Tuesday, 15 January 2008

WPQs 18 September 2007: Permanent residency

Back in August, I had filed a couple of WPQs on permanent residency figures. I was more than a little disappointed at the response, to say the least. Still, I proceeded with the other two WPQs to complete the line of questioning I had adopted. I'm figuring out how to, at the very least, get some sort of explanation on why these figures are not forthcoming -- that will probably take place during the upcoming Budget debates.

WPQs

PERMANENT RESIDENCY
(Figures on Nationals from the People’s Republic of China)

1. Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs of the 26,125 nationals from other Asian countries who were granted permanent residency in 2006, how many of these were from the People's Republic of China.

PERMANENT RESIDENCY
(Figures on Indian Nationals)

2. Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs of the 26,125 nationals from other Asian countries who were granted permanent residency in 2006, how many of these were Indian nationals.

Mr Wong Kan Seng: We are unable to provide the specific data requested.

3 comments:

Coder said...

Sir,

I have seen that you have asked two lengthy questions. I have seen the short answer from our esteemed minister.

I am unable to provide the specific feeling that I am having now.

Which parts of your questions that the minister does not understand?

If the government is able to instantly compute our rosy economy indicators from the huge amount of data, why these two figures are so hard to obtain.

From his answer, we can tell that the specific data is available. It is just that he cannot provide them to you.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To coder: I am told that Parliamentary convention is such that a minister may decline to answer any question that he or she does not wish to answer, for whatever reason. It is not clear to me whether this is Parliamentary convention across the world or in the Commonwealth, or Parliamentary convention only in Singapore.

It is quite well-known that immigration figures are viewed as being highly sensitive. This is true not just of Singapore, but across the world.

Still, given the growing foreigner population in Singapore and the stated target population of 6.5 million, I think it is only right for Singaporeans to have some sense of who that 6.5 million population is likely to comprise. Unfortunately, that seems improbable.

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