Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Singapore Diaspora

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng launched a portal in Shanghai over the weekend in a bid to connect with the growing Singapore diaspora, estimated to be at least 140,000-strong Singaporeans.

This is probably the first time the number has been revealed. But the number is definitely understated because it is based on Singaporeans who actually registered with Singapore High Commission overseas.

Dad knows a number of Singaporeans in Malaysia who preferred to stay away from the radar screen.

There was one failed property developer, a couple of brokers who left Singapore due to problems with their licence in Singapore, and a bookie. Of course, there are some famous ex-Singaporeans who have made it big in Malaysia and will never bother to log in to the portal. They include big-time tycoons such as Quek Leng Chan of Hong Leong, Teh Hong Piow of Public Bank and Rashid Hussain, who used to control RHB Bank.

It will probably require a dissertation to analyse the Singapore diaspora. It is a bit difficult to address the problems without some understanding of the demographics of the Singaporeans overseas.


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