The bulk of the WPQs were aimed at gathering information on the proposed Penal Code amendments, which some have said would be tabled for debate in July or August this year. As the amendment bill was not tabled for the first reading in May, the earliest this debate can now take place is in August. That gives me a second bite at the cherry for a couple of those WPQs. I will be posting all of these questions over this week.
This first WPQ was filed to request for figures on PRs and citizens. The New Paper reported on the figures on 8 June, and the piece mentioned why I requested for these figures. I phrased the question in a certain way, intended to extract very specific data.
As would be immediately apparent, the response does not even come remotely close to providing much of the information requested in my question, which is something I found extremely disappointing. I fully intend to ask even more point-blank follow-up questions in July.
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, for each of the last ten years (a) how many persons were granted permanent residency in Singapore; (b) what were the 20 most common nationalities of such persons granted permanent residency; and (c) how many Singapore Permanent Residents became Singapore citizens.
Mr Wong Kan Seng: Over the last ten years i.e. from 1997 to 2006, an average of about 36,000 persons were granted permanent residence (PR) in Singapore annually. They came predominantly from South-East, South and East Asia and some were from diverse places such as the Americas, Oceania and Europe (see table 1 below).
Table 1: Average number of PR granted annually for 1997-2006
|Nationality||Average number of PR granted annually for 1997-2006||Percentage|
|South East Asian Countries||17,522||48.4%|
|Other Asian Countries||16,183||44.7%|
The total PR granted has generally been on an upward trend. Since 2001, the number of PR granted was consistently more than 30,000. For the years 2005 and 2006, the number of PR granted was above 50,000.
Over the last ten years, an average of about 8,500 Singapore Permanent Residents became Singapore Citizens annually.