Govt’s reasons for population expansion not justified

January 30, 2013
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The Government’s population WhitePaper, A Sustainable Population For A Dynamic Singapore, announcedits intention to raise the population to 7 million. This is extremelyworrying. The reasons for the new target have been offered before andappear to be re-packaged for the White Paper.$CUT$

TheGovernment cites three pillars on which its policy rests: (1)maintain a strong Singaporean core, (2) create good jobs forSingaporeans, and (3) provide Singaporeans a higher quality of life.

These pillars were used to defend its policy of increasingthe population to the current level of 5.3 million. The results havebeen unsuccessful.

A strong Singaporean core

Accordingto the World Bank, in 2010 the emigrant population in Singapore was6.1 percent of the total population of about 5 million people whichis about 10 percent of native-born Singaporeans. Skilledtertiary-educated Singaporeans were leaving at a rate of 15.2percent. The figure was higher for medical doctors at 15.5 percent.

A survey conducted by Mindshare in 2012 found that 56 percentof the 2,000 Singaporeans polled agreed or strongly agreed that,”given a choice, I would like to migrate”. Between 2000 and2010, an average of 1,000 Singaporeans renounced their citizenshipevery year.

The PAP’s population policy has not succeeded inmaintaining a strong Singaporean core with the current population mixof 38 percent foreigners in our population. Achieving this objectiveby increasing the population to 7 million with nearly 50 percent madeup of foreigners is unlikely to be successful.

Creating goodjobs

The second reason of creating good jobs is notconvincing. According to a survey conducted by the InternationalLabor Organization (ILO), Singaporeans work the longest hours among12 countries surveyed. The same study reported that at the same timeour real incomes have declined.

Singaporean workers are one ofthe unhappiest in the world. In a survey of 14 economies, Singaporeanworkers were found to enjoy going to work the least, are the leastloyal to their employers and have the least supportive workplaces.Only 19 percent of those polled look forward to their work each day;the global average is 30 percent.

Higher quality of life

ThePurchasing Power Parity (PPP) of Singaporeans workers is one of theweakest. A UBS survey showed that Singaporeans’ PPP was 39.9compared to Zurich (106.9), Sydney (95.9), Luxembourg (95.4), Tokyo(82.2), Auckland (68.9), Taipei (58.9), Hong Kong (58.1) and Seoul(57.4).

According to a worldwide Gallup poll, Singaporeanswere found to be the unhappiest people. We were even unhappier thanIraqis, Afghans and Haitians. In the Happy Planet Index, we polled adismal 90th out of 151 countries surveyed.

There are nojustifiable reasons for the PAP to raise the population by such alarge number in such a short span of time. The population explosionwill cause further economic, social and psychological stress for thepeople, as well as add to national security implications.

Forthe sake of a safe and secure Singapore, the Government must rethinkits population policy. There are alternative measures which canachieve prosperity and happiness without resorting to such anunsustainable programme. The SDP will offer these alternatives in apopulation and immigration paper which will be released in the nearfuture.