Singapore Population White Paper: The bigger problem

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.
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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.

5 comments

  1. The biggest problem is that they use GDP growth to justify 7 million. Importing foreigners is a lazy way to grow the economy, we are simply creating more problems for ourselves in the future. Is this what a government with foresight should do?

  2. Agree with Hun Boon, cannot imagine our highly paid talents are doing this, they are not solving problems, they are creating more problems for the years to come.
    Strong NO for me for so madly growing our population and yes, I am one who has lost faith and trust in the current government.

  3. There is certainly a lot of doubt about the govt these days, because it keeps reneging on promises/target figs. It is also hard to swallow their claim for a need for 6.9m, as their reasons make no sense.
    On top of that, having just had a leap of 2m or so, and not seen all the wonderful results promised (quite the reverse in fact) if Spore has yet another 2m, why should we go with the flow of this govt intention?
    Do we really need as many pple as the govt claims to support each older person? Esp if people can work longer. Particularly as there is very little in the way of govt welfare being given out. Esp when we have humongous savings (not sure if we still have them).
    Isn’t the no of older pple now just a speed bump due to baby boomers? Don’t you slow down when you hit such a hump, rather than try and speed up? When you have yet more older people, does one then bring in yet more younger people?
    All these plans may Look good for GDP and business, but it has done very little in raising living stds. In fact, it has lowered them for most. Indeed, one can poke endless holes in the govt’s arguments.
    The issues of food, water, energy and disposal of waste are certainly not addressed. This is quite major since we don’t grow our own food, can’t produce all the water we need, don’t own the energy providers… In fact, more and more our companies are being run/owned by foreigners.
    And let’s face it, there is no mention of all of the social impact and strains on society of adding so many – and so fast. Look how its dragged us down so far in spirit and Many other ways. Now the govt wants to Continue in the same vein?
    Puh-lease! It would be highly unusual if people did Not protest. Only a fool would believe the promises and assurances, especially from a group who have been bungling things for some time now.
    We can talk about all these things again – when the govt has shown it is capable of realising its promises with regard to 5.3million. So far it hasn’t. It should work on those first.

  4. (A) Either they are incompetent or (B) the challenges are too difficult to tackle. Majority gunning for (A). Now, lets pause for a moment, if (B) were to be true, would you rather have someone else steering this ship thru the storm? The bottom line is the survival of our beloved country. The other stats in the white paper should worry everyone of us like hell … 900,000 citizen above 65 by 2030, triple the number now and others ….

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