Friday, August 03, 2012

Immigration : Using low fertility rate as a justification.....

The National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) has released   a paper to outline  to help Singaporeans understand the options and trade-offs the country has to make in the face of demographic challenges – declining birth rates, a shrinking workforce and an ageing population, for instance. You should read the paper to fully understand what the govt view of the issue. But if you don't have time, here is a video released by the NPTD to explain the issue:

It is not too complicated. The fertility rate of Singapore is very low. Our population is starting to grow old, grey and shrink unless we accept some level of immigration. With an ageing or shrinking population, our economy will shrink - there will be fewer opportunities for all. The govt understands the problems faced by Singaporeans in the form of competition for schools and various integration and play its part to mitigate these problems. The govt will moderate the immigration numbers. It has done plenty and will do more to improve fertility, it will do more to improve productivity. mobilize our resident labor resources like women and encouraging people to work longer. Yes, the govt would like very much to hear your feedback at or via email

It is one of those issues where the govt explains why something is needed, says it understands your concern and will have measures to address it and proclaim their approach will lead to opportunities and benefits for Singaporeans. The last time an issue was discussed in this manner was the casinos - casinos (IRs) will create jobs, the govt will contain the ill effects and Singaporeans will be overall better off.

In the past the govt has put forth many other reasons for the foreign influx - businesses find it hard to get Singapore workers, there are jobs Singaporeans won't take, there are skills we cannot find among Singaporeans. It is problematic to use these reasons justify the large influx and does not explain why foreigners are imported for jobs that Singaporeans also do and no employer is required to show proof that he cannot get a Singaporean to do the job when reasonable wages are paid. Maybe this is why the govt has chosen to use the low fertility rate of Singaporeans as a justification for importing more people.

"There will be a smaller base of working-age citizens as our citizen population 
and workforce will age and decline. This is a significant demographic challenge facing Singapore ." - Issues Paper, July 2012[Link].

The thing you have to understand is any baby shortfall today can only be addressed by importing a baby today or an adult 20-30 years from now. Our current low fertility rate does not drive the need for adult immigrants today. It is our fertility rate of 1970s-early 1990s. that created the workforce demographics of today.

You need to maintain 2.1 to have stable workforce demographics. Our workforce today consists mainly of people born in 1970s to 1990s with some unfortunate souls born in the 1940s still working in their 70s because they cannot afford to retire. If we import adult workers to maintain the workforce demographics, and make up for the shortfall in this period, we are talking about expanding the resident workforce by 5-10 thousand a year. This is not what happened:
The Singapore govt brought in 5-10 times the people needed to make up for our shortfall in fertility rate. These numbers do not include the non-PRs here on work permits and employment passes. Basically, when you look around and see a lot of foreigners and new citizens, they are here not because our fertility rate is low,

The main reason for the large influx is to generate economic growth by expanding the workforce and to meet the demands of employers who do not want to pay higher wages to hire Singaporeans. This large influx has several effects one of them is wealth transfer from lower paid wage earners to employers/corporations i.e. rising income gap. It also caused the population density to surge up and housing prices + cost of living to surge up and these may have caused the TFR to drop to the lowest in the world .Macau and Hong Kong are right there with us and these are also the most densely populated regions in the world. The low fertility rate is made worse by the foreign influx is now used to justify more immigration!

Through this huge influx, the PAP govt created a bigger ageing population in 2050 when this large group of new citizens + PRs retire and age at the same time.

If the PAP had imported people primarily to make up for  below-replacement fertility rate in the period of 1970-1990s, the numbers should be smaller and we and would not have so many problems.

Scenario 1 - TFR staying at 1,24, zero immigration.
Scenario 2 - TFR at 1.24, 30K immigrants.
Scenario 3 - TFR at 1.24, 60K immigrants.
Scenario 4 - TFR at 1,85, zero immigration.

Even with TFR rising to 1.85, without immigrants our population will peak at 2030. The reason for this is the baby boomers of 1950s and 1960s when the TFR was above 6 will start to leave this world in large numbers after 2030. It is not clear that as a society we want to fix this one-off phenomena by importing people, To stop the population from declining we have to allow 20-30K of immigrants per year if TFR hovers around 1 - no argument about this.
For many countries, when the TFR falls, they don't resort to importing people so quickly because there is a time lag effect - they have to import babies or adults 25 years later. Singapore in the last 10 years has grown its population at the fastest rate in its history by importing new citizens and PRs does not need  any more immigrants for the next 5-10 years to compensate for low fertility. If we have been importing 30K residents per year since we would have hit 4M residents in 2020(see image above). But we have imported up to 100K residents per year and have already reached 3.79 (Sep. 2011)and we can reach 4M in 2020  even if we do not import anymore residents (30K births a yr x 8 years = 0.24M). Our immigration rate of the last 10 years has over-compensated for low birth rate and we can stop the influx now to find a solution for low TFR in the next 8 years.
The reason why the influx is not going to stop is largely economic. The PAP govt expands the workforce and population to keep the economy growing - it has nothing to do with fertility otherwise the numbers would be much smaller. This is the path of least ideological resistance for the PAP - it believes as an article of faith that so long as the economy is growing and businesses thrive, all other problems can be solved. . All it needs to do is persuade, the people to accept the large influx is necessary by inventing a reason to do what it wants.
30-40 years ago, your parents  were told not to have more children because the PAP was convinced that Singapore's limited land and economy cannot create jobs for so many people. The PAP was so convinced it was right and listened to nobody - your mother protested those harsh measures to punish those  who had more children and it turned out that the fears that the economy would not grow fast enough to create sufficient number of jobs and fears that the population was growing too fast were all unfounded. The PAP policy to reduce birth rates caused a workforce bottle neck and the PAP imported people to fill the gap. 30 years ago, our leaders thought 3M people was too many for Singapore and today the PAP thinks that 5.3M is too few and they want more.
Singaporeans have enough of the govt trying to justify more immigrants when so many problems from the large influx of the last 10 years have remained unsolved and it is not necessary in the coming years to continue with the policy because we have already over compensated for low fertility, that is if they sincerely believe that low fertility is a legitimate reason not an excuse for more immigration.

Singaporeans want the govt to go to the root of the low fertility problem and solve it. The govt effort in this area has been discriminatory, ineffective and unsuccessful:

  • Large part of the incentives are given out as tax rebate benefits only higher income earners and not lower income Singaporeans who do not earn enough to claim those rebates. Any primary school kid will tell you that giving money to someone who already has plenty is less of an incentive than giving it to someone who needs it to help them support their children.
  • Take the HOPE scheme as another example. It is meant to help poorer families with children's education and housing. However, families only qualify for aid if they have only one or 2 children - they get nothing if they have more children. Doesn't a family with 3 children need more help? How does denying help to families with 3 or more children lead to better outcomes for them? This help scheme is hijacked for the purpose of social engineering to discourage certain groups from having more children. With such a low TFR how are we going to succeed if we don't get everyone to chip in and have more children. 
  • When a low income man marries, he faces numerous hurdles put in by the govt to discourage him from getting married and having children. If he has a foreign wife, his wife cannot get PRs even after the family is formed and they have Singaporean children - we give thousands of citizenships and grant so many PRs but we have policies that directly hurt Singaporeans who have served their NS simply because they are poor,  want to start a family.and support their children[Link]. Some of these people are poor as result of the PAP's immigration policy - foreign 3rd world labor brought in to compete against these Singaporeans causing their incomes to stagnate or fall. 

Once you accept immigration as a solution for low fertility, the usual pattern of PAP style leadership behavior will take hold. They will latch on the solution and use it for other purposes such as expanding workforce to grow the economy. It will become less important to encourage Singaporeans to have more children and efforts in this area will be stagnate. Solve the problems cause by the massive influx of the last 10 years and put in more effort to raise the TFR before trying to get Singaporeans to accept more immigration. The low TFR can be linked to problems caused by high influx of immigrants e.g. rising cost of living especially housing. Using one of the causes of the problem to solve the problem just doesn't make a good solution.


Anonymous said...

Lucky, great article with good analysis

Anonymous said...

Through this huge influx, the PAP govt created a bigger ageing population in 2050 when this large group of new citizens + PRs retire and age at the same time.

> Me thinks these people will leave Singapore and go back to their own countries where there are large non urban areas.

Anonymous said...

but don't you know, money solves everything

Anonymous said...

Another good article as usual. Fair but critical in the right way.

Firstly, fair minded people all agree that we have a problem with a shrinking population.

Some immigrants are therefore required and we have taken in immigrants all the while in our short history. The problem now is that there is too much and it is poorly planned leading to all sorts of issues like housing, transportation, etc.

On the "Stop at Two" program that was implemented in the past. I somewhat disagree with you that they were wrong.

I read Goh Keng Swee autobiography and the problem he faced as a politician in the 1960s was one where there was high unemployment. He described how one guy came to him to request for help finding a job but he couldn't do anything at that time. He thought that the guy eventually ended up as a beggar in the streets.

This propelled him to create jobs by attracting MNCs and starting local companies like Singapore Technologies. If the jobs created then was less than population growth, then poverty would have risen. But because he was so successul, we had a golden period of growth even when the world was hit by the oil crisis. If anybody deserved a multi-million salary, it was him in my opinion.

So the Stop at Two program was right for that time. All you have to do is to look at the countries where the majority are Catholics who do not to practice family planning. The per capita GDP of such countries generally underperform others around the same region. And the irony is that the more religious the country is, the more crimes you have because of poverty.

That does not mean that the policy that was right for that time is right 2 decades later. Although the govt identified the problem of shrinking population early, the fact that they have not been able to reverse the trend while others have speaks of incompetence - pure and simple! A radical change in approach is required.

Anonymous said...

Two things stand out in the way of family planning, housing and kids education. When you have a 30-40 year mortgage and the hot house education we have now, any sane parent or parent to be will give up. Once conditions are conducive enough, most couple will do their part. There is no need to bring in mercenaries from other countries, they will quit very readily.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

I've never believed all this hogwash about bringing in so many foreigners to make up for our low birth rate, for simple reasons:

1. It's damned obvious as Singapore gets flooded with foreigners, Singaporeans are so stressed out at many levels to be even less likely to procreate.

2. Look at the elderly working around you, your non-existent retirement fund, your 50 year housing loan. Does the PAP government provide any pension for retirement. The truth is: a lot of us are condemned to work until we die. Hence what the **** are we talking about having youngsters to support us?!

3. Simple logic tells us that if PAP's policy is the right way forward, this earth will go bust as countries fight for ever increasing populations. Does PAP know there is such a thing called "productivity via innovation"? We don't necessarily need the same numbers of workers to support the same level of living.

Sack the PAP, they are corrupt of ideas!

I honestly am very glad to see the simmering of social unrest in Singapore, especially between locals and foreigners (PRs too). We need a good shake-up in this society before we can move forward.

Anonymous said...

"Solve the problems cause by the massive influx of the last 10 years and put in more effort to raise the TFR before trying to get Singaporeans to accept more immigration."
Lucky Tan

No matter what, problem cannot be solved and TFR cannot be raised lah.

That's why I think PAP don't bother to waste time and effort with Lucky Tan's suggestion.

Get Singaporeans to accept more immigration? Why not?

If majority 60% can accept PAP as govt, why they cannot accept more immigration?

Even if they are forced to accept is also accept what, tio bo?

PAP is smarter than Lucky Tan on things that really matter.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is like a cup of coffee. It used to be nice and rich in aroma. Then someone thought he had a brilliant idea. He wants to drink more coffee so he changed the cup into bigger one, pour in more water, add in more coffee powder but of a cheaper brand hoping that the taste remains the same or even better. But the new coffee taste awful. No matter how much new coffee powder was added, even using the most expensive brand, the coffee just doesn't taste as nice. It has lost its taste and aroma.

This is the state of Singapore.

Don't be Stupid said...

This concept about how young working adults are supporting older folks is a RED HERRING in Singapore. It is true for other countries that care enough about their citizens to give out a state pension e.g. Australia, Taiwan, China and the Europe.

I look at my parents who are in their 60s and retired. They don't need us to give them money, they got plenty. See, they managed to save up a considerable nest egg after paying off their housing loan in their forties. The government does NOT give them any money either, unless you count the Progress Package or GST Offset to bribe them for votes.

The only form of money my retired parents receive are is the so called medical "subsidy". Even then, the "subsidy" amount is dubious as a lot of it is inflated first. Case in point, consultation at a polyclinic is way above market rate at a private clinic. Then PAP steps in with a substantial "subsidy" to bring it down to below market rate. For youngsters like us, just think of how the PAP "subsidizes" HDB flat: selling price = building cost + "discounted" margin.

Whatever "subsidy" our older folks receive in their golden years are well-deserved. They have been working their whole lives to help PAP accumulate unknown billions and billions tucked away under Ho Ching's "expert" care.

So, in a nutshell, don't let the PAP frame the population issue so narrowly. There are many other parameters conveniently left out in their propagandist drive.

Veritas said...

To sustain wicked elite life-style, perpetual population growth is the key. Population growth will result to surplus labour. That would pull down wages.

Histories has shown that humanity advancement occur after a large decimation of people. After the black death, Europe population decrease by 1/3. The feudal lords see their land idle.

They have to give peasants more right and better conditions to get someone to work on their field. Feudal lords would often need bid against their own class, to attract more peasants of tilt their fields.

With so few people, the lords would need to be innovative. They must try to use machines. That lead to explosion in knowledge of society. That is the backdrop for Renaisance which leads to in French Revolution.

On the otherhand, great technology advancement never happened in overpopulation. When there are too much labor, why invent cranes, bulldozer...etc Exploiting slave labor would be suffice for getting things done.

PAP is a reative government. For us to advance, we must stop FT policy.

Anonymous said...

Low Fertility Rate

Are we witnessing the birth of yet another Singapore Fairy Tale?

I've got no time to read, digest and analyze the story.

I'll vote in Opposition parties to raise the necessary questions in parliament.

Anonymous said...

is it not cruel to have children in singapore? knowing that they would need to have spurs stuck into their hides.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I think PAP are listening to us, with a headphone on their head, listening to their own music, while not knowing lip-reading. Since that is the case, why are we still talking? We should just let them drown in the deafening silence and they will know what it means when we hit the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

The low birth rate problem has been around for so long and the situation is so dire but the government still persists with more handouts for richer families instead.

I can only draw 1 conclusion: It rather get new PRs to replace the missing people than to get the poorer locals to have more babies.

Many of us have raised the discriminatory policies of this government but looks like nothing has changed.

From an economic point of view by instantly importing lots of people to work, you don't have to build more schools and childcare facilities while the economy continues to grow while disregarding the repercussions of locals becoming a minority in their own country. PAP is basically showing all of us its middle finger so that they will continue to get their GDP bonuses.

That HOPE program should be renamed FAT HOPE or HOPELESS. This country has gone to the dogs. Even the judiciary has made a mockery of democracy which is enshrined in our constitution inherited from the british.

Anonymous said...

You guys are not getting to the root of the problem. You guys are just attacking the symptoms which create more problems or as problematic . So much for brains.

Ng Eng Hou said...

Really can't understand the logic or the need to grow the work force by importing immigrants because currently there are lots of PMETs who have been retrenched and many of them struggling on low-paid jobs if they manage to find jobs. The fact is not that there is insufficient labor. The fact is employers can pick and choose and this kind of policy is favoring the employers at the expense of workers.

If you need to boost fertility rate, you need to make it less costly to take care of kids, you need to have universal and affordable child care facilities. Just using tax incentives is just a simplistic approach which fails to address the roots of the problem.

What's the use of having our feedback, when in the end, they just carry on doing with whatever they believe in?

Anonymous said...

Two opposing camps pulling at the rope. No, this way. No, that way. Snap.

Anonymous said...

No, more people. No,less people. WTF, still money not enuff!

Anonymous said...

good article. when i saw the NPTD video, i was kinda disappointed with another PAP govt propaganda. it come with a threat if Singaporean don't accept this proposal. we will lose our job, economic power and etc. that's pathetic.

frankly,what is the PAP govt doing to address the fertility issue? nothing but crap. as a Singaporean who just migrate to Aust. i would applaud at Aussie govt effort to encourage local fertility rate.

1) Free GP consultation
2) Free blood test for any potential threat and down sydrome disease except for 70% subsidise ultrasound
3) Free delivery at public hospital

hence compare to Singapore, what has PAP done? they are more concern with their fat pay package then the well being of the people.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, u r spot on again. The papist Leegime has put immigrations on steroid. Now they don't know how to unwind from this addiction to foreign workers without causing serious damages to the economy. They are caught between the devil and deep blue sea. To continue opening the floodgate will ensure continue hyper inflationary growth and further setback at the polls for the pap. To turn off the tap completely will lead to severe recession in Singapore. So a balance has to be struck. This is tricky and no an easy task. To further complicate their problem is that Singaporeans have stop listening to them as they have been telling half truths and outright lies in the past. If they had been more transperant and truthful with Singaporeans, they would have been in a much better position to handle this problem which they created in the first place. Had they pursue a policy of economic growht thru higher productivity and immigration just to make up the shortfall in birth, then they would not have got this knotty problem now. Singaporeans r right in not trusting the pap anymore. So the pap is doom. The connection is broken and I doubt whether it can be restored. We need a new government which the pap cannot provide.

Anonymous said...

Don't kid ourselves.

The Singapore Nazi Party is not interested in our children as people.

They just want them as digits to make up the numbers needed to increase property prices.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
No, more people. No,less people. WTF, still money not enuff!

3/8/12 12:00

Yes money not enough but highfalutin and lowfalutin opportunistic monkeys, we have plenty

Anonymous said...

Saying that bringing in immigrants to make up the shortfall in TFR is illogical.

Those immigrants brought in I assume are working adults who, like us, have the same low fertility rate, and like us, have dependent parents.

How is bringing in a foreign family with dependents going to help a Singaporean family? Does the money go from them to us? Does that help to upkeep our parents?
I just don't see the equation.

Instead increasing foreigners will mean:
1. More competition for good paying jobs, thus depressing the wages of Singaporeans
2. Increased cost of housing. The price has defied recession trends!
3. More scholarships given to foreigners instead of Singaporeans.
etc, etc.

Instead they should encourage adoption, encourage assisted reproduction, discourage foreigners bringing aged parents, ensure Singaporeans are not discriminated against for jobs, make housing affordable for young couples.

Anonymous said...

"Instead they should encourage adoption, encourage assisted reproduction, discourage foreigners bringing aged parents, ensure Singaporeans are not discriminated against for jobs, make housing affordable for young couples."

Yes, have plenty of free sex and booze too.

Anonymous said...

You get the feeling that both govt people and oppositions are out to do the nation in...eventually...and at the end...serve mostly their fucking pockets in the name of serving the people

Just like the fucking church

Anonymous said...

Dedicated to PAP and the oblivious 60.1% who doesn't care for the common good but only of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Please don't care for the common good and destroy all of us.

It is quite obvious where this is heading

Anonymous said...

Problem with this nation is is fucking run by woman's thinkers because men are busy fucking their smelly twats

Anonymous said...

it is increase real estate value not increase economic competitiveness.

wrong conclusion.

stop at two was wrong . this is explained by prof goh of nus engineering in the 70s.

Hum Yee Fan Sang said...

My recruitment agent just sent me an email: "Dear xxx, the candidate has decided not to come for the scheduled [yes, scheduled & confirmed] interview as he is looking to work for a BIGGER [emphasis mine] MNC."

THIS MNC is not big enough for him. I am so fucking sorry for being so tiny and unworthy.

And this is a fucking Sinkie that is currently UNEMPLOYED!!!

And you guys are complaining about FTs taking your jobs?

Oh fucking please....

Anonymous said...

i do not buy the "working adults to support the aging population" hogwash.... even if the there are more working adults and dutifully pay their taxes to the state.... the aged still do not get/ or get v minimal medical subsidies from the gov.
maybe someone with more economic sense can enlighten this cynical sinkie

Anonymous said...

Just call ageing Singaporeans "The IMF".
Sure get an instant pledge of $4 billion dollars.

Or maybe
Call ageing Singaporeans "The YOG"
Straight away, an additional $300 million dollars will be found.

Veritas said...

I go university my parents pay.
I buy a car, my parents pay.
I buy a house, my parents pay for my down payment.
Many Singaporeans do not give $$$ to parents but parents subsidize children if they paycheck runs out.
When my parents die, I inherit their house.

Who support who?

Anonymous said...

what??!?! working adults to support the aging population?!?!? i thought the aging population got CPF for retirement?

or are they implying that the cpf scheme is not working??

please tell me which is which.

ah lian said...

I know what our gahmen are so talented in:

Giving lame justifications for screw-ups!

There are just TOO MANY foreigners. Many come with their father-mother-ah-gong-ah-mahs! That's how the gahmen address the problem of our ageing population?!

If the number of foreigners here is MODERATE, and carefully REGULATED, there won't be a need to present lengthy papers to... sell ko-yok.

Veritas said...

On the first look, it seems that the old are supporting the young, however the reality is much more convoluted. To put it simply, all economies of the world is where the old and weak are supported by young productive labor.

But how come in SG, the young seems to be poor while our parents cannot get rid of too much $$$? To make things short, the crux of PAP's clever financial engineering is to make sure asset price rise faster than wages. In this way, the old, the unproductive acts as a blood suckers to the young, the FTs.

This system must be destroy. It is the precursor to the most sickening caste system of what practiced in India. The longer we take to destroy the current status quo, the more bloodshed. Alternative, we end up like Dalits of India, where a dog has higher social standing then them.

What is the most important thing to destroy other than PAP and the rich of SG.

To things short, all of problems come from Sing Dollar. The manipulation of SGD is what causes the misery. It should be replaced with gold standards.

Its too long to explain. But if people know the how noxious SGD is, we will have a better society.

Anonymous said...

this means that we kenna con into doing NS for nothing as govt let in millions of indians who never do a day of NS but enjoy air con while we slog away in army camp.

Anonymous said...

Immigration alone cannot solve the low fertility rate.
Study, understand, face the problems and solve the roots of the problems on low fertility rate.
If the environment is such that it is discouraging to have more babies, similarly new immigrants will follow the path too.
Additionally, the new immigrants that are filial, will also be bringing their old parents to stay here, then, you have to face the aging population again. I do not think we would want to welcome those that abandon their parents and migrated here.

It is good to read from the statistics, but have to understand and study the cause and solve the root of the problems.

Anonymous said...

Solve the low fertility problem.
And all the other problems we have.

Vote Opposition in GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

Good news and bad news.

Good news.
A bus full of Monkeys-In-White supporters fell off a cliff on the way to Genting.

Bad news.
There were two empty seats.

Anonymous said...

" .... the PAP - it believes as an article of faith that so long as the economy is growing and businesses thrive, all other problems can be solved.

Reminds one of Communist China non? Our jobless rates is of course far higher than the official 2.1%, jobs are created for the new immigrants, so what use is growth? Even politically the PAP can see the growth is costing it far more than benefits. But the civil servants are resisting any slowing down - the reason is "GDP bonuses" of course.

But I am afraid the problem is now even more complicated than just the mis-guided obsession with growth . Now PAP needs growth and inflation at all cost because the banks cannot afford house prices to stop going up or bad debt cannot be covered up any more. Even at zero deposit rates and 5% prime rates, and house prices at new peaks the banks are only nominally profitable, their exposures to the US CDOs and loans to European sovereigns have never been fully revealed. Nor has the true losses in GIC and TH and TLCs This is exactly the same problem faced by America in 2007, Europe in 2010, China in 2012. All chose to print money to re-inflate asset prices to cover up losses in the banking sector. Singapore and HK, then Indonesia and Australia would be the next to implode.

Anonymous said...

It seems to be a problem of


which most here would not understand in order to keep the method going.

Anonymous said...

"Once you accept immigration as a solution for low fertility, the
of PAP style leadership behavior will take hold..."

Many have cried... MIW out of touch, do not know, do not understand...

well they are wrong, they themselves and not the miw are ignorant. they are just normal or.. daft as the man said.

Top 1% dun not know yet the rest 99% knows... something wrong with your thinking?

The answer is in time lag and the stages of implementation where,

the decision and implementation done years before,
followed lateron by the SHOW BIZ..... handouts, empathy, togetherness for the electorates!


... to continue... (you can figure out!)...

Anonymous said...

If Singaporeans really want to see real change, we should stop letting LHL failed leadership continue to rule Singapore as he wishes for all the wrong reasons. It is really disgusting to see a stubborn white elephant not moving its butt and allow TFR to stagnate because he makes Singapore an unlivable city. City of sin, high cost and foreign/Singaporean division. Perfect storm for a greying population. Get PAP out of the way, we will see true result and a better future for everyone.

Anonymous said...

So the Stop at Two program was right for that time. All you have to do is to look at the countries where the majority are Catholics who do not to practice family planning. The per capita GDP of such countries generally underperform others around the same region. And the irony is that the more religious the country is, the more crimes you have because of poverty.

That does not mean that the policy that was right for that time is right 2 decades later. Although the govt identified the problem of shrinking population early, the fact that they have not been able to reverse the trend while others have speaks of incompetence - pure and simple! A radical change in approach is required.

3/8/12 08:53

totally disagreed.. the stop at 2 program was lkely the politicians know better than God..they thought U see phillipines.. yes.. they hv massive poverty.. but their many members in the family contribute to the incomes of teh family some work overseas some in the same country..

The poverty is created by the selfishness of their politicians and rich families who took care of tehir own interest first and not for the pple.

If our politicians hv not use the stop at 2 programs 40 yrs ago.. we would not have this influx of foreigners problem.. all i can say is their lack of foresight and this stop at 2 prg was also use to enchance their political agenda in the future.. so that citizens have to be beholden to the govt vry cunning and cynical move by pap..

eg.. look at the flats build in 40 yrs ago..did they install lifts on very floor.. if you ask them now.. they will def say " at that time was 2 house the citizens adn not the frills of lifts on every flr.."isnt lift on evry flr a basic fundamental right of a citizen of public housing.. and why must a citizens make to pay for the HDB mistake??

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of your analysis.

i.e. immigration is not a viable long term solution to solving the problem of a low birth rate.

Other the other hand, there is as yet no established way to reverse the low birth rate significantly enough which is strongly related with educational attainment of women and low infant mortality.

In the recorded writings of Dr Goh's, he believed that it is easier to find a way to grow the economy faster than the rate of population growth.

Better to find a way for more of the population to fully capitalize on their potential than to focus on the birth rate.

We waste so much human capital.

What are the 1st order drivers of a better more resilient & humanistic economy? Population size is not a driver. You can find many large cities with high misery index.

Anonymous said...

... continue....

Year 1; the 1% has worked out and implemented the ideas considering the consequences and potential fall outs.

Months/ years afterwards, the lag in understanding of the slower 99% catches up, usually when the fall outs take place in front of their eyes..

The expectation and problems management phase then begins.. whole party in unison, same time same voice...

....lots of ground work/activities/showmanship at the grassroots, road shows, promising assistance, displaying understanding/ empathy and affirming we are ALL in this together..and we are one.... we understand .. we will do whatever necessary...kiss babies, free plain porridge and $3.50 handouts.., promises to HELP everyone march forward repeated across the island ! NO ONE LEFT BEHIND promises.

This LAG is the reason unpopular ideas are implemented and elections can still be won.

Anonymous said...

It's not the LAG.

The reason is the BLIND TRUST Singaporeans (60% of whom are your friends & relatives) have in the Pro Alien Party.

You want to change Singapore?
Then start influencing the way 60% of your friends & relatives vote.

Take action.
Influence votes among your friends & relatives.

Anonymous said...

"You can find many large cities with high misery index."
Anon 4/8/12 01:15

As long as no protests, no riots, no overthrow of govt or civil war, it's OK what.

And best of all if the ruling party can still get at least 60% majority votes at election.

If 60% say OK, who are you to say not OK, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

"As long as no protests, no riots, no overthrow of govt or civil war, it's OK what."
ANON: 4/8/12 08:25

Ya lor! I agree.

Just like our MRT system.
Every year keep increasing the passenger load.
For so many years, trains never break down.
So what for increase the maintenance budget?

Tio bo?

Anonymous said...

"If 60% say OK, who are you to say not OK, tio bo?"
ANON: 4/8/12 08:25

Tio. Very tio!

5 billion flies eat shit.
You also should eat shit.
After all, 5 billion flies can't be wrong.
Tio bo?

Anonymous said...

LKY knew the complications of his birth control policy started in the late 60's. He knew that singapore, being so small, the effects of a super stringent birth control policy will very quickly show it's effects. Indeed the birth rate dropped from about 66 thousand a year to about 33 thousand. He should have taken control then but he is so arrogant, that even when some people talked about the dangers, his ego was in the way. He even appeared on TV in the early 80s to talk of the effects of his birth control policy. Yet he did not do anything. His political future was more important than Singapore's future. His iron fist hid many things from the people. He just cannot let go of power, up till today. Like Dr Mahathir, he has too many skeletons in the cupboard. Power must still remain with him and the PAP. No one talks of LKY's failings. This is one of his MAJOR mistakes. LKY must come out and make apologies to the people, for his legacy that can break the back Singapore. I hope future historians will make amends to the official history that LKY made Singapore. He also broke Singapore.

Anonymous said...

All the great men and women in Sin will be recorded in history. They will remain in posterity.
It is only a question swearing and spitting at the mention of their names and their successors or paying respect on their anniversaries.

Anonymous said...

if not for the govt pay themselves millions, the young would not set the par so high and dream of higher pays. if the govt did not speed up singapore living pace and set the education standard so high, more ppl would have raising children. our medical cost and living cost would not be sky high, we need not to be paid more to support lifestyle, we could have attracted more concrete investment to create jobs for the local. higher living cost counteracts higher pay. they are only different by number. if the govt did not exaggerate the important of success, ppl in singapore could have live a real life and be contented. they speed up everything , exaggerate too much, they change the concept of life in ppl's mind. some time you can see they try to put down the unrealistic desire among the people(only elites themselves can harbour such unrealistic desire)but was it too late? the nerves already been triggered. before making more huge mistakes, they need to get rid of their selfish thinking of power retaining.
using immigrants support the aging population as an excuse, are they not aware the worrying of new citizen? if the living expenses continue, we need to be paid more and more... who is gonna do low-paying jobs, does that mean we need to import more and more ppl to do the dirty jobs? where are we gonna find so many high paying jobs for ppl? in fact this gov hire many FT in GLC to make matter worst.
it is clear that they do not have real solution we are now facing, they can only drag and see.
i dont buy their theory.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should learn from a neighbor? With 9 million of their people needing to find work overseas, they don't want to curb population growth. This what we want?

Anonymous said...

Small country like Singapore.
Simple problems also cannot solve.
Even with 93% majority in parliament.

Don't even think to try and tell a bigger country like Philippines how to manage their country.

Please lah!
Your standard not that high.
You are just overpaid and over-rated.

Anonymous said...

"This concept about how young working adults are supporting older folks is a RED HERRING in Singapore. It is true for other countries that care enough about their citizens to give out a state pension e.g. Australia, Taiwan, China and the Europe."

"i do not buy the "working adults to support the aging population" hogwash.... even if the there are more working adults and dutifully pay their taxes to the state.... the aged still do not get/ or get v minimal medical subsidies from the gov."

So very agree to the two who posted the above. So PAP please stop giving this crap excuse for the massive influx of foreign immigrants. Hear some more can really puke.

Anonymous said...

So many fallacies about PAP's policies.

Firstly, they are damn worried that the Malays are producing quicker & younger than the other races. Hence they allow mostly PRC & Indian immigrants to counter balance.

Secondly, they are damn worried that the locals especially those poorer cousins AH BENGs, AH LIANs, ALIs & AH KAURs are no longer supporting PAP anymore, so how, they can't just do nothing, right ? So they have no choice but to even import those new PRC species infamous for the lack of human decency, spitting, corruption, cheating, etc.

Why would LKY, considering his elitist "Graduate Mother Schemes" & the biggest enemy of the Marxists lower his standards to allow such communists to flood this country ?

The only explanation that can probably explain it must be it's got everything to do with the ultimate vote. Do you for a moment honestly think our PAP leaders would ever be happy if the poorer local Singaporeans breed like pigs ? Is this why we never had very good monetary incentives to have more children for the very fear that this may result in the poorer Singaporeans especially the Malays to keep to produce the more babies that they don't desire to have in the first place ?

What do you think ?

Anonymous said...

I no need to think.
I know.

The Pro Alien party is not interested in helping Singaporeans.

No need to talk or think anymore.
Talking and negotiating phase is long gone.

The battle for votes starts now.

Anonymous said...

If you know that the Pro Alien Party is like that, why the fuck are you so idiotic as to stay in SIngapore? You should leave. PAP has always been a selfish and greedy agendarish and operates on enlightened self-interests. Nothing new here. 60.1% of Singaporeans accepts that it's OK to be greedy and selfish and treat others on the value of enlightened self-interest. Don't waste time. Grow some balls and work overseas. Apply PR for other countries just like how the PRCs, pinoys and indian nationals did to come to singapore. Learn from PAP and be a PR of another country. That's what I call getting even for a better life.

Anonymous said...

There are many 'aged' I know who have paid their dues in their prime, are self-sufficient, do not take anything from the society and are still 'contributing' by helping out their kids in many many ways...(financially or otherwise)

So yes, it irks me when it is assumed that a 'younger' population is good and necessary to support the aging one.

And I do not understand how importing a foreigner couple is going to improve our TRF unless every couple will produce way more than 2.1 babies to compensate for the shortfall we have. No?

This issue about low fertility rate and importing foreigners is really dubious. I just hope someone is able to present hard data to convince our rulers that they are ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

They termed singaporeans as a young immigrant society. Relly? I thought the MALAYS were the indigenous people here and the chinese came to malacca some 400 years ago. That's how you got your babas and nonyas. How is that we are a recent immgrant society? They are defining history just because they have the power. We are a recent immigrant society eh? I thought we went from temasek to singapura to singapore. Raffles came here in 1819. This in 2012 going 2013. Still recent eh? From 19 to 21st century, still recent? Why do PAP lie so much?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Lucky that this is not relevant to this blog.

Congratulation Lucky on your most recent blog " Sports : Home grown vs Imported Success". Perhaps world breaking records on the comments. Btw, are there any filters to block profanity in your blogs? They just distort the true comments.

Anonymous said...

Have anyone ever wondered what is the absolute birth figure these recent years?

I mean everywhere I go I see pregnant women but our TFR is still falling... why?

We have a unique situation here where our citizen population is also expanding pretty fast in the last few years, given that there are a substantial numbers of new migrants being granted citizenship, even if the number of births remains the same, the TFR will still drop due to the "imported" citizens...

Just my 2 cents worth...

Anonymous said...

LKY somehow reminds me of "gene pool" and "social engineering".

Anonymous said...

Everywhere you go, you see pregnant women because...ICA criteria for taking in immigrants is that these couples are young: late 20s to late 30s. And have a child or is pregnant.

Everywhere you see immigrants' children joining you. Pinoys kids, China sluts' kids and Indian nationals assholes kids'. Don't get me wrong. I love kids. It's these fucking bastard immigrants who are competing for jobs, depressing wages, raising inflation and the cost of living, competition for schools and school grades, primary 1 registration, competition for houses and child care at child care centres...chow che bei tulan.

That's why when i see them, i'll make them feel unwelcome and unwanted here. I 'll tell them...fuck U lah...go back to your own're not welcome here. I'm not xenophobic nor racist. I just want my own singaporeans here. That's all.

Anonymous said...

The average household size in Afghanistan is 7-8 persons while the average household Income there is only around US$300. Therefore cost of living cannot be the main reason. I think the main reason for the low birthrate is the lifestyle choice and cultural value. Please do proper a sociological research with facts and evidence before you conclude your answer to economic factor. Yes, economic factor is important, however there are many other factors at play also.

For God sake, please don’t always use cutting defense as your favorite solution. We should explore other solutions like increasing GST Tax rate and etc.
If without a strong defense, I think Malaysian might had already cut our Johor water supply long time ago during Mahathir time

Anonymous said...

Good article. You wrote:

Through this huge influx, the PAP govt created a bigger ageing population in 2050 when this large group of new citizens + PRs retire and age at the same time.

I do not know any new "citizen" or permanent resident who plans to get old or retire in Singapore.

neo wee min neowm said...

If our singapore is already in a crisis and the war is against our own self-extinction, Instead of spending millions in defence (shooting bullets for nothing...), these money should go to help singaporeans sons/daughters get a headstart in life through university and housing. Then we will see TFR rising as they fell less stressful trying to give way to foreign talents (s passholders who already spent 2 years ahead of singapore peers) who appear to be given red carpets to live and work here.

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Citizenship Application said...

This is a must read. The government should have better solutions for the country and should stay fair to everyone. But at this time, I guess they need to give a little bit focus on the locals

Anonymous said...

No doubt PAP is in it for their own pockets. Where is the nurture of local talents? where is the fairness for all in social welfare terms>? Where is the Hire local first. More importantly, where is the national minimum wage inline with inflation?

Anonymous said...

There is jobs Singaporean don't take or pay not enough?

Anonymous said...

When you increase foreigners, what about the cost of living?

Henry Leong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Will wages be depressed?

Anonymous said...

Without the 'stop at 2' policy, there wouldnt be so many educated but spoilt brat singaporeans. because of stop at 2, parents focus all their energy on that 2 children, give them the best education, car to drive, holidays, everything the best, that's why children became weak. in the past, one hdb can accomodate 10 children. now one child mandatory needs one room. in the past, there was no car, but now, every family needs at least one car and more when the kids turn 18. in the past, 'holiday' did not exist, now holiday is part and parcel of life. although life became better, people are complaining...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky Tan,

How do we 'import babies'? Go to India & buy in bulk? then ship back to singapore and grow them in the soil? I stopped reading at that point

Anonymous said...

1) importing babies now or adults in 2030.
This will not solve the declining workforce from 2006 - 2030

2) many industries need workers that Singaporeans do not want. It is because there is no high wages. Singaporeans simply do not want to work and get hands dirty. If we really can get local labour, cost spiral upwards as labour is a big cost factor too. Look at property prices in countries who are allergic to foreign labour.

3) if we are able to push TFR to 2 and above, the population can sustain even after 2050. this is the challenge. If it falls below 2, then aging population will be another issue. This gives time for the Govt to act now than being late in their previous experience.

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Jhon Staphen said...

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