Thursday, 21 February 2013

Voice Of The People @ Hong Lim Park

Update - 28 Feb 2013


My 12 year old son insisted on attending despite the weather so he tagged along to join me and thousands of my fellow Singaporean brothers and sisters at HLP yesterday, a historical day indeed!

The atmosphere was electrifying and emotional! My son commented that he felt for the first time he was surrounded by only Singaporeans as far as he could recall. Not in public places or even in his schools anymore!

Everyone around us was like a long lost brother and sister, not strangers. One Chinese Uncle repeatedly offered to shelter from the rain a fellow Singaporean Indian male who turned him down gently but with gratitude.

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Why the Government Must Listen to Voices at Hong Lim Park 

In the aftermath of the Hong Lim Park Civil Protest against the White Paper, here is why the Government must listen to the voices at Hong Lim Park.

PM Lee had earlier unequivocally stated that the public debate on the White Paper must continue, despite Parliament passing a motion approving the White Paper.

Yet, Singaporeans have,  to-date, not received any information from the Government as to how and where the public debate proposed by the Government can (or will?) take place.

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The Population White Paper: The Government Should Have Just Kept Its Mouth Shut (and do something about it)

At its very core, politics is about the people. Thus, in politics, just like in personal relationships, some things are simply better left unsaid. Perhaps when it came to the Population White Paper, that was what the Singapore government should have done.
I do not oppose transparency. Neither do I assert that the government has unfettered discretion to hide matters from the people. Government accountability is one of the keystones of a functioning democracy and must be strongly upheld. Rather, I am asserting that it could have approached the issue in a more shrewd and sensitive manner.
The government would have been better off had it tackled the population issue by implementing gradual infrastructural reforms in anticipation of the possible need to accommodate a larger population load. This is in contrast to startling the public with an alarming figure, telling them what to expect, and then trying to convince them that the government has the ability to accommodate it. Both paths would have produced very different results.

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The heart beyond the White Paper protest

" No to 6.9 million", the nation's biggest non-partisan protest held at Hong Lim Park today, was not like that protest I witnessed so many years ago.

The Singaporean core that had been eroded by bloodless policies and political paralysis was replenished today. Thanks to willing hearts like Gilbert, who works against all odds to deserve the phenomenal success of the event, regardless of his mistakes, and those who attended for setting a precedence that no one can ignore even if they try their best to. On a personal front, thank you my countrymen and women, for fulfilling a wish I hardly thought would come true, let alone be surpassed by the magnitude of heart and spirit present.

I am so proud today to be Singaporean, more so than I ever have been.

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Protest Hong Lim Park Style!

Look daddy and mummy! I'm making a xenophobic loser statement that I think damn cool! Yeah! Xenophobes Not Dead!

Last Saturday's protest was an eye-opener! Ignoring the rain, people actually give a shit when it comes to livelihood bread and butter issues! Compared to the other liberal rights protests by at Hong Lim park when nobody goes except maybe the 5 journalists, 50 plainclothes mata and 5 hardcore supporters, which is almost like a PAP rally in the boredom-meter! 

More foreigners, as far as the mob at the event think, means no jobs as they were stolen by foreigners, no wives as they stolen also by foreigners, no space on MRT trains, not enough housing, foreigners jacking up COE and buying Ferraris and beating red lights to crash into taxis at junctions 

Anyway if xenophobia is in the minds of the public's blame game on their woes, it's their right. Sure, blame the Other. Right. People are free to rant what they want at their own risk of being seen as whiners. What was funny was that Gilbert Goh was exposed as a xenophobic twat with that post stereotyping foreigners in Singapore.

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Was the Hong Lim Park protest xenophobic?

I have had a very interesting chat with a dear friend in Singapore who has informed me of the fall out from Gilbert Goh's highly controversial article on his website which has been hastily removed - but there are cached copies of this unfortunate article which have been circulating on the internet. 

I read it and of course, it was ill conceived and I wasn't quite sure what Gilbert Goh was trying to achieve with that article - in any case, it had clearly misfired, big time. The timing of the article couldn't have been more unfortunate as it went viral one day before the 16th February event at Hong Lim Park.

Goodness me. Aiyoh. Some people were so enraged by his article they accused Gilbert Goh of being xenophobic and hence the event was accused of being a xenophobic, anti-foreigner event by some.

Singapore's livelier politics a sign of the times

Stephan Ortmann says a fall in living standards is encouraging people to speak up in protest 

The recent protest by an estimated 4,000 Singaporeans, against government plans to increase the city state's population largely through immigration, may not have been large by Hong Kong standards.

Yet in Singapore, where open political expression is greatly restricted, it was deeply significant. And it reflects a larger process of political change that has been unfolding in recent years. Essentially, Singapore is more politicised, with more citizens becoming politically engaged.

There are many reasons for this. Most significantly, steady increases in the cost of living and relatively slow or stagnant increases in wages at lower ends of the labour market have led to tangible declines in living standards. Singapore is now the third most expensive city in Asia, after Tokyo and Osaka, and Singaporeans, who work among the longest hours each week, are hard pressed to keep up.

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Say No To 6.9 Million People Event, 16 Feb 2013

Given that nearly 4000 people had signed up to attend, I wasn't surprised to see fellow audience members clad in black when I got out of the train at Clarke Quay MRT. The weather hadn't quite let up. I was worried that a persistent downpour would render the event fruitless, but gloomy skies with pockets of intermittent rain didn't quite bother the umbrella-ready crowd. At the station exit, there were many old men chatting under shelter and a sole MRT worker keeping an eye on things.

I entered the drizzle and sauntered onto the wet grass, past the table selling the official 'No To 6.9 Million' T-shirt. There were clappers and bottles of water being distributed as well. I ventured further into Hong Lim Park, looking for friends (we would remain lost for a while). A good of young and old persons, mostly locals and some foreigners. Maybe even some tourists. The journalists with their long cameras and longer tripods were weaving their way through the crowd. I plonked myself somewhere in the middle, guided by Watsapp messages of navigation.

Gilbert Goh started talking a little after 4pm, thanking everyone for coming. One by one, the speakers would take the stage over the next 3 hours to make their points on why we should oppose the White Paper on Population Growth.

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Young people’s response to the Population White Paper

Many people reading the White Paper on Population have reacted negatively to the 2030 proposed ratio of Singaporeans to foreigners: 1 to 1. With a shrinking local citizenry, they say, citizens in the future will have to struggle or even fight for basic rights which they feel they deserve.

Walking around in Singapore will soon feel like being on holiday, they say, with ever more tourists bumping up the number of foreigner. They don’t want to feel like aliens in their own country. There is talk of losing jobs, housing, and all the necessities of life to the foreigners.

Give me a break. Singaporeans, too, are sometimes seen as pests in other countries.
Singaporeans colonize schools in the UK, the US, and of course we all know that some parts of Australia is like a little Singapore. The Singaporean diaspora may not stage protests that get them thrown into jail, but they are just as opportunistic as any PRC, Indian national, Filipino etc who comes to our shores.

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Analysis: Singapore and its rare ‘political’ protest

It made the front page of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and popped up on several other foreign media publications, but The Straits Times’ front page was surprisingly devoid of the protest. Although there was a report inside the paper, the comprehensive coverage that one would expect from the local broadsheet on an event of such significance was nowhere to be seen. This was strongly criticised by ex-journalist Bertha Henson in her blog: “The kindest thing I can say about MSM here is that they don’t track events as thoroughly as the foreign media. But I know that’s a lie.”

What was worse, though, was the ruling party’s response to the protest. When asked, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said that he was “pleased that Singaporeans are debating this population issue because it is about our future”, although he felt that the speeches had been “too political”. Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor was also quite pleased, saying that the government would “continue to engage our Singaporeans” so that it would be able to get “more buy-in and support”.

Faced with what is possibly the largest overtly anti-government protest in recent Singaporean history, the government’s ability to completely miss the point is staggering.

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So far only two ministers, actually one minister and one ex minister have commented on the Hong Lim Rally. And as expected, nothing flattering. One said the unhappiness to the White Paper was expected but forgot to complete the sentence…would go away after the venting of anger, nothing to worry. Another, just rhetoric, or another way of saying, all sound and fury but no substance. He added, the views were one sided and appealing to emotions.

The PM and DPM have not said anything, or maybe it was nothing important and not worth talking about. What can 5,000 people standing under the rain do? Standing under the rain actually has a very significant meaning. Hsien Loong recalled proudly the National Day Parade when he was a drum major, I think, and how the whole parade, soldiers, working adults and students, stood under a heavy downpour at the padang. So too were the ministers and MPs, and the President, all braved the rain to make a point, a proud nation and a people that would not be subdued by a little rain, a little difficulty or discomfort. They stood their ground as one proud people, united and resolved to face the future and whatever difficulties and challenges there be.

Hong Lim Rally was not a National Day Parade, no national leaders, no parade commander or regimentation. The people were there on their own accord, and could walk away freely. There was no need to brave the rain, no compulsion to get wet all over, with mud under their feet. But they stood the ground to make a point. They were unhappy, angry and wanted change.

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Something to remember: "We Want Change!"

And I can confirmed from just reading page A6 in the ST today that change isn't coming. Hopes spring eternal. People should just talk with their votes. We don't have a normal democracy much less a first world one. Always engage in meaningful conversation only.

Anything else is a waste of time. Of course if you go to Hong Lim Park to meet your compatriots for fellowship and solidarity that's different, but don't expect the government to listen.

To them this is tantamount to caving in to public pressure. It does not matter who is in the right.

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When asked to comment on the response to the unpopular Population White Paper, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that the government is hearing Singaporeans clearly.
We heard Singaporeans clearly. We need to work with Singaporeans, serve them, improve Singapore, improve their quality of life. It is very clear we cannot have as many foreign workers come in as before. I mean that’s very clear. I think we have a lot of work to do. We can only achieve this if we work together.
Dr Ng, who is also MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, was replying to media query at the Toa Payoh Central annual Lunar New Year celebrations.

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I was watching the evening news on the channel 8 and the reporters asked this idiot what he thought about the protest at the Hong Lim Park yesterday.

To my amusement, he replied that this is just a group of people not happy about the white paper and he can’t satisfy everyone.

Such an insensitive remark at this time is the worst thing to say.

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Squaring Off At Hong Lim Park

"People support CPF cuts because there are no protest (sic) outside the Parliament." - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,

There was a protest on Saturday, 16th Feb 2013. While it was no Tahrir Square (Hong Lim Park is only 0.94 hectare, a full size football pitch measures 1.08 hectares), the gathering of like minded Singaporeans was numbered at 1,000 (AsiaOne Online), 2,000 (ChannelNewsAsia) and 4,000 (Yahoo!News). An on site call for a referendum on the population issue collected about 1,000 signatures, confirming more must have congregated on the rain soaked field that momentous weekend.

"Arab Spring" (Arabic: الربيع العربي ‎, al-Rabeeʻa al-ʻArabi) was coined for the series of protests and demonstrations which fanned across the Middle East and North Africa. As of September 2012, four governments have been overthrown in countries of that region, including Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who Goh Chok Tong claimed to have "a good conversation" with in August 2009. "I would say he is an introspective person, reflective, thinking about the problems of his country. Certainly an astute person," said Goh, the "he" being Gaddafi, but could easily be inferred to as Lee, given the adulation he gushed of the prime minister's "courage" at the Population White Paper debate.

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Martyn See’s observations about the Hong Lim rally

Prior to the liberalization of Speaker’s Corner, the PAP government has always come down hard on public demonstrations, first by using the Miscellaneous Offences Act to pursue legal action against those who assemble in public in groups of 5 or more for political causes, and then by enacting an enhanced Public Order Act which deems even a public assembly of one to be an offence.

As a result, the notion of public gatherings became a taboo subject in the Singaporean psyche. The fact was that there were no legal avenues to gather peacefully even to talk about non-political issues or other social causes.

But when the government legalized Speaker’s Corner for demonstrations, concerned Singaporeans gradually began utilizing the space. Niche groups such as Tan Kin Lian’s minibond rallies or Pink Dot were notable movements that used Hong Lim Park effectively as a legalized rallying ground for non-political, social issues.

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The truth about the Silver Tsunami and Supporting our elderly 

During his speech at Hong Lim Park on 16 Feb 2013, a very energized Leong Sze Hian lambasted the White Paper for its claim that the large foreign influx is needed to support the elderly in Singapore so that they can have a better life: 

"I tell you that the very basis of the white paper is wrong. Because it says the population is aging, people are not producing babies that is why we need immigration. You know what’s the problem? In the developed countries they have this problem, why? They have pensions, cost government money. Do you have pensions? 

Is your CPF your own money?

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Singapore protest: 'Unfamiliar faces are crowding our land'

Singapore commuters queuing at lunchtime. The government white paper plans a 30% population increase by 2030, making half of residents from abroad. Photograph: Suhaimi Abdullah

Liane Ng is 25 and single, works 60 hours a week, and until recently, shared a bedroom with her grandmother. Like many other Singaporeans, her life revolves around work, family and the stress of making ends meet in a nation that works the longest hours in the world. But lately her life has taken on a more immediate concern: a government initiative to increase Singapore's population by a third by 2030, a move that would see citizenship granted to more foreigners and squash the native population to just over half the total.

"I love my country," says the advertising executive. "[But] the cost of living is high, the income gap is widening, transport is failing and unfamiliar faces are crowding our land. People are getting increasingly fed up because our daily lives are affected."

Singapore has long been heralded as the success story of south-east Asia, a small island nation less than half the geographical land size of Greater London that in just 50 years has transformed from colonial backwater to one of the world's most formidable economic powerhouses.

How land and people fit in Singapore’s economy

The ongoing debate about Singapore’s population policy provides a timely opportunity to reconsider how different pieces of our economic growth model fit—or do not fit—together.

GDP (output) growth in any country comes from either or both increases in inputs (primarily land, labour and capital) or the productivity of those inputs. As noted first in Lee Tsao Yuan’s 1982 Harvard PhD economics dissertation, and continuing to the present day, Singapore’s GDP growth has depended more on input than on productivity increases, as reflected in the high dependence on foreign labour.

This has had the unintended (but predictable) consequence of discouraging increased labour productivity.

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PAP's public housing policy accelerated integration of our forefathers? Really?

Former Nominated Member of Parliament and my friend Calvin Cheng has responded to my article 'no longer a nation of immigrants'. In his reply, Calvin has said that the assimilation of our forefathers were only partially organic, and that it was the PAP Government's deliberate public housing policy which accelerated the integration of our forefathers.

The PAP Government mooted the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) for public housing in 1989. By that time, over 600,000 Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats had been built, and Singaporeans had lived in HDB flats for over 20 years. The PAP Government in pushing for the policy singled out Ang Mo Kio and Hougang, as areas where the Chinese were beginning to form an enclave, and Bedok/Tampines as areas where the Malays where beginning to form one.

Former Minister for National Development, Mr S Dhanabalan had then said that there were 90 percent Chinese in Hougang, and 30 percent Malays in Bedok, and that unless the EIP was legislated, Singapore could revert to the pre-1965 days when there were racial riots.

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You signed a blank cheque, PAP wrote 6.9 million on it

According to the Department of Statistics, Singapore’s population as of June 2012 was 5.312 million. The breakdown figures were: 3.3M citizens, 0.5M PRs and 1.5M foreigners.

At this current level, Singaporeans are already screaming a serious lack of space, an intense competition and an imminent threat on their culture! Many do not want the population to increase further; in fact, many want the population number to be reduced!

It was not too long ago when the Prime Minister apologized to the nation (just before a general election) for the chaotic situation caused by his government’s population policies. Thereafter, his ministers promised to reduce the number of imported foreigners.

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The Litmus Test 

The rain stopped and the two of us decided to get off the grass as it was turning muddy, and picked a paved spot to the left of the field. We observed that the crowd was growing at a faster rate near the stage as well as those near the MRT exit.

When the organizers on the stage started and the emcee spoke, the turn out probably was in the 500s. The rain came back heavily at some point and the unprepared took a dash to the MRT. However, the empty spaces were promptly taken up and the crowd that gathered soon filled my view of the stage to the centre of the field.

The two of us focused on listening, and sometimes giving my personal views to uncle. The only complain he gave about the event was that there wasn’t any speech given in mandarin. Despite that, uncle stood his ground (till 6pm and went off knowing at least 3000 were present)! And towards half past four, the field was filled and people started gathering beside and behind us. And when people were squeezing about, you know its a full house!

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What Would Be The Response?

For years, political parties in Singapore have been complaining about the apathy of Singaporeans. This complain is mostly true because we Singaporeans most of the time have no interest in politics

So it’s came to me with some surprise when I read that around 4,000 people showed up at a protest at Hong Lim Park during the weekend. The protest was against the passing of the now infamous “6.9 million by 2030” White Paper of the Singapore government.

Now I have written before on how unpopular the White Paper is but even I am surprised by the number of people who turned up at the protest. To be fair to myself, even the organizers of the protest did not expect so many people to turn up. I read that one organizer thought that around 300 people would turn up; in the end, the exact number of people who showed up was 10 times more than expected!

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5,000 turn up at Hong Lim to reject population white paper

The Hong Lim rally on Saturday unequivocally rejected the Population White Paper (PWP). 5,000 strong turned up, braved the rain and the muddy ground, and made their stand against being treated as economic digits, and against being forced to endure the consequences of unsustainable growth policies.

We can quickly sum up the mood by looking not just at the sheer numbers who attended, but also at the placards that were displayed. Slogans like “We Are Not Your Sheeple“, “Singapore For Singaporeans“, and “We Want To Be Heard, Not Herded“, rang loud and clear. Singaporeans felt that their voices had fallen on deaf years and the government had ceased to listen.

The rally should send shockwaves down government ranks. In the minibond rallies organized by Tan Kin Lian, a couple of thousand people also turned up at the height of the saga, but they were composed primarily of middle aged folk, especially those who had lost their investments.

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Sustainable Singapore or Sustainable Population, does it matter under IPAT model?
During the parliament debate on Population White Paper, both the PAP government and WP used ‘sustainability’ to argue their cases.  One used it for Singapore (WP) and the other used it for Population (PAP).  Really, does it make any difference?

The PAP government’s white paper wants to achieve “A Sustainable Population for A Dynamic Singapore”.   However, WP argues for “A Dynamic Population for a Sustainable Singapore”. Which argument will give us a better living environment and quality of life?

A) Using population to achieve a dynamic Singapore or
B) Using Singapore to achieve a dynamic population.

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5.9 million or 6.9 million does matter

Mr Chia says that whether it is 5.9 million or 6.9 million doesn’t make a difference; that the White Paper is just a master plan; no one knows for sure if the figure of 6.9 million would be hit; the nation needs to plan for the next 10 to 20 years and the plan should be reviewed yearly and is not a stagnant plan.

There is a huge 1 million difference between 5.9 million and 6.9 million. Tampines, one of our biggest New Towns, has slightly less than a quarter million people. So we are talking about four additional Tampineses which will require much land, infrastructure as well as time and money to build. It does make a big difference and is not something that can be reviewed on a yearly basis.

Also, we can’t be building houses for 6.9 million while expecting the population to be 5.9 million. That would be most irresponsible. What are we going to do with four empty Tampineses? In other words, we can’t be planning and preparing for 6.9 million without expecting the final figure to be close.

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4000 die-hard Singaporeans braved rain to become history makers

It must have been a very poignant occasion for many Singaporeans at Hong Lim Park then and I am glad to be part of this massive movement for change.

I could see some of the audience below wiping away tears as they sang the anthem  with aplomb -  at that moment  I felt proud to be with my fellow Singaporeans united in one heart and mind.

I never knew singing the anthem can be so emotional and I guessed the four thousands who turned up yesterday despite the rain came because they love their country too much to stay at home in the warm comfort of their home.

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"PAP leaders seem to have lost their feel of the ground": Prof Reuben Wong

Daily Times, 18 Feb 2013
SINGAPORE: Singapore’s biggest protest in decades shows that the ruling party for over half a century is facing a more vocal electorate and must change or watch its popularity slide further, analysts say.

“PAP leaders seem to have lost their feel of the ground. Their technocratic decision-making style is no longer accepted, yet they persist in ‘we know best’ policies,” said Reuben Wong, associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore.

“I think that gradually the anti-PAP sentiment will build and spread unless there’s a very fundamental change in the way the PAP deals with the people, which I don’t see happening,” political analyst Seah Chiang Nee told AFP. 

“I think there’s going to be a further decline in the popularity of the PAP between now and 2016,” added Seah Full story

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In Singapore’s Immigration Debate, Sign of Asia’s Slipping Middle Class?

BEIJING — Immigration is a hot-button issue nearly everywhere in the world, though the contours of the debate vary from place to place. In the United States, sweeping changes to the law may offer legal residency for millions of people who have entered the country illegally, my colleague Ashley Parker reports.

In Singapore, the debate looks somewhat different: The government plans to increase the population from just over five million to a possible high of nearly seven million by 2030, via regulated, legal immigration, and this is provoking opposition.

So much so that on Saturday, about 3,000 people turned out for what some commentators said was one of the biggest demonstrations in the nation’s history. (If the number seems small, it reflects the tight political control exerted over Singapore life by the People’s Action Party, which has run the country for about half a century and discourages public protest.)

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It is highly worrying how our politicians understand the concerns of Singaporeans, and how they are interpreting them. Being able to interpret the problems accurately is key to resolving the issues faced by the people, or if the resolution is not the right one, the problems will continue to spiral and the rifts that were created will continue to deepen. 

Such is the case as how the government has handled the issue of the migrant workforce, which has resulted in the the huge disparity in understandings between the government and the people, and how it has also caused more dissent among the people and growing discriminatory attitudes among Singaporeans and the foreigners.

This is worrying because a strong social fabric and cohesion is also one of the key pillars of our infrastructure which enables Singapore to continue to attract foreign investment, and this needs to be managed well, which is why it is of high importance that the representatives in government need to have an acute understanding of how people feel, what the underlying emotions and beliefs are, and how best to manage them. 

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Promises not backed by action

Not only did he not restructure economy as he promised, he step on the accelerator to go faster in the same old direction. Dependence on foreign workers rose, productivity fell and wages of the poor whom he said he was concerned about became stagnant or fell in the next few years. Cost of living rose hurting the poor and elderly.

During the White Paper debate, he told Singaporeans that the proposed plan to increase the population was for their benefit and their quality of life would rise in the coming years. He also said the interests of Singaporeans would be top priority for his govt.

The Prime Minister can say what he wants in order to get Singaporeans, especially those with poor memories, to buy into his White Paper but Singaporeans find it increasingly difficult to believe what he says because he has not delivered on his past promises.

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The Population White Paper Conundrum

Never in the recent history of Singapore has there been such massive protests by Singaporeans against an ill-conceived Government measure as the White Paper on Population. Right from the start when the White Paper was introduced, there were unmistaken ominous signs that the Government would find the passage very rough if it tried to force this unpopular and undemocratic White Paper down the throats of the normally tranquil Singaporeans.

In the face of such massive opposition, PM Lee Hsien Loong was gung ho in ignoring Singaporeans' wrath to push the White Paper through Parliament with the endorsement of the entire PAP MPs. Well almost entirely because there seemed to be the solitary conscientious PAP MP who voted with his feet in defiance of the PAP Whip.He showed outstanding courage as a PAP MP in criticising the White Paper and followed up with a no-show when it came to the crucial point when he was expected to cast his vote in support. It will be interesting to watch how PM Lee will deal with this so-called renegade.

The crux of the public protests is the projection in the White Paper of an inordinate increase of population of 6.9 million in the little red dot called Singapore in the year 2030 when the infrastructure even now when the population is 5.3 million is bursting at the seams 

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On the Parliament Vote to Endorse the Population White Paper

So much ink has been spilled on the Population White Paper. And many, many commentators have shredded it most capably in their analyses that I feel I have nothing fresh to add.
[In truth, I do have some unique opinions on the white paper and their 'sanguine' population projections. But because there are some uncertainties in my own predictions, I would prefer to wait for certain events to pass  before publishing my thoughts in the fullness of time.]

So, I am left to comment on peripheral issues. There are two in particular, one unrelated to the title of today's post. That one will be in a separate post. The topic for this post is below.

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PAP must also say no to 6 million


Already, 5.3 million is causing Singapore to be overpopulated and, as a result, undermining the quality of life of our people (see here). The current trajectory of increasing the population by 100,000 foreigners a year to 6 million by 2020 must not continue lest our country be put in greater jeopardy.

It is important that Singaporeans who care about our nation and its future continue to pay attention to this issue. Saturday at Hong Lim Park was a good start but the message that we cannot afford 6.9, or even 6, million people must be even more widely spread.

The PAP is counting on the fact that by the time the next general elections roll around, this matter will be relegated to the back-burner. There is also credence to the view that the PAP is bolstering its electoral chances by liberally granting citizenship to foreigners with the thinking that the new immigrants are more likely to vote for the incumbent. 

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The White Paper & the ‘Singaporean Core’

– Chemical Generation Singapore: Filipino New Citizens are Not “Malays”
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Busting the myth about welfare states…
– Ravi Philemon: No longer a nation of immigrants
– Under The Angsana Tree: Voice Of The People @ Hong Lim Park
– Singapore Notes: The Mole From Within

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Continued from: A Photo Documentary Of Hong Lim Protest