When interviewed by media reporters over if the ruling party PAP’s 6.9 million population target is going to stay, former Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that it is about accepting slower economic growth and adding that businesses are “feeling the pain”:

“The issue had to be looked at as a whole, and “that’s what a Government has to do. The trade-off is never about numbers in a population. The trade-off is: How do you accept slower growth when your local workforce will stop growing after 2020.

The Government has been tightening foreign labour numbers, but businesses are feeling the pain. This is not something you can address with just one line and with one question, because it affects jobs, it affects the daily lives of Singaporeans … These are not simple questions that you can slogan away.”

Photo of Ng Eng Hen from Today
Photo of Ng Eng Hen from Today

According to the PAP candidate for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Ng Eng Hen tacitly admitted that GDP growth in Singapore is propelled by population growth. Under the ruling party PAP, Singapore’s economic growth model has been cutting back on productivity and relying on the influx of cheap foreign labour for businesses to be profitable.

The Singapore government introduce Workfare to help companies subsidize wages for low income workers and has since been heavily dependent on population growth. If every election ends well for the ruling party, 6.9 million population will be achieved by 2030.