Saturday 16 February 2013 marks the daywhen Singaporeans spoke plainly and loudly that they reject theGovernment’s plans to increase our population to 6 million. The PAPseems not be paying heed. (Photo, left, by Heather Tan/Al Jazeera)$CUT$
Even when Prime Minister LeeHsien Loong recanted the 6.9 million target, he qualified that thefigure was a “worst case scenario” and that the Government wouldreview this number after 2020. In other words, the target is stillvery much in the PAP’s sights.
Already, 5.3 million is causingSingapore to be overpopulated and, as a result, undermining thequality of life of our people (see here). The current trajectory ofincreasing the population by 100,000 foreigners a year to 6 millionby 2020 must not continue lest our country be put in greaterjeopardy.
It is important that Singaporeans who care aboutour nation and its future continue to pay attention to this issue.Saturday at Hong Lim Park was a good start but the message that wecannot afford 6.9, or even 6, million people must be even more widelyspread.
The PAP is counting on the fact that by the time thenext general elections roll around, this matter will be relegated tothe back-burner. There is also credence to the view that the PAP isbolstering its electoral chances by liberally granting citizenship toforeigners with the thinking that the new immigrants are more likelyto vote for the incumbent.
Singaporeans must guard againstsuch political calculations and work hard to ensure that the widerpublic appreciates what is at stake. The PAP cannot be givenunchecked power as in years past.
To bring home the pointthat Singapore can do better with a different approach, the SDP hasdrawn up an alternative plan called Building A People: Sound Policies for A Secure Future where wechart the path forward and show how we can build a strong nation withthe skills and sweat of our own people.
We propose to do thisby tightening the immigration policy, developing a nation where ourpeople are proud and want to remain in Singapore, and building ademocratic polity that is responsive to the needs and aspirations ofSingaporeans. (See here)
It is important that Singaporeans rememberthat we are not stuck with the PAP and its population plan. There isan alternative that is better, one that puts Singaporeans and theirhappiness at the centre of our population policy.
Unless anduntil the PAP categorically says no to the 6 million it wants toforce 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.