Saturday 16 February 2013 marks the day
when Singaporeans spoke plainly and loudly that they reject the
Government's plans to increase our population to 6 million. The PAP
seems not be paying heed. (Photo, left, by Heather Tan/Al Jazeera)$CUT$
Even when Prime Minister Lee
Hsien Loong recanted the 6.9 million target, he qualified that the
figure was a "worst case scenario” and that the Government would
review this number after 2020. In other words, the target is still
very much in the PAP's sights.
Already, 5.3 million is causing
Singapore to be overpopulated and, as a result, undermining the
quality of life of our people (see here). The current trajectory of
increasing the population by 100,000 foreigners a year to 6 million
by 2020 must not continue lest our country be put in greater
It is important that Singaporeans who care about
our nation and its future continue to pay attention to this issue.
Saturday at Hong Lim Park was a good start but the message that we
cannot afford 6.9, or even 6, million people must be even more widely
The PAP is counting on the fact that by the time the
next general elections roll around, this matter will be relegated to
the back-burner. There is also credence to the view that the PAP is
bolstering its electoral chances by liberally granting citizenship to
foreigners with the thinking that the new immigrants are more likely
to vote for the incumbent.
Singaporeans must guard against
such political calculations and work hard to ensure that the wider
public appreciates what is at stake. The PAP cannot be given
unchecked power as in years past.
To bring home the point
that Singapore can do better with a different approach, the SDP has
drawn up an alternative plan called Building A People: Sound Policies for A Secure Future where we
chart the path forward and show how we can build a strong nation with
the skills and sweat of our own people.
We propose to do this
by tightening the immigration policy, developing a nation where our
people are proud and want to remain in Singapore, and building a
democratic polity that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of
Singaporeans. (See here)
It is important that Singaporeans remember
that we are not stuck with the PAP and its population plan. There is
an alternative that is better, one that puts Singaporeans and their
happiness at the centre of our population policy.
until the PAP categorically says no to the 6 million it wants to
force on this island, Singaporeans must continue to say no to the PAP.
Building A People: Sound Policies for A Secured Future (pdf) is available for download here.
Our PopulationMonday, 18 February 2013SingaporeDemocratsPrint