Wednesday, September 15, 2010

PR ke side effects

So Permanent Residents (PRs) in Singapore are in a great state of agitation over this piece of news. Here's an excerpt:

Government encourages more Singapore PRs to take up citizenship

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government is moving to encourage more Permanent Residents in the country to take up citizenship.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said some PRs will be approached to become citizens and if they don't do so, their status will not be renewed.

Immigration was one of many issues tackled during a dialogue session with over 200 residents from Marine Parade to gather feedback on the Prime Minister's National Day Rally.

SM Goh did not give details on getting PRs to take up citizenship.

"Moving forward, we are going to approach some of them to take up Singapore citizenship, if they don't then their PR will not be renewed. That's a better way.

"We now have quite a few PRs, 500,000 in Singapore, so hopefully maybe 50,000 can be selected to become Singapore citizens, the rest can be PRs, contributing to Singapore's economy," he said.

My friends and I have been having a hot debate on this over email, with some very varied views, and it struck me that I could open this up at the bar and see what other NRI bewdas feel about taking up citizenship of the countries they live in.

Would you take it if it's offered to you?


Geomon said...

the decision is one's own, but it should never be purely an emotional thing or purely a monetary thing. taking other things into consideration(lifestyle,climate,language,etc), if it suits a person to take up citizenship in a foreign country, one should take it. once integrated, it really doesn't matter where u were born or where u die.
it's not unpatriotic or anything, it's just practical.
PS:do i shout Gold here?

Geomon said...

ok Gold!

nits said...

missed gold.. but silver... now i will read the post...

Atul said...

Have RSS ed your blog for quite some time,.. never posted nay comments but this one remind me of the debates i too had with few of my known ones.. personally i would never give up my nationality for anything.. but yes... if someone has lived long enough to feel more connected with the place and feels having a PIO status is good enough to keep the India alive in him than its fine.. its more about patriotism.. not monetory or emotional...its somethign to relate your existance to..

R said...

what does the Sgp GOvt get out of it?

R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arun said...

In any case, you have to contribute to the wellbeing of the place where you live, be it India or elsewhere.


a. Can you be a good citizen of Singapore?

b. Are there any issues where Singapore's interests clash with those of India? Will you be able to handle those situations?

If you answer yes, no or maybe and yes, then take citizenship without hesitation. In any case Singhapura was also set up by an NRI, we are told :)

Arun said...

Ooops, I should have also added - "Never take Internet advice."

:) :) :)

Neha said...

taking up citizenship voluntarily is one thing, and being forced/blackmailed into taking it is another. If latter is the case, i would better not live permanently in that country! as far as taking it up voluntarily is concerned, different people think about it in different ways. there is no right or wrong!

mythalez said...

doesnt it cease to be a problem if one is allowed to possess dual citizenship aka multiple passports? ;)

Anonymous said...

I lived in Singapore for 2 years and I can honestly say I didn’t like it enough to stay longer. The situation is different for you, I guess, in which case you can consider taking it up.

But is dual citizenship allowed these days? Wouldn’t you have to give up Indian citizenship? If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t take it. Dual citizenship is something I would consider.

Sravanthi said...

This was said in college today and I will modify it and use it in this context.

Is it citizenship by free will or by a bill? That's the only important question really!

Arun said...

Citizenship was not by free will in the first place - did you have a choice in when and where to be born and to which parents? Did you have a say in the political boundaries of the country you were born in? The people and places you love not because of some piece of paper issued by a government. If you can love Singapore, take its citizenship if offered. If you can't love Singapore, then run away from there.

And don't take internet advice including this :) :).

Angelsera said...

I ve lived in Spore for 20 yrs, been a PR for 20yrs ... I just got rejected for citizenship yesterday

Stupidosaur said...

I am no NRI, (few months here, few months there does not count). But I'll butt in anyways to answer the question not posed to me, with a question: Are we talking dual citizenship here? Your answer may be yes or no, with either answer having potential of proving the stupidity of my question.

Vishnu said...

How does it matter so far as one feels as a Global citizen? Citizenship and nationality are only figments of ones imagination. Vasudhaiva Kutumbam, as the wise said!

A G said...


This had become more of a 'Should Sayesha take up C'ship or not' comment box!

I curiously read the comments,hoping to see if any one from any other countries would answer your question! But tsk tsk!

I have never lived in any other country so I wouldn't know.Though, now I am about to ask this question to people who fall into the category. :)

Raja said...

Since you asked, let me tell you about my experience in this matter. :-)

Although Indian-origin, I have always considered myself a global citizen in mind and spirit.

Five years after I was eligible to do so, I decided to take up citizenship of my adopted country. So I did NOT jump at it as soon as I was eligible to apply. In those days, PIO concept did not exist, so I was not keen on giving up my Indian citizenship.

Since then, things have changed.

I now have PIO/OCI status from the Indian govt, so I am technically connected to both my country of origin and my adopted country.

I think it is a great situation to be in, if you can have dual citizenship/PIO status.

If not, then emotions could come into play. But then it is each person's outlook.

I think it is in your mind. You can identify with India and not have an Indian passport. You can have an Indian passport and still not identify with India.

In my case, I identify with India but I also identify with my adopted country. So my technical situation represents my state of mind too.

Viky said...

It's not just Singapore, there is talk of UK revising its PR policy in 2011. They are encouraging immigrants to move into the 'citizenship' category by removing the PR as the logical end of a settlement process.

PR will no longer be indefinite and will culminate into a citizenship at the end of a probationary period.

For me, its not a question of would I take citizenship if offered. It is a question of would I not take citizenship if not offered.

Not by a long shot, I would prefer a PR on my Indian passport than an Indian Visa on my any other passport. I like it that way. :)

Sudeep said...

No idea whatsoever on PR/citizenship lekin how are they going to choose the 50,000? Lucky draw?

Rose said...

Haven't visited your blog ina while. But I'm faced with a similar situation in another country. It is my personal opinion that the world is split into countries for governance only. Only such a mindset will promote globalization. If I've been a PPR of a country for a very long time, then I'm not doing either country any favors by not changing my citizenship, because I can't vote in either country and hence am not aiding in their governance.
There is no need to be emotional about this decision. How I feel about my country of origin has nothing to do with its citizenship. A lifetime of upbringing, love and cultural imprint isn't wiped out by changing your citizenship.