The only thing I appreciate about the Population White Paper is that the PAP has been candid about the number of people it wants to have in Singapore, and the number of foreigners it wants to take in to achieve its target.
Everything else, frankly speaking, is just to justify PAP’s desire for GDP growth, or to scare us into agreeing with them.
With the totally negative reaction to the White Paper, the Govt is now furiously trying to give its marketing spin. 6.9M people—oh, that’s a worst-case scenario, we just don’t want to be caught with our pants down again.
Funny— I don’t recall seeing the words “worst-case scenario” anywhere in the White Paper. If so, what’s the “best-case scenario”, may I ask?
See the PAP’s amateurish attempt at marketing?
The White Paper discusses the perils of an ageing population by explaining how few young (taxpaying) people there will be left to support those who leave the work force by 2030. Did the authors notice that there are quite a lot of “retirees” who work at Macdonalds or clean tables at hawker centres NOW? In other words, they’re supporting themselves right now. So what makes the authors think that ‘retirees’ in 13 years’ time will really be able to ‘retire’?
Of course, by “support” the White Paper really means paying taxes for public services, only a part of which goes to retirees directly, like subsidies for healthcare. A lot of taxes will go to pay for public infrastructure, to the large Civil Service, and more than a quarter of the Budget will go to defence spending.
Why does the White Paper not discuss how we should reduce Government spending, particularly our exorbitant defence spending, instead of just looking at how we can increase our tax base?
The White Paper also discusses how the fertility rate affects our demographics and why there sees a need to import young foreigners to boost the work force. But if offers no concrete strategy on how to raise the fertility rate. In other words, there is no reason to believe that foreigners will reproduce more than Singaporeans, even with all the Baby Bonuses thrown at them. So will there be a need to raise the population to 10M in 2060, to sustain this Ponzi scheme?
The White Paper talks about “converting” a steady stream of foreigners into citizens every year to create a “strong Singaporean core”. First, how sure are they that so many foreigners want to give up their citizenships to become Singaporean? Are our Embassies and High Commissions overseas flooded with applicants? Do we have so many applications that we have to hold a lottery, like the US does with its Green Card lottery?
So many unanswered questions, so many sacred cows the PAP still refuses to slaughter.
Parliament will ‘debate’ the White Paper soon. It remains to be seen what kind of ‘debate’ will take place. Will it be the usual PAP MP’s-raise-concerns and Minister-gives-assurances kind of debate? Or will it be Opposition-MP’s-raise-concerns and Minister-gives-rebuttal kind of debate?
Will the Govt be forced to withdraw the White Paper, amend and redraft it before it is passed? Or will it be Minister-sums-up-and-thanks-members and the White Paper is ‘passed’?
I think we know what the outcome will be, in a House controlled by the PAP.
As I said, the only thing I appreciate about the White Paper is the PAP’s candour. At least they are open about what they want to do to us. It’s up to us now to let our MPs know whether we agree or disagree with this Govt’s strategy and direction.
In the US, people always say you should write your Congressman or your Senator to let him know what you think of forthcoming Federal legislation, especially if you want him to support or oppose it. Perhaps Singaporeans can learn from this practice, and start using their Meet-the-MP’s session to express their views on the White Paper to their MP’s.