Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dual citizen President Scholar Xiao Yifei- PSC replies

PSC secretariat replies through REACH


Dear Dr Huang,

Thank you for the feedback and the opportunity to clarify.

PSC scholarships are awarded to outstanding young Singaporeans with a passion to serve the nation through a career in the Public Service. If a Singapore Permanent Resident applicant is considered for a PSC scholarship, he must take up Singapore citizenship before the PSC confirms the award because PSC scholarships are awarded to Singaporeans only.

At 19 years old, Ms Xiao Yifei is a Singaporean.  She came to Singapore at the age of 4 with her parents who are now Singaporeans.  She took up Singapore citizenship in February 2005 under the sponsorship of her father, an engineer.  She has spent all her primary, secondary and JC schooling years in Singapore.  As required under the Singapore Constitution, she will have to renounce her foreign citizenship and take the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty when she turns 21, to remain as a Singapore citizen.

While there may be a risk that a foreign-born national may not renounce his or her first nationality, our conditions are strict.  The scholarship will be terminated and like all other PSC scholarship holders who break their bonds, he or she will be required to pay the Singapore government liquidated damages.

There are no quotas for the number of PSC scholarships awarded each year.  All deserving candidates will be made an offer.  This ensures that no deserving candidate will be deprived of a scholarship.

Regards
Yeo Whee Jim
Director PSC Secretariat

12 comments:

Ahmad Tan said...

They seem to be bending over backwards to help this family and this girl. Have they done the same for Singaporeans, especially to those from the working classes?

Her father did not do NS. I do not understand why foreigners who have not done NS receive these special favors. And come to think of it she will also not be liable for NS because of her gender. Young men Singaporean men who have done NS and who have good grades but were not successful in their application to the local universities because of the fierce competiton are the victims here.

Wang said...

AT

They are not bending over backwards, they are just sticking to the law and international treaties as this applies to all children where one parent may be of separate nationality.

if they are willing to break this Singapore's governance reputation for key business and govt decision makers overseas and locally would be shot to pieces.

Regards

Ahmad Tan said...

Wang

No one is advocating that laws be broken.

My point is that new citizens and quickie PR's are not only enjoying the fruits of the sacrifices and heartache of local born Sporeans from the 60's, 70's, 80's etc. New citizens and quickie PR's are also spared the sacrifices which locals have had to endure in order to live in Spore.

Wang said...

AT

What are you than advocating?.

As the PSC stated she will be required to fulfil if not, she or her guarantors will pay in full.

Frankly, this advocacy does not help and breaking of international treaties of law will just help speed the decline of Singapore's unique reputation as the place for contractual enforcement.

Ahmad Tan said...

Wang,

Sorry if I was not clear in my earlier comments.

I am advocating the priority of children of native born Singaporeans over children of new citizens in the selection of government scholars. The selection criteria for government scholarships should favour children of native born Sporean citizens.

The president's scholarship, a symbol of our national identity, should be reserved for children of Singaporean parents who've paid the price for their citizenship e.g 2year NS and in camp training.

Citizenship is a sacred trust and a priviledge. A person is born into his citizenship. Immigrants need to pay their dues before they enjoy the fruits of their citizenship.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but if someone else does better than you, he/she gets it. Simple as that. Living in singapore is like a race, you snooze you lose. Carry on. By the way, isnt outperforming almost every singaporean in your cohort performing your dues? What'd you want her to do lol, go for NS? She's already been volunteering for community service etc since young, what else can she do?

Wang said...

AT

She is a Singapore citizen.

She is holding a Singapore passport and will need to renounce her China citizenship by age 21 (as she is considered a minor when she holds dual citizenship)

Your demand basically creates separate clases of citizenship similar to Malaysia where you have the bumiputra and where the local Chinese or local Indians are the "pendatang".

Raphael Samuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahmad Tan said...

Wang,

The NS act (2 year NS and ICT) adds a certain element in our citizenship which did not previously exist - the concept of a citizen soldier. Built around the citizen soldier is the family of the soldier and the wider society. The national serviceman does 2 years NS and is obliged to do an annual ICT. He puts his life at risk during training. In the job market and in his career development he faces the possibility of losing out to foreigners who dont have NS or ICT obligations.

Is it too much to ask that the son or daughter of a NS man be given priority over the new citizens whose parents have not done NS or ICT in the selection of PSC or President scholars? I dont think so.

The bumiputra analogy does not hold because the preferential treatment I advocate for children of native born Singaporean parents is not based on race but on the merit of the sacrifice of a Singaporean born NS. His son or daughter when competing for a president's scholarship should have preference over the son or daughter of a new citizen who has not done NS and ICT.

Separate classes of citizenship too some extent already exist in Singapore. For example a working class Sporean citizen is prohibited from marrying a foreigner with a work permit holder. A upper middle class Sporean on a higher salary scale however will not face any problem in marrying someone from with a professional pass from a another country.

Ahmad Tan said...

Wang,

The NS act (2 year NS and ICT) adds an element in our citizenship which did not previously exist - the concept of a citizen soldier.

Built around the citizen soldier is the family of the soldier and the wider society. The national serviceman does 2 years NS and is obliged to do an annual ICT. He puts his life at risk during training. In the job market and in his career development he faces the possibility of losing out to foreigners who dont have NS or ICT obligations.

Is it too much to ask that the son or daughter of a NS man be given priority over new citizens whose parents have not done NS or ICT in the selection of PSC or President scholars? I dont think so.

The bumiputra analogy does not hold because the preferential treatment I advocate for children of native born Singaporean parents is not based on race but on the merit of the sacrifice of a Singaporean born citizen. His son or daughter when competing for a president's scholarship should have preference over the son or daughter of a new citizen who has not done NS and ICT.

Separate classes of citizenship to some extent already exists in Singapore. For example a low income Sporean citizen is prohibited from marrying a work permit holder. A Sporean on a higher salary scale however will not face problems in marrying someone with a professional pass from a another country.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi all,
When I read the original article and dual citizenship was mentioned, I was rather puzzled as the govt had been telling us for the longest time that we do NOT recognize this concept but here we have MSM mentioning as if it were something we all knew about.
I was perplexed as I thought, maybe, PSC was trying to hide the fact that Miss Xiao was not even a citizen ( ie maybe just a PR) and I know the govt have been going to China/India to scout for potential scholarship holders ( ie potential new citizens) for our schools/unis.
As it turned out, Xiao had been in Singapore since 4 years old and her parents are both Singaporeans.
Although I have served NS plus more than my fair share of reservist, I think scholarhips ( even prestigious ones) should be awarded to Singaporeans who meet the criteria set by PSC (so long as these are reasonable). Personally, I will judge whether Xiao deserve it based on Ms Xiao alone and not whether her family members have served NS because then there will be no end. Do we judge the NS performance/unit (commando is better than guards) and rank ( officer is better than NCO)?
Actually, I have similar idea with Tan Kin Lian about NS. Mindef should make it something desirable ( ie pay / training/ after NS benefits) rather than a liability ( waste of time). Eg Pay should be at least equal to a poly graduates pay and training in the units should be recognized as credits when they go uni etc.
Thanks for comments and keep them coming.
Dr Huang

cartier said...

No one is advocating that laws be broken.
http://www.cartier4us.com/