The issue of threat is ON...again. Falling birth rate of this nation is on the face of the intimidation card. From LKY’s mouth this time, one of the many mouths of the long queue of politicians orchestrating a campaign to blame Singaporeans for low fertility. Or to convince Singaporeans the need for further widening the door for foreign influx.
Falling birth rates, ageing population, local workers over-selective on jobs causing vaccum in certain industries, reliance on domestic workers, local workers lacking relevant skills….are merely different wordings on the intimidation card with an underlying message:
“People! Like it or not, the door for foreign influx will open even wider. Full stop. ”
Even if all our citizens were all hurdled into a corner to procreate like sheep for the survival of our nation, but humans require 8 months for births and another 18 years at least before these
lambs babies can turn economically
productive. Can the politicians wait? Evidently not. The policy-makers need the
cheaper foreign influx more than the average citizen does to line up
their deep pockets.
In the 80s, in the name of the nation, a 2-child policy was introduced to curb population growth and penalties landed on those who did not abide. In the 90s, in the name for the nation again, the policy was reversed. The cry for procreation continued into the 21st century, yet yielding little results, therefore exhibiting nothing more than a feeble attempt and little interest from the politicians to tackle the issue from the core.
Since 2000, our population has risen by 1.1 million, a 25% increase to the population before the turn of the century, ie. an addition of 1540 people to every square kilometer of our land area. By 2012, we suddenly realize this figure translates into actual human existence on our island that eats, sleeps and excretes like anybody else. They bring with them their cultures, languages and social habits. It is the average Joe who has to rub shoulders with most of them whilst the policy-makers will be tucked away in their secluded palaces.
LKY threatened us earlier this Feb during a Chinese New Year celebration although in a different packaging, marring the CNY atmosphere with his words. He associated Japanese’s stagnant economy with their reluctance to open up to foreign immigrants. His understanding of the Japanese economy seemed puzzlingly shallow and it is understandable if you notice his excessive eagerness to handcuff every single problem of a nation with foreign influx as the key.
A closed-door immigration policy would result in a stagnant growth; an open-door immigration policy would solve an aging population issue. See? They are both pointing coincidentally towards the same direction of endorsing a foreign influx. Singaporeans fear slow growth and at the same time, they will not be able to procreate sufficiently in the short term to arrest the ageing population issue. Either way points towards the need of foreign influx. At least, that is the case if we look to where the politicians are pointing. But we can definitely choose not to be misguided.
Think back to 1995 where our population then was a mere 3.5 million, was our economy in rags? Compared to our current population of 5.1million, did we see more elderly scavenging for disused cardboards or slogging at food courts/toilets, more tissue vendors, CCTV installed at HDB estates, more active loan sharking and prostitution (sex slavery is happening now) activities, more pawn shops or quick cash facilities than now?
We might not be living in paradise in 1995 before the foreign influx tap was turned on, we had enough of our own problems that needed attention than to handle new additional problems brought in by the foreign influx.
It is utterly futile to address the problems highlighted by the politicians as their hidden agenda is clear as crystal--to import more foreign nationals. No amount of constructive suggestions could satisfy them. Being the crème of the crème, our politicians are smart enough to tie every problem with a foreign-influx-solution. Even to the extent of bringing in foreign nationals to spur the locals’ hide. I will not be surprised if I were to wake up tomorrow to find a fallen tree in my estate and be told that that is a direct consequence of my opposition to undiscriminating foreign influx.
Logic and reasoning fall apart completely in the face of monetary benefits. Foreign influx boosts GDP directly, benefiting specific groups of citizens/people and exclusive to the average citizens. The inconvenient truth is not about how much procreation suffices. But to protect the interests of those who benefit the most from the foreign influx.
I do not doubt the intelligence of our politicians and their abilities in problems-solving. However, sad to say, their hearts are elsewhere. And that is lethal to the welfare of our citizens.