Winners & Losers In 20 Years

The US Constitution allows only citizens born in the US to become President. Perhaps it’s time that Singapore does the same for our PM’s position.

I believe what Mr Lee said last Sat will come to pass: that because of our low fertility, within 20 years, ‘original’ Singaporeans will be a minority in our own land. A new generation of New Singaporeans, basically immigrants who come here to take up citizenship, will be in the majority.

In some ways, it will be like what happened in America, Australia & New Zealand– the original natives of the land (the native Americans, Aborigines and Maoris) will be overwhelmed by the immigrants and will slowly lose their lands, their jobs and their traditions to the new arrivals.

They will also lose political power to the new arrivals.

I believe that once the newly arrived PRC’s, Indian nationals, Pinoys and others settle in and form the majority, they will start to eye official and political power. They may take up official positions as policemen, judges and immigration officials. And they may well run for Parliament, hoping to draw massive support from their countrymen.

Even if they do not form the majority, they will still be influential, like the Hispanics now are in the US, where Presidential candidates actively court the Hispanic vote, which would well swing results in key states.

The new immigrants may well demand road signs, official documents and even restaurant menus to be printed in their language. Anyone who’s been to California knows how important Spanish is there now.

There will be real Chinatowns and Little Indias all over the island. Not the artificial, manufactured fake Chinatown created by the STB, but real ethnic enclaves like Little Italy in New York. The new Chinatowns will have lots of Chinese shops and restaurants, will be full of Chinese signs and where only Chinese is spoken. 

In short, Singapore will change completely in 20 years.

Yes indeed, ‘original’ Singaporeans may well become a minority in their own country, just like native Americans are now a tiny minority in the US, and even white Americans are no longer the majority in some American states.

Who will be the winners and losers in this transformation?

I think the Chinese and Indians will be the winners, as huge numbers of such immigrants will increase their racial proportions in Singapore. The Malays will likely suffer the sharpest percentage drop, as few immigrants of Malay descent have come to Singapore. The Filipinos may well displace the Eurasians as the leading ‘Others’ race. Thais and Vietnamese will bring up the rear.

The implications are: Chinese will assume a much greater importance than today. ‘Inglish’ will prevail, as Indians will use it broadly. Tamil will probably decline while Hindi will rise, given the mix of Indians coming to Singapore. Tagalog may be taught in schools, or even become an official language. Malay will likely decline relatively, due to the relative percentage drop in the Malay population.

Politically, the Chinese and Indians will likely gain greater political power. They may even form their own political parties to challenge the PAP. However, the GRC system may well make Malays into kingmakers, if it is not dismantled by the time the New Singaporeans are ready to assume power.

Singapore may well have a New Citizen Chinese PM– that is, unless the Constitution is amended to prevent non-native Singaporeans from becoming PM. Alternatively, taking advantage of their numbers, a New Citizen Chinese may well run for President, hoping to win the majority Chinese vote.

Will the other political parties be ready to capitalize on this new normal in 20 years’ time, to topple the pap from power? Or will the pap be able to appeal to the New Singaporeans and entrench their power base with the grateful thanks of the new citizens?

Only time will tell. But whatever happens, Mr Lee won’t be climbing out of his grave to change things for us.

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About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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7 Responses to Winners & Losers In 20 Years

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 14 Aug 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  2. John Terry's big mouth says:

    We don’t have to wait 20 years. It’s already happening now. Think of how many non-native MPs we have in Parliament right now.

  3. 64 hexagrams says:

    An interesting projection into the future with more other-nationalities becoming citizens. But the reference point is not far back enough: the scenario painted has already happened (except maybe with less variety of nationalities).
    The fact remains that the original people were the Malays before the white people came to this part of the world to colonise. We’ve had the first Malay President. A few of the early leaders were not born in Singapore (LKY is an exception), i.e. we already have (had) new citizen ministers. Maybe your question is: will we have someone who is not born in Singapore become the prime minister? Or a non-Chinese PM for that matter?

    • Thanks. This piece is not about whether the scenario has happened before, but what the implications will be in 20 years. Chinese will rise, Indians will rise, Malay will decline. Etc.

  4. Obama as PM says:

    The solution is to make President executive and allows only citizens born in Singapore to become President.
    The President can appoint FTs to be ministers,up to PM level.
    We are now the richest,how about getting Obama to be our PM?

  5. limcy says:

    There are already signs that is coming in daily life. Pinoys manning the 7elven, Chinese girls in the petrol station, Chinese Supervisor at Kentucky Fried Chicken…….

    I have seem Chinese staying here and married local women but they never integrate!
    My god forming their own enclave and their children send overseas and never come back.

    This is nation really need to talk and decide on their won outcome in 20 years. It is really very uncomfortable seeing the nation taken over by FT.

    Let;s start by taking the word Foreign Talent and just call them Foreigners will do!
    When TFR hit below 1 for sure close shop in twenty years time.

    Growth at all cost will see the cost beyond repair and we have lost our identity!

    Look at Japan , they really make sure that they maintain their Culture Identity!

    The Malay will go below 10% and become non existence and suffer.

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