Majority of Singaporeans remain open to foreigners; only a small percentage feels negative towards foreigners: REACH

Singaporeans open to foreigners

A poll conducted by government feedback unit REACH has found that majority of Singaporeans do not feel negative about foreigners in Singapore. Majority also agreed that it is important for Singapore to remain open to foreigners. Only a very small percentage feel negative towards foreigners in Singapore.

The poll was conducted in 2 parts: a telephone poll and an online poll. The telephone poll was conducted among 2,100 randomly selected Singapore Citizens aged 15 years and above, from 11 to 21 August 2020 while the online poll was conducted among 1,050 randomly selected Singapore Citizens aged 15 years and above, from 21 to 24 August 2020.

In general, how do you feel about foreigners (i.e. noncitizens) in Singapore?

Almost half of the Singaporeans polled are neutral to foreigners in Singapore. Another 35% feels either positive or very positive about foreigners in Singapore.

Only 14% feels negative. Singaporeans who were unemployed were more likely to feel negative about foreigners here.

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“It is important to remain open to foreigners.”

Majority of Singaporeans agreed with the statement that it is important to remain open to foreigners. 63% of them either agree or strongly agree that it is important to remain open to foreigners while 25% are neutral. Only 10% either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement. Respondents who are unemployed tend to be neutral towards being open to foreigners.

On Singapore being a regional hub: which statement best represents your views?

Majority of Singaporeans recognised the benefits of Singapore being a regional hub in creating jobs for Singaporeans.

81% agreed that it is good for Singapore to be a regional hub as it will provide good job opportunities for Singaporeans even if some jobs go to foreigners.

The remaining 19% feel that it is better for Singapore not to be a regional hub so that the number of foreigners can be reduced even if this means fewer job opportunities for Singaporeans. Respondents who are unemployed were more likely to indicate so.

“Can you tell me the top three things that bother you most about foreigners in Singapore?”

This was an open-ended question where up to 3 responses were allowed.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents did not mention any concerns about foreigners, but 23% mentioned job-related concerns and 16% were concerned about the social habits of foreigners (e.g. perceptions of cleanliness, talking loudly).

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