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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Singapore White Paper - 6.9 million by 2030

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Singapore White Paper - 6.9 million by 2030 

The white paper recently released detailed the need for Singapore to increase the population to 6.9 million. I must say that the plan is indeed a very ambitious one.

The paper recited the need for us to import more foreign labor in order to sustain our economy growth. However I wonder if this is really the ONLY way for us to embark on. 

A quite fix
Honestly, to me it is a quick fix - and not a sustainable solution. It largely focus on the benefits to the country in terms of economic terms. 

Interestingly, there is actually an article which cautioned us the danger of such quick fix.

"Ponzi Demographics" - "Ponzi demography is essentially a pyramid scheme that attempts to make more money for some by adding on more and more people through population growth...The underlying strategy of Ponzi demography is to privatize the profits and socialize the costs incurred from increased population growth. "

More questions than it solves
But I wonder what about the social cost - the cost of integrating the influx of foreign workers within such a short period of time?

Will our social fabric be further weakened? 

Will crime rate go up?

Will this make us spiral into a vicious cycle by further exacerbating our declining birth rate?

What if these immigrates do not reproduce too? What happens to them when they age?

Aren't we just artificially bumping up our numbers while side stepping our REAL problem? 

Doesn't this further  aggravate our existing housing and transport problem? And magnify loopholes in our silly systems such as the COE?

And the MOST important question is WHAT IF THEY ARE WRONG? IT IS A POINT OF NO RETURN ISN'T IT? You can't simply ask people to come live our land to leave when things do not work out they way they envisioned!

John Calhoun´s overcrowding experiment with rats comes to mind. Does our government want our future to be like that?!

Exiting problem is still unresolved
Our government has NOT solved the pressing problems that still plague our country - ridiculous soaring property prices and COEs. Transport infrastructure that has been stained beyond its capacity. 

Yet they are ambitiously announcing their next grand plan. O_o!

Actual ground sediments
I wonder...

How many of them actually take our overcrowded public transport system or need to pinch just to save for their next meal?

How many understand that we are increasingly frustrated at the more and more crowded Singapore? 

How many of them know that MOST OF US (except for the very rich) do not care about whatever economic gains they are talking about since for the past 5 years...
  • Housing prices have soared;
  • Private property have inflated beyond most of our reach and;
  • Car prices have skyrocketed!
To put in layman's terms - commodities have already outpaced our wages. Thus, so what if we are earning more right now?  

My thoughts
When Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan promised us "high quality of life" even with such population increase, I wonder what was his definition of "high quality of life"?

For me, my definition is simply a less stressful life and less crowded road with lots of greenery. 

Historic places do not have to be removed to make space for roads or more flats. Forrest areas are preserved.

People do not rush and packed like sardines in the MRT trains.

Car drivers do not dangerously overtake each other since they are rushing to elsewhere?

Perhaps the lifestyle that we had when it was it in the 1990s and early 2000s fits my ideal pace of life. The future they painted is definitely NOT what I have in mind!

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