Hongkonger emigrating to S'pore because of 'political & economic stability': SCMP

Whether it is going to be a long-term trend, remains to be seen.

Belmont Lay | August 19, 2019, 03:54 PM

In the midst of turmoil, people up sticks and leave.

Moving to Singapore from Hong Kong

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's English newspaper of record, has interviewed one Hongkonger who is planning on emigrating to Singapore.

The 34-year-old IT entrepreneur identified as Wel Sun, is planning on emigrating with his wife and two young daughters.

What is probably music to some Singaporeans' ears is Sun's reason for picking Singapore over Hong Kong.

He said he chose Singapore for its political and economic stability.

'Hong Kong will only deteriorate'

He came to this decision after he grew sick and tired of clashes between protesters and police that don't appear to be ending soon.

According to SCMP, he has set aside HK$500,000 (S$88,315) and seen a migration consultant.

Sun has also checked out property prices near Changi Airport.

He has also told his parents he is leaving, but assured them he will be back to visit often.

“I don’t want to leave the city, because it is my home. But I don’t have other options,” he told SCMP.

“Hong Kong will only deteriorate.”

More young Hongkongers want to leave

A survey in June 2019 by market research firm YouGov found that almost half of the Hongkongers polled had considered emigrating.

Older folks were inclined to stay, while young people were more inclined to leave.

Two-thirds of those aged 18 to 34 said they had thought of emigrating.

Inquiries to emigrate saw a sharp increase in recent months, migration agencies observed.

These agencies help people file applications to various countries.

More younger people are keen to move to Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia.

Number of Hongkongers who have emigrated

About 7,600 Hongkongers emigrated in 2018, up from 6,500 in 2017, according to the Security Bureau.

The numbers leaving annually from 2014 to 2016 ranged between 6,900 and 7,600.

Australia, the United States and Canada were the top three destinations in the last five years.

In 2018, 2,400 Hong Kong residents moved to Australia, 1,600 moved to the United States and 1,100 headed to Canada.

Hongkongers tend to qualify to emigrate by making investments in their new country, being business innovators, finding jobs as skilled workers, or marrying foreigners.