21 September 2010

No Dual Citizenship

The suggestion of dual citizenship, or dual nationality, has crept into the discussion on offering citizenship to permanent residents, and the broader discussion on citizenship versus permanent residency.

Foreigners who are permitted by their home countries to be citizens of a second country (i.e., without losing the citizenship of their home countries) will likely welcome the suggestion.

With dual citizenship, erstwhile foreigners will enjoy the few privileges that are available to citizens but not permanent residents.

They can buy new HDB flats or get government grants and HDB mortgage loans when buying HDB resale flats.

They will qualify for higher subsidies for medical care and education.  Their children will compete equally for placement in public schools.

They can vote in parliamentary and presidential elections.

Using them to make up for the baby shortfall is misplaced unless they consider themselves as Singaporeans only, not part Singaporeans and part citizen of another country.

If they are young enough to fulfil national service obligations, will they stay and defend Singapore in times of need, when they have an alternative home elsewhere?

Like permanent residents, they will stay here only as long as conditions here suit their objectives or preferences, and will likely relocate if conditions elsewhere are more favourable or more attractive.

There are few, if any, benefits for Singapore to grant dual citizenship to foreigners.

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