment as old age catches up. This is especially crucial for ageing singles like Elaine.

“This would decrease liability on the rest of the working population, and relieve burdens of tax payers as well,” Straughn added.

However, in 2008, only a third of Singaporeans who turned 55 that year met the Minimum Sum requirement. This leaves the remaining two-thirds of Singaporeans with the maximum of S$5, 000 that is allowed for withdrawal from their CPF account.

For Elaine, this is hardly enough. “Whatever I can withdraw from my CPF account right now is will not cover for the mounting expenses incurred by my ailing mother,” she said.

“I have no husband or children to rely on. Retirement is out of the question,” she said. “It is a luxury I cannot afford. Even if I am sick, I will probably have to work till my dying day.”

But her income will be a shrinking one.

The Retirement Age Act rules that companies are allowed to cut a 60-year-old employee’s wage by a maximum of 10 per cent, and 80 per cent of unionized companies exercise this right fully. In fact, companies also further reduce wages of employees past the current retirement age of 62.

This was exactly what happened to Lee Kay Tham, 63. The technician at a shipping company suffered two pay cuts in the last three years despite being issued the same amount of workload. With his pay reduced by 25 per cent, he should logically be doing less work, but was told he by his employer that he was “lucky to have a job” at all.

Fortunately, the National Trades Union Congress has taken on a three-day conference to debate for an end to the wage reduction practice allowed by The Retirement Age Act. Labour chief Lim Swee Say, said that this review is crucial in the face of an ageing population as it would affect the productivity of the nation. The greater the motivation for the elderly to stay in the workforce, the lower their dependence on the employment force for economic support would be.

But problems of an ageing nation cannot be effectively tackled with economic policies alone.

“It is essentially an issue about the unwillingness of Singaporeans to marry and settle down into families with children,” said Nilanjan Raghunath, a Sociology lecturer at National University of Singapore.

Interestingly, the number of Singapore citizens increased by 1.1 per cent to 3.2 million in 2009, while the number of permanent residents grew 10.4 per cent to 530,000. Foreigners now make up 25 per cent of the Singapore’s population.

And to Straughn, this escalating proportion of migrants contributing to Singapore’s economy is reason for cheer. The dynamics of the composite of the nation’s population is changing. Even with declining birth rates amongst Singaporeans, Singapore manages to generate population growth, henceforth retaining her sustainability, by successfully attracting foreign migration.

While Straughn recognizes this might not be a long-term solution to Singapore’s ageing population and the economic implications that follow, this will “help ease the impending tensions Singapore will face should birth rates continue to fall”.

And this would indeed be reason for cheer for the multiplying number of Singaporeans in the labour force in the future, who, like Elaine, are single, yet carrying that additional load.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:26 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local

Singapore wet markets’ uncertain future

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By: Esther Lau Si En

For the past 16 years, Mei has been hurrying down routinely to Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1 wet market every morning before everyone else did. Unlike the other housewives who want to get the freshest produce, she sets up her fresh fruits and vegetables stall.

Mei’s family depends on this small business for their necessary expenses. When news surfaced earlier this month that supermarket chain Sheng Siong, has bought over the wet market to convert it into air-conditioned supermarkets, Mei was in despair.

The takeover poses many uncertainties for stallholders like Mei, such as possible increases in rental costs, changes operating hours and even, unemployment.

Hundreds of wet market stallholders across Singapore were equally distraught over the impending threat to their livelihoods, as five other privately run markets were also told to cease operations. The list included locations in Choa Chu Kang Street 62, Serangoon Avenue 3, Bukit Batok West Avenue 8, Block 623 Elias Road and Fajar Road.

Stallholders and residents launched a petition drive for the Housing and Development Board to intervene, contending for the preservation of wet markets. Subsequently, Sheng Siong was told to withdraw initial plans of takeover

Despite the success of the petition, there is still uncertainty over the fate of Singapore’s wet markets.

Support from the residents will be crucial. According to Khaw Boon Wan, a member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, wet markets will remain for as long as residents continue supporting the wet markets which they fought to keep.

“If they continue the operation and there are very few customers, then they cannot support the rental, then it will not be sustainable,” he added.

Chua Ser Keng, president of the Federation of Merchants’ Association, believes that stallholders can also help retain their business by capitalizing on the benefits of the wet markets.

“One advantage they have is that their produce is fresher, so customers can expect better quality when they buy from them,” he said.

Goh, a customer of West Coast wet market who refused to give his full name, said, “As long as stallholders continue to provide fresh products at a cheap price, I would continue to buy my groceries from the wet market.”

A loyal customer of West Coast wet market, Tan Hui Chee, 38, said that wet markets also provide a more personal experience for customers.

“More communication between stallholders and customers contribute to the wet market as a trait of the neighbourhood community. Residents tend to be more loyal to their estate wet markets and so I believe that there will still be businesses in wet markets in the future,” he said.

Though a large market of stallholders and customers are hopeful about the future of wet markets, the Federation of Merchants’ Association expressed that supermarkets could actually add value to the HDB neighbourhoods by providing more employment opportunities for jobseekers and longer hours of retail services for the residents.

While the older generation favours the traditional wet markets, there is undoubtedly a growing trend of preference for supermarkets amongst the younger generation.

A recent straw poll conducted by The Straits Times’ RazorTV, an online television service that broadcasts news generated by Singapore Press Holdings and comments by the local public, has shown that supermarkets are becoming more desirable amongst those 40 years old and below.

Supermarket shopper, Lo Min See, 21, said that though prices offered at wet markets are probably cheaper, she would rather “pay a little bit more” to purchase her foods and daily products within one shop. This suggests that amongst the younger generation, convenience is prioritized over cheaper produces.

Another problem that these younger people found with wet markets is their wet and dirty environment. “The idea that fish scales and pork pieces are discarded haphazardly onto the market path really irks me,” Lo explained.

Mary Sim, 35, who shops at both wet markets and supermarkets, observed that as the younger generation dominates in the future, so will their demand for supermarkets.

“With supermarkets just a stone’s throw away, it will be more difficult for wet markets to compete for business sales. It’s just a matter of time that wet markets will become less popular and eventually disappear,” she said.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:25 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local

A closer look at Singapore’s immigrant policies

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By: Pham Huynh Thao Quyen

SINGAPORE- With his living cost surging continuously, Rajesh was eager to find a job. But when he applied to become a waiter at a Holland Village restaurant, the manager replied, “Are you Singaporean? If not, then please go for other restaurants.”

Rajesh remains hopeful that he could find other opportunities even though he was unsuccessful. However, he feels that his nationality as an Indian will be an obstacle in his job search.

It used to be easier for foreigners to get along well with Singaporeans before the recession.  There even used to be privileges encouraging foreigners to make Singapore their second home. But with Singapore’s current economic state, things have gotten much harder for foreigners.

“Everything does not seem easy now when applying for the Permanent Residence. I think that I have to go back to Myanmar if they don’t accept me in the next two months”, said May, a training manager at R.E. & S. Enterprises Pte Ltd.

With many foreigners encountering difficulties finding jobs, Janny Nguyen suggests that discrimination may be part of the problem.

“Even in professional fields like real estate, journalism, banking, some companies really like to recruit Singaporean rather than foreigners”, said Nguyen, a Vietnamese staff member at Capitaland.

On the other hand, many Singaporeans think that foreigners are out to take their positions in big companies, leading to a tense relationship between the two groups. With this emerging tension, the government must then balance the economic benefits of immigration with its social costs.

Singapore’s immigration policies in the past actually prioritized the social aspect, stipulating a selection criteria to ensure that immigrants’ cultural backgrounds were at least similar to that of the local Singaporean population.

Nowadays, however, it seems that the economic benefits of immigration are winning out, much to the dismay of several Singaporeans.

“I can’t stand when they gathered all night at the food court just to scream and drink,” a Clementi resident said.

Foreigners’ lifestyles have also led to the belief that they are more prone to cause a nuisance, as in the case of foreign workers Ganesh and Stevent Truong. The two drank and slept overnight at Dover Park until the police came and asked them to go home.

Others feel uncomfortable when foreigners  indicate a refusal to assimilate into the local culture. When Chinese nationals hung their flag over some apartment blocks in Choa Chu Kang, conflict arose between the local residents and the Chinese immigrants.

With the country’s immigrant communities growing larger each day, some foreigners are perfectly comfortable with their compatriots and don’t even feel the need to reach out to the locals, further straining the relationship between the two groups.

“I really appreciate all contribution of foreigners for our country. But it is the time now for us to consider our immigrant policy when there are a lot of ‘behind the scene’ problems along with the positive impacts”, said Kelly Tan, a student from the National University of Singapore.

However, Singapore itself was built on the backs of Chinese, Indian and Malay immigrants.But while Singaporeans are proud of their country’s ethnic diversity, it seems that having too many foreigners in their neighbourhood has taken its toll.

Perhaps it is time to take a close look at the country’s immigrant policies and find a harmonious middleground for both locals and foreigners.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

Posted in Feature Articles, Local