Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Saturday September 20th 2014

Why Singaporeans are pissed off by Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s threat on population growth

As Singapore is still in a celebrative mood on our 47th National Day, ex-Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew threw in a dampener last Saturday as he spoke to his constituents at Tg Pagar GRC NDP dinner celebration by declaring that if Singaporeans don’t reproduce sufficiently, we will be taken over by foreigners.

“”Do we want to replace ourselves or do we want to shrink and get older and be replaced by migrants and work permit holders? That’s the simple question,” he said.

I am most displeased by his threat and insensitive remark. 

I must point out that the statesman  is also  the one who laid down the stop-at-two family campaign almost two decades ago, when he was prime minister, causing us to fall into the current population growth mayhew.

Moreover, he merely presented a problem without providing any viable solutions other than the usual method of bringing in hundreds of thousands of foreigners to resolve the issue – which probably is their only solution so far.

Mr Lee  also said the Chinese reproduction rate was at 1.08, Indians at 1.09 and Malays at 1.64.

Currently, there are close to a million PRC Chinese holding up the  majority population for the Chinese community which is fast shrinking due to the population decline.

Mr Lee’s remark should not be taken lightly as even though he is not in the limelight lately, his words carried much weight and  he could even act  as the mouthpiece for the government when it comes to implementing difficult controversial decision.

Besides the contentious casino issue, the conversion of foreigners as new citizens should be the next national agenda that grapples the whole country  and ground reaction suggested that it could  even  evolve into a serious divisive new citizen versus native citizen situation.

Nevertheless, it is somewhat puzzling why the government did not relent from bringing in more foreigners as voters have  called this their number one grouse and turned against the ruling party by swinging as many as 120, 000 votes during last year General Election.

Netizens have long suspected that the primary aim of the government is to convert at least 100, 000 new citizens before the next election in 2016 as most of them will vote for the ruling party out of loyalty and respect.

It makes sense as it is obvious that the ruling party is losing popularity and if they don’t take serious measure to arrest the rot, they may even be voted out of power in two elections’ time.

Moreover, if not for the massive loyal vote of the 130,000-strong new citizens during last year GE, the majoirty vote for the ruling party may be significantly lower.

Seeing how the PAP has relentlessly  persecuted and sued opposition political members in the past, it is not surprising that they have to resort to converting new citizens to gain votes in desperation.

Most of the Generation Y youth have voiced out against the reluctance of the ruling party to provide more political space to the population and even loyal PAP baby boomer supporters  have registered their displeasure especially on the issue of foreigner influx.

On the issue of population growth, many critics have complained that the government has been pushing the buck back to the population, saying that if they don’t marry and reproduce enough, the government will have no choice but to bring in migrants from abroad to solve the problem.

Mr Lee further added: “Our educated men and women must decide whether to replace themselves in the next generation. At the moment, 31 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men are opting out, not leaving a next generation.”

As usual, the government has not being providing any solutions to a grave problem that has plagued us for the past decade since ex-PM Mr Lee Chok Tong was in power.

Apparently, they do not know why our singles are not dating, why single males are afraid to commit to a relationship because they lack the finances due to the failure to provide  minimum-wage legislation and why married people are not reproducing enough as they spent more time at work than at home because the Employment Act does not protect them from being exploited at work.

It shows a drastic lack in problem-solving skills within our cabinet – which incdentally has being the main grouse of most employers for the general working population.

For a cabinet that boosts of the highest paying ministers in the world consisting of our best  scholarly material, it has came very short on providing tangible ideas to resolve a  serious problem.

Besides, upping the baby bonus abit, the government has not being very pro-active in addressing the main reasons that deter many married people from reproducing enough or even tied the knot.

They have merely tried to pass the buck to a population that is beseiged by job insecurity due to the influx of cheaper foreign workers, lack of reasonable wages due to improper labour legislation and unreasonable work conditions of many companies here.

Many pregnant women have written in to the press stating that they were let off when their bosses knew that they could not work for four months due to their maternity leave.

Many culprits were merely let off with a simple written warning from MOM.

Mr Lee may also  need to understand that many of our well educated PMETs have to work their guts out at work due to a lack of legislation which prohibits daily over time.

I knew of many women PMETs working beyond 9pm almost on a daily basis – disrupting their family time and personal health.

Our working Chinese women could only give birth to one or at most two children as they want to spend adequate time with them after work.

The lack of a flexi-work schedule means that either our women work full time or not at all and the latter option is almost non-existing as most households need two incomes now in order to survive.

Our unnecessarily stressful educational system is also a deterrance as many families could barely cope with the school work load  with one kid let alone having more.

Our single males  face a more serious problem of not wanting to commit to a relationship as most employment now is contractual in nature and therefore lack any job security – elements that are essential for a couple to settle down.

The pathetic pay structure is also another issue that our MOM  can try to tackle when they review the Employment Act end of the year.

When you don’t earn enough as a local graduate, you simply stay at home and let the well-paid foreigners woo our local gals to the altar.

I have seen too many young men who simply can’t date as they barely can survive on their own based on their earned pathetic wages.

Long gone are the days when a couple could simply tie the knot with less than $3000/month in total take-home pay – not with a huge $400,000 BTO HDB  loan hanging around your neck.

Most will prefer to have a combined take-home  income of $5000 before taking the plunge together.

I remembered marring my wife at age 32 years old drawing only $2500/month gross and we managed to book a HDB BTO executive flat as it only costs $143,000.

She earned barely $2000 then.

My monthly CPF repayment is only $400 and we could service the loan based on one income.

A executive HDB BTO flat   costs three times that amount now and more seriously our pay has hardly increase much after two decades.

More can be done to reduce the cost of owing a new BTO flat for young couples keen on tying the knot.

The gender mismatch is also evidential here as more women seek after higher education whereas less men could manage the rigour of tertiary education.

Many women thus earn a much better income   than our  men  creating a situation whereby neither gender is keen to pursue a love relationship with one another due to the mismatch.

More men are now marrying foreigners from third world countries creating a serious situation  whereby many of our well educated women are staying single – sometimes not out of choice.

The high divorce rate is also worrying as children of single-parent families may fear tying the knot altogether due to the bad experience of growing up in a turbulent family setting – further exuberating the problem.

The stressful work culture, high living cost and gender conflict are main contributing factors for the ever-rising divorce rate in Singapore.

Hopefully, the new minister Mr Chan Chun Sing for Ministry of Social and Family development (MSF) will take a serious look into the situation and more importantly come up with some solutions.

To Mr Lee Kuan Yew – please don’t tell us the problem, most of us already know that we have a serious population growth issue,  what we  need is for the government to come up with viable solutions.

The solution to bring in new immigrants and convert them into citizens ought to be the last option the government should take due to it’s inherent adverse consequences and more significantly most Singaporeans don’t like threats.

And speaking as a Singaporean, I am sure that many of us don’t like the idea of being sold out to foreigners.

Most of us also know the power of our vote now…

Written by: Gilbert Goh

Reader Feedback

27 Responses to “Why Singaporeans are pissed off by Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s threat on population growth”

  1. Kevin Teo says:

    I believe that there are other reasons why our govt keeps bringing in foreign workers :

    1) could it be because Temasek Holdings and GIC have borrowed alot from CPF board and are not doing too well in their investments? and with an aging population, this borrowed money has to be returned to CPF board with interests as large numbers of folks will request for their CPF money back when they supposely 55 yrs old but delayed officially to 63, and one way to solve this is to import high foreign workers to help to grow GDP at all costs so that both investment companies can recover their losses faster to meet the old folks draw-out money when the time comes? anyone knows the truth?

  2. Kevin Teo says:

    2) could it be that our govt has signed some sort of Free trade agreement with some countries like China and India, Philippines, to invest in their countries and in turn allows their people to work in our little red dot? is that why our govt keeps importing foreign workers for economic growth at all costs?

  3. Jack says:

    Gilbert,

    Thank you for an excellent piece, you have included all the ingredients that cause the present dilemma.

    “Netizens have long suspected that the primary aim of the government is to convert at least 100, 000 new citizens before the next election in 2016 as most of them will vote for the ruling party out of loyalty and respect.”

    Netizens could be wrong, the “original” Singaporeans may become extinct in the future, these new citizens will ultimate votes out what remain of the PAP, they are not as “gentle and well behave” as the extinct population. The new citizens will march on the streets and drag what remains of the crummy regime, hang each of them outside the pigeon holes in the sky like the Italians did to Mussolini after the WW2. There will be no more original Singaporean soldiers to protect them. It could happen and it will!

    The PAP digging our graves and have not contemplated, they are digging their own graves too.

    We are one of the few lucky ones. We have three kids. It was a heavy burden with many sleepless nights even with my sky-high pay check. It was an accident we had our third child, we dearth the madness repeating over again the education’s system, we decided we had enough and moved overseas. My youngest child had a wonderful stress free childhood. No tutoring and did very well in school and graduating from the top few U at a minimum cost to us

    Finally I commend you for saying “To Mr Lee Kuan Yew – please don’t tell us the problem…”

    Thank you brother

    Jack

  4. canucks says:

    this website is a favourite of ex-S’pore quitters.

    • Jack says:

      canucks,

      For your info we are no-quitter and back home after our jobs are completed with our three kids gainfully employed in a land where they are free to decide whatever they wanna be.

      I feel sorry for you, after being screwed repeatedly and still clueless! Hey dude! Look beyond the horizon. Don’t believe anything your beloved supreme leader tells you. In fact don’t believe anything you see or read from MSM here or anywhere.

      Our first impression after we return home, the shock seeing massive foreign trash all over the island. Now our supreme leader worried about original citizens become extinct. Didn’t these millionaires know about it?

      I take it you are too stoopid to understand, blind faith on your supreme leader, just like many ten of the thousands blind faith on the City Harvest Church?

  5. patriot says:

    An excellent article indeed.
    Me does not think the Government
    is worried about population growth.
    It is definitely more interested in
    economic growth.
    And
    also to prevent the commercial sector
    from going kaput due to low consumption.
    Foreign investors will leave too, whence
    consumption falls.

    patriot

  6. pumpkin says:

    You said new citizens would vote in the current goverment out of loyalty and respect. My thinking is that they would vote PAP out of gratitude for giving them a better life here. ST and Business Times have publishing articles and interviews which show FTs happy working and living here. Come election time, these happy FTs would reciprocate their gratitude by marking the correct box on their balloting slips.

  7. soros says:

    Now he tells Singaporeans to have a heart. What about him. for 45 years he wants Singaporeans to FEAR him, not love him. He has cowed ALL Singaporeans with his use of his iron fist, the ISA and the use of his judiciary to bankrupt his critics. Remember, although he sued his opponents as a private citizen, he used his judiciary to achieve victory. What an abuse of power and a real cheapskate. Now that he is facing death sooner than later, he has turned coward and is probably regretting all his bluster about people fearing him rather than love him. If he dies, no one will mourn him because when he was alive, people feared him. In fact, the people rather see him go because of all the bad policies they had to endure. So please go and let the opposition come in with their ideas. The PAP is rotting in the core like UMNO because of the inbreeding culture. Everyone in PAP think they are the best and they know everything. The rot wil seep through day by day. It has already started. Even LKY is regretting his policies.

  8. J Y says:

    “Do we want to replace ourselves or do we want to shrink and get older and be replaced by migrants and work permit holders? That’s the simple question,” he said.

    He is actually contradicting himself when he said that. Why did he implement the stop at two policy 30 yrs ago? He didn’t even admit his mistake. Furthermore, he is the one bringing in more FTs to replace us!! So, if he is afraid that FTs will replace us in the future, why did he allow them here in the first place?

    解铃人还须系铃人。The person who created the problem should solve the problem himself. But he is blaming us instead!!

    Can a gag order be imposed on him? Isn’t he advocating economic growth over population growth?

    Most singles don’t want kids to prevent them from suffering under the stress of the present govt.

  9. jj@39 says:

    In the name of GDP growth, we are being sacrificed.
    We have became the victims in their failed policies.
    They have been in power for too long. Their way of governing S’pore is out-dated.
    PAP shouldn’t be vote to continue to be the ruling party in parliament house.

  10. 5starmoon says:

    I believe it’s human nature for married couples to want children. You know the Daddy, Mummy, brother and sister happy family. As pointed out succinctly by Gilbert, stable income (hence job security), dual income by parents to meet the big ticket item like housing or car, affordable childcare or maid to help look after the kids while parents work, more competitive work environment, etc, are factors that can’t be solved by one-off baby bonus.

    The major consideration is a stable and reasonable income level for a reasonable liftstyle before bringing more lives into the family. The past and future foreign labour influx (PRs or new immigrants) to threaten job security or depress wages must be reversed. SG economy was doing well without the foreigner influx. Then allow at least 5 years for married citizens to settle and bring in a new generation. The foreigner influx policy whether for GDP growth or population replenishment is a deadlock solution and PAP must break this deadlock by reversing it first!

  11. Anon says:

    Old Fart talking cock as usual. Collecting $15K MP allowance every month but no sign of him at meet-the-people sessions — which is the most basic duty as paid MP. Hey old fart, get your ass to the weekly meet-the-people sessions instead of farting out your mouth. Oh and btw, S’pore is already taken over by 2+ million foreigners and running dogs. You should open your eyes and look at the real s’pore at ground level, instead of looking at your bank account statements, investment portfolio statements, property statements, CPF statements, monthly pension statements, GDP statements, and other BS reports submitted by your running dog MPs, ministers and civil servants.

  12. Fairfax says:

    To be fair to LKY, we must remember that he was trying to control the reproduction rate at a time when Singapore’s future was still in question, and the infrastructure was not capable (yet) or sustaining a high tfr. I suppose when times got better he had plans to remove the campaign and disincentives.

    What I do fault him and his govt for, is their lack of responsiveness to lowered tfr when Sg was growing well. They then took the easy way out since they were flush with money and reserves. Another fault I will never forgive him for, is his sinister social engineering scheme to promote fertility among the “educated” and stifle the reproduction rate of blue-collar or even ordinary citizens.

    If we take a step back, low tfr is a global phenomenon. Other countries have differing factors and causes of their low tfr, but the general undercurrent causing the same result worldwide is actually: a sinister eugenics masterplan by the most powerful puppet masters — the elite. In their relentless quest to gain power and wealth, they use their power to control entire economies and the fates of entire regions. They control the federal reserves and world banks, control the interest rates and money systems, favour the rich and stifle the poor just enough so that they can be easily manipulated by simple politic-economic tactics. Watch the documentary, The Money Masters, and you’ll see that Sg is just a helpless pawn in the big picture, while all other countries are marching to the subliminal tune of the world’s most powerful families.

    • Jack says:

      “To be fair to LKY, we must remember that he was trying to control the reproduction rate at a time when Singapore’s future was still in question…………….”

      You are absolutely wrong! Like many Obamapoligist who just refused to see the evils of the Democrats which I consider more evils than the Republicans party. If you lived though the days when LKY ruled with “IRON FISTS,” eliminated all oppositions except a small token of resistance, regardless progressive, left or right. Have you forgotten what he did to Dr. Lim Hock Siew and the longest serving political prisoner Chia Thye Poh? Even his comrade-in-arm the late Devan Nair written about LKY of Jaya B Jeyaratnam:

      “… WE are in charge. Every government ministry and department is under our control…..never forget his last words “I will make him crawl on his bended knees, and beg for mercy.”

      LKY and regime are in charge, must bear full responsibility for it failure. You and many brain dead Singaporeans must also bear responsibility, blindly trusting a human – single party just as the Americans: Republicans and Democrats, The Brit and Australians trusting duopoly: Labor and /Conservative/Liberal Party. The Parties names are meaningless, regardless Liberal, Conservative, Democrats, Republican, Workers Party, NSP, SDP, PAP, RP, SPP, SDA or Parti Perikatan Singapore.

      For now, while I wholly support the WP and all opposition parties, I will never invest my vote on a single party, not even WP of which I deeply admire Low Thia Khiang, he and others need to prove to me they are for the many working poor which the millionaires party failed to address. I would prefer many political parties like in France, Italy, Greece and etc.

      My apologies for the very strong words used to express my thought. Thanks

  13. ml says:

    Some good points presented here, although marred somewhat by the complaining tone which I felt was unnecessary. However there is one point I don’t agree with.

    I’m no PAP supporter – I voted for NSP in the last GE – but I think the accusation that the Govt are bringing in more foreigners to get votes is quite laughable… My counter-points: Firstly there is no certainty that these foreign talents will eventually convert to full citizens eligible to vote. Secondly, to believe this line of thinking requires that we question the PAP’s motives for bringing FTs into Singapore in the first place. However their official stance (that these FTs are brought in to augment the workforce) holds up to scrutiny because 1), again, conversion is not necessary for FTs to work here, and 2) the matrices used to measure economic growth indicate, by way of the expanding growth figures via-a-vis the population numbers, that the FT policy has generally worked so far, at least insofar as the basic parameters are concerned. Which is to say that the FT policy’s quantifiable and verifiable results validate the PAP’s underlying reasons for pursuing it. Lastly, even if FTs were to convert, there is no reason to believe they will definitely vote for the PAP – think about Chen Show Mao: if PAP could put in place policies to “adopt” more supporters, then it is not a stretch to wonder why they wouldn’t likewise have made it more difficult for converted citizens like Chen to oppose them.

    • sgoverseas says:

      We are talking about percentage of new citizens voting for PAP.
      So there is no statistics to prove that majority of them will vote PAP , maybe 80%
      LAUGHABLE that foreigners are not replacing PMETS, many ordinary jobs like sales, service jobs, technical, etc
      Your time will come soon.
      We will be laughing when you cannot feed your family. Oh, you are not married and you do not have to support your parents.
      Time will tell.
      Hahahaha

  14. jj@39 says:

    PAP disapproved minimum wage policy & allowed overtime exemption application, workers to work 12hr per day, allowed influx of foreigners then of course low fertility rate, aging population,work-family imbalance problems will not be easily solve.

  15. Statististics says:

    Statistics ! Majority of new citizens will vote
    For the ruling party. They want to bring their
    Relatives, there is this inclination.
    Why r EP so easily attaintable ?
    Is really stupid not to see 2 milliOn foreigners
    Will overrun de culture of 3 million.
    Does USA accept 180 million to overrun
    280 million citizens, that is de percentage.
    Dont bother!
    If u cant see it , wait another 5 years
    Is Statistics !
    Signed off
    Sg overseas

  16. 2016 says:

    The ruling party did it to herself to adopt mass
    Immigration policy to its own collapse in 2016
    If the election is true and fair
    Yes, IF?
    can anyone guarantee honesty in the result?
    How many countries where the ruling govt
    Do everything to hold On to power
    My question is, at the rate of Born n bred
    Sg losing their jobs, will they survive to 2016
    Maybe all of them will die of starvation before
    The election.

  17. Anti says:

    All elected PAP ministers are related as in the form of family bond. One fine day they will sell us out to China. Despite he legalised and we are forced to learn the Northerner language, it does not change the fact that China still treat us like foreigner. Why our government keep investing in a failed business? There is no freedom of speech why we are called democratic country? Change to Lee Dynasty with his picture and a dog seem better. Certain Ministers are just playing Wayang and is there really a need for such a small country to have close to 100 Minister?

  18. jj@39 says:

    For many workers that have to work 12hr per day or 6 days per week, usually their wages are not high too. Long working hours plus low wages, it is difficult for them to have work-life balance. Needless to talk about getting married & raise children.

  19. ASF says:

    Don’t tell us what problem we have! Cannot just give us more money to solve problem. We are not machine, ask us give birth we give birth. Is not all about money! Money! we have long working hours for men & women. 9am to 8pm 5 days a week. Company always want us to multi task to make more money so they can save more money. No work life balance especially those who work in the bank. Short holidays … So can government solve this problem? Promote more work life balance Last time most women don’t have to work after married. No working no money. Got work no time to relax! Stress how to give birth! They should check how many couple have problems giving birth!

  20. Just desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is just cool and i could
    assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me
    to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  21. sgoverseas says:

    Can the PAP be voted out in 2016? Just to let you be aware so that we can consider another
    avenue The increase of new citizens by 2015 will be one million. At the moment, the total
    voters is 3
    million.
    Assuming that 80% of the new citizens will vote for PAP, it is 800,000 votes.
    So 60% of 3 million is 1.8 million plus 800k is 2.6 million of 4 million in 2016. This means the PAP will have 2.6/4 is 65%.
    Ceteris Paribus. Even if I am not accurate and it is 51% and not 65%, Singapore is DEAD!
    Please understand that PAP is not stupid, they want to stay in power at all costs and they will
    do it by any means. We have to think of another way ! If we have a referendum on the
    immigration policy. The President is ex -PAP and he will not
    support ! I think we must have another way, I do not know the answer but at least I am telling you not
    to rely on 2016 election! We need another way !f
    To begin with, I do not understand why in the election 2011, there were 3-corner fights. If the
    oppositions still cannot co-operate, the PAP will be happy to “divide and conquer” the
    oppositions
    The oppositions are showing their stupidity over 50 years ! So they are called “daft”. Oppositions should work for the interest of all the citizens first, until you can throw out the
    PAP, can you afford to champion your own agenda.
    SINGAPORE CITIZENS LIVES ARE AT STAKE HERE AT THE EXPENSE OF
    FOREIGNERS !

  22. PG says:

    The BIG problem , the PAP has never allowed a real democracy to develop , allowing people from all political sides to get experience . Also they have positioned PAP members in many companies and industries in Singapore in order to keep control if they lose the elections . Singapore is one of the few developed countries where there is no legislation to stop ministers having posts in private companies , during their time in office . There are also big questions to be asked concerning elections in Singapore and gerrymandering etc , along with control of town councils by basically private companies .

  23. AOe says:

    when all the singaporeans citizens join forces and protest in the street, not only just confine in Hong lin park to protest, then what can the government do? are the PAP govt going to sue the people? the trouble is we are all so seemingly “coward” and fearful of the conseqeunces.Be like Hong kong when they took to the streets and other countries protest march against the government polices etc….This what you call people’s power and government will not be able to totally ignore and sweep policies issues(messes) under the carpet.Mass street people protest in singapore has never been seen or heard off! why not start now to get results instead of waiting for 2016 to see if and when whether PAP get voted out or win the election……and in power forever and still no light at the end of the tunnel. Singapore will one day be controlled by China, just like Hong Kong.

    it make more sense for all Oppositions to unite now to form one party to oppose PAP and instead of small stand alone Oppositions trying to beat the big boys(PAP)

    It now or never……for singaporean to take charge and demand changes.

Leave a Reply