Home > Silliness and stupidity > The issue of Population, and gazing into a crystal ball

The issue of Population, and gazing into a crystal ball

So this group of civil servants from the civil service, or to be more precise, the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) published a paper to support their own theory on how immigration will help Singapore. Sometimes you really have to hand it to this group of scholars (??) who have nothing better to do other than gazed into the crystal ball in the little comfortable room of their ivory towers. Seriously, extrapolating to 2060? Who do they think they are? God?

This is akin to playing TOTO or 4D. Nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone 48 years into the future. All they have done is plug into some figures into some self-made model, which I suspect with some (or rather, a lot of) oversimplifying assumptions such as linearity of variables interaction. This paper is redundant and serves no purpose except to support their own plans into allowing more immigrates into the country. This is also a paper that any secondary school student can create simply from shrinking the population at the constant variable of the difference between the replacement rate of 2.1 and the current birth rate of 1.2.

First of all, the government has to accept the fact that it is a worldwide trend for developed countries to have smaller families as more women joined the workforce and individuals treasure self-consumption more than simply having kids in an ever-increasingly expensive society. A country’s economic power and quality of life does not simply depends on labor force. We have seen nations with smaller population enjoying a higher standard of living than countries with large population. All things equal, while a larger population means larger economy, it does not mean that a larger economy equates to a stronger economy. The authorities should also be aware that come 2020, even China will start to age as well, thanks to their one-child policy.

Secondly, this paper talks about minting new citizens but ignore that there are non-citizens in the country. At any one point in time at the current moment, 1/3 of the country consists of foreigners and we have yet to take into account tourists. Singapore is only an island that is barely visible on a paper world map. How much are the authorities willing to push until it breaks the tipping point? At the current figure of 5+ million, we are already witnessing breakdowns in the country’s infrastructure, especially the famous-turned-notorious bus and trains services, crazily priced COE, stubborn HDB prices that refuses to bulge despite the measures introduced by the government giving serious signs of a bubble, increasingly dangerous xenophobia between Singaporeans and foreigners, and heightened distrust and hatred for the authorities. I cannot fathom how much worse it will become if the authorities really drive up the population to 6.5 million (a figure given by some smart alec), a figure that would essentially mean more foreigners than Singaporeans in the country if we take the population of Singaporeans as constant.

Thirdly, and more importantly, the government should look at the factors why Singaporeans are not producing more babies instead of taking the short cut of letting in more foreigners to support a population decline. It is a well known fact, one that even the PAP government acknowledges, that public housing prices is over the roof. How on earth does one expects to start a family if they have to wait years to get their own home that is marketed as public but easily consumes at least 1/3 of an average worker’s lifetime income? Then we have the inflation problem with this quarter being estimated to produce a higher inflation rate than last quarter.

It is also not wrong for some netizens to point out the current situation could be partially attributed by the government’s ‘Stop-at-Two’ policy in the 1980s that proved too successful. Asking the citizens to produce less babies when there are less jobs going around in the Eighties and asking them to produce more when there are too many jobs in the current economy is short-sighted as it treats citizens like factory machines, adjusting production to suit the government’s needs, and neglect the lagged time between ‘newly produced workers’. When the government started the ‘Stop-at-Two’ policy in the 80s, they should have expected the ‘Baby Boomers’ to ignite a drastic decline in population in the next coming decades. Isn’t that part of the plan when they considered the policy?

Crumbling infrastructure, increased tension between the citizens and foreigners, stubbornly high inflation rate and housing prices, stagnant wages….the government should jolly well try to solve all these problems instead of publishing useless papers and taking short cuts by offering short-term solutions. How on earth does this level of incompetence justify the million dollar salary is beyond me. For all I see, the PAP government is only good at collecting more money and taking inputs from foreign countries in their attempts to solve problems instead of solving the issues organically from within.

P.S. I laughed out loud whenever the main stream media broadcast to the entire world how ‘in’ the prime minister is in getting an account of facebook and how what Lee Hsien Long had for dinner is even considered as news. In the meantime, a large army of minions are hard at work deleting ‘offensive comments’ on the PM’s facebook, wasting time that could be put to better use. This illustrates perfectly the bias, curry-favor, propagandist government-controlled media who is not unlike his twin brother above the 38th parallel line that borders the land of Kimchi.

  1. Tea-Party Member
    April 25, 2012 at 4:42 am

    So where was the NPTD when LKY implemented the stop at two policy, eugenic schemes and the influz of foriegn workers to boost GDP. Sucking pricks I guess

  2. The Pariah
    May 23, 2012 at 3:14 am

    NPTD is given the responsibility of coming up with a White Paper on this vital issue – so can we afford to ignore it? When NPTD is only counting Singapore Citizens (SC) in its permutations, it is a telling sign that the next move by the PAP is to reject PR renewals in order to increase SC approvals. PAP already made some moves in reducing PR benefits in the last year post-GE 2011. Add the two together and you will get “high five” for your answer.

    What is left unsaid is what will be our total population in order to achieve 25k SCs every year (as per one of NPTD’s scenarios – the one that is the most stabilizing demographically)? I reckon likely 8mn total to hit 6.5mn SCs by 2025-30 (the inflexion point where SC deaths > SC births assuming (i) no immigration influx and (ii) current Total Fertility Rate).

    • July 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      I don’t think the report written by NPTD is a ‘white paper’. If you read it through, it is really rather shallow in terms of analysis. I don’t know how you got the 8mn total with 6.5mn singaporeans by 2025 but mathematically, it is quite difficult for a 3m citizen population to double to 6.5mn within 10 years. The policy should be aimed at stabilizing population instead of aiming for a magical number out of thin air.

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