Perhaps it's my personal bias. I have a sense of pride when I encounter more than the usual ethnic demographic of people who are making a living here. To know that tiny us have made such an impact on the far-flung corners of the world, and that people there choose to relocate all the way here to share in what we have to offer. I'm proud that we have made this place more than the rock that it is, so much so that we CAN share it with others.
Immigration is a sore point though, for indigenous peoples. Lax Immigration policies practically wiped out native American culture, today's Europeans are antsy about their non-euro enclaves. The Bumis are worried about their Indian and Chinese neighbours.
As for us, we can't exactly say we are indigenous to this island. The majority of us ARE ourselves immigrants who have chosen this place as our home, much in the same way as new immigrants are choosing this place as home. No one's replacing anyone, it's just a continuation of the process that kick-started us into life in the first place.
We immigrant stock are nomadic in nature. We pick a place, we try to settle down and make a living; like it, we stay, don't like, we move on. We identify opportunities, we take opportunities, we make the best use of our opportunities. What more education do we need than that? That's us, our S'porean identity. We freeze, we die, plain and simple.
As for NS: in an actual conflict, we only fight for those we love and care for. We are not protecting anyone other than ourselves, so who cares about FTs who don't serve NS? In a fight, who's going to give them a gun? But in any case, I hope that in the spirit of true neighbourliness, we can still extend our protection to them anyway because they may yet be a generation short of becoming us.
And in any case, with so many different countries our FTs come from, which country could declare war on us and not declare war on their own people? The more people from more countries we can attract to live here and like it, the safer we are. FTs form a natural line of national defence, whether they actively serve NS or not.
Our success cannot be measured in economic terms but rather in the amount of people we can keep on attracting as partners, friends and eventually neighbours... possibly family? The smooth intermingling of our collective blood, sweat and tears is the fuel that makes us the powerhouse of our region. Our unique blend confounds our competing neighbouring nations -- they can never emulate our high-octane formula and that gives us our sole edge in this deadly game of political survival. Let's keep the fuel lines open, and not clog it up with bigotry and our sense of "born S'porean" entitlement as if that gave us some special privilege over everyone else here.
It's still a jungle where we live. It's good to keep sharp and stay wary of predators. We could get rid of all the predators (say via tightening up Immigration laws, etc.), but animals that live without fear of predation usually live on the farm where they are penned and fed till fat, then slaughtered to feed others. Dunno about you, I'll take my chances in the jungle any day.
Hey, RX, I've always enjoyed reading your GP essays. Glad to see NS hasn't dulled your edge. It's great to hear from you again!