6+ million? At what cost?

Chee Siok Chin

It was reported in
The Straits Times that Singapore’s population stands at 5.31 million. Although this figure is helpful, we don’t need to have these numbers to know that our country is over-populated. You only need to be out on our streets to know this.

And yet PM Lee says that the population can afford to go up to 6 plus million. Does he know what he is talking about?

Has Mr Lee ever ridden on the MRT during peak hours? Has he ever seen the hordes of commuters in a train station even up to 10pm?

Has he ever had to let three trains pass before he could eventually squeeze into the fourth?

Does he know that the narrow escalators in the stations and the vast crowd is an accident waiting to happen?

Has he ever waited 20 minutes for the bus only for it to be too packed to board it?

Has he ever shared a three-room HDB flat with 15 other people from two families?

Has he ever had to wait for at least two hours before he gets to see the doctor at a polyclinic?

Has he ever waited three months so that he can get his dental filling done at a government dental clinic?

If the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues have not experienced these daily struggles that ordinary Singaporeans go through, then they have absolutely no idea how we get by in this over-crowded city.

Singapore is one of the top three most densely populated countries in the world. Are we gunning for top spot?

The PAP Government says that we need this influx of foreign manpower to grow the economy. But at what cost? Does it care that the tight squeeze, both in financial and physical terms, will cause psychological, emotional and social tension?

If it does, why does then keep up with policies that are detrimental to the people and, in the long run, to the economy as well? PM Lee’s “Hope, Heart and Home” message at the National Rally rings hollow if he continues to expand the population while ignoring the well-being of Singaporeans.

So, what is to be done? The SDP has addressed the issue of over-reliance on foreign labour in our
Shadow Budget 2012 and manifesto
It’s About You. We believe what we propose will overcome the problems that the PAP has created.

Chee Siok Chin is a member of the SDP’s Central Executive Committee and Head of the Training and Development Unit.

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