My letter to The Straits Times on the above subject is published today, Friday 18 November 2016 in the online section
Finding true love is always a challenge, and it is difficult to predict if the marriage will stand the test of time, not just with foreign brides but also local ones (“Make it easier for foreign spouses to live in Singapore” by Mr Raymund Koh Joo Guan; Nov 14, and “Don’t discriminate against foreigners who marry Singaporeans for love” by Mr John Ho Hwa Hiong; Nov 16).
I have read reports of foreign wives who married Singaporeans and then scooted off with their hard-earned savings.
This has, to some extent, caused our citizens to be wary of foreigners. That is also, perhaps, why the authorities have tightened rules on Singaporeans marrying foreigners.
That said, we should not allow such marriage scams to deter Singaporeans from marrying foreigners, as there are also stories of true love that have surfaced from such unions.
Let us show some understanding to foreigners who leave their families back home to find a better life here.
I am in agreement with Mr Ho’s suggestion for the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to interview both spouses in their home environment.
To this end, I suggest that the ICA also seek the views of the Singaporean spouse’s family members.
In carrying out their interviews, ICA officers have to exercise sensitivity so that those who want to enter into such marriages will not feel discriminated against.
Raymond Anthony Fernando