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 jeopardy.
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 spread.
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
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.
Unless and 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