Saturday, February 02, 2013

The worst just got worster

Exactly 6 years ago, our then Minister for National Development, Mr Mah Bow Tan shocked Singaporeans with the announcement that they were planning to increase our population to an unbelievable 6.5 million. After much protest and complaints, he clarified that the figure 6.5 million was “not a target; but a planning barometer”; giving us the impression that things were unlikely to become that bad.



A few days ago, the government dropped another bombshell on Singaporeans; this time projecting that our population would reach 6.9 million by 2030. And guess what Mr Mah’s successor says. Writing in his blog, Minister Khaw Boon Wan clarified; “The projected 6.9 million figure by 2030 …. is the worst case scenario. We hope we do not reach that figure; we may never reach that figure. But as planners, we have to …. blah blah blah”.



Well, fellow Singaporeans; you know what you should do? You’d better make sure Mr Khaw does not lose in the next election. Otherwise you are going to get another MND minister and the worster might get even worse.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Khaw stays, the worse will Definitely get worst. And if you believe 6.9 is just a worse-case scenario, then I'm willing to bet you get cheated quite a lot.

Andy Lim* said...

It's OK Chun See, no harm done. There are vacancies at the Mental Institute of Health. Some of the ministers in charge must get their heads examined.

I just wonder why some people are still supporting them.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Yep! We have already lost many historical buildings, sites in the name of progress.
We do not need those extra immigrants. Not for the reasons that the ruling party tried to put across.

Fix the causes of low TFR. But will they?
Seem like, only bits and pieces whenever there is a GE or By-Election will be offered.

Keith said...

Forget abt 6.9mn target. A country with nearly 50% foreigners cannot be called a country. Foreigners still need to fill jobs that Singaporeans shun, but leave the PMET to Singaporeans only. Singapore can make do with slower growth or even recession. With the brains behind the authorities, surely alternatives can be found to overcome our ageing population.

Lam Chun See said...

I think some of the assumptions of the perceived model are not feasible. For example, they mentioned a strong 'core' of young Sporeans. As the situation worsens; population-wise, our young people will be even more reluctant to settle down and start familiers. So the TFR will drop further. The number of old people also will not be as high as extrapolated becos many of those of our age group, who had earlier resisted emigrating due to the 'pull factor' will now do so due to the 'push' factor joining many of our friends who had done so earlier; the ones famously labelled by Goh Chok Tong as 'quitters'.

Keith said...

Even economists argue among themselves as to whether standard of living should be measured by material things only. Even in the traditional definition and looking at the escalating prices and smaller living spaces, our standard of living has perhaps dropped. If include spaciousness, history, sense of identity, level of stress, etc, our overall standard of living has definitely dropped.

Lam Chun See said...

You are right Keith. Just the other day, I visited a young couple with 2 sons. They lived in a small condo unit with 3 bed rooms. The rooms are so small that they cannot add a study table to their master bedroom. So they set aside 1 room for study room, 1 room for theeir parents and the couple and 2 young sons share 1 room, sleeping on mattress.

I remember the first 5-room HDB flats we had in the 1970s, cost only $35,000 (no typo error) and the rooms were much bigger.

Anonymous said...

The government has lost its marbles. It is time to vote them out.

Tim said...

Perhaps Singapore's population is none of my business. But in the other hand, unless we manage the world's problems on a global basis, we will all suffer in the end. Or at least, the world we share will suffer.

Population ... and hungry mouths ... are at the root of the world's environmental and conservation problems.

Britain does not have the same insane level of population growth, but we still have all the same insane arguments about why we need more immigration. And Keith has hit the nail on the head. The economists are measuring growth and standard of living by purely theoretical measures. Quality of life is what counts to us, and overcrowding is hitting Britain very badly, so it's hard to imagine life in Singapore by the same measures, either now or when the population hits 6.5M.

One simple measure that could be introduced is the average time to commute to your workplace. I reckon that in West Yorkshire that figure has doubled in 30 years. Is that how we want to spend our lives? In traffic jams?

Zen said...

Most cities of the world have a hinterland to fall back to. We are unique in the sense that we are a small city state (a tiny red dot)with only the sea as our hinterland. Much talk about grand reclamation scheme, clever, productive use of land and a host of 'smart' ideas expounded by experts, but still we are like a small piece of sponge, how much water can we squeeze out of it?

Ian Layzell said...

No doubt about it, 6.9m is too much for Singapore island,and without any control this figure will inevitably grow through natural procreation. But as others have said,this is a global problem that is inextricably linked with climate change. Unless we start living a lot smarter, more people equals more CO2 and greenhouse gases equals more global warming equals disaster.

Discuss sg said...

It is tragic to become like that. Visit www.discuss.com.sg to discuss this!

Timothy said...

While Ian and Tim could be correct to say that this could a global problem. There is simply no immediate solutions. Eg. There are lands elsewhere but how to you' redistribute' them? Counttties have boundaries. Small countries like singapore do not have the resources to cope with so many people. The other thing I question is why must there be a profit motive behind such proposals.

As a parent to a young son, i am simply concern with whether he can afford to buy his own abode in the future with the ridiculous house prices now. I have worked in MNCs for 14 years and of that have experienced 4 years of no increment and 1 layoff. I shudder to think of what the future is for my son . Talk about having more kids? It is only the trust for God that things will work out somehow .

Tah Chung said...

Instead of solving the root problem of low TFR, bringing in foreigners have caused housing and living cost o skyrocket. This will cause couples to be even more unwilling to procreate, thus causing TFR to further spiral southwards.