Affluence may affect tolerance of foreigners

Affluence may affect tolerance of foreigners

SINGAPORE - You might have heard from friends in managerial or executive positions complaining that the inflow of foreigners here should be cut.

But a recent survey finding suggests that more affluent Singaporeans - which includes professionals, managers, executives and businessmen (PMEBs) - could be more tolerant of foreigners.

Researchers involved in the survey explained that the tolerance of foreigners depended on Singaporeans' circumstances.

The survey found that 52 per cent to 53 per cent of citizens who earned less than $3,000 a month agreed or strongly agreed that foreign inflows should be cut. But, for those who earned $3,000 or more, the figure was 32 per cent to 45 per cent.

The survey was done as part of the Our Singapore Conversation exercise and involved the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). Some 4,000 citizens were interviewed from December last year to January.

The survey's report said the finding suggests that lower-income groups "are more inclined towards reducing the inflow of foreigners, which may be a reflection of the competition for jobs at that level".

The converse could be the case for those who earn more.

But IPS senior research fellow Leong Chan Hoong said research suggests that a significant proportion of PMEBs and well-off citizens resent foreigners.

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