Monday, 4 February 2013

SG White Paper On Population

Update 2 Oct 2015: Singapore's population is 5.54 million as of June, slowest growth in more than a decade

Singapore's population stood at 5.54 million as of June 2015, a 1.2 per cent growth from June last year, latest figures show.

The pace of growth was the slowest in more than a decade, mainly due to the continued slowdown in the growth of the foreign workforce, according to a report released by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) on Wednesday (Sept 30). In the previous year, the rise in population was 1.3 per cent.

The 5.54m population figure comprises:

  • 3.38 million citizens
  • 530,000 permanent residents (PRs)
  • 1.63 million non-residents. They include foreigners on employment passes, S passes, work permits, dependants of citizens, PRs and work pass holders, maids and foreign students.

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Clearly, we could have done more: PM Lee

PM Lee admits his government's lack of foresight in planning for population growth in Singapore. (Yahoo! photo)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday admitted that his government “could have done more” to prepare for Singapore’s rapid population growth that has strained the capacity of existing infrastructure.

Speaking in a 90-minute dialogue at the Singapore Perspectives 2013 conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies on Monday afternoon, PM Lee acknowledged the lapse in policy judgment, explaining that his government was trying to “make up” for time lost to the post 9/11 global economic recession in 2005-2006.

“I decided (by 2005 and 2006) that we should try and make up for lost time because you want the economy to grow,” he said. “You want Singapore to make progress and you don’t know how long the sun is going to shine. As it turned out, the sun remained shining for longer than we expected. So the population grew faster than we expected; our infrastructure didn’t keep up.

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Not too long after Mr Khaw wrote on MND’s blog, PM Lee then echoed the same tune in support of Mr Khaw on his Facebook.
PM Lee wrote:

“Fully agree with Khaw Boon Wan’s explanation that a 6.9m population is not a target, but just a worst case, aggressive scenario that we must prepare for. We need to plan consciously and responsibly for the future, so Singaporeans continue to enjoy a good quality of life, and Singapore continues to thrive. – LHL.”
However, the netizens are not convinced as seen from the replies and rebuttals on PM Lee’s own Facebook page [Link]:

Parliament Debates White Paper On Population 
A Sustainable Population For A Dynamic Singapore

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6.9 million population projection is "worst case scenario": Khaw

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has stressed that the projected 6.9 million population by 2030 is the worst case scenario

 In his latest blog post, Mr Khaw said the government hopes that the country does not reach that figure and added that it may never reach it.

The Minister said as planners, the government has to ensure that the infrastructure can accommodate such a figure, if need be.

But it hopes that the actual figure would turn out to be much lower.

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Businesses point to one risk that rules them all

The biggest risk to the population scenario presented by the government is that Singapore's companies fail to raise productivity swiftly enough to make up for the projected slowdown in workforce growth.

Business associations, whose members already feel the pinch of tightened foreign manpower policies, were not surprised by the direction of the Population White Paper released by the government on Tuesday. But productivity remains the weak link, they said.

"While people are reacting negatively to the 6.9 million number (that overall population is expected to be in 2030), for businesses, the slowdown that implies is already quite drastic," said Ho Meng Kit, chief executive of the Singapore Business Federation, which represents more than 18,000 companies here.

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Major shift in economic gears in Population White Paper: DPM Teo

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the White Paper on Population represents a major shift in the way the country grows its labour force.

He was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the Home Team Tactical Centre on Thursday.

Acknowledging concerns among citizens about the projected population growth to 6.9 million by 2030, Mr Teo, who is also Minister-in-Charge of Population policies, said the White Paper in fact focuses on the interests and benefits of Singaporeans.

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Projected 6.9m population basis for healthcare planning: Gan

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the projected 6.9 million population by 2030 in the White Paper will serve as a basis for planning efforts to ensure sufficient capacity in the healthcare sector.

He also said his ministry is adjusting its plans to be able to meet future healthcare needs.

Mr Gan stressed that the 6.9 million figure is not a target.

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6.9 million population is a projection: S Iswaran

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office S Iswaran assures Singaporeans that the 6.9 million population figure in the White Paper is not a target the government is setting itself to achieve.

He said it is the upper bound of a range of 6.5 to 6.9 million figure by 2030.

Mr Iswaran was speaking at a dialogue during his Ministerial visit to Jurong Central in the Jurong GRC.

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Govt has to and will deliver high quality: K Shanmugam

Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said the range of views expressed about the 6.9 million population projection set out in the White Paper are completely understandable.

He was speaking to reporters at a hong bao presentation ceremony at his Chong Pang Division.

He said businesses are unhappy about the lack of growth in the labour force but there are also those who are concerned about the 6.9 million figure.

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All ministries focused on planning ahead: Balakrishnan
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (file photo)

Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said all ministries are now focused on planning ahead.

It's a strategy the government has said it will stick to, with the launch of a White Paper projecting a 30 per cent growth in population by 2030.

Can Singapore support a 6.9 million population by 2030?

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It is commendable that the Government has released a Population Paper setting out its proposed population strategy from now till 2030. This forward planning and transparency is most welcome.

However, AWARE is concerned that the Government has once again focused on economic growth, rather than the well being of its people, as the main determinant of Singapore’s population size and rate of growth.

AWARE is also disappointed that there is no provision for thorough public consultation on the proposed population strategy. Why is the Government targeting for the Paper to be endorsed by Parliament within just a week of its release? This is unduly hasty given the major implications of the proposed strategy. Singaporeans have in the last few days shown their anxiety and unhappiness about these implications. More time must be given for people to ask questions and express their concerns.

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Rape of our nation – Whither Singaporeans?

Was ex-minister George Yeo’s cryptic Facebook post “Whither Singapore” actually referring, not to the Punggol By-election, but to the White Paper proposal to have 6.9 million people here by 2030? If it were, then the question should be “Whither Singaporeans”, true blue Singaporeans to be exact.

There has been a national uproar and outcry by Singaporeans against the preposterous proposal by our government to bring in many more foreigners with a target of 6.9 million. Like my fellow men and women, I am shocked and incensed.

First of all, let’s call a spade a spade, the government was probably aiming for 7 million but was advised that the clever thing to do is to say 6.9 million as it would sound less alarming that 7 million. Cheap marketing gimmick. So they want to up the population in our overcrowded island by 30 % within the next 16 years to SEVEN MILLION! At least be honest about it.

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2030 – more of the same, only worse

Naturally, the White Paper on population – grandly titled “A Sustainable Population For A Dynamic Singapore” – is the talk of the town. The numbers “6” and “9” have never been so closely scrutinized as they are at the moment. The White Paper speaks of grand ideas and even bigger hopes – of the “three pillars” which will be the foundations of the aspiration in the Paper’s title; it speaks of “maintaining a strong Singaporean core”; of a “high quality living environment” and so on.

However, the Paper comes across as bureaucratic speak, with its customary charts and even smiling faces of children. [It’s a little strange to see such pictures in what was expected to be a highly-technocratic piece of document.] The Paper, with all its grand ideas, fails to inspire. Instead it has stirred up an entirely different reaction from the public, a reaction not unlike a swarm of bees awaken unceremoniously from its sleep.

Singaporeans’ reaction to the figure of 6.9 million – the projected population number in Singapore in 2030, given various scenarios – is one borne out of real experience and empirical evidence. It is a reaction visceral and authentic.

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Not Worried Enough

Right now, it’s almost a broken record. Singapore’s population in 2004 was 4.1 million, now it’s 5.3 million. An increase that has driven up property prices, increase inflation, stoked social tension, and cause the previously invincible ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) to lost its swagger in recent elections.

Ignoring their recent election losses, the PAP now publicly report that the population growth of Singapore will continue, with the population projected to be 6.9 million in the year 2030. Of which only 55% will be Singaporeans, while the rest will be "non-resident foreigners". This means that even permanent residents of Singapore will be considered as Singaporeans and natural-born Singaporeans in Singapore will be under 55% by 2030.

As expected, most Singaporeans are against the idea with the internet aflame with comments blasting the government. Most seems surprised at the report, with many saying that the PAP is ignoring the people by announcing this just after losing the Punggol East by-election. Those people are incorrect because I believe it is due to the election loss that the government announced the report now.

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Population White Paper: Quality of living should not be Quantified

Since the release of the Population White Paper which proposes for the maximum planning of 6.9 million people for Singapore, there are many debates among Singaporeans and netizens. 

PM Lee has said that the quality of living in Singapore will still be good even with 6.9 million people. The MND's statistics also point out that after the remaking of Singapore, 85% of people in Singapore will have access to parks within 10 minutes of travelling time. 

I do not think that the quality of living of Singaporeans can be justified just like that ... to be good ... if the people live near parks and MRT stations and have access to amenities. I believe we should not "quantify" the quality of living using figures like the number of minutes to travel to MRT stations, parks or the number of shopping centres and amenities around a neighbourhood that will be on par with another  (increasing quantity) that of 6.9 million people on our island.

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Even grassroots leaders criticise Govt’s population white paper

Serangoon Citizens Consultative Committee vice-chairman, Poon Mun Wai, said, “I’m very disappointed with this 6.9 million figure. It’s logically and emotionally not acceptable.”

Another grassroots leaders asked if the government is “really listening” to Singaporeans. She was opposed to letting in more foreigners into Singapore.

RCs (residents’ committees), CCCs (citizens’ consultative committees), and CCs (community clubs) are all grassroots organizations that come under the purview of the PA. PA is a statutory board, tasked to take care of all the grassroots activities in Singapore.

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White Washed Paper

The Population White Paper is really one piece of shoddy work. There's no bibliography, annotations or scholarly references cited to support it's preposterous arguments or constructs. Even if the authors were to package it with iPods, Mont Blanc pens or tailored shirts, no professor will give it a decent grade. It's fit for one purpose only. You are in the smallest room of the house, the paper is in front of you, then it's behind you. Don't forget to flush.

Seriously, anyone one can spot the white lies from Batam, Bintang or Johore Baru. Some snippets:

The young couple who bought the $2m Executive Condominium had to rely on daddy's help to finance the purchase. A fresh graduate starting work will have to count on his parents' assistance to afford that $100K Certificate of Entilement. The old folks probably had to downgrade their HDB flat to send his child overseas because the place in the local university was taken up by an alien. Welcome to the new normal. Thanks to the high cost of living, the young can no longer support the old, the old is now forced to draw down on his life savings to keep the family unit intact. 

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Population White Paper : Filled with flaws and unsubstantiated claims

Even before the PAP solved the problems caused by the large influx of the last 15 years, it tells us that it wants to continue the large influx until 2030 to reach a population of 6.5-6.9M people. This proposal has shocked both netizens and citizens alike because the past decade of high foreign influx has led to numerous problems and a decline in the quality of life Singaporeans. Singapore now has the highest population density in the world and the PAP govt wants to increase this further by another 30%. The high foreign influx and especially cheap 3rd world labour has caused the income gap to widen, wages to be stagnant among lower income groups, cost of living to shoot up and transport/medical infrastructure to be strained.

Here is the white paper [Link]. You should read the white paper in full to understand the arguments but if you don't have time, as usual, I will summarize the main points

The first section of the paper discusses the challenging demographics we face - that of an ageing workforce.  If the current birth rate does not improve we will have an ageing population unless we allow for immigration. Most govts be it Russia, France, Sweden, Finland and S.Korea when confronted with the same problem of low fertility tackles it head on by removing the root causes of low fertility but the PAP proposes a solution that assumes that it will fail to get the fertility rate backup.

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Population White Paper should be about children, not about GDP

All projections into the future depend on assumptions. The same is true of the Population White Paper just released. It is one that has provoked a huge outcry with its estimate that Singapore will have as many as 6.9 million on this island by 2030, just 17 years away.

However, among the many assumptions used, one stood out to my eyes.  It is there in the executive summary, speaking of getting “3% to 5% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth on average” between now and 2020, and 2% to 3% thereafter. Strictly speaking, these were not assumptions. They were arbitrarily laid down targets, but once laid down, they effectively determined the result — which is that population has to rise to as many as 6.9 million.

We can see the problem straight away: why is GDP growth rate the driver of any population policy?

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The population crisis: A closer look at GDP growth and our carrying capacity

The recently released White Paper on population has caused a furore nationwide. People cannot believe the government thinks it wise to cram 6.9 million people into an island already suffering from severe congestion and overcrowding. People cannot accept that the desire for economic growth alone justifies such a policy. Surely there must be another way, an alternative solution.

This is the first of a series of short articles I will write on the population issue facing Singapore. This first article will take a closer look at GDP growth as the government’s rationale for raising the population to 6.9 million, and relate it to the carrying capacity of our country.

What is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country? There are three separate definitions, all of which theoretically lead to the same result

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Tan Cheng Bock weighs in on the White Paper

Singaporeans are currently trying to cope with the daily overcrowding of trains and buses, higher health costs, competitions for homes and jobs etc. The various measures just released before the by-election have yet to be felt. 

Thus this package of population change has caught them off guard. The back log of infrastructure should have been addressed and made right first. Such a move would have instilled confidence.

What is worrying is when PM admitted the govt. did not have 20/20 foresight over the last influx of immigrants to explain the infrastructure lag. This have cast doubt on the previous planning

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White Paper or White Elephant?

If the clamor of the Punggol East voters was not audible, the uproar over the Population White Paper reverberating on the Internet should be loud enough to be heard, even to those who are habitually hard of hearing.

To the dismay of Singaporeans, the White Paper proposes to take in 15,000-25,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs per year, growing the total population to 5.8 – 6 million by 2020 and 6.5 – 6.9 million by 2030 (see infographics).

So what happened to the 2,500 pieces of feedback the NPTD received over the last year? You mean participants/contributors were all for opening the floodgates wider?

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Population: Elemental considerations 1

Several things in the Population White Paper annoy me. Many of them are in the form of unexamined assumptions. The purpose of this article is to take a closer look at one of them.

I feel it is important to take the White Paper apart element by element. As it is, the outrage we see in social media is over the top-line figure of 6.9 million on this island by 2030. However, unless we pick apart the assumptions that the White paper uses, we can’t analytically say what’s so flawed about the 6.9 figure; we can only say we don’t want it.

The element I wish to examine in this essay is the old-age dependency ratio.
Page 13 of the White Paper contains this graphic:

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The Population Debate: What are we bequeathing to our children?

If a target of 6.9 million people is what the government hopes to achieve, it is not an exaggeration to say that in 2030, Singapore will become a marketplace where sojourners come when the times are good to ply their trade and make their money. But it will no longer be a home where citizens live and strive to develop it into a better place for their children.

With all the over-crowding and Singaporeans becoming an obvious minority in their own country, there will not be many true-blooded Singaporeans left who are willing to die for their country and defend it against all external threats. It will no longer be a home. It will no longer be a country. It will just become purely a business centre.

In the recently published Population White Paper, one of the pillars for a sustainable population for a dynamic Singapore is for Singaporeans to form the core and heart of Singapore. It is argued that by increasing the fertility rate and importing immigrants in large numbers, we will be able to the achieve this. Unfortunately, this is not so.

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Behaviour of Bonobos and Chimps Tell Us A Lesson on Over-Crowding

Even though it is just a projection, we must be vigilant against the false notion that having more youths will help bolster the ageing population.

The responses so far have been on data and projection figures.

Many economists have argued that more working adults are needed to help subsidise the chronic illnesses that plague the elderly.

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Genocidal Thoughts

The thinning of the Singaporean core started when dialect programs were taken off free-to-air broadcasts. Fewer senior citizens, during this coming Chinese New Year reunion gathering, will be able to comprehend the exchange greetings of their grandchildren, thanks to the language barrier.

Come 2030, we may not have a Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa or Deepavali. With 50 percent of the population dominated by invasive foreign elements, they will be demanding their own cultural celebrations, like the Burmese Buddhist New Year ("Thingyan"). Ice kachang will be replaced by the Pinoy's halo-halo (already available at Lucky Plaza).

The 6.9 million figure is not the only horror in the Population White Paper, the demise of the Singaporean identity is the worst scenario.

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Sinister reason why PAP wants 6.9 million population by 2030?

To achieve 6.9 million population by 2030, the government has to bring in at least 90, 000 foreigners annually without fail.

The total composition of our population from 2004 to 2010 is as follows:-

Singapore Population by Years

Singapore Residents Non-Residents
Year Total Total (Residents) Singapore Citizens Singapore Permanent Residents
Number (Thousands)
2010 (Census) 5,077 3,772 3,231 541 1,305
2009 4,988 3,734 3,201 533 1,254
2008 4,839 3,643 3,164 478 1,197
2007 4,589 3,583 3,134 449 1,006
2006 4,401 3,526 3,108 418 876
2005 4,266 3,468 3,081 387 798
2004 4,167 3,413 3,057 356 753
2000  (Census) 4,028 3,273 2,986 288 755
1990  (Census) 3,047 2,736 2,624 112 311
Source: Asia Singapore

I have being talking to many people since that fateful announcement three days ago but not many seemed  to agree with me that the real sinister  intention of this large-scale human trans-migration is for the loyal votes of converted foreign citizens.

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Time For Singapore President To Do Real Work

While NSP calls for the referendum, I'm calling on Tony Tan (not of NSP) but Tony Tan, the President  of Singapore to do what is right. The job he swore to do with his hand on the bible to protect Singapore and its citizens is not just a glitzy ceremony.

He is duty bound to do his job as a President and not let our ex-President Ong Teng Cheong turn in his grave knowing that the current President is sleeping on his job. If nothing is done to change this Ponzi Demography of 7 million population in 2030, it may be the death of true blue born and bred Singaporeans!

Though PAP and the Istana (Palace) wants Calm, the President should jolly well know that the Wind Of Change will not subside.

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Uproar over 6.9m population

Less than a day after breaking news of the Govt White Paper on a projected 6.9m population in 2030 the internet was buzzing with cries of outrage. 5 articles appeared in TRE alone, 1. White Paper calls for up to 80% increase in foreign population in SG, 2. 7m population and the lack of foresight by Sorry Lee, 3. Govt White Paper plans for 6.9m by 2030, 4. Population White Paper projecting 6.9m. U-turn on influx…., 5. Poly student rebuts NPTD Population White Paper.

And there were many articles posted elsewhere with the same view, against the huge population, Lucky Tan, Feedmetothefish, just to name a few. All says it is a crazy idea. Are the Sinkies that daft not to know what is good or bad for them?

The contents of these articles were similar, all were against the 6.9m population as unacceptable. And all received huge numbers of comments sharing the same unhappiness over this projected population in this little island.

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Population White Paper was rejected in recent Punggol East by-election, should it go ahead?

The PAP government should think twice before implementing policies and measures in the Population White Paper.  This is because the Paper was rejected by voters in the recent Punggol East by-election directly or indirectly depending how you read it.
First, DPM Teo Chee Hean openly challenged and criticised Workers’ Party for its silence on key issues, namely foreign workers and population. WP chief Low Thia Khiang gave his reply in front of 8,000 rally participants on 23 January 2013 and Today newspaper had the following report:
It is not true that the Workers’ Party (WP) has not taken a position on major issues; rather, it is the People’s Action Party Government that has turned a deaf ear to its views and suggestions, said party chief Low Thia Khiang as he hit out at Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s charge that the WP “has avoided taking a stand” on national concerns.
And now majority of voters in Punggol East say NO to the PAP.  Punggol East may be just a single constituency but at least it is representing the desire of many Singaporeans who are not happy with the population and foreign workers policies. 

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PAP increases population for sake of increasing population

Whenever a developed country looks at their immigration policy, the first thing they do is to look for immigrants who have the skills and/or financial ability to add value to the economy of the country. Not so for Singapore. Or rather, I should say, not so for PAP. To the PAP, it seems that simply increasing the population is somehow the magic bullet to economic progress

The above was released in the White Paper just after the Punggol by election 2013. It looks like the PAP is devoid of ideas and simply tries to increase population for the sake of increasing population. It hopes that somehow, magically, with larger numbers, the economy would turn for the better.

Our immigration population should be such that we only accept those with the skills we want. Not any Tom, Dick or Harry. But looking around us, it seems that any Tom, Dick of Harry is accepted. In so many companies, we see customer service officers, telemarketers, salespersons, whatever, mostly filled by foreign nationals. As if Singaporeans have been avoiding these jobs. Isn't this a sign that the govt has been taking in about anyone just for the sake of increasing the population?

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Say "No" to an overpopulated Singapore

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Foreigners at the Gates, Ooops, Inside Already, Too Late!

More Tiongs, Banglas, Ah Neh, Pinoys coming! As long not those white trash ones who beat up a local cabby at the Durian and run road, or those Tiong drivers who strike, they are welcomed, in a way. Small  and medium businesses are happy as there would be a steady pool of foreigners to hire and fire, especially if the blue-collar foreigners are cheaper, experienced, work longer and harder.

You ask any towkay about the need to employ foreigners as cleaners, cooks, labourers, sales staff, service staff, they say that there is a shortfall of local workers coz no locals want to do the job. Service jobs are shunned and scorned by locals. There is no denial. Well, some are denying!

Minimum wage is the answer, some people loftily complain, so that Singaporeans can be hired to do the job instead of hiring a foreigner. Any of those critics actually had the balls and entrepreneur spirit to run a family business? Why pay a bad attitude local $2000 to clean the floor and or run the shop when a foreigner can do the job for half the price? How to run business like that if labour costs so high if employ Singaporeans? The ones who whine are usually employees who bitch that their jobs were taken away by foreigners. No, your job was taken away by someone who could do a job better than you and cheaper, not because the replacement has a different passport, speaks Mandarin with that loud accent or English with that Pinoy drawl. 

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Population White Paper....Twisting logic to make wrong conclusions

There was a time the PAP govt felt that the small island we were in was too crowded with 1.6M people. So they went on to tell the people that the living standards will fall due to overcrowding and higher living density, their path to happiness and healthy family was to keep the population small by having fewer babies. The PAP minister at that time cited problems of strains in housing, hospitals,  transport and the inability to create jobs for the people.

Of course what turned out in the subsequent decades proved this piece of social engineering misguided. The Singapore economy boomed and rose as one of the Asian Tigers chalking up breath-taking double digit growth year after year. Not only did Singapore acquire the resources to accommodate a larger population, it ended up facing a labor force bottle neck due to its population control policy and ended up importing  foreigners primarily from Malaysia to fill the gap.

How and why did this mistake occur? The PAP based its population plan on what happened it the past with the economy.

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I Worry For My Grandchildren

With the current 5.3 million people in Singapore, I already find it hard to breathe. People, people everywhere. Rushing here, shoving there. In the trains; the buses; parks; shopping malls; on the roads; by the pavements; in the open fields! Wherever I am in Singapore, I'm never in Singapore.

With the people that I see and the voices that I hear, I'm either in China, India or in Philippines. Never feel like I'm in Singapore. Occasionally, I'm in Thailand, Burma or Vietnam. As one human being to another, I have no dislike for people from these countries. It is the PAP government that I resent for stealing Singapore from me and my loved ones.

There is so much talk about how the increasing population and the importation of foreigners help the economy, the GDP and growth of my country. I'm a Cambridge Certificate boy (O level not degree like what the PM has double) and I do not understand. If there is growth, why are we not feeling it? Instead of growing, we feel like shrinking. To nothingness. Being born and bred in Singapore, I feel I'm being violated by a government that cares for its longevity in wealth and power without any regard for the common people who contributed so much to this nation.

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SDP, NSP raise concerns on Population White Paper

Two opposition parties have expressed concern about the Government’s white paper released on Tuesday, focusing in particular on projections that the population could hit 6.9 million by 2030.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said this number was “extremely worrying”, saying there were “no justifiable reasons” for it.

In a statement on Wednesday, it said: “The population explosion will cause further economic, social and psychological stress for the people, as well as add to national security implications.”

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Population Plan for Singapore: Pausing the growth in foreign workforce & improving fertility rate

The PAP Government has proposed that the population of Singapore be increased to 6.9 million by 2030.

The National Solidarity Party is of the opinion that this increase is likely to further depress our fertility rate, creating a vicious cycle. The Party proposes a focus on improving our fertility rate, and limiting the number of foreign workers if we want to continue growing our economy with minimal social problems. 

Executive Summary of NSP’s Population Plan for Singapore by NSPsg

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Focus on fertility not foreign workforce: NSP

National Solidarity Party (NSP) on Friday urged government to cap the growth of Singapore’s foreign workforce and focus instead on improving the fertility rate as a solution to the city-state’s population woes.

Releasing its own population white paper, the opposition party criticised the government’s broad plan to allow Singapore’s current population of 5.3 million to rise to 6.9 million, of which nearly half would be foreigners, to ensure the country’s sustainable economic development.

In a presentation of its paper Friday night, NSP Secretary General Hazel Poa batted for a “pause” in the growth of the country’s foreign workforce until productivity growth increases since “we are increasing the number of people faster that we able to increase the value of goods and services produced”.

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NSP's population plan is a better alternative

It is quite amazing that a few days after the population white paper was released, both Minister Khaw and PM Lee, came out to explain that the 6.5-6.9M population figures are not targets but planning figures to ensure we have capacity for a larger population. This is very hard to accept because a large part entire white paper tries to justify these numbers based on the 3-5% GDP growth they aim to achieve on average in the coming years and tries to allay the fears of overcrowding by saying that we will have sufficient space in the future although we are suffering the overcrowdedness now.

"We may never reach that figure. But as planners, we have to ensure that the infrastructure could accommodate such a figure, if need be," - Khaw Boon Wan[Link]

So we are now expected to believe the PAP govt will go on to build a city for 6.9M but will resist the temptation to import people to maximise GDP to fill up this capacity. They wlll plan for 600 people to attend a wedding but invite only 400? In the past it was more like planning for 4M people then letting the population grow to 5M. If that was the intention, why wasn't it clearly stated upfront in the population white paper?

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Govt's reasons for population expansion not justified

The Government’s population White Paper, A Sustainable Population For A Dynamic Singapore, announced its intention to raise the population to 7 million. This is extremely worrying. The reasons for the new target have been offered before and appear to be re-packaged for the White Paper.

The Government cites three pillars on which its policy rests: (1) maintain a strong Singaporean core, (2) create good jobs for Singaporeans, and (3) provide Singaporeans a higher quality of life.

These pillars were used to defend its policy of increasing the population to the current level of 5.3 million. The results have been unsuccessful.

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National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has reassured Singaporeans that the Government is confident that it can cater to a larger population of 6.9 million while raising their quality of life. 

Responding to widespread concern over the projected numbers in the government's Population White Paper, Mr Khaw said that the alarm shown by many Singaporeans - that "the planners must be mad" - is a legitimate reaction.

"Of course, they ask good questions. How can you be sure? More population, but quality of life remains the same or even better?"

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Singapore is already too crowded based on our current population of 5.1 million. Look at our MRT stations, trains and shopping malls next to these stations. - teeming with people. Already life is quite stressful in these crowded conditions; it will get worse. 

We do not need a big economy to create sufficient jobs for our people. For each size of population, we need perhaps 70% to be working in the domestic sector, i.e. education, health care, housing, safety, law and order, and the other 30% in the export sectors. Our competitive export sectors, e.g. airlines, tourism, high tech manufacturing, education, financial services, trading, etc, can provide these jobs.

We have some economic activities that create jobs of questionable value, i.e. selling of properties and financial products, speculation in shares , COE and casinos and money lending (look at the number of pawn shops). We do not need so many people to be involved in these activities - which may be harmful for the future. If some of these people are deployed towards the other sectors of the economy, there is no need for a larger population.

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No Population White Paper

I am afraid it is a deeply flawed document but based on one inalienable truth of civilization on this planet: Grow economically or perish. This is a life and death point most people fail to appreciate. Our whole way of life is founded on growth. Look at countries without growth; it is hell. Smart politicians fear recession as much as they fear going to war. So people get real. I know some people can only learn some lessons the hard way, but don't let this be one of them. It is a mistake that we cannot recover from.

Another huge problem is nobody knows how to grow without adding people. That is why the government have produced this White Paper.

The greatest weakness of this White Paper isn't the 7 million pop target by 2030. It is a huge and nasty problem. I hate the idea but there is actually a much greater problem we have all missed. We assume that we will remain attractive enough over the next 17 years that they will make a beeline to come here. It would be very careless of our leaders to make this assumption.

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It’s a propaganda paper disguised as white paper

I am PhD research student majoring in Economics and finance. I am writing this as simply as I can. I am writing to all Singaporeans, as a Singaporean myself not to fall for this utterly disgraceful and poorly written amateurish script called the Population Growth 2030 White Paper released by Singapore Govt.

Simply put, because any sane scholar or academic out there will not endorse anything written in that white paper as valid and substantial.

The paper describes what we already know – A description of population growth driven economic policies. We don’t need a rocket scientist to produce this. However we do need a rocket scientist to produce a white paper that will put the country and the people as its core.

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Population White Paper is unpopular and unsustainable

I have yet to read an online commentary that is receptive to the Population White Paper. Most don’t even get past the dreadful 6.9 million figure. While the government tries to convince us of this need for further population explosion and explain how this can be managed with an expanded rail network, new housing estates and more green spaces, nobody is listening because we lapse into an uncontrollable fit when any mention of an increase is brought up.

Our leaders may regard the negativity as irrational and what they are proposing as inconvenient but unavoidable, but we should ask if they have started off on the wrong foot when examining this issue of an ageing population. Assumptions and lines of thinking need to be challenged.

Firstly, the government’s style is to look at sustaining economic growth and work backwards to decide the population base that is required to support this growth. Perhaps another way is to determine an optimal population and look at ways of sustaining GDP growth per capita based on that, instead of gross GDP growth. This could necessitate a population decline that will be more palatable to Singaporeans. As we have witnessed in the past decade, increasing population led to worsening quality of life despite the growth, so what is the point?

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The 6.9 million red herring

“In my mind whether it is 6.9, 7 or even 20 million, it’s really just a red herring - as what you need to understand is simply this - what we are essentially doing is trying to supply a perfect answer to a hypothetical question.

To put it another way, this is an endeavor that is going to unfold somewhere in the distant future. To be precise seventeen years from today!

So there is really no point in trying to beacon out the murk that far. Not unless you have fantastic ESP skills or you happen to be either related to Nostradamus or Warren Buffet.

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Khaw: Don’t worry, we’ll create more land to accomodate 7M population

The Govt has issued another paper today (31 Jan), ‘Land Use Plan Report’. The plan calls for increasing Singapore’s land supply by about 8% from the current 71,400 to 76,600 hectares so as to accommodate the increase in population by 2030.

This report came after the publishing of the Population White Paper on Tue (29 Jan), projecting a population of 6.9 million for Singapore by 2030.

About 60% will be set aside for housing, industry and community facilities – up from the current 52%. A large part of the 5.200 hectares of additional land will come from reclamation and freeing up the reserve land. Most of the reclamation will be done at Tekong and Tuas.

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Seven million people and one soundbite

If the PAP is dying a death from a thousand cuts, the White Paper on Population is going to be an axe-blow. It is no wonder the Government held back on its publication before the by-election, not that it helped much anyway. Again, the problem with the White Paper is not in its content, but how it is being communicated across. When people shoot the messenger, it is often not because of the message itself, but because the messenger puts it across badly.

In the era of social media, nobody shares 41 page white papers full of technical jargon and pie-charts. They share sound-bites. Nobody posts status updates on Facebook with logical step-by-step explanations but instead, one –liners that shout at you and get shared virally. And THE sound-bite, the one liner that is going to get shared and get the PAP lambasted is this one: Population to grow to 7 million.

Or maybe another one: More than half of residents in Singapore in 2030 to be Foreigners

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For the last three years the Reform Party has been saying that the PAP has only one economic idea. That they have rigidly adhered to this idea for fifty years despite all the evidence that the idea itself is bankrupt. Far from producing an economic miracle the PAP government has no plan for making Singaporeans better off or providing our citizens with a brighter future.

In fact they have subjected us to twenty years of austerity and denied us even the most basic financial safety measures as enjoyed by citizens of countries without lesser wealth. We the citizens of Singapore have built up that wealth through the sweat of our brow for our old age, our children’s and our grandchildren’s future and we have yet to see any return on our investment. We do not enjoy free health care, not even the right to free schooling and we have little chance of paying off the mortgages on the HDBs that we do not really own.

This one big idea that the PAP has is to produce high GDP growth.  This economic growth is generated purely by adding more inputs of labour and not using those inputs more productively. In other words population increase is not something that is planned to improve our lives but that is absolutely necessary to keep the PAP economic model from stalling and failing. It is an extensive model and as long as there is surplus labour somewhere in the world it can continue to run. However it is becoming clear that in their view there is no upper bound to Singapore’s population as long as they can feed the machine of GDP growth with inputs of cheap labour.

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PAP's history of reneging on past population promises

Singapore’s population has jumped by more than 1.1 million since mid-2004, and today it stands at 5.31 million. In 2004, Singapore had a  Total Fertility rate (TFR) of 1.24. In 2010 at the peak of immigrant influx, the TFR fell to 1.16. In 2012, against the PAP Government’s assurance after the last General Election, that it will moderate the inflow of foreigners, the TFR increased marginally, and is now estimated to be at 1.28 – 1.30.

Against this backdrop the PAP Government has released its White Paper, ‘A Sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore’, projecting a population of 6.9 million people in 2030. The population white paper is centered on the belief that ‘our population and workforce must support a dynamic economy’. This increased population projection is not without merits, for it will benefit construction, land transport, healthcare, and property companies.

There are however trade-offs. One trade-off would be, uneven distribution of income. The PAP Government’s foreign worker and immigration policies did make a significant impact on our country’s inequality patterns. There is evidence that the PAP Government’s excessively liberal foreign worker and immigration policies in the last decade have contributed to rising inequality, wage stagnation, and real wage decline for certain segments of the workforce.

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6.9 million population in Singapore

Singapore’s prime minister announced a few days ago that Singapore might be hitting 6.9 million population by 2030. You can download The Whitepaper on Population here from 

You can also read about it at Channelnewsasia. 

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said: “Hong Kong in terms of density is much higher, and we must never try to reach that area — whether in terms of household size, or in terms of crowdedness, or in terms of lacking in greenery and of course the other aspects of population, etc. I think we are far away from that and I think we have to keep it that way. I think whatever we do we are quite clear, keep quality of living high.”

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Will It Work? A Big & Impactful Plan

This two days the Lioncity State media highlighted viewpoints full of concerns about whether the island state can still handle more population increase, all the way from its current 5.3 million to 6.9m by year 2030

The fact remains, a critical mass population size will ensure future survival of this small state. If birth rates cannot go up, then immigration and foreign talents are the possible answers.

The worries many people have are: - will most of the valued (better paid) jobs go to PRs and foreign talents?

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A non-conversation

Hah. So Singapore will grow in size after all to hold our huddled masses. Although looking at the map on ST’s page 1, you wouldn’t have a clue as to what was going on? What in heaven’s name is that? A map of a bigger Singapore? If so, which parts? Seems a waste of space to me – just a cut-off of Singapore with pictures superimposed on it.

Back to the point: You know, there are a few things which stood out for me in today’s extensive reports of land use, but they have nothing to do with the proposals. It’s a lot to process…

I am referring to what some ministers said: DPM Teo Chee Hean: “Let me be clear, the White Paper focuses on the interests and benefits of Singaporeans.’’

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The odd thing with 6.9

Schemes for the aged - I feel the missing link is the assurance that GDP growth to be achieved thru this immigration influx, will be used to support our old with more targeted social support schemes.  These can be covered in Parliamentary debates and also policies for the next 5 years. 

How to be more economically productive - If we don’t want so much growth in population, then we’ll hv to make it up with productivity.  6.9 can be avoided, if as a nation we become super productive with less people. Govt can also ensure we have schemes to promote that, and structure society to achieve that. 

Infrastructural planning - If cannot avoid larger population, then Govt should give assurance that the infrastructure will be planned ahead to accomodate, and how.

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6.9 Million Population – Part 1, Qualitative Assessment

The recent government white paper on population, released by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), has created a bit of a stir online. We were quite surprised, however, that there wasn’t a greater response.

Due for parliamentary debate in the coming session on 4 Feb 2013, its most eye-catching statement is that we will have a population of 6.9 million in Singapore by year 2030. Almost half of that figure will be foreigners, including (but not limited to) Permanent Residents, pass and permit holders, domestic workers and students. These 6.9 million will be visiting attractions, patronising eateries, using transportation infrastructure and occupying housing just as the current five million plus residents, like you and me, are currently doing.

Let’s imagine what it will be like, shall we, by the time 2030 comes around. Housing will have to be built closer, smaller or both. Rooms in apartment may well start to approach “shoebox” size, just as they have in Hong Kong. And just as in Hong Kong, apartments will be built even closer to each other, in some cases right across a narrow street, or right next to a bridge. This will reduce livability and will be even less conducive for starting a family. Moreover, the demand for living space will mean fewer open public spaces and communal gardens in residential developments. Even if such spaces increase in absolute size, it is doubtful that they will increase in size per resident.

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Population White Paper: A Sinister Agenda?

With the current population where the foreign population stands at 40% many problems plague Singaporeans whatever your political hues.

In the public libraries, there’s competition to read the newspapers. That means a longer waiting time. Trains and buses are dangerously overcrowded. At playgrounds, children compete to use the facilities. At bus terminus, again there’s competition for space to park your bikes. Foreigners compete with locals for choice schools. Housing, COEs prices have been driven up. Ha, boring to list the rest.

We locals know. PM Lee has already admitted his regime were overtaken by events. They were blindsided he said.

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What shores will Singapore lose in 7-million population plan?

How will Singapore's shores be affected by plans for a 7-million population by 2030? The landuse plan by the Ministry of National Development released today shows some of the shores that may be lost.

These include Chek Jawa, Pulau Sekudu, Changi shores, Mandai mangroves and probably Pasir Ris mangroves too, if land reclamation (in yellow) plans goes ahead.

To find out how our shores will be affected, I overlaid the MND map on the Google Earth map.

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7 Million bodies to be Cremated

I deleted many blog posts regarding re-unification between Singapore and the Federation of Malaysia and our immigration policy, by accident and have idea of recovering them now. It is really unfortunate that such articles are no longer in existence. However, the idea remains fresh in my mind that the only path forward for Singapore is not pushing up it's population to an even higher figure but the re-unification with it's hinterland Peninsula Malaysia.

The argument against it has always been that if we were part of Malaysia, we would not have prospered as we did. Fair enough. But that was then. We are talking about now, and the future. The separation may have been necessary and politicians in Sabah and Sarawak use such arguments to justify their demands.

Singapore is as big as it can get and forcing it further will have economic, political and environmental consequences. Homeless people, people living by the beaches and unemployed graduates are visible examples.The city has limitations which can only be supported by a hinterland. If we live strictly by our passports and unreasoned loyalties, we should not even be thinking about a holiday. But life is more than just imaginary boundaries. We need Malaysia as much as they need us.

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Populate or Pro-Create?

So the cat is finally out of the bag. All the talk, National Conversation, feedback, studies etc have resulted in what can be described as Singapore's worst kept secret - we are gonna have 7 million people by 2030 if all goes to plan.

Wait isn't it 6.9 million, not 7 million? It seems the Govt knows a bit about marketing gimmicks after all. Let's put it simply, if you're gonna sell a bag for $7, would it be better to sell if at $6.90 instead? After all what's 10cts when you have 7 dollars?

So let's just cut to chase and say it's 7 million, like calling a flood a flood not ponding. But I did say it wasn't much of a secret. Actually if you trawl back to the early days of this population growth, 1 comparison stands out - ourselves and Hong Kong. You see Hong Kong has around 6 million people or more, and although it's size is larger than Singapore, it's livable space is only around 2/3 of Singapore. So back when the Govt had planned to up the population to the 5 million today, it was looking at Hong Kong. If I am not mistaken the plan was already there to have 6 million around 2015.

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What does 2030 mean to our children?

I remembered growing up in the 80s where Singapore population hovered around 2.7 M . It was a period where Singaporeans were still a resounding majority of above 80% 

I remembered my happy days in primary school. We ended school at around 12pm and we would roam around the free space next to the school building for our go-li games or police and thief sessions. Enrichment classes are non existent. Getting into the school of our choice even if it was 2 km away was relatively easy.I don't recall your grandparents doing parent volunteer work .Back then, there were more spaces for kids in school even when each family have at least 2 kids on average.

It was carefree, the air was crisp, there were acres of space, everyone had a car, traffic jams only happened overseas. My Dad worked and Mom stayed at home. We were well fed and clothe. It was simple yet we were happy.

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There is no need for 7 million people

The government's recently revealed plan to increase the population of Singapore to 7 million is a shocking one. Most people I know are incredulous at the audacity of such an action and question not only the need but the governments authority to do such a thing.

After G.E. 2011, when the PAP got only 60 per cent of the vote, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong came on the news all contrite and humble and said words to the effect that the government would put in place measures to slow the rate of immigration and curb the inflow of foreign workers. Now he is saying more immigration and therefore also more foreign workers to build the infrastructure needed to accommodate the extra numbers. PM Lee must have had these plans up his sleeve for a long time. Was he lying to us when he made those remarks after G.E. 2011?

I also remember him saying, just before G.E. 2011 and the by-elections in Punggol East, that the government was here to serve people and not to rule over them. Well who, then, gave the servants the right to invite people to come and live in our already overcrowded home? We are full up already. Don't the masters of the house have a say in a decision such as this which will alter our lives and our country forever?

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More immigration has not seen Singapore surpass Hong Kong

While the Lion City's more open immigration policy may have boosted its overall GDP, Hong Kong is still better off on a per-head measure

Over the past 10 years, Hong Kong's population has grown by just 6 per cent, while Singapore's has jumped by 29 per cent. Over the same period, Hong Kong's gross domestic product has grown at a 4.5 per cent average annual rate. That is lacklustre compared with Singapore's 6.1 per cent, especially considering we are right next door to a booming China.

But although it gladdens the hearts of bureaucrats, absolute size of GDP is not what matters. Far more important to most people is their standard of living. And here, Hong Kong has done rather better.

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Fury over 6.9 million population target for Singapore

Singaporeans’ comments blasting the government came fast and furious after news broke Tuesday of its plan to allow for an increase in the city-state’s population to 6.9 million by 2030.

Coming amid an already rising wave of anti-foreigner sentiment following the influx of immigrants in recent years, a white paper released by the National Population and Talent Division on Tuesday said that Singaporeans were expected to make up little more than half or 55 per cent of the projected population.

Foreigners, who currently make up about two out of five people living in Singapore, have been blamed for the rising cost of living, stagnation of wages and crowding in public transport.

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Singapore PM defends growth plan that includes building on golf courses

The Singapore government's plan to drastically increase land supply - including building on some of the country's 18 golf courses - failed to stop rising criticism against its radical population blueprint yesterday

The Lion City wants to increase its population by 30 per cent over the next 17 years to sustain economic growth and counter the problems of an ageing society, according to a white paper released on Tuesday.

This requires an influx of more than one million foreigners by 2030 as the birth rate in Singapore, like in Hong Kong, is among the lowest in the world 

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New government plans aims to ease future population woes

Be prepared to encounter more construction as Singapore paves the way for a population of 6.9 million (Photo: Wikimedia) 

In her blog post, Bertha Henson said that it’s going to be “one tough job” to get Singaporeans behind the Population White Paper, but a comprehensive government plan might convince Singaporeans that the country can comfortably cope with 6.9 million people by 2030.

Read report: The people and the Population White Paper

A number of measures were announced today by the Ministry of National Development (MND) geared towards alleviating population and traffic congestions.

Entitled the Land Use Plan, it outlines plans to increase land mass, build new towns, re-locating businesses out of city centre and expanding the current transport network.

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Singapore population to be half-foreign by 2030: govt 

Foreigners could make up nearly half of Singapore's population by 2030, the government said Tuesday as it unveiled its politically sensitive projection for a city of up to seven million boosted by young immigrants.

In a white (policy) paper on population, the government said Singaporeans' flagging birth rates -- which have been below replacement levels for more than three decades -- necessitated immigration into the prosperous Southeast Asian nation.

The paper, released by the National Population and Talent Division, said the total population could range between 6.5 and 6.9 million by 2030.

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Prepare for upper limit in population planning

Singapore can, if it wants, accommodate eight million people. That is Dr Cheung's belief.

But whether it wants to hit even six million is a "political matter" up for negotiation between the Government and the people, he makes clear.

The Hong Kong-born Singaporean, 59, spent close to 30 years monitoring the interplay between Singapore's population and economic growth, including 14 years as the Government's chief statistician. He draws a sharp distinction between a population target and a planning parameter.

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Singapore envisions 30 percent population jump as discontent rises

Have more babies to build the ranks of Singaporeans and get set for a construction boom but accept heavier congestion and more foreign workers as the crowded Asian city-state grows into a global centre with 30 percent more people.

That is the vision for Singapore set out on Tuesday by the long-ruling government, just days after it lost a seat in parliament in a by-election defeat that reflected rising discontent over soaring costs and an influx of immigrants.

The white paper on population, released after months of public consultation, seeks to address concern about affordable housing, good jobs and quality of life while trying to boost a chronically low birthrate as the workforce ages rapidly in the wealthy country of 5.3 million people.

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Singapore Likes a Crowd

Singapore’s government has projected that the tiny city-state’s population of 5.3 million – about the size of metropolitan Miami – will reach 6.9 million by 2030, almost half of which will be made up of foreigners as the citizen population continues to shrink with declining birth rates and an aging population.

Population growth, the government says, will help achieve gross domestic product growth of about 3-to-4% yearly up till 2020, and growth of about 2-to- 3% for the decade after that. In the more immediate term, Singapore’s population is expected to climb to about 6 million in the next seven years, a number that, according to government projections, will ensure the city-state’s workforce expands enough to meet ideal economic growth rates.

These projected numbers and the government’s rational behind its immigration and population policies were sketched out on Tuesday in a white paper by the National Population and Talent Division, a governmental body under Singapore’s deputy prime minister, Teo Chee Hean.

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Singapore Projects 6.9 Million Population as Neighbors Catch Up

Singapore said it will boost its population by as much as 30 percent by 2030 with more foreigners in the country as it competes with other Asian nations that have younger labor forces.

The island’s population may reach as much as 6 million in 2020 from 5.3 million now, and the number of people in the country smaller than New York City may increase to 6.9 million by 2030, the government said in a white paper released today. Gross domestic product growth may average 3 percent to 4 percent annually up to 2020, and the economy may expand 2 percent to 3 percent a year in the following decade, it said.

Record-high housing and transport costs, public discontent over an influx of foreigners and infrastructure strains are weakening approval for the only party that has ruled Singapore since independence in 1965. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s government is under pressure to placate voters without disrupting the entry of talent and labor that helped forge the only advanced economy in Southeast Asia.

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Singapore projects 30% growth in population by 2030

In a keenly anticipated white paper, it said a key part of the growth will come from foreign workers and immigrants.

The government said immigration was needed to help offset a slowing birth rate and ageing population.

Criticism of Singapore's immigration policy has become more vocal recently, with many locals blaming it for a rise in property prices and living costs.

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S’pore population to hit 6 million by 2020: paper

Singapore’s total population is projected to hit six million by 2020 from the current 5.3 million.

By 2030, the number of people living in the city-state could be between 6.5 million and 6.9 million, according to a government white paper released Tuesday.

The National Population and Talent Division’s (NPTD) report sets out Singapore’s population policies to address future demographic challenges amid increasing complaints from Singaporeans over the large presence of foreigners in the country.

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Singapore population hits 5.54m
Population and Immigrants
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