Housing for singles and primary school place are in severe shortage for Singaporeans as the PAP fail to keep up infrastructural development with the population growth. As of 1st of August, single Singaporeans will be allowed to purchase HDB flats direct from the government. But just on the first day the policy took effect, every available 2 room flat unit are oversubscribed by a whopping 29.8 times on average. For primary school places, demand shows similar overcrowding impact with a primary school oversubscribed by 3.7 times to 1 available place.
Over the past decade under Lee Hsien Loong’s premiership, foreigners are welcome in huge droves at the expenses of jobs, housing and education spots. In the same period, the number of Permanent Residents have doubled from 287,000 in 2000 to about 530,000 in 2012. It is not known how many single Permanent Residents have secured the BTO flats of NS-serving Singaporeans and how many Permanent Residents children have secured Primary School places at the expense of a Singaporean child born and bred here. It is widely known that Permanent Residents are economic migrants taking advantage of benefits enjoyed by citizens from subsidized housing to better employment opportunities. From the PAP’s point of view, permanent residents are foreigners with the option to convert to citizenship and that is why they are rewarded generously to the point they are better treated than a NS-serving Singaporean.
Unlike a typical Singaporean male, Permanent Residents do not need to report for disruptive NS duties like in-camp training, IPPT or RT. PRs enjoy better employment opportunities as a result. They have no problem serving in the Civil Service like Amy Cheong, the former assistant director of NTUC. PRs do not have to serve NS even when they convert to become new citizens. They enjoy the best of Singapore’s security without paying a single cents, yet they have equal rights. HDB prices have been largely inflated with high cash-over-valuation transactions because of the deep wallets of the PRs. As a result young Singaporean couples are priced out of the housing market and hence delayed family planning. Similarly, the increased number of rich PRs have also contributed largely to the inflation of COE prices which likewise are pricing Singaporeans out.
In their bid to stay in power through new citizens’ votes, the PAP government has ramp up on the number of PRs, doubling it over the past decade. New citizens are exempted from NS and hence they are largely grateful to the PAP government, which translates to votes for the ruling party. Every year, some 20,000 new citizens were admitted, which also means the PAP’s votes will shore up by 100,000 votes by default every 5 years of election. The PAP government also recruits non-NS serving new citizens to become Ministers and MPs, like MP Janil Puthucheary, MP Zainudin Nordin and Minister Khaw Boon Wan. However that doesn’t stop the PAP themselves from suggesting Workers’ Party Chen Show Mao to go back to China [Source] when the latter is a NS-serving Singaporean. Permanent Residents are also encouraged to be involved politically by becoming PA grassroots leaders – an irony for the PAP which likes to cry foul whenever foreigners are involved in politics. Grassroots leaders are given priority in primary school places, even if they are Permanent Residents. It appears that so long as you support the PAP, it doesn’t matter what your nationality is. These PRs grassroots leaders are also often seen in Our Singapore Conversation, a public consultation exercise which is supposedly meant for citizens. Employment statistics are also mixed with PRs to hide the true unemployment rate of Singapore citizens. By far, Singapore’s PRs have only served as a positive political purpose to the PAP.
It is time we reduce the number of Permanent Residents in Singapore and deny them PR renewals if they refuse citizenships after 5 years. Permanency residency is supposedly a transitional status between citizenships, it should not be abused as the middle ground to enjoy the best of both worlds. But of course, the abuse will continue, so long the PAP has a 6.9 million target to meet and a devious political agenda to maintain.