Saturday, 2 June 2012

Population and Immigrants

What makes someone Singaporean?

Local and foreign-born citizens differ over whether NS is a key marker

BOTH local and foreign-born citizens view respect for multiracial and religious practices as the top marker of what makes someone Singaporean. But another homegrown institution threw up a stark difference between the two groups: national service (NS).

When the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) asked 2,000 citizens - half local-born, half foreign-born - if having a male child who has completed NS is an important characteristic of being 'Singaporean', 69 per cent of locals said yes. Only 43 per cent of foreign-born citizens did so.
That was the one aspect of Singaporeanness that the two groups differed on the most. The participants were given 30 characteristics to mull over in face-to-face interviews that took place in 2010.

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NS nudges PRs to make a choice

I agree with Mrs Cherie Ball, in her letter "Of PRs and citizens" (May 30), that citizens enjoy a higher level of benefits, compared to permanent residents. However, PRs are still entitled to public flats and healthcare subsidies, benefits that are usually enjoyed only by citizens in other countries.

The main aim of the policy requiring second-generation PRs to serve National Service is to nudge them towards a choice: Are they here for the long-term or to enjoy twhe benefits without the sacrifices? Mrs Ball states that it is unfair to expect second-generation PRs to give two years of their lives to NS.

By that logic, it is unfair for Singaporeans to serve NS, in the military, police force or civil defence, to protect second-generation PRs who have the option to enjoy, for 18 years, the peace we offer society before they walk away, an option citizens do not have.

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Chan Chun Sing talks cock again, links babies out of wedlock to increase fertility

After one year of spewing nonsense in public since he came into politics, Chan Chun Sing doesn't appear to let up talking more nonsense. His latest talk cock is suggesting that we may have to accept babies out of wedlock if we were to increase fertility.

Now before liberal critics pour their tirade at me, suggesting that I am an ultra-conservative, let me tell you that I am not even going to argue along the moral traditional path. I am arguing on the fact that Chan Chun Sing sees the issue of fertility with a simple minded approach.

The simple minded approach of Chan misses the big issue. The big issue why many Singaporeans don't have as many children as what the govt likes is because of the cost of having children.

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Singapore Still Hostile to Immigrants

SINGAPORE, May 31, 2012 (IPS) - The crash of a million-dollar Ferrari driven at high speed by a wealthy Chinese expatriate in the early hours of a weekend morning earlier this month has reignited the stormy immigration debate here, highlighting many Singaporeans’ resentment towards foreigners living and working in this small island nation.

The deadly accident opened an old wound. The spate of online comments and media reports expressing anger towards Chinese residents was so extreme it prompted the Chinese embassy, in a rare move, to issue a letter – subsequently released to the Straits Times – urging its citizens in Singapore to be conscious of their conduct and abide by local laws.

In February, Forbes Magazine ranked Singapore the third richest country in the world with a per capita income of 56,700 dollars. This affluent island republic, covering just 640 square kilometres, is home to four million inhabitants, of which about 25 percent are foreign workers.

As a result, immigration has become a hot topic in Singapore, with increasing coverage in the local media since last year’s election, where the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) saw its share of the vote drop to its lowest level since independence, largely due to local opposition to the government’s liberal immigration policies.

"Central to the feeling of antipathy (towards foreigners) has been the issue of fairness (towards locals)," said former minister of parliament Viswa Sadasivan.

Local journalist Jaya Prakash argued that the number of foreigners in Singapore has reached an "unacceptable" level. He believes that the government is biased towards foreigners, allowing them to sweep up jobs that should be given to locals and fill places in schools meant for Singaporeans.

As a result, he said, the latter are forced to accept lower pay, for less desirable work, which ultimately results in a lower quality of life for many locals.

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A rising tide of Filipinos

(Picture from Kiasu Parents Forum)

They flock to the Lion City to seek employment in hotels, casinos and restaurants as well as work as professionals, nurses, computer technicians and seamen. This is besides the about 80,000 who work as domestic maids.

Filipinos are starting to stamp their footprints on Singapore’s fast-changing demography.

Tens of thousands of them – known as among South-East Asia’s most happy-go-lucky people – have flocked here to work, making them the fourth largest migrant nationality.

Although they play second fiddle to Malaysia, China and India in numbers, the Filipinos – totalling 180,000 – are now playing catch-up. Full story

Pinoy ‘FT’: It’s time for Pinoys to mark as a ‘strong race’ in Singapore - The Temasek Times

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Are we putting our soldiers at risk

Our soldiers and NSmen are there to defend this country against external threats. What are these external threats? They are threats from another country and will come in the form of foreign soldiers. They can be any foreigners.

We are importing millions of foreigners and issuing them with pink ICs to call them Singaporeans. How reliable are these new citizens? Would they be one of us, to defend our country, to fight with our children as comrades in arms, or would they do the unthinkable?

We have lost two of our fine young men in Sydney to a foreigner turned new citizens. The foreigner is still alive in Australian jail while our children dead. The foreigner could be paroled and live as another free man and will likely return to his original country.

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Call to 'stand up against anti-foreigner tirades'

Balakrishnan urges Sinda youth leaders to 'keep Singapore open'. Anti-foreigner sentiments expressed on the Internet are disappointing and youth leaders need to stand up against such tirades.

This was the view expressed by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at a dialogue during the Sinda Youth Leaders Seminar on Friday.

'We need to keep Singapore open and I am very disappointed with the tone of anti-foreigner feelings that I was reading on Facebook,' he said.

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5 Citizen Population Scenarios - NPTD

Population will shrink from 2025 without new citizens. Pool of working age citizens will also drop steadily from 2.1m today

SINGAPORE needs 20,000 to 25,000 new citizens each year to prevent a decline in its citizen population from 2025, new government projections show.

That assumes no big uptick in the number of Singaporean babies born here. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is now 1.2, one of the lowest in the world.

If it stays put, and the door to new migrants is shut from this year, the citizen population will start shrinking in 13 years' time.

The pool of working age citizens will also drop steadily from today's 2.1 million to about 1.5 million in 2060.

These are some of the five scenarios in a paper that the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) released yesterday.

As the lead agency for the Government on population matters, it is conducting a comprehensive examination of population goals and policies, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced during the Budget debate.

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Can we cope with 8 million on the island?

Much depends on how we plan - and provide - services to meet growing needs

Xenophobia is alive and well around the world, including in some corners of this island.

Just look at the vitriol being spewed on the Internet against foreigners in the wake of the tragic accident on Rochor Road involving a speed demon from Sichuan.

A foreign observer might be forgiven for concluding that Singapore is not far off from spawning a nationalist party, whose rallying cry might be the mantra now being spouted by politicians of every stripe: 'Singaporeans first.'

This seems ironic in a nation where most people are second- or third-generation offspring of immigrants themselves. How has it come to this? What explains the visceral reactions to those who have arrived here more recently?

Sure, some new immigrants may be arrogant and uncouth. But when I hear venom being heaped collectively on 'foreigners', I can't help but wonder if those speaking realise that our forefathers too hailed from similar sources, probably spoke little English and had social graces that might not sit so comfortably in modern Singapore. They were probably looked down on, discriminated against, perhaps even abused, by their colonial masters.

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A different perspective to population growth

We need population growth to generate economic growth to enjoy a better quality of life. This is the biggest bullshit to come out from any sensible person. Population growth is not the only factor that leads to growth and a better quality of life.

The sure things about population growth are inflation, congestion, higher demand for goods and services and many undesirable social and economic consequences that cannot justify the little benefits of growth.

Take a continent like Australia as an example. If with 50m, they can enjoy the whole continent, be productive enough to grow all the food and wine to make merry, why do they need to rush the population to 100m?

If without population growth, maintaining at 50m for perpetuity, and they can produce a bit more for each person to better their life, what is the point of producing 100 times more to feed 100m people but did not live better except for a few super rich?

Coming back to home, if with 2m people, the people can have all the space to live in bigger properties, and own cars with more roads to drive around, and they could produce more goods and services to raise the quality of life, why do they want to push the population to 5m or 10m to have lesser space to live, cannot own cars but only to work ever harder to feed a population of 5m or 10m?

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New council to help newcomers fit in

PA Integration Council will be led by MP Fatimah Lateef
Integration efforts will get a boost on July 1 when the People's Association (PA) Integration Council is formed.
The aim of the council is to provide strategic direction and focus to PA's efforts to integrate new immigrants into the community.
This move was announced yesterday by Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, at the Integration Carnival 2012.
The council will be led by Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef as its adviser and comprise 15 integration and naturalisation champions (INCs), representing each of the 15 group representation constituencies.

Dr Fatimah, who was also at the event, said she is interested in holding a citizenship kind of conference at a national level, 'where we can get members and their families to come and share, as well as to give them a platform to showcase what they have been doing'.

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Do more to help foreigners adjust: DPM

Teo Chee Hean urges Singaporeans to do their part at annual community dialogue

As more Singaporeans go out into the world to study, work and live overseas, more foreigners are moving here and helping to make Singapore cosmopolitan and vibrant.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday noted this reality of globalisation as he highlighted the need for Singaporeans to do more to welcome and help foreigners integrate here.

One measure of Singaporeans overseas is that there are 280 Singapore clubs in 120 cities worldwide, 'a network of little red dots'.

He was in New York two weeks ago and met 5,000 Singaporeans at the Singapore Day festivities, which included hawker food, updates on national service and a rousing rendition of the National Day song, Home.

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What price a slowing population?

Making babies is fun and good for economic growth (sexing up a lede has never been so easy). Nomura has taken a shot at calculating just how significantly population changes can hit GDP. Their conclusion is that:
[A]lthough a population decline will dent GDP growth and inflation, the degree of correlation is not that high and the negative impact may not be as large as some observers fear. 
Analysis using international data indicate that growth in the working-age population and changes in the dependency ratio have a greater impact on economic growth than overall population growth per se, and that demographics have been having a larger impact on economic growth in recent years.
Anywhere, here are two tables detailing Nomura’s best guesses about the impact of demographic changes on a host of countries.
(Health warning: guesses they most certainly are, as economic growth is influenced by a whole host of other factors and these estimates involve a reliance on past trends and forecasts of slippy variables… but still, always nice to get some figures to argue about.)

The biggest losers according to Nomura look to be Japan, Singapore, Spain and China – where the bank estimates demographic changes will depress economic growth by 1.6–3.7 percentage points from current levels. Some charts (click to enlarge):

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What Does Zero Population Growth Mean?

In the past two centuries, the world's population has exploded. This has caused worries that humanity shall eventually "overpopulate" the earth and leave many without resources. To solve this dilemma, some people have promoted the idea of zero population growth

  • Zero population growth means the size of a population does not expand or retract. This occurs by replacing a member of a population only when he dies.
  • In 1798, political economist Thomas Malthus proposed that society should attempt to achieve a zero population growth rate because the numbers of a community will eventually outstrip its resources.
  • Countries that have high birth rates, usually developing nations, receive about $900 a year as of 2009 as part of efforts by other governments to promote zero population growth, according to
  • A zero population growth rate does not mean that people produce fewer offspring. In Africa, for example, population growth rates are slowing, but only because of the drastic increase in deaths from AIDS.
  • Since the Earth contains a limited amount of space, population growth rates will need to reach zero or even decline at some point in the future. However, the Earth's maximum carrying capacity can continue to grow as technology keeps increasing food production.
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Half of Australians want end to immigration: poll

Some 50 percent of Australians want an end to the nation's immigration programme because they believe the country has too many people, a poll showed on Tuesday.
Half of Australians want end to immigration: poll
Half of Australians want end to immigration: poll

The survey of 2,000 people, conducted for the tabloid Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, found 51 percent thought "our population is too high (and) we should stop immigration".

Australia has some 23 million people, compared to 19.6 million a decade ago.

Canberra set its immigration programme for the year to June at 185,000 places, with another 13,750 slots available to refugees on humanitarian grounds.

But in the poll only 32 percent of respondents felt Australia should welcome more immigrants and almost two thirds, some 65 percent, said "migrants should adopt the Australian way of life".

The responses revealed a marked swing away from the more tolerant attitudes of previous surveys conducted in 2005, 2001 and 1995, the newspaper said.

Immigration expert Bob Birrell said fears over job security in the shaky global economy and local pressures on infrastructure were behind the shift in opinion.

The poll came as two asylum-seeker boats carrying some 82 passengers were intercepted off northern Australia on Monday -- taking the number of boats to arrive to four in as many days.

A total of 42 boats carrying 3,261 asylum seekers have arrived so far this year, causing Australia's refugee detention budget to spiral to more than Aus$1 billion (US$1 billion).

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China TV host sparks debate over 'foreign trash'

A well-known state television presenter's call for China to kick out "foreign trash" and two highly publicised incidents of bad behaviour by visitors have set off a heated debate on foreigners in China
China TV host sparks debate over 'foreign trash'
China TV host sparks debate over 'foreign trash'

The vitrolic comments posted online by Yang Rui, who presents a daily talk show in English on the state-run China Central Television network, have channelled into a growing controversy playing out on China's popular microblogs.

"The Public Security Bureau needs to clean out the foreign trash," wrote Yang on his microblog, accusing expatriates of "engaging in human trafficking" and "spreading lies" about China.

He made his comments after Beijing police last week launched a 100-day crackdown on foreigners working illegally in the capital, with posters showing a clenched fist and a phone line for residents to inform on visa violators.

Yang urged police to focus on areas popular with expatriates in Beijing, and also welcomed the recent expulsion of Al Jazeera journalist Melissa Chan, which has been strongly condemned by rights organisations and by Washington.

"We kicked out that foreign harpy and closed Al Jazeera's Beijing bureau. We should shut up those who denigrate China and send them packing," wrote Yang, whose comments have been widely criticised in the foreign media -- though his employer, CCTV, has remained silent.

In a statement Tuesday, Yang said he intended his comments to be a "wake-up call" for foreigners who violated China's laws, citing the recent example of a British tourist accused of sexually assaulting a Chinese woman.

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Population Of Singapore

Despite lacking natural resources, the densely populated island state of Singapore rose to the status of “first-world” thanks to the sheer hard work, adaptability and resilience of its population. Originally inhabited by Malay fishermen, Singapore's shores brought immigrants from China, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and other parts of the world post-British arrival.

Malay is one of the four official languages of Singapore.The country's national anthem is sung in Malay. However, English is the language of business and administration and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual and speak both their mother tongue as well as English fluently

Singapore Population Statistics
Year 2011 2012
(Source : and

Singapore Population Age Pyramid Singapore Resident Population
Singapore Population Age Pyramid
(Source :
Singapore Resident Population
(Source :

Before independence, two factors determined Singapore's population: integrative effect of migration and natural increase. But after 1965, the government of Singapore under Prime Minister Lee Yuan Kew imposed strict controls on immigration, granting only temporary residence permits to workers whose labor or skills were considered beneficial to the economy. According to government statistics for the year 2011, the population of Singapore was around 5,183,700.

The dominant ethnic groups are the Chinese (74.1%), Malays (13.4%) and Indians (9.2%). Others (Eurasians, Arabs, Jews) comprise 3.3% of the population. Literacy rate of Singapore stands at 95.9%.
Since independence, the Singapore government has implemented effective population control policies through publicity, exhortation, material incentives and disincentives.

The Family Planning and Population Board set up in 1966 played a major role in population control as it provided clinical services and public education on family planning. Throughout the 1970s, Singapore experienced low-birth rates and this, in turn, resulted in increase of income, education, women's participation in paid employment and control of diseases. By the 80s, the government became concerned about the low rate of population growth and revamped its family planning programme by offering new package of incentives.

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Total Population
Singapore Residents
1970 (Census)
1980 (Census)
1990 (Census)
2000 (Census)

Data for 1980 and earlier Censuses refer to all persons present in Singapore and enumerated on Census Day. Data from 2000 onwards are based on the register-based approach.

Total population comprises Singapore residents and non-residents. Resident population comprises Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

Data from 2003 onwards exclude residents who have been away from Singapore for a continuous period of 12 months or longer as at the reference period

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Singapore population hits 5.61m

Singapore population hits 5.54m
Alternative 'Blue Paper' On SG Population
Voice Of The People @ Hong Lim Park
A Photo Documentary Of Hong Lim Protest
Large Turnout At Protest Against Population White Paper
The White Paper & The Singaporean Core
Afterthoughts Of The White Paper on Population
"Worst-case Scenario" Of A 6.9 Million Population
Parliament endorses Population White Paper
Planned Protest Against Population White Paper
Parliament Debates WP's Proposals
Parliament Debates Population White Paper
SG White Paper On Population
Our SG Population
Population and Immigrants