8 Jul 2012, 11.08AM
PM Lee Hsien Loong urged new Singapore citizens to try to integrate into society here and stressed the importance of adapting to local ‘norms’ which help define the Singapore identity.
According to the Sunday Times report, PM Lee in April had warned that a divide between Singaporeans and new arrivals would stand in the way of building a cohesive society.
Speaking to about 200 newly minted citizens at a Citizenship Ceremony at Teck Ghee Community Club yesterday, PM Lee said, “I hope that now you have become a citizen, you will integrate more closely into society... Do not just mix among yourselves, or with recent immigrants. Make friends with Singaporeans - your neighbours, colleagues - and with your children's schoolmates, and pick up Singaporean customs, lifestyles, norms and social rules.”
Yesterday, he urged those who had recently moved here to put more effort into adapting to the Singapore way of life. He also said, “Both sides have to make the effort.”
From 2005 to 2010, Singapore added between 17,334 and 20,513 new citizens to the population each year. Last year, the number dropped to 15,777.
Highlighting one way to integrate, PM Lee encouraged new citizens to be involved in the community by volunteering in schools, welfare organisations or self-help groups.
What are your views on this topic? Share with us also your ideas on ways for new citizens to integrate into Singapore society.