I’m sure all of you heard about the Singapore Population White Paper and the plans for Singapore to reach 6.9 million population by 2030.
It is no surprise that a lot of Singaporeans are against this. Just go online and read the forum and Twitter discussion. The hashtag #SevenMillionInSingapore even trend on Twitter for quite some time this week.
Personally, I don’t think we can accommodate 6.9 million in this tiny red dot. We are already having issue with the current 5.3 million. The sudden large influx of foreigners will create a new set of social issue and dilute the Singapore national identity. We are also not sure if these 6.9 million can help us solve the economic problem. And worst of all, what are we going to do when these 6.9 million grow old? Can we increase the population further to support these 6.9 million when they grow old? Are we just delaying the issue?
These are my concerns. I’m not an economist or town planner. Like many fellow Singaporeans, we are concern about the future of Singapore if this Population White Paper is approved.
Few days ago, a friend of mine asked me a very good question regarding the Population White Paper. What makes everyone so sure that Singapore can’t handle 6.9 million population? The Population White Paper is a 17 year plan to prepare Singapore for 6.9 million population to combat the ageing population. If the Government plan everything properly, we should be able to handle the large population and solving the ageing problem.
He has a point. Think about this. We used to trust the Government a lot. A lot of Singaporeans used to have the “你办事，我放心” (I’ve confidence in the things you do) attitude towards the Government in the past. Things have changed. If the Government announce the Population White Paper 30 years ago, most Singaporeans will accept it without much questions. Why did we reject the Population White Paper so quickly without looking at the plans carefully? Why are we so sure that the Population White Paper won’t work?
Perhaps the bigger problem here is not the 6.9 million population or ageing population. The bigger problem we are facing now is that Singaporeans’ confidence level towards the Government has gone down. A lot of us no longer believe that the existing Government is capable of solving our problems.
And perhaps some of you might disagree with me, but I think this confidence problem is a far bigger issue than the ageing population. It is useless to have a good doctor if the patient refuse to take the medicine.