Grant emigrants dual citizenship, suggests Peh
The Business Times (Singapore) | Jan 31, 1990


THE GOVERNMENT should consider granting dual citizenship to Singaporeans who have emigrated, urged Member of Parliament Peh Chin Hua.

Writing in Petir, Mr Peh, MP for the Jalan Besar group representative constituency, suggested that the government restore citizenship to Singaporean emigrants, provided they have completed national service (NS) or returned for reservist training.

Those who have not served NS but have made special contributions to the country could be issued with a five-year temporary residentship, he proposed.

These people could become permanent residents if their children serve NS. And older emigrants who wish to return to Singapore to spend their old age here could be granted senior residentship, provided they are financially independent.

A fourth proposal the MP put up for the government's consideration is the extension of the two-week visa for Singapore emigrants to three to six months, provided they have not violated any Singapore law or marred the reputation of the country.

As most Singapore emigrants are "professionals and successful people", they can contribute to the economic well-being and growth and help promote Singapore as a trade and investment centre, said Mr Peh.

Entrepreneurs here should therefore be outward-looking and work hand-in-hand with overseas Singaporeans and tap their expertise.

The government should also consider setting up schools in countries with large numbers of Singaporeans, for the benefit of their children's education on their return to Singapore.