Island Flooded with Potential Immigrants

"Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

Singapore has flooding problems. One is torrential tropical rain resulting in freak floods. The other is a government policy to compensate for low population replacement rates and allow migrants in to buttress the workforce. It does not matter whether the migrants are long term or transient, they cause stress to the scarce resources e.g. jobs, promotions, transport system. I hesitate to add in property as some Singaporeans also benefit from higher property prices and a greater demand for rental property. Furthermore, these migrant workers here might even have stressed the healthcare system and added to waiting times in public healthcare but nobody has done any research into this so we can only guess. We can already feel the stress and the understandable xenophobia has gone on acutely for 1-2 years already at least.

This sort of recognition for being at the top is something the PAP wants swept under the carpet as there is increasing frustration. Allowing immigrants into Singapore is not a bad policy, as we are rooted in a migrant can-do culture, but there seems too be too little discrimination in the kind of people we want to attract here for work. Foreign manual labour for jobs that Singaporeans don’t want to to do is acceptable, but allowing foreigners to come in and take away jobs that we want to do is an unpleasant fact to swallow.

Singapore most desired by migrants: Gallup poll
Sun, Aug 22, 2010

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Singapore remained a top immigration hot spot for the second successive year in a global survey conducted by Gallup.

The city-state could see its population triple if everyone who wants to move here was allowed to, the poll released last Friday showed.

It found that, in that case, Singapore’s population of 4.8 million would increase by 219 per cent.

The second-most popular destination was New Zealand, whose population of four million would rise by 184 per cent. Third was Saudi Arabia, whose population of 26 million would soar by 176 per cent if everyone who wants to come in and wants to leave, could do so.

Gallup researchers interviewed nearly 350,000 adults in 148 countries between 2007 and this year to calculate each country’s Potential Net Migration Index (PNMI).

The PNMI is the estimated number of adults who wish to permanently leave a country subtracted from the estimated number who wish to immigrate there, as a proportion of the total adult population.

Singapore also topped a similar survey released in November last year, but with a higher index figure of 260 per cent. Second and third positions were reversed, with Saudi Arabia second and New Zealand third in last year’s index.

The preferred destination of most would-be migrants is still the United States, although the already large US population of 300 million inhabitants means that the impact is less acutely felt, Gallup said.

The US is No. 14 on the net migration list, which means that if everyone who wanted to could enter the country, and all those who wished to leave did, its population would rise by about 60 per cent.

For the first time, Switzerland made it onto the list, which was first compiled last year.

Some 800,000 of the country’s six million citizens said they would like to leave permanently, while some 10 million foreigners said they would move there, given the chance.

At the opposite end of the scale, the populations of Sierra Leone, Haiti and Zimbabwe would fall by more than half if migrants were allowed to leave at will.

Many countries in Africa and Latin America showed net outflows of population – although four African countries would gain residents, according to the poll.

They are Botswana, which would see its population increase by 39 per cent, South Africa, Zambia and Namibia, which would see rises of 13 per cent, 5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

Botswana, which ranked just after the US and just above Norway on the list, is the world’s top producer of diamonds and a leading destination for high-end tourism. It prides itself as a model of successful democracy in Africa.

At rock-bottom on the Gallup list is Sierra Leone, the west African country still struggling to recover from a 10-year civil war which ended in 2002.

If everyone who wanted to leave Sierra Leone could, and everyone who wanted to move there did, its population would plunge by 56 per cent.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, would lose 51 per cent of its population.

‘While Gallup’s findings reflect people’s wishes rather than their intentions, the implications of what could happen if these desires become reality are serious considerations for leaders as they plan for the future,’ said the organisation.

The lowest-ranked European Union member state on the list is Latvia, which would lose around a quarter of its population of 2.3 million if migrants were allowed to come in and go out as they wished.