At the annual polytechnic forum today (Sep 18), polytechnic students shoot PAP MP Indranee Rajah with questions over foreigners, university admission, permanent residence and National Service. The polytechnic students are unhappy over the Singapore government for letting in too many foreigners, not having enough university places, jobs for Singaporeans and the purpose of serving National Service when new citizens and PRs are exempted.

Photo from Lau Fook Kong - The Straits Times
Photo from Lau Fook Kong – The Straits Times

PAP MP Indranee Rajah rhetorically deflected the questions saying that Singapore have not enough Singaporeans and that is why foreigners are needed:

“If you don’t have enough of your own people, then you have to ask people from outside to come in. And that is a very tricky balancing act to do, because you must not have so many people coming in from the outside that your own local, Singaporean core is eroded.

There are sectors that Singaporeans are not keen on working, such as construction. So that is one area where we will still need to have people from abroad to help out with.”

However students were not questioning the intake of work permit holders but rather foreigners with degree qualifications who came to Singapore to accept wages lower than market rate. PAP MP Indranee ended the forum telling polytechnic students not to be xenophobic and be willing to accept more foreigners:

“…(I) urge Singaporeans not to be xenophobic. We should be willing to allow people to join the Singapore family.”