Application for citizenship by PR of 40 years rejected

SINGAPORE - The citizenship application of a woman who has been a Singapore permanent resident (PR) for over four decades has been denied.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC Mr Baey Yam Keng said that the unnamed PR sought for his help to support her citizenship application during a Meet-the-People's session on Monday night.

The unnamed PR had married a Singapore citizen and has four children and six grandchildren - all Singaporean.

"She has no close ties with any relations back in Malaysia and is afraid that one day, she might be forced to return to her home country, especially when her husband just passed away," the MP wrote on Facebook.

He said in an interview with Shin Min that in his years as an MP, he has encountered several of such cases. These PRs have been living in Singapore for many years and normally wish to be granted citizenship but they are often unsuccessful, said Mr Baey.

Mr Baey also understands that the government "does not want people to become citizens just so that they can tap on government resources." However, he added that should the elderly PR one day require medical treatment, the burden will in turn fall onto her children, who are Singaporean citizens.

He hopes that his appeal for her would be a success and that the government would be more sympathetic towards such cases.

"I am sure fellow Singaporeans will not begrudge someone who has helped to build a family of 10 Singaporeans and raised men who are defending our country, " he further adds in his Facebook post.

Coincidentally, Mr Baey in Parliament had asked for a breakdown of the number of permanent residents who have resided in Singapore for 20 to 29 years, 30 to 39 years, and more than 40 years. He also asked for the percentage in the respective groups whose applications for citizenship have been rejected; and the reasons for these rejections.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, in his written reply, said: "Based on available data, around 10 per cent of the Permanent Resident (PR) stock have been PRs for 20 or more years. Among those who have been PRs for 20 years or more, about 8 per cent had previously applied for Singapore citizenship and were unsuccessful in their applications.

"Every application for Singapore citizenship is evaluated on a range of criteria, including economic contributions, qualifications, age, family profile and length of stay in Singapore, to assess applicants' ability to contribute and integrate into our society, and commitment to sinking roots. For those with family ties to Singapore citizens, we also consider the local sponsor's ability to support the family. As applications are evaluated holistically, there may be a number of reasons, taken together, for rejecting an application."

Become a fan on Facebook