Singapore Exhibit at the URA Gallery Museum, showing a mock-up of the city. (Photo - Calvin Teo)

Singapore can either support more people or it cannot, with its severe constrain of space

by Terence Lim

As I skimmed through the front page this morning, I burst out laughing. The minister’s comment about not having enough land directly contradicts the propaganda that the government is sending to its people.

Minister of National Development, Lawrence Wong said in parliament on 17 May, “More importantly, despite our best efforts at planning, we are still severely constrained by space in Singapore.  If there is no more land to recycle for future public housing, then what will happen to our children and grandchildren? How will they have access to subsidised housing in the future? ”

I believe Singapore can EITHER support more people or it CANNOT. This is not quantum mechanics. It’s more like boolean algebra.

In the past several years, I have seen an increase in foreign nationalities in my neighbourhood. Recently, these being Myanmarese. My aunt who has dealings with these chaps (she is a timber trader with suppliers from Myanmar) say that they buy HDB apartments, partition them and then sublet the partitions while the Myanmarese owner sleeps in the hall.
If our country can support the big increase in foreign nationals and have them contend with Singapore-born citizens for everything from jobs to space to transport infrastructure, surely the government can consider doing more for its local born citizens rather than getting all negative at the first instance.
In this regard, the HDB issue need not be viewed in isolation. Perhaps if the government tightens its immigration policies and reduces the number of foreign talents and permanent residents in the country, the problem might be partially solved.
So, to the minister, please use your brains fully, do not for one second, take Singaporeans for fools, and, please please come up with a simple and elegant solution to this “complex problem”. You are paid by the nation to solve it.

You are well paid indeed.

Editor’s note – Singapore if planned well, can easily fit 10 million citizens. But we have to first ask why is there a need for such a number when there are not enough jobs and infrastructure not built to cope with such a population. More questions have to be asked and the policymakers cannot keep giving excuses or justifications that contradict each other.