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No. 47 (2002): Singapurs Strategie zur Integration seiner multi-ethnischen Bevölkerung: Was sich begegnet gleicht sich an

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Abstract

Der öffentliche Wohnungsbau gilt im Hinblick auf die Integration der multi-ethnischen Bevölkerung des Stadtstaates Singapur als eine der 'Säulen der Nation'. Über ein ausgeklügeltes System der Alterssicherung macht er fast 90 Prozent der Einwohner zu Quasi-Eigentümern. Diesen Anreiz setzt Singapur gezielt für die Realisierung seines weltweit wohl einmaligen Modells der staatlich gelenkten residentiellen Integration ein. Über das Leitbild des Nation Building und das Mittel des Social Engineering steuert der Developmental State den Integrationsprozess seiner ethnisch und sozioökonomisch gemischten Bevölkerung. Das seit Januar 2001 laufende Projekt der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft 'Öffentlicher Wohnungsbau und Stadtentwicklung in Singapur' am Lehrstuhl für Kulturgeographie, Fakultät für Gesellschaftswissenschaften der Universität Duisburg (Prof. Dr. Winfried Flüchter, Institut für Geographie und Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften) zielt auf eine Analyse des residentiellen Integrationsmodells im Hinblick auf neue Aspekte für die Sozialökologie - im Rahmen qualitativer Sozialforschung unter besonderer Beachtung der mikroräumlichen Dimension. Der folgende Beitrag bietet einen Ausschnitt der Ergebnisse der ersten, quantitativen Projektphase: eine Bestandsaufnahme des residentiellen Integrationsmodells auf unterschiedlichen kleinräumigen Maßstabsebenen, Grundlage für die noch bevorstehenden empirisch-qualitativen Recherchen.

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Singapore is a small city-state situated in the centre of Southeast Asia, and home to five million residents and non-residents. In 2000, a quarter of the Singapore population was considered non-native born. This ratio, by 2010, had increased to one-third of the total population. One million people were added to the population during this period, with the bulk of the influx coming in as permanent residents and short-term foreign workers. The core of local-born Singaporeans has shrunk considerably from 75% to 66% over the same period. This group is set to become the minority group in their homeland, should the trend persist. The rapid growth in population was primarily fuelled by the country's liberal economic policies, and in reaction to the socio-demographic imperatives faced by the city-state. At the same time, the open-door policy was introduced to uplift the nation's economic competitiveness and make up for the country's anaemic fertility rate as the pace of ageing accelerates in the coming decades. Not surprisingly, the tectonic shift in the demographic landscape has unnerved the local community. Some Singaporeans are uncomfortable over the relentless influx of immigrants and foreign labour. The resentment that underscores the discontent ranges from resource competition (e.g., jobs, education scholarships) to intrinsic socio-cultural contestations (e.g., space, identity, cohesion), and a perceived political divide (e.g., government bias in favour of immigrants over local-born). The policymakers are cognisant of these emerging fractures and many policies have been put in place to address the imbalance. These include steps to recalibrate the intake of foreign labour and long-term residents, ramp up the provision of social infrastructure, impose a residential quota on permanent residents, increase grassroots engagement, and sharpen policy entitlement for the different residential groups. What will the future hold for Singapore's ethno-cultural terrain? What are the barriers to harmonious co-existence? And what is the trade-off in terms of economic growth and standard of living? This paper aims to examine these issues and identify the impending challenges in the decades to come.
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