I refer to the White Paper on population issues.
I am surprised that the White Paper on population “is for Singaporeans’ benefit”. I have yet to identify any proposals that will improve my life as well as my children’s.
The current plan for population increase appears to have been hatched years ago, very likely to be implemented and Singaporeans’ pleas to change course will unlikely be heard.
In a 2007 speech, ex-Minister Mah Bow Tan had mentioned the figure of 6.5 million. The current higher limit of 6.9 million appears to be an ‘insurance’ figure as the government has consistently overshot its projections the last 2 decades. By an extremely wide margin.
At the rate of increase during the last few years, the 5.5 million mark looks set to be breached in less than 13 years! If it could be rated, it would be an F star.
This is some kind run-of-the-mill planning or maybe the ‘tikam tikam’ type. Why pay top dollars for scholars when anyone could have produced way-off-the-mark results?
Presently, Minister Khaw wants to build 200,000 residential units, the equivalent of about 4 HDB estates, within 2 to 4 years! Minister Khaw also tells Singaporeans not to worry about this sort of ‘planning’? (don’t worry about record number of heavy vehicles and machinery in a small country, traffic jams, environmental and noise pollution, crowded public transportation etc. After completion of an initial 200,000 units, another 35,000 (or maybe more?) annually until 2030) This can only be quality of living redefined.
We are deeply worried.
From its track record, can any Singaporean be expected to trust the government blindly, again? Is it not likely that Concept Plan 2021 will push for an even higher population figure?
Just one example of public transport – it has become very crowded on weekends. Seats have also been removed from a number of cabins and there is actually a weekend rush hour or sorts (maids’ rest day), leaving only standing room. It already feels like being in a foreign land without any further increase in their numbers. Does SMRT have plans to remove more seats to accommodate a population increase?
Does SMRT expect my mother and other senior citizens to sit on the cabin floor?
Please do not trivialise individual issues as collectively, they do add up.
Record low TFR, structural unemployment, new citizens giving up citizenship, PRs leaving Singapore in droves etc all these are directly related to a flawed population policy. These have not been adequately addressed. Although it may take years to resolve them and the government should not rush headlong into compounding current issues.
MP Inderjit Singh appears to be the only rational PAP voice in Parliament calling for a delay in population growth for 5 years. (thank you Mr Singh) Singapore has been on an unsustainable growth trajectory for 3 decades and taking a few years to iron out issues is a necessity. GDP cannot grow forever.
Growth did not bring about attendant benefits for the majority of Singaporeans but has worsened our quality of life. For our sacrifices which cannot be easily quantified like our GDP, the government has yet to deliver a good/high quality of life. We have a Swiss cost living but its standard one can only imagine.
All said, the government should not expect us to trust it can deliver restaurant food when it has yet to provide hawker food.
An upset Singaporean