by Simon Lim
“We have so many plans for Singapore in terms of new industries, new businesses, new schools and opportunities….and what we need are new people”. I stress. New People. That was what Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) said to Mr Takehiko Koyanagi of Nikkei Asian Review at a dialogue at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
My first reaction after reading LHL’s above quote was that his government is much too greedy and incompetent and has bitten off more than Singaporeans can comfortably chew. I will give a layperson example later on in my comment to help fellow readers better understand our situation.
Our core Singaporean population is fast aging on one hand and our young people are under replacing themselves on the other. People do not become old suddenly and if the pap government is truly far-sighted and resolute enough, over the past few decades, our total fertility rates may be falling like other big cities but it need not be the worse in the world. The sorry state of our demographics is the direct consequence of an incompetent and neglectful government. Period.
So, given our current sorry situation, what can we do to further grow our economy and improve the living standards of our people? The simple answer in the face of a fast-ageing population and falling birth rate is that the options are very limited and the easiest, fastest and laziest way is through the mass importation of foreigners. Importing more economically active foreigners can sustain our growth momentum for some period of time but they have severe downsides too. If young new citizens also under replace themselves, over time, they will add to our growing aging challenges. After that what? Further imports until our population reaches 15 million or what?
With mass importation of foreigners, in a small and densely built-up Singapore, stress levels among our citizens must go up, competition for jobs and schools must also go up, livability should go down and crime rates can be expected to rise too etc.
In short, I consider what LHL said in my opening paragraph as outright wasteful, failed planning and retrospectively, damage control leadership.
Common sense and prudent planning must tell us that people do not stock up large quantities of milk powder, pacifiers, baby diapers and cradles etc in advance when the probability of having a baby is not in sight at all and if people do stock up all those, in order for them not to go to waste, either they give them away, have their own baby or they will adopt some babies in order to use them. In our case, we are adopting alot, alot of foreign babies. Think.
This was first published on Simon Lim’s Facebook page and reproduced with permission.