Mr Lee Still Doesn’t Get It

According to the nation-building Straits Times, Mr Lee said that 65,000 babies were born each year when he took office in 1959, much more than today, even though the population has doubled to 5.26M.

He added: “Our educated men and women must decide whether to replace themselves in the next generation. At the moment, 31 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men are opting out. Not leaving a next generation.

“So, just ponder over it and you will know the solution is not simple. But we’ve got to persuade people to understand that getting married is important, having children is important. Do we want to replace ourselves or do we want to shrink and get older and be replaced by migrants and work permit holders? That’s the simple question.”

What he failed to say was that it was his Government that encouraged sterilisation, introduced the Stop at Two policy, pushed it through with all kinds of financial penalties for those who had more than two children which very likely started the problem in the first place.

And no, he did not apologise for his enormous role in the ‘fertility’ problem.

And if you notice, he even added the qualifier ‘educated’ men and women. By implication, it’s ok if uneducated men and women don’t reproduce. He’s only concerned about ‘educated’ men and women.

Far from accepting blame for the problem, Mr Lee said that, “If we go on like that, this place will fold up, because there’ll be no original citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens, new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms. So my message is a simple one. The answer is very difficult but the problems, if we don’t find the answers, are enormous.”

Mr Lee added that without the work permit holders to build the roads and homes and dig the tunnels, Singapore would be a very different place. And without the permanent residents, Singapore’s population would be older, smaller, and will lose vitality.

“So our choice is simple. Either accept migrants at the rate at which we can assimilate them and make them conform to our values and have others on temporary work permit holders to help build up Singapore and improve,” said Mr Lee.

I think Mr Lee still doesn’t get it.

1. He doesn’t get it that PAP contributed very significantly to the ‘fertility’ problem. Hence PAP must take responsibility and accept the blame for the problem. Not shift the blame to the people for not reproducing.

2. I think he should apologise for all those draconian measures that he inflicted on those who wanted more children in the 60’s and 70’s. The apology is optional, because I know that when circumstances changed in the 80’s, the PAP Govt tried desperately to reverse course (‘Have three, or more if you can afford it’) and set up SDU, SDS, etc. to encourage marriage and parenthood.

But those who were hurt by the Stop at Two policy— their lost youth cannot be replaced, their lost opportunity to have children cannot be replaced. Hence it may be politically astute for PAP to apologise, and particularly for him as one of the architects of the policy, to apologise.

3. He still holds on to his views that dumb parents breed dumb children, smart parents breed smart children. That may be statistically defensible, but it is political suicide to keep saying it. He should shut his trap.

4. He still doesn’t understand that Singaporeans are not in general against work permit holders coming here to build tunnels or dig roads. Why keep using such irrelevant examples? Woody Goh got flamed for this. Doesn’t Mr Lee get it?

5. He still doesn’t understand that no matter what how enormous national problems are, it is not Singaporeans’ duty to help him solve the problem. Just like it is not the average American’s problem to donate to the Govt, or even to pay more taxes, just to solve their Budget deficit.

Singaporeans will only do what is in their personal interest, given the circumstances as far as they can see them. If we are like New Zealand, Sweden or Norway, we will have more children. If we insist on being like New York or Hong Kong, if we insist on becoming a hub for everything, we will have less children.

It is that simple.

This govt must decide what it wants Singapore to become. If it wants more children, it cannot want ultra-high GDP growth, it cannot want to be a hub for everything. I’ve not seen any city or country that is No 1 for everything, has ultra-high GDP growth, and has a high fertility. Face it— that just won’t happen.

You choose, Mr Lee. Not the people. You choose what you want, and the people will choose how to respond accordingly.

You create a stressful and cramped country, you want to be No 1 in everything, people will have less children.

End of story.


About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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62 Responses to Mr Lee Still Doesn’t Get It

  1. henry says:

    Ho! Ho! Ho!
    “….You choose, Mr Lee. Not the people. You choose what you want…”

    “… I choose eternal life…

    • BlueHeaven says:

      Ok ok.
      Singaporeans are not reproducing.
      Just import ONLY what we need.
      Thats all.
      Not too much.
      Just because 1 spoon of sugar makes your coffee sweet doesnt mean you can add 10 spoons.

      Having a vision of a ‘Vibrant City’, doesnt mean you can just pack the country with foriegn losers.

  2. aphid says:

    Damn right!!

    We can also live without fancy and pricey canals. The money can go to Real improvements in people’s lives. We can do without uber expensive botanic gardens. You want green? Leave the forests, instead of clearing them. They won’t cost to upkeep either.

    We can do without even more ‘iconic’ bldgs. Bigger, better laid-out homes, whose cost can be further cut if we go for hardwearing but attractive finishes – and if the govt tries to be sensible about how much profit they can squeeze from them and us – are the way to go.

    So is much needed basic infrastructure, like hospitals and polyclinics. And no, we’re not all going to flock there just because they’re there. We’re well aware these are not playgrounds or malls. Anyway, what they offer costs a bomb these days. So we won’t be rushing for their services unless we Need them.

    Singapore should return to the thrifty, sensible ways it abandoned about 25 yrs ago.

    Btw, anyone noticed that we’ve Never been thanked for all the sacrifices of the past? And now they call for more. The cheek of it!

  3. Chilakak says:

    Thank you for this post and calling it as it is!

  4. Lin says:

    PLEASE! If you had been alive at that time, you would have been afraid of the population growing too fast too!

    Singapore had NOTHING at that time! Not even our own water supply!!! How the hell would the people have coped if the population outgrew the country’s resources? Ration water?!

    Ok, in hindsight, it wasn’t the best policy but MM Lee did what he had to for the survival of the nation under the circumstances he faced.

    • I was indeed alive at the time. Please look at Pt 10 here.

      Mr Lee did what he thought was right. However, his methods were harsh and just one step short of what China did to enforce its one-child policy, and it had unintended consequences which we see today.

      • demi says:

        Few people will believe this truth, china learnt the one-child policy from SIngapore

      • sgthinker says:

        “Stop at 2” doesn’t mean “Stop at 1.2”. Our TFR rate is low today, but blaming the old “Stop at 2” policy alone is like beating a dead (and wrong) horse.

        Anyway PW, I agree with your linked post (from March 2011) that it is “unfair to criticise this govt for a policy decision that was appropriate at the time”.
        But I have trouble reconciling that message with your recent post where you said “….introduced the Stop at Two policy, pushed it through with all kinds of financial penalties for those who had more than two children which very likely started the problem in the first place.”

      • The Stop at Two policy was implemented in a draconian way that left a bad taste in some people’s mouths. It also accelerated our drop in fertility rates, ie pushed us ahead of the falling fertility curve that characterises developed countries.

        Stop At Two created a belief that large families were not good to have. But without large familes to balance the familes with one or two children, how can we get to the magical 2.1 number?

        I don’t think Stop At Two is the single cause of our ‘fertility’ problem. But it was a catalyst in a way nobody expected. And it caused some pain for those who sterilised themselves (and later regretted it) or those who had to fork out extra money because they did not stop at two. That’s why I think it would be good for LKY to make some kind of apology to these familes.

    • henry says:

      They did not mind if graduate mothers produced more and more.
      In fact, it was proposed that graduates produced kids with higher intelligence.

      If you were not a graduate ( regardless of sex) you were encouraged to stop at 2.

    • passer by says:

      well said!

    • justanotherreader says:

      I was about to give a rebuttal to this article when I saw that this reader has already spoken my mind. Thank you, Lin. Mr Lee did what he had to do then to ensure our survivability. I may not agree with all his policies but I believe he impose them with good reasons. The government tweak/remove/enforce policies as they go along to ensure they suit the Singapore climate at that current point in time. No policies are stagnant. They may take time to be reviewed but they will be reviewed. People who just blog to gripe/complain so much should put their money where their mouth is.

    • Ronald David says:

      This is what happens when you are brainwashed. Singapore was the main target of the Japanese in the 2nd WW.WHY? Because they knew what its position in the geographical sense meant to the economy of the world.

  5. Hip Hop says:

    When the word “economy” kept hanging in their mouth for everything and EVERYTHING, rest assured they will be no solution even if there is one in right in their face. PAP as we all know by know, “is always right” even when the blind can see their mistakes.

  6. DLSM says:

    was it the govt too that initiated the primary school ranking system that made parents frantically enrol kids into enrichment centres in order to keep up in higher ranking schools? the message is, send them or fail. so why have kids if they are doomed to fail from the beginning

    • If we don’t strive for excellence, we won’t get excellence. I assure you, the race to get to Harvard or Stanford is even tougher. But you don’t see Americans complaining or using that as an excuse not to have kids, do you?

      The problem is that Singapore parents all want their kids to be in the best schools, in branded schools and not neighbourhood schools. Hence the ‘enrichment’ and the ‘volunteering’ and the ‘tuition’, etc. They cannot see that neighbourhood schools have improved by leaps and bounds and all provide quality education nowadays.

      How can one blame the system in situations like these?

  7. Keit says:

    Greatly appreciate this write up

  8. witnessed says:

    “Singapore had NOTHING at that time! Not even our own water supply!!! How the hell would the people have coped if the population outgrew the country’s resources? Ration water?!”, unquote

    Please do not exaggerate.
    Did the growing population then starved to death or died of dehydration?
    Where I lived in the past(50s), nil mortality rate.

    Speaking as one that has lived pre-independent day.

  9. Solution says:

    As usual Mr Lee announced the final solution with a smile-
    “Accept migrants at the rate at which we can assimilate them and make them conform to our values and have others on temporary work permit holders to help build up Singapore and improve.”
    So expect the current incentives to increase.

  10. Pingback: Daily SG: 13 Aug 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  11. Ethan says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with LKY coming out to encourage Singaporeans to increase reproduction levels. There are no need for apologies if the government is merely doing what has to be done when it had to be done. What we’ve got to understand is that the government implements policies in accordance to the issues pertinent to particular periods of time. When the Stop at 2 policy was introduced, birth control and the population boom was a big postulated problem. The key word being “postulated”. The reasons why none of us saw to the adverse effects of increased large families is invariably a result of the Stop at 2 policy. Yes, granted it might have been harsh on families who wanted to have more children, but it was effective, nonetheless. Right now, it is a fact well known that Singapore is heading towards an aging population. Again, the issue is a postulated one; one that has yet to happen, but inevitably will if we do not raise our reproduction levels. It makes perfect sense for the government to be addressing this issue by appealing to its citizens to help meet the 2.1 birth rate because thats the only way it can ever be achieved. It is unfair to say that “He still doesn’t understand that no matter what how enormous national problems are, it is not Singaporeans’ duty to help him solve the problem.” With all due respect, i believe that PW has a highly misconstrued notion of what it means to be part of a country. The success of every nation begins with its people, and without them, not even the most effective policies would matter. It is vital to understand that we are all interconnected as citizens of singapore. While we may have many gripes about the government (and God yes we do), may i appeal to your conscience just for a minute, and remind you that without the success of our government, neither you nor i would be sitting (or standing if you’re into that sort of thing) here and typing this, purely because we’d have other more pressing issues to worry about- such as when we’d be having our next meal.

    Also, you said,
    “It is that simple.

    This govt must decide what it wants Singapore to become. If it wants more children, it cannot want ultra-high GDP growth, it cannot want to be a hub for everything. I’ve not seen any city or country that is No 1 for everything, has ultra-high GDP growth, and has a high fertility. Face it— that just won’t happen.”

    Again, i beg to differ. Back to our issue about an aging population. If we persist in the pursuit of high GDP growth without the balance of having decent reproduction levels, all we will have left in the next few generations to come is an immensely large portion of retired working individuals, along with a small number of new breed workers. Needless to say, increased welfare for the elderly, providence courtesy of the government (not to mention CPF, all of which costs an incredible sum of money), and a young generation of task force incapable of producing our previous levels of productivity and efficiency due to a lack of workers, if anything. What I’m trying to say here is, if we do wish for a sustainable high GDP growth and remain as one of the most recognized Asian country in the international scene, then tackling our fertility problem is a definite start. If you disagree, just take a look at Japan- who once rivaled the Americans for economic bipolarity after the end of the Cold War- and their dramatic fall in economic growth because of their aging population. ‘Nuff said.

    • passer by says:

      *applaud applaud* I wouldn’t have said it any better! Such thoughtful analysis of our situation. Thank you Ethan! If more would see it more critically as you had!

    • Ben says:

      “What we’ve got to understand is that the government implements policies in accordance to the issues pertinent to particular periods of time.”

      Is it our duty to help a government see longer term pictures/plan further into the future? “Postulate” as much as you want, you are ignoring the fact that they failed to accurately foresee the consequences of their draconian measure. They then further compounded their lack of foresight by resorting to rash stop-gap measures such as widening immigration incentives.

      It is a government’s job to predict and plan for the country, not the other way around. PW is lamenting the fact that they have failed to do so in this instance.

      “With all due respect, i believe that PW has a highly misconstrued notion of what it means to be part of a country. The success of every nation begins with its people, and without them, not even the most effective policies would matter.”

      You confound personal happiness with the prosperity of a nation. I do not believe the collective may exist without the individual, and that for the collective to prosper attention should first be paid to the individual. Allow a person to be the happiest that he may become, and the collective shall similarly experience a net gain. Human beings are not cogs in a machine, no matter how noble the cause.

      “… may i appeal to your conscience just for a minute, and remind you that without the success of our government, neither you nor i would be sitting (or standing if you’re into that sort of thing) here and typing this, purely because we’d have other more pressing issues to worry about- such as when we’d be having our next meal…”

      It is good to be appreciative and to treasure the luxuries and fortune that we may have. However, simply because we are not the unhappiest, hungriest or poorest does not mean we cannot want to better the future of our country. Call it griping, but I believe societies learn from history. Of course PW’s post here is done with the benefit of hindsight. Is not the study of history precisely that? It does not make it any less valuable a field of expertise and domain of collective knowledge.

      Perhaps you think the worth of individual aims and goals are secondary to the un-disputed essentials of food, housing and clothing. It is difficult to argue against the same. Singapore as a nation has thankfully solved these issues for the vast majority of the population. Are we not allowed to want more, and to ask for more for our future generations? We are “paying” for the course chosen by our leaders, we ask that our children (if we dare have any) will not have to also carry burdens placed on their unwitting shoulders.

      “…and a young generation of task force incapable of producing our previous levels of productivity and efficiency due to a lack of workers, if anything.”

      Productivity and efficiency imply a higher ratio of output to number of workers, so I do not quite understand what you mean here. I speculate your intended meaning to be that with a smaller workforce, the available workers we have would be overstretched consequently leading to diminishing gains. If so, it is a valid point. May I add that as a current member of the workforce, I feel almost perpetually overstretched. In this high pressure environment, are you asking potential parents to wing-it, risk it, have a child and hope that everyone else will do the same such that the workload will eventually be shared and their child will not be the worker holding up the end of others?

      We are speaking of bringing a life into this world. A responsibility that cannot and should never be shirked. A responsibility that must be fulfilled to the very best of a parent’s ability until at the very least, the child has completed his/her fullest educational potential such that he/she may attempt to make it for themselves and be self-reliant. The generation that can have children now or will have children soon are barely coming to grips with the surging crowd of unrecognisable faces, the unbearable cadence of a “cosmopolitan city” which we did not ask for, the fierce competition in almost every field to finally make and achieve something for ourselves. This is the environment the perpetual struggle for tangible, numerical and monetary measure of a nation’s worth has created.

      Honest to god I would love to have children. That would be my personal measure of achievement in my life: to have children and provide for them as best as I can until they may achieve their own happiness.

      But this country… It was scary enough for me as a child going through the system, I believe it is even scarier now. I believe what PW is saying is that so long as the perceived focus of our leaders is, and I apologise for repeating the phrase, that the people of a country are but cogs to turn and churn obediently, then we are focusing on the utilitarian and again missing out on the individual. If the prevalent attitude is as such, it would only be logical for people to hesitate bringing a life into this world if the odds are stacked against the child being able to achieve his/her own happiness.

      • DT says:

        Really? That what is holding many people back from having kids in the consideration of whether their kids will be happy in the future? And not how having a kid will mean inconvenience to themselves? I assume (which granted may be wrong) that many people do not have kids because of their own considerations.

  12. Alan says:

    Let’s honestly ask us ourselves a simple question. Supposing the average kids per family in terms of race mix for Chinese, Indians & Malay is 1:2:3 respectively, do you think that our PAP govt will just be contented with an average 2 kids per family and just simply do nothing to manipulate the racial mix by mass import of new immigrants ?

    So could it our low birth rate be a red herring to justify their manipulation of new immigrants to counter the decreasing voter support for PAP ? We know for a fact that PAP is desperately worried about increasing voter turnout at opposition rallies so could this be the answer why we have indiscriminate influx of new immigrants aided with a “Divide & Rule” political agenda to antagonise the newly minted citizens to support PAP eventually ?

  13. alf says:

    While it’s true LKY has never apologized for stop-at-two and makes his current lecturing to us extremely distasteful, that is still ancient history (relatively speaking – since the parents of the 70s are not having kids anymore). The real problem is here in this generation. And that problem is that Singapore with a popn > 4 million is NOT a country MOST current Singaporeans prefer to have kids in. And they’re voting with their… er condoms (or TFR). So too are Singapore’s “FT”, who also have below-replacement fertility rates even though they come from traditionally large-population countries like China and India. The govt fails to acknowledge that at the same time as this “alarming” decrease in fertility, Singapore’s gross population has risen by a staggering 20%, more than third world countries with overpopulation. If you grew up here in the 80s-90s (all of the current generation of young adults), you can see that as a result most things has increased in price, and the quality of everything else has dropped. What kind of future is that?

    The truth is, PAP can keep on with their tired worn out excuses about keeping migration flowing in, because while some Singaporeans are hoping they fold up, PAP just needs to keep the new-citizen ratio above the margins of their losses in votes from born-and-bred Singaporeans to stay in power until WE are extinct. And that’s the real shadow looming behind LKY’s warning.

    Singaporeans need to respond: You keep your failed population policies running and we will fold you up. And they need to do it before there are no Singaporeans left to vote.

  14. Simon Tay says:

    Mr Lee need to support local students to get priority into university instead of FT so that if they can get into local university then they can get higher pay now and become more confident to give birth.

    If education & health care are lowered down then it should help change the hearts & minds of locals to procreate more.

    • jtim says:

      So you’re saying if every singaporean citizen worker has a degree, everyone will have a higher pay and lives happily ever after. Sure. 🙂

  15. an excellent piece. am glad more and more people are seeing and speaking the truth of how Singapore ended up this way. All glitz and a load of problems created by this one unrepentant
    dictator and his devotees who dared not voice any views different from him even if they had any.

  16. Bryan Chow says:

    What an idiotic rant.

    Sngapore could not afford a population that was growing too fast in the 70s.

    Things change. Policies change with it.

    Do you honestly think the “stop at 2” campaign from the 70s is what’s keeping young couples these days from having kids?? Good grief.

    • Read more carefully. Also, see here.

      • DT says:

        Don’t know why you keep highlighting your past article. You conceded in this post that the apology is optional; in your past article, that the policy was made with the best intentions; in the comments, that the policy was sound in nature, just too harsh in implementation. And yet you keep criticising it and LKY?

        Don’t know why everything has to be left to the government. We get a government we deserve. If we blame everything on the government and expect it to solve everything, then don’t ever criticise it for being too paternalistic.

        Is it wrong for him to ask Singaporeans to have more children? Nope. Is it wrong for us to ignore his calls? Nope, again. I don’t really care whether others choose to have children or how many to have but a personal choice does become a national problem in this case, and we should be concerned about it.

        I feel that you are being overly critical of LKY. Why keep asking him to choose? Last I checked, he’s no longer the PM and not even in the cabinet.

      • In this case, unfortunately, it is the govt which has to take the lead. Nothing to do with paternalism.

        If a govt wants to make a country a financial services hub, a tech hub, tourism hub, logistics hub, air services hub, XXX hub, if it wants to be No 1 in everything, then the culture will be very driven, the rewards will be highly skewed towards high achievement, and the policies it enacts, the laws it passes, will be driven by these underlying intentions.

        Ditto, if a govt is intent on making a city very ‘vibrant’, it will bring in F1, casinos, nightlife, etc– things that you don’t associate with prams and strollers– and it will attract and breed certain kinds of people: the jet-set, the party animals, the swinging singles.

        There’s a reason why places like New York and Hong Kong have long working hours, are hip and hot but do not have babies. There is also a reason why baby-friendly cities and countries, like Sweden or Norway, do not have long working hours, are not hip or hot, but have more babies.

        It is wrong for Mr Lee to ask people to have children for the sake of solving a national problem. Because having children is not a form of national service. People will have children– without anyone asking them to do so– when they feel it is worthwhile for them to do so. The govt cannot ask people to have children. It can only create condtions suitable to having children.

        It is right for us to ignore his calls. Because he’s deluded. He can’t order people around. Not in a matter like this.

        PAP ministers and ex-ministers always think that they can ‘urge’ Singaporeans to do things. Singaporeans have grown up under this mentality for over 50 years. Yet it is totally wrong.

        Imagine if Obama ‘urged’ people to pay their taxes because he needs their help to solve a national Budget problem. He’d be laughed out of office in no time! It is true that the Budget deficit is a national problem. People elect politicians to solve those problems. They can propose spending cuts, they can propose tax increases, they can print money, etc. They debate those choices, and when the debate is settled, they pass the necessary laws. But nowhere along the line should the Govt ‘urge’ the public to do anything that they would not normally do. That is paternalism, and that’s a no-no in politics, at least in developed societies.

      • DT says:

        I would think political leaders ‘urge’ people to do things all the time. I still don’t see why it’s wrong for LKY (or anyone) to ask us to have more children. If they ask us to work harder, is it wrong? If they ask us to be loyal and stay behind in SG, is that wrong?

        There’s nothing wrong in them *asking*.

        You are unhappy with LKY asking because, in your opinion, he caused the problem in the first place and now he’s asking us to resolve a problem that he created.

        And that seems to be where some people differ from you. Most would agree that the ‘Stop at Two’ policy caused our current low birth rate but many would deem that it seemed like the best solution back in the 60s and 70s. Until you can convince them otherwise, the opinions won’t change.

        For me, I think while the government has to take the lead, at the end of the day, it is still a personal decision as to whether people want to get married and have children. To blame everything on the government smacks of childishness. If a couple really wants to, what’s stopping them from taking a pay cut, having one spouse to quit the job, have a lower standard of living just so to spend more time with their kids? Don’t give the trite response that we can’t afford to. Most of us can; it’s just that we don’t *want* to.

        I say take some personal responsibility of ourselves and our nation. If you don’t like what you see, do something to change it, be it voting out the current ruling party or starting your own VWO.

      • You don’t know me. You don’t know why I’m unhappy. It’s nothing to do with lky.

      • DT says:

        I assume you may have your own personal reasons for feeling so strongly about this issue then. That’s fine but your arguments are not that convincing on their own.

      • Not sure what “issue” you think I’m feeling so strongly about. Also not sure what arguments you find “unconvincing”.

        Perhaps you could point out the former, and provide your arguments in the latter, so readers can judge for themselves who has the stronger arguments.

    • henry says:

      Yes, things change, and policies change with it.

      “The car population is growing. A new policy: henceforth each household is allowed one car only.”

      Would you accept this, now?

      When a mistake in policy is identified, recognised, an apology, an admission is in order.
      Otherwise if it was criminal, you go to jail.
      Politicians do things that affect people’s lives. They also get away with many things and still get rewarded for it.

      It leaves a very bitter taste.

  17. RC says:

    Dude, Governments introduce policy to correct the status quo and keep it nice and sweet. If back then the economy couldn’t supply sufficient jobs for a larger population, the logical thing to do was to introduce policy to curb population size. If the status quo is too small a population to sustain itself, then the logical thing to do is to promote birth rate. Mr lee and is government is like a good air conditioner – trying to keep the temperature just right – too hot, add cool air. Too cold, warm up air. Mr Lee got it all along, it’s you who don’t get it. Overpopulation in the past would have kept Singapore a poor country, so he was right all along to introduce austerity measures for population size.

  18. henry says:

    In 20 years time, China would have an economy that will have the ability to absorb its own population as workers.

    The use of statistics to predict an outcome is not always accurate. It was statistics that provided the argument to stop at 2. Looks like statistics is being applied again.

    I wouldn’t bet too heavily on the outcome.
    The geo-politics can change and social attitudes too.

  19. fpc says:

    why let an old fucker choose? I say we choose. they react.

  20. Reblogged this on Jentrified Citizen and commented:
    I couldn’t have aaid it any better.

  21. to those who claim LKY got it right otherwise we would have been a poor country, please check up on our history first. we were not a poor country nor a swamp back then. Our economy was growing and there were many opportunities. Also, a good leader gets it right only when he is able to plan for the future and the people’s happiness and not just use short sighted fixes that hurt the citizens in the medium and long tem.

  22. Citutt says:

    Mr Lee..wif all due respect please advice the young Paps to make more babies since they are the one who cn afford having more than 10 kids. The wife cn b full time house wives n take care of the babies. They can even afford to hired 10 baby sitters for 10 kids..their pay cheque is more than enuf to feed 10 kids monthly…y forced the commoners when u have dozens of fertile young men at ur own backyard…

    • Marc says:

      Good point

      There are at least 81 opportunities with big pay cheques to sustain an increase in family sizes. Unless these 81 men/women are hesitating to pro-create due to some unknown reasons.

      Well… one moment you are up there, the next you might fall down. That’s their worry I guess…

  23. gumthief says:

    basic education here is mandatory. so technically, we are all educated. and yeah, apparently we dont mind foreigners to come here to do the jobs that we loathe BUT we mind if they are here to take up posts that we want. just wait till some journalist write on how snobbish and racist we are and let see if we are proud to call ourselves singaporeans.

    this country relies heavily on foreign investors and companies to set up their businesses and use us as a regional hub. it doesnt make sense if we tell them to hire only singaporeans from mid to top positions. competition breeds excellence. and may i know how much does a fresh uni grad expects to be paid with no experience? 3k? if so, does that sound reasonable?

    Yes. HDB cost a more a bomb. but we are a country that operates on internal debt, not external. you can check that Singapore dont owe the world much as compared to most developed world. and thats a good thing. yes its painful for us, but it is not painful for the country.

    in a globalized world AND a country that relies a lot on foreign investment, we have to compete. yes prices are soaring high and measures do need to be taken to keep costs down, but do singles or married with no kids couple need a car? if you say we dont, i dont understand why coe prices are soaring yet our fertility rate is low. do we need high end gadgets, expensive shoes etc? we dont.

    im sorry, i feel that this country complains too much and used to have everything nicely plated in front of them. we are not ready to sacrifice our expensive lifestyle and we blame it on the government, the foreigners, the cost of living but ourselves.

    There are many things that the govt can improve on, but this blaming the govt and foreigners dont make real sense.

  24. reddotsg says:

    Reblogged this on Reddotsg's Blog and commented:
    So many things they still dun get.

  25. Mimikins says:

    The whole country is dumb. Why? You guys are the ones who are kiasu and kiaxi, vote also got no balls to vote them out. Yes, opposition got not much good candidates but so? As long as there is monopoly in anything, there is no accountability. PAP being the majority in the parliament can do any damn thing they want and you LAN LAN has to accept it.

    Look at our pathetic median income of 2.7k vs. your 30 yr HDB loan. Look at the ministers who NEVER stayed in a HDB flat making up rules to govern and control your life.

    SG will just be another HK, playground for the rich and the majority of the people work from 7am till 9pm and pay and pay for their sad small little house.

  26. Mimikins says:

    BTW forgot to add… STOP complaining about COE. You’re the guys bidding, not them. It’s MARKET FORCE driven by the mass idiots (and car dealers). If EVERYONE STOP BUYING A CAR for a month (e.g. in Dec), see what happens to the price?

  27. He WeiHao says:

    if that ah pek LKY sees this he’ll probably quote japan
    Japan: less than 3% of population not japanese with super high GDP growth
    “cannot be like them meh, if we are like them u think i (LKY/GOV) need to import so much meh?”

  28. Ace says:

    LKY, you may be older but are you wiser? To test whether your proposal make sense to Singaporeans, I prefer the option of distributing our reserves to the current number of citizens now. Then, those people who do not agree with you can give up their citizenship, collect their share of the reserves and their CPF and emigrate.
    For those who wish to follow LKY and the PAP, they can stay back, keep their reserve and CPF here and then you get as many foreigners as they like to be new citizens.

  29. YH Tay says:

    Is the writer a foreigner?
    He don’t get it, he don’t went thru’ that period when there is a shortage of rice, and food during that time. Poor household cannot simply feed all mouths. Do you get it?

    Think again. If not for the stop at two then. Most SGporean would not be enjoying the good life they have now. Time changes, policies change, lifestyle changes too. If SG women are too interested in chasing their lifestyle and think that having their offspring is a burden. The government should allow foreign housewives, these housewives should be willing to take care of their-laws, children, hubby and do household chord. This is because I noticed lately that SG women with high education are more willing to go marry a foreign husband. Take a look at the celebeies as an example. My suggestion let SGporean decide and let nature take its course, come to the worse, it could be the time of the second migration like our fore father, they with drives and willing to slot and willing to plant their roots here.
    Fruit of thought: SG does not have other nature resource except human. We loss this and Singapore is Singa-no-more.

  30. DT says:,-I-and-us–The-politics-of-birth

    In case you missed it. Would say that it’s not 100% convincing but it still makes some valid points.

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