Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Fragments 07.

A Singaporean Story

On 18th April 2005, Lai Chee Fan turned 55. This is his story.

In order to understand where Singapore is going, it may also be necessary to also understand where Singapore came from. It was American philosopher George Santayana who said: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Read CF Lai's story in the
Find Singapore forum, mirrored also at the Sammyboy forums.

Singapore Hotel Inc.

Anecdotal evidence today, however, suggests that most PRs stop short of becoming citizens as they see little benefit in doing so. They enjoy the best of both worlds: The chance to get the most out of the system and then return home or move on to even greener pastures.
- TODAYonline, 10 May 2005 article
Time to raise the bar for PRs here?

On a parallel track to my earlier article on
foreign students in Singapore. The vice-president of Hotel Properties Ltd, Prithpal Singh contributes an article about the need to attract and retain qualified immigrants to Singapore.

Australia Visa Fraud

The research highlights China - a large source of foreign students for Australia - as particularly difficult. Fraud was "a significant problem" for the Immigration Department's post in Beijing, a departmental discussion paper said.
More than one in four student visa applications from Beijing was refused, with one in 10 refused because of false documents. Well over half of those refused were using education agents.
During the 2002-03 financial year, the Beijing post identified 1550 cases of fraud using bogus documents.

- Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 2005 article
Migration agents risk universities' future

One very Singaporean phrase sums up my feelings on this matter: Spoil market!

Australia needs skilled migrants and overseas students to grow. And in the global marketplace for skills, Australia is quite successful in offering a very attractive (if a little quirky) package which attracts migrants from all over the world. It is unscrupulous migration agents and dishonest frauds which makes it harder - and clogs up the DIMIA processes - for the rest of us skilled migrants who are in the queue looking for a fair go at building a good life and integrating into the community.

Immigration (DIMIA) Horrors

expatatlarge. The Age has regular features on immigration - focusing often on the more dramatic refugee and illegal migrant situation in Australia.

I am personally quite divided on the issue of the refugee and illegals in Australia.

On one hand, it is heartwarming to see the generosity of Australia to offer a new life to those desperate enough to risk their lives to illegally migrate. The Singapore defacto response to refugees is to deport them back on the next transport.

On the other hand, the public backlash and controversy around illegal migrants often has a negative impact overshadowing the positive contributions of skilled economically-productive migrants who contribute to the country in many ways.


Blogger The Legal Janitor said...

'Lai Chee Fan' sounds alot like 'come eat rice' in Chinese... heh

May 17, 2005 6:35 AM  
Blogger A.Ball.of.Yarn said...

haha..actually it sounds more like "Lychee Rice".

May 17, 2005 2:56 PM  
Blogger Jeff! Lim said...

actually it's the same case with Mexico and the US, man. Except that i havent heard or know anything about the skilled immigrants' part. The businesses that hire these people do often say that they need them around though. Oh well.

May 18, 2005 12:16 AM  
Blogger 4 leaf clover said...

noticed your last few paras and was wondering if you've heard about the Palmer Inquiry going on in Australia now. Mainly sparked off by the wrongful detention of Australian citizen Cornelia Rau. inquiry turned up something like dozens of wrongly deported citizens. i think most controversial was Vivian Solon because they also lost her once they sent her back to the Philippines.

all this is of especial and major concern to me bcs DIMIA is taking forever with extending my student visa. manx, from personal experience, they made and are making things very difficult for me. (i agree with you when you said some people out there just "spoil market" - and make things tough - for the rest of us who have perfectly legit reasons.)

May 18, 2005 8:12 PM  
Blogger garota said...

DIMIA's inconsistent application of detention/deportation protocol has actually been a major issue confronting DIMIA for a while now.

International students, for example, have been fighting for more transparency and tightening the ESOS Act.

This is in addition to refugee issues, which the Howard govt has not been treating with much sympathy (and some say, integrity). If the increasingly nationalistic immigration + refugee policies are anything to go by, that is.

Check out adrianwong.org - lots of collation and commentary on overseas students, higher ed, migration, etc alongside aussie politics punditry.

Hope this helps.

May 21, 2005 11:54 PM  

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