Monday, January 17, 2011

Fertility Rate falls to disastrous low...

Singapore's fertility rate has fallen to a record low of 1.16[Link] per woman. This is down from last year's rate of 1.22.

He said the government would continue encouraging couples to produce more children, but admitted that raising the fertility rate would take time.
"For the foreseeable future, we will need to tap on immigration to augment our poprriulation, to support economic growth and to mitigate the impact of ageing,"
- Wong Kan Seng[Link]

Looks like falling fertility rate will now be used as the reason to import more foreigners. In the past we were told we need foreigners for their special skills. Then we were told we need foreigners to create jobs for Singaporeans. We have also been told that foreigners are here to take up jobs that Singaporeans do not want. Now the latest reason for increasing the foreign influx is our fertility rate is low. Singapore has the lowest fertility rate in the world if we count independent nations - if we count territories Singapore is 223 out of 226. We are above only Hong Kong & Macau which are part of China[Link].

I want to show you some charts of results of some countries that have intervened when the fertility rates fell[Australia][Sweden][Finland] and managed to turn their fertility rates around. You noticed that low fertility rates correlate with high population densities in places such as Hong Kong & Macau and Japan where the cost of housing and living is also high relative to income. So importing foreigners and over-populating our little island is likely going to make it worse - importing foreigners using low fertility as an excuse is going to plunge us into a disastrous vicious cycle....disastrous for locally born Singaporeans who will diminsih in numbers but perhaps acceptable to the PAP govt that sees Singapore as Singapore Inc so it doesn't matter to them where workers come from so long as GDP grows.

Importing foreigners and quickly converting them to Singaporeans does not solve the problem of an ageing population because they too will age and we will have an even bigger ageing population to deal with in the coming decades. So the long term solution has to be to get fertility rate up and reach a stable steady state fertility of 2.1. So far the govt has been unsuccessful.... and ineffective. How come they can do it in Australia but not in Singapore?....I tell you one of the reasons...but lets start with a story............

On Friday I took a taxi instead of the bus home to save time but tbe idea backfired. I paid a whopping $52 for my taxi fare. Yes, $52! Why? There was an accident somewhere at Rochor Road and I spent something like 1.5 hours stuck in the jam on the ECP. Spend money and get home later...tired, frustrated and poorer. The only good thing about being in the taxi for 1.5 hours was the taxi driver was quite talkative and had plenty to say about the govt - some of which is not so suitable for posting on my blog. Somewhere along the ECP the taxi said, "I felt the govt 'cheated' me when I had my third child". Cheated? That is a bit of a strong word to use. He told me that he had his 3rd child when he heard that govt was giving out $20K to encourage people to have more children. When his 3rd child was born, he waited for the govt to send him a cheque. He waited and waited but there was no cheque in the mail so he called up the ministry to find out what is going on. They told him the $20K is given out in the form of tax rebates and he would have to claim as rebates when he filed his taxes. It had to be used within 5 years. When he couldn't use up the $20K in 5 years they extended it to 7 years. At the end of 7 years, he got about $2K in rebates and $18K of the rebates was 'returned' to the govt. The same thing happens to many other lower income couples - they get little when they have children. The govt also gives out something known as baby bonus in which the govt gives out matching funds up to $8K(?) dollar for dollar to parents who put money in a baby bonus account - poor parents usually do not get the full amount because they cannot afford to set aside the money.

See the problem with these incentives. They give more money to the richer parents who are usually not motivated by money since they already have plenty and deny financial incentives to poor parents who love children and would be motivated by financial help. When the PAP says it wants to encourage Singaporeans to have more children, they do not mean ALL Singaporeans....they just want rich Singaporeans to have more children, They don't like the idea of parents who are not rich having more children hence they give out money in the form of tax rebates. In the eighties, they were even more blatant. The incentives were targetted at graduate mothers to have more children - you may ask why graduate mothers and not fathers? It is mentioned in one of LKY's speeches that he believes intelligence comes from the mother's genes[Read Population and Eugenics: Singapore's population policies]. In Australia, Finland and Sweden their policies to increase fertility rate encourages all parents to have more children not just selected members of society. That is why they have succeeded and the PAP govt has not....but PAP's failure is not going to bring disaster to itself but to ordinary Singaporeans who are fast losing their identity and their future.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually they think getting more foreigners is still the best choice lah, even though Lucky Tan strongly disagree.

Maybe the best of all the evil choices available, and not just at the national level but in personal life sometimes you have to choose between the lesser of 2 evils.

And most important to them is to remain the choice of 66.6% of the people.

sgcynic said...

Importing foreigners saves the government money from not having to subsidise their education, immunization from young, etc. Instant noodle and import - THE Singapore culture, fast track to "success".

frederic von Hayek said...

Assuming Singaporean ONLY breeds among themselves and 1 generation is 20 years, mathematically within 1 century, the aboriginal Singaporean will be 1/32 what is today.

LKY certainly makes Hitler proud.

Anonymous said...

such a joy to hear hokkien,teochew, hainanese being spoken when you enter a shop or when you interact with cashiers, receptionists, call centres yah?

so at home.

Anonymous said...

Can sp support 5 million people in future??
Can sp support 6,7 million people in future??
It is not only 2 or 3 million native sp like last time. It is now 5-6 millions people. It is a very heavy resp!!
Can so many people survive in this tiny land for the next 20-30 years? 40 years? What happen when they grow old and hv no children (bec too stessful and only very very few dare to hv 1 child or children)?

Anonymous said...

I'm a graduate mother with 3 kids (gov target group...not that I'm proud of it). I won't mind having another kid if my HDB flat wasn't so small. I'm getting a new 5 room flat (enbloc) in 2 years time and it's not much bigger than my current 4 room flat. All that talk about HDB flats being 'bigger' for people now because people have less children is rubbish. People have less children now because there is no space to put them in the house!!!

Anonymous said...

\\\\\
They told him the $20K is given out in the form of tax rebates and he will have to claim as rebate when he files his taxes within 5 years.
\\\\\

A story was once told when the Manchus first besieged Beijing. Emperor Chongzhen, the final emperor of the Ming, promised his citizens each 50 taels of silver if they would help man the walls.

At the promise of such a big reward worth several years' wages, many people volunteered. After the Manchus were repulsed, the people asked Emperor Chongzhen to pay up.

The Emperor retorted that the 50 taels would be deducted from their annual taxes over several years instead. There would be no outright cash payment. Not surprisingly, when Beijing was besieged later by peasant rebels, the city fell easily. Emperor Chongzhen ended his life by hanging himself.

Sounds like our government wants to go the way of the Ming dynasty, by playing with words when offering 'cash' incentives.

Nearly all the time, we never see the cash. It almost always goes into the CPF or some funny account where we can never touch the money.

Towkay said...

Why bother with babies when instant adult citizens can be imported immediately? Moreover, PAP has said Singaporeans are complacent, less competent, less hungry, incompetent, daft, etc. There must be something wrong with the gene pool. PAP is right not to encourage babies from a defective gene pool. In contrast we can select and import good quality FTs to become citizens. It is a no brainer really.

The only real problem is lack of cheap labour for the SAF with decreasing birth rate.

Anonymous said...

After May 2006 election, floodgate was opened wider to have flood of foreigners to flood Singapore.

After Apr-June 2011 election, floodgate is going to open even wider to have flood of foreigners to flood Singapore again.

Here we go again,
History is going to repeat itself.

Anonymous said...

sulMr Wong's incompetence has lead to the drop in the fertility rate. His message to us has shown that he is not only incompetence. He is "blind". He seems not to know people are not support PAP's policies.

Anonymous said...

Mind you the figures include children from New Citizens! Without them, I think the figures are much lower. Furthermore, itwas reported that 1000 citizens give up their citizenship annually. In the coming years, there will hardly be enough young citizens to do NS, then what?

If they are unable to solve the problems of Singaporeans, 80% of whom wears spectacles, you think they can solve the population problem? With leaders who think more about dollars and cents, milking the population and extracting every last drop possible, Singaporeans are foolish to bear children just because the government is "encouraging" families to have kids. Singapore is a country with no soul.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans being outnumbered at home is really the least of our problems. Living in pigeon holes and being squashed on public transport are mere trivialities.

The real crunch is how we will have enough WATER for the growing hordes. One Malaysian tap is being turned off this year. Will there be enough pee to make up for it?

Singapore has just struck a deal with Indonesia to supply water. According to the news report, it is to stave off a water shortage by - note the word "by" - 2015. Rationing, it seems, is expected before then, even as we take in yet more people.

Something to look forward too, eh, together with exorbitant prices for water? Meanwhile, we should eat, DRINK and be merry.

hayek said...

High population density put Singapore at heavy risk of epidemic. Already the world start to see anti-biotic resistant bug.

It also put our sanitation system to stress.

Next, over-crowdedness creates alot of tension among people that result in high occurance of mental disorder.

Thats why cities like Zurich and Geneva, though the most attractive cities for migration keep all foreigners out except those extreme high caliber individuals.

PAP must have knew the adverse effect. Unfortunately, PAP choose to align with banksters and landlord instead of the well-being of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I just visited a classmate who worked in an electronics firm paying ~3.5k a month. He is Malaysian and intend to work here for another 15 years. When his 2 kids finish secondary school, he will sell his HDB flat and move back to Malaysia. The whole idea is that he wants to save up his salary and his kids have a Singapore education rather than a malaysian one. Then move back for a slower and more comfortable life. These new citizens and PRs are not permanent.
I had a PRC neighbour who is now living in Auckland, NZ. Again he was another example of foreign talents who are using Singapore as a stepping stone to greener pastures. Sad to say our gov either dun realise this or chose to turn a blind eye to it. And all these incentives to draw them here should be channelled to local born Singaporeans who cannot migrate.

David Teo said...

Vote wisely. Vote for ministars whoo will look after your interests. dt

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Lucky, it is very true they are practising selctive breeding! I have 3 kdis and my wife is paying zero tax. The 20k is being channel to me to pay my income tax, effectively I don;t need to pay tax for the next 10 years! My family can afford to pay the tax and still able raise the 3 kids but the pap is so generous to my family but not the poor family earning less $2000.

IT is targeting the rich and woman that can earn money and helping to have children.

The poor, uneducated woman please don't have too many children.

Looking back to starting of our nation, most people are poor and have 4 to six children. They work hard, struggle a bit and the children make it and the parents are enjoying the fruit.

My mother retired 25 years ago as she have 4 children that she can depend. She have no CPF and her house was paid long time ago and it was what I call affortabe ,,, 14K sold by Lim Kim San than coming to my mother's estate for balloting, everybody price is the same, just ballot, not happy wait for appeal and see who one a lower floor or higher floor. Life is that simple and honest!

Now her house is value at 300K ha ha can't belive it. price inflated by 20 times and our poorest famuly starting pay is not even 2000 dollars.

So, the pap have failed and now they are going to bring in the foreigner to solve the problem. In 20 times the foreigner will leave or age too. Then we have a even bigger problem.

Poor planning, every thing is money and look easy way out.

Do you need to pay them million dollar for this.

Lim Heng Khiang should be responsible for the failed 200 million a year baby bonus scheme.

Anyway I did wanted to have 3 kids for the sake of the tax rebate, but the bay just come, it is give from god so let rejoice and I ahve done my job to produce 2 sons to defend the country and one daughter to reproduce.

Singapore have lost it's soul

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

This is exactly the biggest mistake of PAP, or more precisely LKY. Back in the 80s when he publicly declared that he "preferred" graduates to have more babies, the seeds of Singapore's failure as a nation was sowed.

This is a vicious circle. When PAP failed to encourage the elites to have more babies, they take on "foreign talents" (FTs) to replace Singaporeans. The more FTs they take on the more Singaporeans become disillusioned about their future in their own country and they produce lesser babies. Worst of all, the hearts and minds of the people of Singapore are lost as a direct result of PAP's policy. We no longer have a sense of belonging because of the many foreigners (instead of our children) that are here enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Like the student in NUS that questioned Goh Chok Tong, I don't know what I'm defending anymore....?

RookieLim

Anonymous said...

Good article as usual. Can anyone recollect anything beyond the tax incentives? It was extension of the "eugenics" exercise of incentivising the graduate moms and non graduate mothers got theirs too when they go for a ligation for a 10k housing incentive. I was in my late teens then and I was angry till now.

Anonymous said...

It was PAP's policy of stop at 2 that got it all started. I was almost not born (I'm #3, born 1975) because it was threatened then that I would not have the opportunity to register at a school if I was born. It didn't come to play in the end. But it was one of the main reasons my parents almost didn't want to have a 3rd child.

So PAP has made mistakes before with their over aggressive policies. What makes them so sure they are right this time?

Anonymous said...

In the 70;s my sister-in-law ligated after having her 2nd child, in order to have her kids attend the school of her choice. Furthermore, the idea mooted by the government that having two kids is enough, one is even better, makes good sense. As most families during that period were from large families and there was never enough to feed and tend to their needs, children from such background was attracted to the propaganda dished out by the government. The government never did apologise for the grave mistake for now the country has to resort to taking in cheap labour from nations that has more labour than they needed. The lack of foresight and the quick-fix solution is the death knell of a country which the past generations had worked so hard to make it a success. What cultural history, racial harmony fostered through the years are gone in a flash. So be as it may, this place is a temporary home for the 5 - 7 millions where people come and go. To hell with patriotism, National Service and fuck the flag for these are purely symbols that represent aspirations of the old generations. The new generation should take advantage of what is available and make their own future elsewhere for their own sake.

Singapore is well-known as having one of the world's safest harbour and busiest port. Use this analogy to represent the residents, for we are all ships in a safe harbour temporarily and will leave when the typhoons has blown over.

Anonymous said...

I know there are a lot of complaints about the Singapore Govt. However, after I was told a story by my colleague yesterday, I have my reservations. My colleague's nephew went mountain hike in Malaysia with some friends and had a fall. As he was still consicence at that time, the Malaysian ambulance sent him home. During midnight, he woke up with a fever and was vomiting, when he was rush to the hospital, he was pronounced dead. I believe if a similar accident were to occurs in Singapore, our medics will not sent you home just because you look conscience to them. Another colleague said she will try all means to make her way back to Singapore if she had an accident in Malaysia. She would rather die in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

The price we pay:

1. Low fertility rate

2. High divorce rate

3. High unemployment + UNDER employment rate

4. High emigration rate

5. High household debt ratio

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 18/1/11 09:35

What rubbish are you sprouting? You assessed the government and whether people are happy in a country governed by a government based on a single incidental occurrence? Here we are talking about Macro, and there you went focusing on the micro.

Why did you not look at the collapse of the concrete blocks, the slashing of teenangers at Pasir Ris and conclude the opposite? It is easy to look at individual flaws in a country and make conclusions. A wise peron will look at two countries as a whole, compare the good with the bad then decide.

As far as I am concerned, our crimes rates is nothing to shout about nowadays, our health and retirement care is too expensive (malaysian health Minister did not suggest moving the old to Cambodia right?) and UBS just told us that Malaysian has greater disposable income.

Zeratul

Anonymous said...

Disastrous low fertility rate?

It is disastrous for Singaporeans to be fertile in procreation; WHERE TO FIND THE TIME, MONEY AND MOOD TO BRING UP CHILDREN WITH POLICIES THAT NEVER FAVOUR PARENTHOOD.

Anonymous said...

Our children will be saddled with a very heavy tax structure in the future unless we continue importing foreigners which whatever harm it has caused, will be the policy casted in stone. Our public infrastructure is made for at least 7 mil ppl. Therefore, we will still see boatloads of foreigners after the GE. The low fertility rate has been ard for years, it shows the million dollar pay check duds are not doing a good job, time to get new ones. All in all, it goes to show we have ran out of options from the MIWs. Time to get real, don't feel patriotic, it won't pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

Low fertility rate is used as a red herring to justify continuation of the failed FT policy.

Anonymous said...

If PAP gets >=60% of the vote count this coming GE, you will see mass import of 100K-150K foreigners every year for at least the next 5-10 years. This is simply to maintain GDP growth. By 2020 S'pore population will be at least 6 to 6.5 million.

By then 55%-60% of the population will be foreigners. S'pore's land space and public facilities will be stretched to the max. You & your children will face intense competition for flats, places in school, jam-packed MRT/buses, jobs, hospital beds, cars, etc. Prices for all the above will shoot to the sky as demand overwhelms supply, and the govt and the companies operating these services will use money and "market forces" to allocate resources and determine who gets it.

By 2020-2025, you will have a situation of S'pore being a giant transit-point, even worse then now. Every year you will see 500K foreigners leaving S'pore for their homelands or migrating to yet another country after "making it" in S'pore. At the same time S'pore will be forced to import another 500K foreigners just to replace those leaving and to maintain GDP figures.

Eventually aboriginal S'pore citizens will become a political non-entity as they become a smaller percentage of the social and economic factors. The people running S'pore then can really run the island as a corporate state, even more so than now, without ever consulting the citizens and pushing laws & regulation down the peoples' throats just as long as the final outcomes benefit the rulers.

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hayek said...

The aging population is an invalid excuse for importing FT in Singapore.

The greying of population is a major concern in Western Countries because it involves transferring wealth from the productive class to the old.

In Singapore, nothing of that happen on the government level. Government expects a large segment of poor to live in poverty.

But that does not prevent PAP from using aging population as a phony excuse.

Anonymous said...

Implicit in such a statistic is the question of the effectiveness of wong ks and his interministry committee on procreation; somehow this sense of accountability always escapes our msm and miw. Be that as it may, the PM, being the leader of the cabinet, too is answerable for continuing to let this fool of a took screw up our country.

Anonymous said...

The TRUE reason of why PAPies want to keep on mass importing foreigners into Singapore is basically to grow the overall economy and maintain GDP growth. THAT'S ALL. PAPies are in a shithole now, without much innovative ideas of how to keep maintaining the GDP figures. All their farlutin' about creative industries, R&D, medical sciences, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, etc are basically crap as these require very very little manpower and cannot provide the critical mass of good employment needed.

The excuse of "population replacement" is also most ridiculous, UNLESS PAP IS ADMITTING THAT S'PORE IS JUST A TEMPORARY WORKPLACE TO GENERATE REVENUE & PROFITS. Just like a MRT train --- if you're the SMRT CEO you will want to always have the maximum number of people occupying the MRT trains, as this will mean you are generating maximum profits. You don't care whether the passengers are low-class or high-class, whether they are gracious or rude, whether they are genius or retarded. Just as long they pay the MRT fares and don't cause trouble to disrupt your MRT business.

The truth of the matter is that foreigners in S'pore also do not have much children, usually only 0 or 1 or 2 at most. And majority of them do not stay on in S'pore, but move back to their own country or move on to better developed countries. Even ST reported that many PRs and new citizens who make S'pore their home have become "acclimatised" and just like the true-blue citizens, they are also not having children.

Anonymous said...

For those who planed to go back to their own country, you think they dare to hv more than one child, if their countries hv the 1-child policy, or is already having too many people??
In fact, many of these NCs also decided not to hv children even if they get married.

Anonymous said...

tonly sg elite pap gov import foreigners to solve low fertility rate. other developed countries will introduce better incentives, cut mandatory working hours per week, provide free education, child allowance and keep cost of living and hence cost of maintaining a family as low as possible.

Anonymous said...

i have already gave up hope on this elite pap gov. if they will announce big ang pow for the feb budget 2011, i am sure they will take it back by other means like increasing levies, erp, gst after election.

Anonymous said...

frankly, i would never want to have kids if it means my kids are growing up in this sinful small congested polluted city.

Anonymous said...

头痛医脚!哀渽!

Anonymous said...

I dont think they will get 50% of the votes. The need of the hour is to have a good opposition group, not just few individuals. together with the remaining honest pap to build a better home for our children

Anonymous said...

Going by his logic, I suppose his way to solve shortage of coins would be to print more $50 notes!

InSpir3d said...

it's PONZI DEMOGRAPHICS!!!

hayek said...

After Tunisia Algeria, Jordan and Libya, food riot reached Sudan right now.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1105128/1/.html

Very soon its going to come to Singapore with 100x more deadly effect than elsewhere.

Many people do not realize that our ponzi prosperity depends on blood and corrupt money park in banks here.

A food riot will trigger a "bank run" on Singapore monetary system, as all of PAP's wealth depends on hot monies. When riot occur, we will find Singapore bankrupt before the day break.

Clear eyed said...

The duds running (and ruining) our country are mere mercenaries. What vision, strategy or long-term plan? It's "Show me the money NOW!"

Mentally Programmed Singaporean said...

THE REAL REASON WHY FERTILITY IS LOW: PAP'S HDB POLICY.

A Singaporean couple in their early 30s have to wait 3-5 years to get a HDB key. This delays births and pregnancies into mid 30s. By then, these women don't want to rish complications in their late pregnancies. This is all Mah Bow Tan's fault and he is still drawing his million dollar salaries.

FYI, for new HDB flats which are 60 storeys high, HDB tells a couple to wait out for 5-6 years. Now you know why birth rate is low. THere is no transitional rental housing for new couples to wait for their keys and start a family in the meantime. THis is a again the bloddy fault of the fucking policy.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that people are saying that GST will be raised to 9% in 2012, 9 months after this year 2011 elections?

Kaffein said...

Again the government blames the locals for not producing enough. Seriously I'd look carefully and delve deeper, it's because of astonishing stupid policies in which people try to be gods. Lousy gods for the matter.

As claimed by old man Lee, his idea of having immigrants to resolve the low birthing rates is silly. Fix the leaking pail first before pouring in more water. The PAP's idea is to throw more money and foreigners. Local People need space and time to procreate. And we are not digits for your economic purposes. Put a pair of hamsters under stress and constant dog barking and fear and you'll end up likewise with no babies. Worse they might die of heart attack.

Gee how hard can that get, Mr Lee? Don't need rocket science.

Kaffein

Anonymous said...

U know how many divorcees are there in spore?

In spore, more & more jobless people would end up hving problems in their marriage, or worse, even divorce.
Are u sure u would not become jobless in the next 10, 15, 20 years time?
Are you sure u are able to find another job once you are unemployed after 40 years old.
So if u hv kids, how?
Better think carefully!

Anonymous said...

My sister is working as a nurse in a labour ward. She noticed that more and more foreigners/prs are giving birth here in Spore i/o our local SPorean woman.....so sad..On top of they treat the local nurses like...well better not go into it further...wait kena hantam!

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