In an one hour dialogue at a forum on Tuesday (July 21), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the 2013 Population White Paper’s projection of 6.9 million population is his good intention and he hopes that Singaporeans will accept it:
“Channel News Asia: Referring to the 2013 Population White Paper, which projected a population increase of up to 6.9 million by 2030, Mr Lee said the “very strong” reactions from people were expected.
So, we slow down the foreign intake — we have corrected the policy. But we need to let people know more about our dilemma, that we have this responsibility as the country’s leaders. This is a hot potato for the Singapore Government, but we’re the leaders, and we hope people will accept that we have good intentions.”
When the 6.9 million population projection was presented in 2013, more than 4,000 Singaporeans took to Hong Lim Park and protest. Many Singaporeans reacted strongly against the 6.9 million target because Singapore at present is overcrowded and its infrastructure are collapsing under its own weight at the current population of 5.5 million.
Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Yahoo Singapore
The influx of foreigners during Lee Hsien Loong’s premiership has resulted in a declining standard of living for Singaporeans caused primarily by the depression of wages due to availability of cheap foreign labour. In a country with near non-existent labour laws like Singapore, employers undercut salaries and pay as low as S$3 an hour for a cleaner from China. The middle class Professionals, Managers, Engineers and Technicians (PMETs) are also badly hit by the cheap influx of foreign degree holders, whom recently made headlines in a series of fake qualifications scandals.
Singapore’s economy sees falling productivity every year ever since the flood gate was opened. However as the ruling PAP Government requires more votes from new citizens, it is unlikely they will change their stance on increasing the population. A recent former senior civil servant with the Government HDB statutory board, Liu Thai Ker, even proposed to have Singapore’s population increased to 10 million. His idea was met with severe criticisms from Singaporeans but the Singapore Government remained silent on his comment.