Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Singapore Population crosses 5M....

3.23 million citizens and 1.84 foreigners (incl PR). Foreigners make up 36% of the population. The % does not include those who took up citizenship as adults.

During the ND Rally, PM Lee asked Singaporeans to do their part and help to integrate the new arrivals. He also explained the benefits of having foreigners and other countries are doing it. Lets put it this way - Singapore's immigration policy is not the same as what other countries are doing. The PAP govt policy borders on the extreme. For example, in the US, immigration is also a hot topic but the foreign born (including those who took up citizenship) is only 16%. We frequently hear our PAP leaders tell us to be more open and accepting etc as if Singaporeans are very xenophobic. I find these remarks insensitive and unfair. I tell you, frankly, that Singaporeans are the most open people in the world. There was hardly a whimper of concern when the number of foreigners hit 16% because people trusted the PAP govt and the state controlled media on this issue. No where else in the world can you find such a high level of acceptance of foreigners. It was only when the numbers crossed 25% that Singaporeans realised something was amiss. It was when serious structural unemployment emerged and family breadwinners had difficulty holding on to jobs and income that they suspect something is wrong. For the residents in Jurong it was when the public transport reached 'crush-load' that they woke up and began to understand what the govt has done.

After implementing an extreme policy (immigration on steroids?), the PAP leaders went round to chide Singaporeans for being small-minded. Citizens from big countries like Australia,US and UK raised their concerns about immigrants when the % of immigrants were much lower than in Singapore.

Singapore's immigration policy has never been about benefits for the citizens. It is a policy driven by business demand for labor from China & India and the PAP's fixation with high GDP growth. Now at this late hour with the elections coming and voters who have woken up to what the PAP govt has done, the PM tries to reframe the entire thing as something done for the benefit of citizens. This is ridiculous. How many people will believe him? While many feel the pain from the rising home prices, crowded public transport and increased competition for jobs, the real tragedy is found in the thousands of low income families that have been pushed further into poverty as the cost of living rose and their wages became depressed. Netizens and bloggers are not small minded, they are concerned about the plight of their fellow Singaporeans especially the less educated who are unable to speak up for themselves.

Singapore population tops five million, 36 pct foreigners

AFP Report[Link]
SINGAPORE - Singapore's population crossed five million this year and more than a third of the total are foreigners, the statistics department said on Tuesday.

The city-state's total population stood at 5.08 million people at the end of June, it said in a statement.

Of the number, 3.23 million are citizens, 540,000 are foreigners with permanent residency and 1.3 million are foreign professionals and workers along with their dependents, resulting in a 36 per cent share for foreigners in the general population.

The population growth rate was 1.8 per cent in 2010, reflecting a slowdown in the number of permanent residents and foreign workers being admitted into the country, the department said.

The number of permanent residents rose by 1.5 per cent, down from at least 6 per cent growth per year between 2005 and 2009, it said.

Growth in the number of non-residents, or those on professional employment passes and shorter-term work permits, slowed to 4.1 per cent, off from peaks of 15 per cent in 2007 and 19 per cent in 2008, it added.

Because Singaporeans have not been producing enough babies, the government had for years rolled out the welcome mat for foreigners, whose numbers rose drastically during the economic boom from 2004 to 2007.

But after the 2008 global financial crisis, the government has taken a fresh look at its open-door policy following complaints from citizens that foreigners are competing for jobs, housing and medical care.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the problems in a speech on Sunday and vowed to review immigration policies, cap new foreign hiring this year and enhance benefits accorded to citizens. -- AFP


Anonymous said...

PAPies like to say one thing and do another thing....they say cap immigration, but the door is open to all.

pecos bill said...

There is one way to increase our quality of life in Spore: make the economy smaller.

This will ease the pressure cooker situation for the middle class and the lower middle class. Sporeans will be happier.

This will never happen. Sporeans wnat a big economy.

A smaller economy implies a lower standard level of living and less material goods. We will not be number 1. And of course 50% of foreign workers in Spore will leave for better pastures.

I do not know of a Singaporean political leader who is willing to lead Spore in this direction of improving our quality of life at the cost of a smaller economy. said...

Singapore has one of the lowest living standards among develop countries if we zoom into our consumption. PAP simply over-stretched GDP synonyms of well-being.

Singapore has one of the lowest vehicle ownership, residential area per capital......etc

We could have better well-being by peaking our population at 3 million. We can emulate Switzerland as she tries all her best kicking out foreigner.

Unfortunately, our farking elites cares only to create misery for Singaporean. It is in fact in their interest the damning Singaporean.

The smaller the residential area the better. So real estate developer make $.

Anonymous said...

You are not being logical.
Can you be a doctor without going through Medical school?
But you want the title and yet you gripe about the costs, hard work and sacrifices to get your professional qualification.
Now that's not being real.

This regime is offering its people a quality of life not without social costs.

Until and unless the people say they don't want the grand malls, the pride of being number one, the efficient and asset enhancing mrt, the peace,stability and wealth generated in this country etc etc, it is unlikely you will resolve the problems that come with an influx of immigrants.

At the end of the day, there is no short cut to your degree or the "good life"

You want your lofty title? You just have to pay the price.

Lucky Tan said...


Yeah the Penang economy. The problem is Penang people want to be like Singapore.

But my main point is ultimately what the PAP govt does has to be what the people want. Knowing what the people want is not so simple - there is a set of diverse and conflicting needs. We all want to make a lot of money but have a slower pace of life at the same time. The problem cannot be oversimplified like what the PAP has done by just growing the economy through the brute force method of labor force expansion.

All Singaporeans know is they are not where they want to be today - unhappiness and dissatisfaction runs high.

Lucky Tan said...

anon 8:05,

You have made a good point. I've some thoughts on the issue of what Singaporeans want...

I think what is clear is what we really don't want. The pace of life that has been run up over the past years. It take a lot of intelligence to find the right balance....and to achieve some kind of optimality with our economic system. Perhaps it takes more creativity and innovation something sorely lacking here...

Anonymous said...

The people are stupid. Highly educated but stupid, what to do?

Anonymous said...

" It take a lot of intelligence to find the right balance....and to achieve some kind of optimality with our economic system."

You are right about the balance. The problem lies in our inherited political system which is the heart of politics.

You get that wrong, nothing will be right.

And that's the reason why I stand alone.

What quality of life? said...

@Anon 08:05
"This regime is offering its people a quality of life not without social costs."

What quality of life are you talking about? Cannot buy flat, job kenna taken by FT, COE prices sky high, MRT packed like a can of sardines, no hospital beds if I fall sick, etc.

Quality of life? Yeah right ...

Anonymous said...

pay the price.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans had given up, is giving up or will have to give up their jobs to low cost foreigners.

A Singaporean who was earning $3600/month was told to leave the company.
The job went to a foreigner employed under employment pass. The foreigner is paid $2500/month.
The company saves $1100/month.
There is no limit as to the number of employment pass holder a company can apply.

Towkay said...

A few of my buddies' companies have 100% FTs. They fulfilled the quota ratio set by PAP by getting employment pass holders + PRs. Not a single daft, complacent, no spurs Singaporean worker, and I can tell you their businesses are earning bigger profits thanks to PAP's foresight.

Now that it has been proven that 100% FT filled companies are feasible in Singapore, many other companies are replacing their overaged (above 35 yrs) Singaporeans with younger and cheaper FTs.

Marc said...

Never trust a clown trying to sell you snake oil.

Anonymous said...

Mass migration.
Business economics may be 1 reason.
But the main reason is political.
Don't think that PAP didn't know about the ground feeling against them.
I have yet to meet a PR/FT and foreigner-turned-citizen who has a bad word to say about the PAP and this Govt. In fact, if anything was said at all, it's the opposite.
Of course, the PAP wouldn't tell us this, but to fake that this is done to benefit citizens, would they?

Anonymous said...

I do not think it is possible to have 100% foreigners in one company,much as I dislike the PAP policy.

Towkay,either you are trying to talk cock about PAP or you want to discredit those who oppose PAP,but I don't see the point,really.

PAP is solidly in power,and as far as I can see,so long as the real estate does not crash here,they are solid as a rock,even some commondos are always willing to take their chances.

On the other hand,internet has opened space for those who happen to have better helicopter vision,those who can see the long term to voice their intellectual opinion,for their own intellectual satisfaction,althouh in the long term,we are all dead.

The other possibilities
you could be earning yr rice bowl thro' writing the rubbish,or you could be a REAL candidate for IMH,I am not sure.

I do hope that you make yr contributaion here a positive one.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1329

You will be surprised. There ARE 100% FT companies in Singapore. Of course, after six months, some will become PRs, and the statistics will show that they are not 100% FT, albeit 80 to 99% FT.

Increasingly, the PAP are also encouraging foreign entrepreneurship. On the news and streets for the last few months, I saw Indian-opened pet shop, Chinese-opened hawker shops etc. Just open your eyes and see clearly. Also for quick observation, just head down to Tuas and Jurong, including areas in Woodlands and Sungei Kadut for a real experience. Recently, I have a friend who was working in an Arcade shop (operations and management), not the front customer service aunties. There were 12 of them, 8 of them quitted. Reason cited by him was that his Malaysian boss was trying to replace them with more FT.

I do not know how else to convince you that the above scenarios are true. Many SMEs in competing for jobs, need to resort to FT for cheaper price competitiveness. Say what you want, but please observe the ground carefully.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for yr kind response,I will keep in mind and try to check out whether it is really possible for a Singapore company to employ 100% foreigners.

I am interested on yr point about the flourishing of foreigner biz in Spore,I went to check with

and found the following:

Sole-Proprietors, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) and Limited Partnerships (LP)

Almost anyone or any company can register.

There are some exceptions, for instance, undischarged bankrupts may not be allowed to register such entities in Singapore. If in doubt, please consult a lawyer.

You must appoint a local manager if none of the owners registering is “ordinarily resident” in Singapore. For LLPs, a local manager must be appointed in all cases.

A person is not "ordinarily resident" if he/she:

does not have a local address; and
cannot legally remain in Singapore for a long period of time.

It is true.basically PAP encourages small biz by foreigners

Towkay said...

My mistake, there are technically no 100% FTs companies because PRs are considered Singaporeans when it comes to employment. So that means my businesses have 100% Singaporeans.

You all should thank me for hiring 100% Singaporeans, hahaha.

Anonymous said...

90% brought to the closest whole is 100%, even 80% qualifies to be 100% when rounded to whole.

And me works at a worksite where the workers are 80 to 90 % foreigners. However, me must say, they are all good workers.

Me wrong technically, scientifically and politically of course.

Sicken patriot

Anonymous said...

Because of the ease in getting PRs in Singapore, it is difficult or even in the case of the government saying we are narrow minded, that a company can be 100% F owned.

The FT policy has been around for a decade. In the engineering industry, F workers started flooding the industry since late 90s. After almost a decade or so, it has brought about the current situation in my opinion whereby F owned companies had sprung up, leaving the pioneer entrepreneurial SMEs which started out in the 70s and 80s in deep trouble. Many SMEs had no choice, but to conform. I would daresay the huge numbers of FT are actually the results of big, conglomerate GLCs. They do it indirectly through the issue of contracts to sub-vendors. Many sub-vendors, many of which are small firms forced to follow the trend of hiring FW.

Then increasingly, with limited budget and price competitiveness, many of the entrepreneurial SMEs could not build on talents and resources and found themselves increasingly dependent on the FT. These FT then set up their own business and thus replace our SMEs gradually.

Nowadays, these FT are holding hostage to certain areas especially in the engineering industry. Many young engineering graduates decided to venture into the so called greener pastures like finance and banking. The engineering and marine industries were the first to be affected in terms of the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.

Slowly but surely, I think the trend will move on to industries like the IT, F&B or others. The real issue is not foreign entrepreneurship. The real issue is that ultimately, these FT and PRs will not stay and build Singapore. I think that is the real underlying concern of Singaporeans. Maybe we should have a statistical study of number of PRs who stay and go on to become citizens or in depth analysis of real impacts of such policies.

Years ago, while in university, my friend commented on the increasing numbers of PRCs esp in business, computer science and engineering faculties. He said that the real motives of these F students were to get the local university degree as a stepping stone to US (favourite) or European employments or further study. It took several years before they took some action or make it more difficult for that to happen (at least that is what I was led to believe).

GLCs are not ideal for the economy of the country. At least based on what I have read is that SMEs are the ones that sustain the Japanese economy during the rough period. The government can always about the global competitiveness etc, but the thing is that how you are going to compete lower exchange rates and people who have nothing to lose or with the mindset to 'plunder' and go home.

If you are going to set up a business whereby you are going to make sure that you earn money by ensuring a certain standard of integrity, honesty, quality and responsibility as compared to somebody who is going to wayang and get as much as money in as short time as possible, who will be the in a more advantageous position. Ultimately, it will affect everybody especially the honest, not so clever, but dilligent folks who depended on responsible bosses for a living.

That is one area that I feel we have definitely regressed and that due to Singapore unique circumstances especially as a small nation, the consequences will be felt more greatly and deeply by the common folks.

Anonymous said...

Of course once the foreign workers master the skill,what is so difficult to set up GREAT CHINA BIZ or PURE INDIAN biz,registration fee S$30.00 bring in their country men,and fight with their ex-employers,especially for starter biz like this,wage advantage would overrun everything

Singapore small timer bizmen are dead!most probably

we shouild read about some successful small business registered under aprtnership,LLP,or whatever real Straits Tiimes would truly put them fr front page

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans will be in for a shock when the population continue to surge past the 6 million mark. One of the top elites gave a talk in HK in which the figure of 10 million was mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I don't need grand mall as I don't spend much or need branded goods like LV or Prada etc. I just want a slower pace of life without the need to go back home after work and still burning my brain off with work issue.

pecos bill said...

"I've some thoughts on the issue of what Singaporeans want..."

Dear Lucky Tan, write on what singaporeans want. Singapreans are ready for an alternative voice.

run for elections...dont be surprised if many vote for you!!

pecos bill said...

Dear Lucky Tan,

This might surprise you but there is an emerging middle class who find a Penang economy attractive. They need a leader who can articulate their search and give them direction.

There are however other folk in the middle class bracket who have learned to live with all the angst that comes with living in Spore. An annual ten day tourist visit to China or Europe keeps them reasonably happy to vote fot the ruling party.

Sporeans are a in a dilemma.

Anonymous said...

Wow! 5 million people. Where did that come from? It seems not that long ago when I was back in school when I had to memorise the population of Singapore as 2.4 million. Never thought it would double within my lifetime. At the rate we are going, this is going to be one hell of a crowded space. I guess 10 million is not an impossible number anymore. Wonder how Singapore will look like then. One thing for sure, you can't go wrong investing in properties here. Imagine when the population hits 10 million. Even a 3 room HDB will fetch $1 million. Everyone is a millionaire. How the Swiss will envy us then.

Anonymous said...

What Singaporeans want is irrelevant to the papist Leegime. They are so focus on their own interests of making it easier for themselves to govern Singapore forever. The only time Singaporeans' need is met is when it coincides with those of the papist Leegime. The sooner Singaporeans wake up to this reality of the kind of monsters they have as their leaders, the better it is for them and Singapore.

Anonymous said...

SG, a Nation Betrayed and sold out by the pap.

Kojakbt said...

Just dug up this data:

Taking four 1st world countries whose per Capita GDP is way above ours and population is similar to ours, you can see that other 1st world countries don't subscribe to PAP's "we need foreigners to grow" theory:

Per Capita GDP by IMF (2009)
Rank Country US$

2 Norway 79,085
5 Denmark 56,115
6 Ireland 51,356
12 Finland 44,492
*20 Singapore 37,293 <<<<

Country Population Non-Citizen%

Ireland 4,401,335 12.6%
Norway 4,737,171 5.6%
Finland 5,300,484 2.5%
Denmark 5,475,791 5.5%
*Singapore 4,839,400 34.6% <<<<

Population increase from 08 to 09
Ireland 1.1%
Norway 1.3%
Finland 0.5%
Denmark 0.7%
*Singapore 3.1% <<<<

Kojakbt said...

Only dumb idiots who have run out of ideas to grow an economy will resort to simply dumping bodies into the economy to grow it...

Anonymous said...

Vote wiseless, vote for change, not for small change$.

Anonymous said...

i don't mind importing foreigners to augment us. But, be careful with the word "Talent". I don't think many are talents to augment us.

Kojakbt said...

It's good to revisit what Prof Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in Economics, has written about Singapore:

But it is only when one actually does the quantitative accounting that the astonishing result emerges: all of Singapore's growth can be explained by increases in measured inputs. There is no sign at all of increased efficiency. In this sense, the growth of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is an economic twin of the growth of Stalin's Soviet Union growth achieved purely through mobilization of resources. Of course, Singapore today is far more prosperous than the U.S.S.R. ever was--even at its peak in the Brezhnev years--because Singapore is closer to, though still below, the efficiency of Western economies. The point, however, is that Singapore's economy has always been relatively efficient; it just used to be starved of capital and educated workers.

Singapore's case is admittedly, the most extreme. Other rapidly growing East Asian economics have not increased their labor force participation as much, made such dramatic improvements in educational levels, or raised investment rates quite as far. Nonetheless, the basic conclusion is the same: there is startlingly little evidence of improvements in efficiency. Kim and Lau conclude of the four Asian "tigers" that "the hypothesis that there has been no technical progress during the postwar period cannot be rejected for the four East Asian newly industrialized countries." Young, more poetically, notes that once one allows for their rapid growth of inputs, the productivity performance of the "Tigers" falls "from the heights of Olympus to the plains of Thessaly.

Anonymous said...

With the number of small SMEs being F owned or at least F managed, I think it will have drastic consequences.

First of all, it has been mentioned before that the managerial and supervisorial positions esp in the engineering industry have been taken by FT. Obviously, the effects are all to see. These FT will go on to employ their own countrymen and exclude Singaporeans for jobs.

Secondly, increasingly, with the FT managers and supervisors, SMEs are also affected. Contracts and jobs are also increasingly being given to F owned SMEs or F managers in SMEs. Gradually, these F managers in SMEs would acquire enough contacts and network to set their own business or at least collaborate with PRs or the like. I am getting confused because many Fs are getting PRs. So they become one of us? But obviously, they have no attachment, the crux is the percentage of these people staying. On other hand, local or second or third generation native entrepreneurs will die a slow but sure death. I really have no idea how to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit with such situation. Plus the PRs will adopt a wait and see attitude. If Singapore is still good for them financially, they will continue to stay here. However, the most likely situation is that they will earn a bit (because of the exchange rate, depending where they are from) and go back and retire. I have also thought of another likely scenario where they will buy property in Singapore and earn rental here while residing in their home country. Because of the exchange rate, they will probably be very comfortable at home.

Whatever it is and there are other possible scenarios, local Singaporeans or residents with deep roots here will have many problems, simply they do not have another place or country to run to. Add to the fact that the poorer and less educated population are less mobile and with even less options, we are going to have many social problems.

I was the anon who wrote @1700. Today, there is a news article on how state companies are bad for China. I think we should look no further than ourselves...

Anonymous said...

Pushing the problem to NG?
Next time how?

Diplomatic Passport said...

it is simple, Ask Johor to embrace us. we will give them consumption and push up their property prices. Just like how shenzhen is an extension to HK. People who are squeezed out, live in shenzhen and work in HK.

Build at lesat 5 major crossing point around the island to connect to johor. johor should set up special zones for singaporean communitities.special visa, taxation benefits. better infrastructure.

Imagine the possibilities but first the Sultan must agree. His highness however do not want the benefits of economic refugess from Singapore at full pace.

Anonymous said...

My company is facing slow down now. I need to retrench some staff. Priority is to cut Singaporeans first (cos I can get them back when I need them again).

I need to keep the FTs cos MOM keeps changing the quota. If I cut FTs, I might not get back the same quota as before.

I may end up with 100% FTs soon! But what to do, I have to play along with MOM rules.

Towkay said...

Anon 3/9/10 08:13

Here's a tip for you. Convert your FTs into PRs and employment pass to meet MOM quota.

Anonymous said...


That is a brillant advice. I am facing the same issues as Anon 08:13. Does it take a long time? I hope the new rules does not set in too quickly! :)

Towkay said...

What new rules? Whatever new rules will be overturned after PAP gets its mandate for next 5 years at the elections. So don't worry about it and concentrate on strengthening your biz by replacing your ageing and expensive Singaporeans workforce with FTs. Your target for maximum profitability should be 100% FTs.

You can start applying PR for your FTs after they have stayed in Singapore for 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Have you been to Changi Business Park?

You will find another Little India there. They are doing jobs which many singaporeans can do but was not employed and they are not doing at cheaper rate than singaporean. Anyone can provides info how much those Indian IT are getting?

Oh, please don´t blame them for taking our jobs, blame the you-know-who and you should admire those Indians for being cohesive.

Singaporeans lacks that cohesiveness mentality. That why we are dooming.

Kojakbt said...

There are a lot of scams going on in the IT industry. I do hear about Indian IT people have to pay "kopi" money in order to get a IT job in Singapore. If the IT manager is an Indian and if you feel that there are too many incompetent Indian IT personnel in his dept, you should suspect something can be wrong with that manager. He is probably in cahoot with the recruiter...

All For Malaysia said...

No bias here, but the alternative way for Singapore to propel growth without straining on resoures is either by rejoining Malaysia, or
creating an integrated economic
union with its ASEAN neigbours
(modelling European Union)

Otherwise you will have to keep
importing foreign immigrants and
pay the price for social "adjustment"