Singapore was a regional and international powerhouse in sports and most notably badminton in the 1950's and 1960's. The Thomas Cup and All-England winners were China-born and even Singapore's only gold medal in the Commonwealth Games and only silver medal in the Olympics were won by China-born sportsmen Chua Phung Kim and Tan Howe Liang respectively. Singapore's class of 60's sportsmen who enjoyed a great deal of sporting success was initially born in countries which included India, Malaysia, Britain and others.
But since those heydays, Singapore has evolved to establish its own identity. These days, even with the influx of foreign-born who take up Singapore citizenship, only those born and bred in Singapore are perceived to be true-blue Singaporean.
Recently, there has been a lot of hype about Singapore doing well in the sports arena. Li Jiawei, Jing Junhong, Li Li and Ronald Susilo who are all foreign talents recruited to play under the crescent and stars flag, are some who have upped the ante for Singapore sports.
These successes have also sparked off a national debate on recruiting foreign talent and Singapore's reliance on foreign talents for sporting success. And true enough, justifications to inculcate foreigners into Team Singapore have been floated by the various strata in Singapore's sporting fraternity but Singaporeans remain divided on this issue.
IMPORT OF FOREIGNERS - A GLOBAL PHENOMENON
The most heard of justification is that sports talents around the world are wooed, transferred and nurtured across national boundaries and the introduction of foreign talents in sports is a global phenomenon which many countries practice. These countries are in fact very supportive to the idea of foreign players representing their countries for sports and even rejoice their victories very passionately and intimately. It is even construed that such movements are inevitable in the...