Last week during the GE2020 debate between three alternative parties and the People’s Action Party, PAP’s Dr Balakrishnan and Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Dr Chee participated in a heated exchange on the issue of increasing Singapore’s population to 10 million.
Dr Chee questioned the PAP candidate about what Mr Heng Swee Keat had said in an earlier interview, which Dr Chee indicated that Mr Heng was “toying” with the idea of increasing the country’s population to 10 million.
To this, Dr Balakrishnan said: “Let me state for the record. We will never have 10 million. We won’t even have 6.9 million.”
Following that, Mr Heng himself took to Facebook the next morning to deny that he targets for a 10-million population.
However, SDP followed up with a statement saying that the The Straits Times published an article in March 2019, and the newspaper quoted: “[Mr Heng] cited former chief planner Liu Thai Ker, who said in 2014 that Singapore should plan for 10 million people for it to remain sustainable in the long term.”
To this, the statement read, “The average person reading the report would conclude that Mr Heng was is, indeed, “toying with the idea” of a 10 million population as indicated by Dr Chee.”
After all that, the POFMA office issued correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) for “false statements of fact claiming that a statement made by Dr Cheong Koon Hean at the IPS-Nathan Lectures in 2018 suggested that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030”.
The orders were issued to the SDP as well as TOC and the Facebook pages of Peoples Voice political Party and Sin Rak Sin Party on the instructions of the alternate authority for the Minister for National Development, permanent secretary Ow Foong Pheng.
The order noted, “These allegations are false. Dr Cheong made no statement suggesting that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030,” it said. “This is a continuation of falsehoods alleging that the Government has a population target of 10 million, which the Government has clarified.”
In response, the SDP—which complied with the order but are applying to cancel it—said in a statement, “quote was taken verbatim from the article” that was published in the Straits Times (ST) on 20 April 2018, it cited the quote: “Even if the increase that Dr Cheong proposed was in terms of ‘liveable density’ instead of population density, this would imply that the total population was planned to go from 5.7 million (11,000 per liveable sq km implying a liveable area of 518 sq km) to 6.97 million (13,700 per sq km with no increase in liveable area) in 2030”.
Subsequently, a whistleblower has reached out to TOC to highlight that there are “concrete” plans within the civil service to increase the population of Singapore by bringing in more foreigner.
The person said that these plans—which were circulated before the COVID-19 pandemic—included forcing locals to integrate with foreigners in the community despite knowing it poses a significant challenge.
According to a People’s Association (PA) Workplan Seminar document on 15 January, sighted by TOC and which is based on PA’s Community Masterplan 2025, a key trend highlighted in the PA’s plan for the next five years include “greater diversity” within the community.
The document noted: “Singapore citizens (SCs) will come across more Employment/S/Dependent-Pass holders in our neighbourhoods.”
The source also told us that during the seminar, PA Dean Hin Cheong Foong explicitly said that Singaporeans must be prepared to be outnumbered by foreigners given the sharp influx. Mr Hin allegedly said that this is a “sensitive” matter but told those present that they must accept reality.
TOC has reached out the PA to confirm. We have yet to receive a response.