Saturday, 9 November 2013
And what do I think of...
Didact has asked me for my thoughts on the matter, and all I can say is that I have to agree with his commentary.
The immigrants? They are not merchants. Even if they were, there's no pressure on them to conform to Singaporean ways, not when the whole gist of the Speak Good English movement is so that "foreigners will understand us when they come to Singapore". It really shows the officially promulgated mindset regarding foreigners, doesn't it?
The immigrants are not Singaporean and will never be Singaporean, all pretensions of tabula rasa aside. They watch out for their own, look to their own, gather in their own communities (even filipino maids get together), and discriminate for each other when it comes to jobs. I have no beef with this, this is exactly what ethno-nationalism should do - in one's home country. Not as immigrants. For all that they are third-world folks, they understand as much compared to the residents of our global, cosmopolitan city.
There is no Federation of Malaya threatening to kick them out if they don't accept the rules laid down, there is no pressure to assimilate, and charges of "raciss!" tend to stick as much to the average Singaporean as they do to your average rabbit-warren SWPL. For some reason, the Singaporean government is quite reluctant to do to immigrants what it did to its own people back in the day.
At 1.2 children per woman, immigration cannot be sustainable in any sense of the word. Let the number in that you need to so much as keep your population, and you dilute your native base. Let in the number required that you don't dilute your base, even with aggressive pressure and shaming to integrate, and it won't be enough.
And this conundrum is a good thing. I've already made my thoughts on Singaporean culture quite clear.