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SDP unveils six-point plan to control population
SDP unveils six-point plan to control population
Added on: Thursday 14 February 2013
Total comments: 5
The SDP launched our alternative policy entitled Building A People: Sound Policies For A Secure Future
this evening to deal with the problems of immigration and population
As the title suggests, the focus of the
paper is on the people and how we can take care of their future and
Our policy is aimed at lowering
the number of foreign workers currently in Singapore as well as
tightening the entry of foreigners into the country in the near
future thus creating an environment where Singaporeans can thrive
and enjoy a high quality of life.
To do this, we have drawn up a
comprehensive six-point plan:
1. Enact the Singaporeans First Policy
We will introduce the TalentTrack
Scheme to process applications of foreign PMETs wishing to work in
Singapore. Their suitability will be a merit-based system with
points awarded for a number of factors (age, qualifications, skills, experience,
number of dependents, etc.) to determine if the applicants meet the
economic and population needs of Singapore.
The employment visas of foreign workers
currently in Singapore will be allowed to lapse whereupon they will
have to apply to the TalentTrack Scheme if they wish to continue
working here. Otherwise, they will have to leave.
Singaporean employers will be able to
hire these professionals if they demonstrate that they have made
every effort to employ a Singaporean first but cannot find a local
with the requisite qualifications/skills.
The Employment Visa Commission (EVC)
will also be established to survey, and review at regular intervals,
the skills and human resource needs of the various industries and
sectors of our economy. The EVC will provide the necessary input to the TalentTrack
Scheme to determine the weight given for the various types of professions.
The EVC will comprise representatives
from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Manpower,
independent trade unions, Singapore National Employers' Federation,
and other professional organisations.
Businesses will also be required to
restructure and upgrade their operations over a period so that they
will not be dependent on lower-skilled foreign workers. By
mechanising and automating their businesses, they will be able to
employ more Singaporeans who are increasingly becoming more highly
The net effect of the Singaporeans
First Policy is that we will be able to considerably reduce the
current number of foreign workers in Singapore while, at the same time, only allow into Singapore real foreign talent that our economy needs.
2. Retain Singaporean talent
Singaporeans are emigrating at an
alarming rate. To stem the brain-drain, we need to lower the cost of
living which is creating a highly stressful lifestyle for the people.
Two of the biggest components of a family's household budget is
housing and healthcare.
Lowering HDB prices is dealt with
extensively in our housing policy (see Housing A Nation). Cheaper
housing also means lower office and shop rental which translates into
lower prices of goods and services. The SDP has also proposed
concrete measures to reduce healthcare costs in our National
Another major reason that Singaporeans
cite for leaving Singapore is the education system which emphasizes
rote-learning. School curricular are geared towards exam-taking which
leaves little room for the development of lifelong learning and
creative thinking. The details of the SDP's educational policy will
be laid out in a separate paper.
3. Raise the Total Fertility Rate
Many younger Singaporean couples put
off having children because of two main reasons: the high expenses
incurred with raising children and the difficulty of obtaining an HDB
Reducing the cost of living is outlined
in the preceding section. This will have a significant impact on
Singaporean couples' decision on whether to have more children. The
SDP has also proposed facilitating the ease of younger couples of
obtaining HDB flats through our Young Families Priority Scheme. This
can be read in our housing paper.
4. Introduce the GPI
The PAP uses GDP as a reason to increase population size. It cites GDP
growth as an important factor for Singaporeans' well-being. In truth,
the GDP is not a good indicator of the economic well-being of our
country and it certainly is not a measure of the wealth of the
For example, couples going through
divorces pay for legal services. These fees go into increasing the
GDP. However, it does tremendous damage to our families and children. These have economic costs which are not captured in the GDP.
A better and more accurate index is the
Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) which not only takes into account
the GDP but also the costs incurred in building up the GDP (costs
such as crime, pollution, family breakdown, psychological health,
The GPI is a better indicator of the
overall happiness and quality of life of our people. The GDP may
increase because of the influx of foreigners but the GPI will
accurately capture the effects of an overcrowded city on
Singaporeans. The Government should base its population policy on the
GPI, and not the GDP alone.
5. Strengthen the Singaporean Identity
A massive inflow of foreigners over a
short span of time will not enable the new immigrants to assimilate
into the Singaporean culture. This tears at the social fabric of our
nation. To strengthen our national bond, the Ethnic Integration
Policy which determines the percentage of ethnic HDB dwellers in each
estate should be abolished. The identification of "race" in
our Identity Cards should also be removed.
Such practices serve only to divide
Singaporeans and reinforce how different and separate we are. In the
process, they weaken our identity as Singaporeans.
6. Revamp the ministerial pay formula
Ministerial salaries are based on GDP
growth. This runs the risk of government leaders pushing up the
population size which will increased the GDP but adversely impact on
the well-being of the people.
If ministers' salaries are to be pegged to an
index, it should be the GPI. In this way, the happier Singaporeans
are and the higher their quality of life, the better the ministers are
Building A People: Sound Policies for A Secured Future (pdf) is available for download here.
|Total comments: 5|
Shenliang (30 March 2013 11:08 PM)
To Reena....I suppose you must be from India. If you relaly are, Im just so sorry. Im a property agt. I've seen and served many Indian Tenants/ Buyers. I just have 1 word for you...Cheapskate! So what if you live in a condo. Let me tell you. Just last week, I met a Indian gal who claims she works for Citibank. Rented this condo for $2500 / mth. The owner wanna sell the unit so I have potential buyers coming to view the unit. I remember ckearly that day was very hot. When I went into the house, I ask her, ' you just came back?' She replied 'No, I was home the whole day'. Can you imagine, 3b/rm unit, all the windows close shut, aircon not on. I have to request for the aircon to be on so that my buyers will feel comfy while viewing the unit. She atred into my eyes and say " PUB Very expensive u know" WTF! $2500/mth for a 3 b/rm unit and staying alone, u tell me turn on a/c for few mins very expensive? Then why dont open windows? 'becoz dusty and noisy' You might say this is just 1 special case. I have receive alot of Indian Tenants who are either engineers or IT specialist wanting to rent HDB units. Whats their budget? $1200/mth for 2+1 or $1500 for 3+1 f/furn and with a/con, must near MRT.Hello....i suppose you people are not paid cheap to come here and work, so why behave like cheapo? Save all your $ for what? Wanna go back Indian buy rice field is it? Just becoz our g'ment gave you a WP you begin to sing their praise. Next time you step into the train and see many CHinese next to you, please ask them their nationality. It'll be a bonus if you get 10 replies coz they might not even understand what you say because they aren't local. Hahahaha
frank (18 February 2013 9:33 PM)
Let go out on a limb here to say that there arent enough trained Singaporeans to support the size and nature of our economy. If there are an oversupply, yes prioritizing Singaporeans would work. But putting the burdern on companies to ensure that Singaporeans get the those tupe of jobs first is unnecessary with a low 3% unemployment rate. We have over 2 million foreigners working here, giving those unemployed 3% priorty would not solve the problem, we will still need these foreigners. So thats not going to solve to the problem.
From another perspective: Using extremes as case study, if an MNC comes into Singapore with 500 million dollars to develop a hub to manufacture widgets for the region, and they need to hire 100 foreigners; and all their highly paid foreign employees pay Singaporean taxes at 20% per annum, eat at restaurants everyday, send their kids to school, shop in malls, and the company pays 17% taxes from regional revenue, and employ ZERO Singaporeans, VS, if MNC leaves because the employment rules are too onerous. Which one would be more favourable for Singapore and Singaporeans? Would we really be better off without those tax income? Does 100 high paying foreign employees reduce the GPI? SO the answer is not in the extremes but somehere in spectrum. So if its Goldilocks says its just right, does it mean its the only thing thats right?
I get that the GPI tool is a measures a basket of subjective and objective dimensions.
Using your example: A divorce adds to the GDP, but the break up of a family reduces the GPI, but wouldnt the divorced couple be happier than if they were stuck together in misery? How would we measure all these positive and negative consequences as it cascades. And how would we quantify that in a consistent, comparable model necessary to determine progress?
In a parallel example, wouldnt it be like a blood pressure monitor which compensates for your mood at the time. Would it be considered broken or the best thing since sliced bread?
Jane (16 February 2013 4:25 PM)
There are employers that are in Singapore just to employ thousands of foreigners and enjoy deep tax breaks. The EP scheme is currently unlimited- there are no quotas. Hence they can do destructive things to our economy ie. employ one Singaporean to 10 foreigners (which is common). I have worked in and have many relatives who work in companies where the ratio is 1 SG:5 foreigners. So the SDP's paper should address this major structural problem. The introduction of a quota of 8 singaporeans to 2 foreigners wld go a long way. If you come to Singapore, you must be here to employ Singaporeans- it's as simple as that.
The second major problem, strongly related, is that the govt changes Singapore's 'economic direction' with such little concern for Singaporean's welfare - now biosciences, next finance, next genomics, next film, etc, that few Singaporeans end up with the right skills to get employed! You can't be trained for bioscience, and when EDB's push to get bioscience companies fails, how will you get employed? It's the same with AmGen coming to Singapore- you can tell they don't intend to employ Singaporeans because how many of us are skilled in running clinical trials? All of our biosciences graduates have had to move to publishing or other industries. They are here because of lax foreign worker quotas.
So the SDP Paper should propose alternative policies to 1) companies that intend to employ Singaporeans can come 2) require companies to train Singaporeans for jobs that fit the world economy's needs 3) companies that can't do this are not welcome
The point is to mandate a transfer of essential skills to Singaporeans. Or to train Singaporeans well in these same skills. Whether film, art, computers, etc.
Lastly note that most other countries, eg Australia use the word Skilled Workers to refer to workers that come into these countries. Only Singapore is as stupid as to refer to them as 'talent' - which denies that Singaporeans are also talented and highly educated.
Bernard Chan BSc (First Class Hons), MSC DIC (Imperial) (15 February 2013 2:27 PM)
Singapore's Population Bubble.
angrybird@sg (15 February 2013 11:24 AM)
The retirement age should be set at 65.
Now it is Retirement and Reemployemnt act.. retires at 62 with the employers having the option to reemploy on lower pay on yearly contract till 65 years old. The prerogative to reemploy is with the employer.
Most employers including the Stat boards are not keeping the staff beyond 62 years old.