&A Tan & Beattie / Singapore Protest / Thousands rallied in Singapore Saturday over a controversial immigration plan by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), which calls for a dramatic increase in foreign workers as a way to maintain the city-state's economic competitiveness. The plan was approved by parliament earlier this month. Last month, the government of Singapore issued a controversial "white paper" on population in which it called for an increased immigration flow over the next 20 years. Foreigners could make up nearly half a population of about 6.9-million by 2030.
Eugene Tan, an assistant law professor at Singapore Management University, tells VOA's Victor Beattie the protesters are concerned about what they see as the dilution of Singaporean identity. Today, he says permanent residents make up more than half the current 5.2-million population.