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.