Singapore poll: Issue of well-earning foreigners sparks debate
SINGAPORE CITY (SINGAPORE) – For Singaporeans who are slated to vote on Friday, the main issue is job prospects. They are concerned whether the island nation needs so many foreigners who are grabbing better-paid jobs.
The Friday poll is not expected to change the government as the People’s Action Party has been in power since Singapore attained independence in 1965. It has always enjoyed the majority in parliament even though its vote has slipped.
However, experts view this election to be a litmus test of the government’s handling of the pandemic and its new generation leaders. This comes as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – son of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew – plans to resign within a few years.
Experts say that minor shift in support base of PAP can bring about policy changes. The pandemic has sparked a national debate over outsiders’ share of the city-state’s prosperity.
Analysts say that the opposition’s concerns over foreigners holding top-tier jobs has found support with voters. Resentment intensified following reports of foreigners flouting lockdown rules and having their permits revoked.
Former member of parliament and professor at Singapore Management University Eugene Tan said the projected image of a well-earning foreigners has become a “bogeyman” in the political debate.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field