Population, the vote and political rights

February 6, 2013
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The headline in The New Democrat read: “Foreign Talent, Local Torment”. It was a piece in the SDP’s newspaper that pointed out the dangers of the PAP’s population policy of flooding this country with foreigners.$CUT$

It seems like another one of the many articles and commentaries critical of the PAP for its announcement to raise our population to 6.9 million. The only difference is that the piece was published in September 1999.

Back then, we had tried to warn Singaporeans of the ruling party’s immigration and population policy. Since then, we have used every opportunity to bring the matter to the attention of our fellow citizens.

We even campaigned on this issue in the 2001 general elections where we highlighted in our campaign message:

While Singaporeans are losing their jobs, the PAP insists on taking in foreigners in order to suppress wages of the people. The SDP will push for a Singaporeans First policy…Foreign workers will only be allowed to come into Singapore if no locals are available for the job.

We continued pressing the matter throughout the 2000s. In 2010, we ran a series of articles highlighting the PAP’s intention to raise our population to 6.5 million. (Read 6.5 million Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)

But with the mass media in the hands of the Government, the matter did not take hold. This emboldened the ruling party to continue to make plans to force feed the Singaporean population with foreigners.

Today, Singapore as we know it – our history, our national identity and economic fortunes – are in danger of becoming lost in the effort to inflate our population numbers.

Does the PAP realise the harm that it is doing to the country? If it did, it would have discontinued with the policy a long time ago. Remember, the Government has been pursuing its foreign talent policy for nearly two decades.

The important question is: Is it too late for Singaporeans to do anything to reverse course?

Given that the addition of large numbers of new citizens works to the electoral advantage of the PAP – tens of thousands of new immigrants are added to the electoral roll every year while a large number of Singaporeans born and bred here are subtracted when they emigrate – the incentive for the PAP to continue on its present course is irresistible.

We have been conditioned to think that the only way to change policy is to vote out the PAP during the elections – a prospect which, as pointed out in the preceding paragraph, seems distant.

In functioning democracies, citizens don’t just rely on elections once every four or five years to let their rulers know of their views. The ability to assemble peacefully is as indispensable as the vote. Public assembly is a form of communication from citizen to government that we ignore at our own peril. 

Like the foreign talent policy question that we raised in 1999, we hope that our call for the people to exercise their political rights will be met with greater attention.