Our Prime Minister has set a 6.9 million population target by 2030 both for economical and birth growth reasons.
By 2020, the governmemnt wants to achieve a population mark of six million.
The more worrying implication of the population target is that most of the growth is achieved through artificial influx of foreigners – done without really thinking through the adverse consequences it has on our country.
Lifestyle will definitely suffer due to overcrowding despite assurance from our government that unused outlying islands will be converted into housing space and more importantly, the Singapore identity will be lost as by then there will be more foreigners staying among us than local Singaporeans.
Our country has struggled with a low birth rate for nearly a decade and our ageing population is a genuine matter for concern as one in five people here will be 65 years and older by 2030.
The Chinese reproduction rate was at 1.08 last year, Indians at 1.09 and Malays at 1.64. The recommended replacement rate is 2.1 for our country to achieve the optimum population mark of 6.9 million people.
However, not many Singaporeans are convinced that the government has done enough to improve the birth grown here and more pressing effective measures like improvng work conditions has fallen on deaf ears as Singaporeans struggle alot with work stress and overwork.
Moreover, our current population now officially stands at 5.3 million and our trains have started to break down and the shopping malls are thronged with masses of people even during the off-peak week days.
More tellingly, in our current online poll on the same issue, 86% of the 1860 respondents have indicated that they do not want to have a 6-million population in our country.
Our government also does not seem to be ready to handle the steady influx of foreigners as the property market goes into a upward spiral with record-breaking prices and many PMETs lost their jobs to foreign talents due to uneven competition at the work places.
Transitioning has seen a record number of jobless PMETs this year – 300 compared to the usual 200 a year for the past four years and many of them face retrenchment due to a replacement by foreigners.
It is envisaged that many Singaporeans will be displaced if the government allows in another 1.5 million new foreign talents to meet the target of a 6.9 million population in the near future.
I have listed 5 reasons why Singaporeans should reject the government’s 6.9 million population target:-
1. Limited physical space
By now, even our existing foreigner population should acknowledge the constraint we have on accepting another 1.5 million new foreigners in our limited physical space.
Many Singaporeans have no choice but to stay at home during the weekend to avoid the over crowding at shopping malls and entertainment centres.
Singapore has also overtaken Hong Kong as the third most populated country in the world with a 7257 population per sq km to Hong Kong’s 6427.
Macau and Monaco took the top two spots with 19, 488 and 16, 398 population per sq km respectively.
Overcrowding not only produces inherent stress within the population but also does not allow over worked Singaporeans the space to rest and rejuvenate.
Many have to drive to nearby JB to take a break or take short get-away trips via cheap budget airlines to nearby SE Asian cities.
Those who can’t drive have to make do with whatever space they can find within their tiny flats to recharge for the next day.
It is no wonder that the recent Gallop polls have found Singaporeans to be the least positive people in the world!
2. Skyrocketting property market
The current property market is one of the bullish I have seen since I started to buy my first BTO HDB flat almost two decades ago.
Anything that you have bought before 2009 should have doubled in price by now and some have even tripled.
A friend bought a condominium at East Coast and he has sold it off with a handsome profit of $1 million – all within five years.
A HUDC flat in Shunfu was recently sold for $1.33 million and Executive Condos mostly now market for around $1.5 million upwards.
It is no secret that most buyers of record-high properties are foreigners with ready cash to splash.
Many do not even want to bargain and will pay you whatever price you are trying to sell!
It is envisaged that foreigners will occupy 30% of our private properties in the near future if the current trend is to continue.
I visited Sentosa Cove recently for an event and saw that most occupiers of the multi-million properties belong to foreigners.
Do we want to see HDB resale properties selling at $400, 000 and above for 3-room flats denying newly-weds the opportunity of a good nest in a choice location?
Couples setting up a family can of course purchase cheaper BTO units from HDB but why should Singaporeans be denied a chance to buy better HDB resale units just because the government allows in affluent foreigners by the hundreds of thousands with dubious financial disposition?
3. Social integration with local population non-existent
Many Singaporeans by now have accepted the fact that we will be living with more than two million foreigners in our midst.
We still have yet to integrate well with our other races after four decades of trying and now we have to accept those who are from other countries.
The government has tried to organise activities for the new citizens through PA but so far results are muted.
The programmes are meant to introduce our culture and way of life to the new citizens but it is hardly deemed to have any integrating value with the local population.
It is apparent that enclaves have formed within the different nationalities and seldom do we see our foreigner friends attempting to integrate with the locals.
In fact, we have seen many of them trying to bring in their own culture into the country.
The latest PRC Chinese SMRT strike is a good example of how foreigners are trying to take matters into their own hands when they could not integrate well with the host country’s culture and system.
Singaporeans also feel that certain nationalities are trying to stamp their influence at the work place and many locals now have to report to foreign supervisors.
Increasingly, Singaporeans are feeling that they are being displaced by the huge foreign contingent in their own country and they have nowhere to turn to for respite.
4. Vote buying through citizenship conversion
Many political analysts have speculated that the government has allowed in many new foreign citizens to shore up their faltering popularity as they will vote for the ruling party out of gratitude – at least for the first time.
Opposition politics have just received a huge boost with the capture of Aljunied GRC in GE 2011 and there are already talk of 2-3 more GRCs falling in the next election.
Bringing in third-world foreigners and turning them into citizens by providing them with good jobs and BTO flats will ensure that the ruling party will stay in pwoer for as long as possible.
The government has not even blink an eye when there are clear anecdoctal evidences showing that our local executives were displaced by incoming foreign talents during the past few years.
Transitioning has seen at least a hundred cases of clear-cut foreign replacement at the work places – much to the dismay of our helpless local PMETs.
There are also all kinds of employment permits available that allow a willing foreign worker to work and stay here for at least two years - if he is not too fussy about the pay.
Some are even on temporary 2-week social pass and they manage to find a job easily when they could pay the required sum of money to the employment agency for a work permit.
Meritocracy goes down the drain here and many jobless Singaporeans stay by the side line for many months while they are replaced by foreign talents.
They just could not compete fairly with cheaper and younger foreigners who want to have a foothold in our lucrative economic pie.
It is also reported on online media that many foreigners manage to attain work here due to easy-to-get degrees from fishy universities in their own countries.
Nowhere in the world has a government allows its own people to be displaced so blatantly without any official intervention.
There is also no transparency on how foreigners are selected to be permanent residents and later on citizens.
All we know is that PRC Chinese and Indians form the bulk of the new citizens here.
Right now, out of the current 5.3 million population, only 3.2 million comprises of local Singaporeans, the rest of the 2.1 million population is make up of permanent residents and work permit holders.
More seriously, our Prime Minister who has promised to stop the foreign influx during the GE 2011 campaigning, has gone back on his word by allowing in more foreigners immediately after GE 2011.
What this means is that in the period of 6 months (Jul – Dec 2011) even after the General Election in May last year, the foreign population continues to increase unabatedly:
Population (in ‘000) from Jul – Dec 2011
|(as at end of)||SG||PR||FT||Total Foreigner (PR+FT)||Total Singapore Population|
Source: TR Emeritus
5. Singaporeans will be replaced by foreigners in future?
Deep down in their hearts, many local Singaporeans have this fear that their country will be gobbled up by foreigners out to slice a piece of our rich economical pie – without caring for the social welfare of the country.
Moreover, how many foreign citizens will actually stay on if there is a economic recession or worse we have to take up arms in a war-like situation?
Our foreign-citizen loyalty is still in doubt and many local citizens have long suspected that the foreigners’ intention to convert their citizenship is carried out purely out of economic reason.
Already, Transitioning has seen many converted citizens who wanted to migrate out of the country after staying here for five or more years when they can encash their BTO HDB flat especially in a red-hot property market.
I have witnessed an Indian new citizen who has started to apply for Australian permanent resident status after staying here for 9 years.
He could cash out handsomely from his 5-room BTO flat in Sengkang and his current unemployment state provided him the impetus to migrate to a better country.
Many third-world new citizens have never seen so much money in their life time and with the property profit provided by our government, some could even return to their own countries in a retirement mode by re-converting back to their host country’s citizenship.
Most third world countries welcome back re-converted citizenships and there is currently no statistics to show how many new citizens have done that.
Many local citizens have thus felt that our new citizens have taken the country for a ride.
More seriously, how will our country turn out if we continue to bring in more foreigners to replace aging Singaporeans?
Will they be as patriotic as locals born and breed here?
Will local Singaporeans watch from the sidelines as foreigners begin to snap up properties with their ready cash and drive to work in their gleaming flashy cars whereas we stay jobless for long period?
How will the government tackle growing local discontentment in view of the recent drastic foreign influx which has brought about transport train break-down, foreign labour strikes and sky-rocketted property prices?
Will 2013 promise to be another year of mishappenings and turmoil…
Written by: Gilbert Goh
Editor’s Note: Please support our protest event on 16th Feb at 4.30pm at Speakers’ Corner. The permit for the event has already been received so Singaporeans can rest assured that the event is within the law. Bring your children, friends and loved ones to hear our panel of speakers expound on why we should not accept the 6.9 million population White Paper. Details of the speaking list wll be out soon.