Saturday, 8 September 2012

‘Get rich quick’ Population Policy - the third time!



自我对话 2 Self Conversation


Yes, there is no way we can break the trend of low fertility rate and have to accept more foreigners. But can we do it right this time? For the first ‘Get rich quick’ scheme, we stop at two and the end result is we cannot replace ourselves. To solve the problem, the second ‘Get rich quick’ strategy kicks in and we now have a big inflow of foreigners.

Will we do it right the third time or just another ‘Get rich quick’ population policy again?  Have Singaporeans being consulted for the first and second ‘Get rich quick’ population policies in the first place? 

Now, the PAP government comes out a National Conversation to seek your consensus for the third ‘Get rich quick’ population policy.  However, just before you begin your conversation, the PAP government has already pre-warned you:

Singapore 'must avoid polarisation of politics': DPM TharmanMore than once last night, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam stressed the need for Singapore to maintain a strong central core and avoid at all cost the polarisation of politics seen elsewhere.(ST 6 Sept 2012)

For the first and second ‘Get rich quick’ population policies, the PAP did it without any consultation and hesitation as Singapore was a one-party state.   It is still a one-party state in many ways and so for internal and external public relations, they are using the soft approach in the name of National Conversation to get support of the third ‘Get rich quick’ population policy.

As pointed out by Tharman, just because of “a strong central core”, we have the first and second ‘Get rich quick’ population policies. Now when they hear more objections (GE2011), the PAP government wants to “avoid at all cost the polarization of politics seen elsewhere.”

Were there any different views or opinions on the first and second ‘Get rich quick’ population policies?  Yes, certainly yes, especially in the academic field. But has the main stream media ever reported or mentioned?   Obviously, the straight answer is a very weak political opposition. A weak political alternative leads to many similar “Get rich quick’ policies being implemented in Singapore.


Back to population discussion again, if we look at the United Nations Population Division’s projection (see tables below) of Singapore future population, besides accepting more foreigners, there is no other way we can increase local population to make up the difference.   

There is no mature or developed countries can achieve the replacement fertility rate of 2.1 (see video below). We are now a first world developed country, how can we break the trend?  The only way to have the replacement rate of 2.1 is to import population from outside. However, there is a limit to growth due to our physical, environment and social constraints.

The low fertility rate, well below replacement level for developed country, will continue to be the case.  This is a world trend.  The world population is increasing currently at a decreasing rate due to the overall reducing fertility rate in almost all countries.

Video below from The Economist will provide a good background understanding of the case. 



Malay Singaporeans have lower fertility rate is also understandable. African countries, India and Middle East are all experiencing low fertility rate.  The only difference is the degree of decreasing. Some countries, some races have higher and some others have lower decreasing fertility rate as their well-being, health care and education improves. Malay population in this case is the last race to face the lower fertility rate in Singapore.

In the article “Go forth and multiply a lot less” by The Economist, we learn more about the falling fertility rate:

“Behind this is a staggering fertility decline. In the 1970s only 24 countries had fertility rates of 2.1 or less, all of them rich. Now there are over 70 such countries, and in every continent, including Africa. Between 1950 and 2000 the average fertility rate in developing countries fell by half from six to three—three fewer children in each family in just 50 years. Over the same period, Europe went from the peak of the baby boom to the depth of the baby bust and its fertility also fell by almost half, from 2.65 to 1.42—but that was a decline of only 1.23 children. The fall in developing countries now is closer to what happened in Europe during 19th- and early 20th-century industrialisation. But what took place in Britain over 130 years (1800-1930) took place in South Korea over just 20 (1965-85).”(http://www.economist.com/node/14743589)

A simple mathematical understanding of the tables below will let us realize that we have to continue ‘importing’ foreigners. There are 1.7 million non-Singapore residents and 3.8 million Singapore residents (including PRs) in 2011.  

Year
Total Population ('000)
Singapore Residents ('000)
2010 (Census)
5,076.7
3,771.7 (74%)
2011
5,183.7
3,789.3 (73%)
Source: Singapore Department of Statistics

Since we cannot replace ourselves, the number of Singapore residents will remain the same (not to forget PRs can leave as they wish and it is very hard to know the number of PRs in Singapore) in future.  The only increase has to come from outside Singapore.

Assuming we are using UN projection (medium variant), by 2030, Singapore will have near to 6 million (5.978 million) people. This means the non-Singapore residents will be easily more than 2 million.
Of course, this is the situation of medium variant and it may be already another ‘Get rich quick’ population policy. The high variant projection will give Singapore 6.27 million people in 2030, a low variant projection 5.68 million people in 2030.

This is just a projection 18 years from now!

Singapore
Population (thousands)
Medium variant
1950-2100
Year
Population
1950
1 022 
1955
1 306
1960
1 634
1965
1 880
1970
2 074
1975
2 262
1980
2 415
1985
2 709
1990
3 017
1995
3 482
2000
3 919
2005
4 266
2010
5 086
2015
5 375
2020
5 597
2025
5 801
2030
5 978
2035
6 098
2040
6 145
2045
6 138
2050
6 106
2055
6 058
2060
6 006
2065
5 951
2070
5 887
2075
5 820
2080
5 758
2085
5 710
2090
5 681
2095
5 665
2100
5 659


Singapore
Population (thousands)
High variant
1950-2100
Year
Population
1950
1 022
1955
1 306
1960
1 634
1965
1 880
1970
2 074
1975
2 262
1980
2 415
1985
2 709
1990
3 017
1995
3 482
2000
3 919
2005
4 266
2010
5 086
2015
5 421
2020
5 714
2025
6 008
2030
6 276
2035
6 481
2040
6 612
2045
6 709
2050
6 811
2055
6 925
2060
7 048
2065
7 170
2070
7 284
2075
7 405
2080
7 556
2085
7 750
2090
7 985
2095
8 242
2100
8 506

Singapore
Population (thousands)
Low variant
1950-2100
Year
Population
1950
1 022
1955
1 306
1960
1 634
1965
1 880
1970
2 074
1975
2 262
1980
2 415
1985
2 709
1990
3 017
1995
3 482
2000
3 919
2005
4 266
2010
5 086
2015
5 330
2020
5 480
2025
5 594
2030
5 681
2035
5 717
2040
5 684
2045
5 589
2050
5 450
2055
5 277
2060
5 092
2065
4 902
2070
4 708
2075
4 511
2080
4 311
2085
4 114
2090
3 929
2095
3 757
2100
3 604

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