25 August 2006

Pulling a Fast One

Is Mr Wang done with PM Lee's rally speech yet? Almost. First, let's recap two major trends/policies for Singapore:

(1) Singapore faces the challenge of an ageing population (or so we're told). Current projections show that one in five Singaporeans will be over the age of 65 by 2030. The government therefore wants to encourage Singaporeans to have more babies.

(2) Singapore's economy lacks skilled manpower (or so we're told). The government wants to import huge numbers of foreign talents, to keep the economy going strong.

PM Lee's rally speech is perhaps the first time that the Singapore government has tied Point (1) directly to Point (2). Let's look at the relevant passage:

"Two years ago, we introduced major policy changes to encourage couples to have more babies. So far the results have been very modest. I understand why some Singaporeans do not want to have more children. But I have not given up hope and will continue to think of ways to encourage couples to have more babies.

Let me explain why we need new immigrants. To maintain a population of 4 million, Singapore needs at least 50,000 babies a year. Last year, we had 36,000 babies. This means that we are short by 14,000 babies. No matter how hard we try, it would be hard to produce another 14,000 babies. Hence we need to attract more immigrants."
Something is very wrong with the above reasoning, and no one in the blogosphere seems to have pointed it out yet. So I guess I'll have to do the job again.

This is it - babies are not adults. Adults are not babies. Let's imagine that PM Lee's baby-making incentives had succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and Singaporeans produced 75,000 babies last year. That means we would have 75,000 one-year-old cute little chubbies in Singapore today.

But babies can't work. They don't contribute to the economy. They're not research scientists, engineers, bankers or teachers. That would take another 20 to 25 years to happen.

Meanwhile, we import foreign talent. Let's say A*STAR finds a 40-year-old stem research scientist in the US and imports him into Singapore. He settles here, and because of his valuable skills, immediately starts contributing to the economy. However, he is not a baby.

In 20 or 25 years' time, he will be 60 or 65 years old and would have become one extra member in the senior citizen population for the Singapore government to worry about. In fact, the more we import foreign talent in their 30s and 40s, the greater our future "aging population" problem will become!

Of course, I have also oversimplified. The true dynamics are more complicated. For now, my point is just that PM Lee is talking nonsense here:
Last year, we had 36,000 babies. This means that we are short by 14,000 babies. No matter how hard we try, it would be hard to produce another 14,000 babies. Hence we need to attract more immigrants.
I see his attempt to tie the lack of babies to the immediate need for foreigners as just another sales strategy to convince the Singaporean public about his foreign talent schemes. Furthermore he gets to shift the blame ("See? YOU Singaporeans are not producing enough babies, so I, the Prime Minister need to import foreign talent").

The truth is - babies are not adults. Adults are not babies. PM Lee is surely smart enough to see that. I think that he thinks you're not. Here's another example of his quicksell tactics, from April 2006.

Meanwhile, Singaporeans are getting fooled. Look at poor Ms Lee Pai Ping, writing to the online ST Forum:
Aug 23, 2006
S'poreans have to pay a price for not heeding govt's plea for more babies

I missed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally Speech on television last Sunday.

When I read about it in The Straits Times the next day, a sudden sadness overwhelmed me.

The Singapore government has decided to be more aggressive in attracting immigrants with talents of all kinds to Singapore with the offer of Singapore permanent residence status, once purportedly aimed at graduates, professionals, bankers, lawyers and the like.

What a huge price Singaporeans have to pay for not heeding the government's persistent plea for higher birth rates among its people, and to be less picky about jobs.

I am for the Singapore government's move to import foreign talents to fill the gap and boost the economy by creating job opportunities as entrepreneurs.

But I shrug at the thought that some native Singaporeans, especially the young and educated of marrying age, do not think it their duty to marry and procreate as part of nation-building, and the unemployed who still fuss over jobs, choosing to remain jobless rather than accepting a job below their expectations.

Singaporeans should not be complacent. Nation-building is our utmost duty and responsibility.

Lee Pai Ping (Ms)
Ms Lee Pai Ping, try to understand this. If today we import skilled foreigners in their 30s because we lack Singaporean working adults, then our problem isn't with young, married, childless Singaporean couples today. The problem really happened 30 years ago - when the government was busy telling young couples then to "Stop At Two".

So no need to suffer all that guilt, Pai Ping. The government is to blame. That's what PM Lee doesn't want to tell you. He'd rather just blame you and make you feel bad instead.

Pai Ping isn't the only person who got suckered. Seems like a senior ST columnist also got suckered too. Click here to read the ST editorial of 22 August 2006. There he goes - putting the blame on "career-minded young couples" without kids. Or maybe the Straits Times guy does know the truth, but just wanted to perform one of those "nation-building-press" gymnastic tricks.

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57 comments:

Hermes said...

I could not find your quotes from the PM's speech. You may want to re-read the edited transcript at

http://straitstimes.asiaone.com/STI/STIMEDIA/sp/PMspeech/

So, either you are lying or someone got smart to edit out the offending text (which means that 'someone' knows these quotes are illogical) - i.e. Small Lee made an honest mistake, so let's give him a break.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Go here:

http://www.gov.sg/NDR2006chinese(english).pdf

and look at pages 3 and 4.

Anonymous said...

Warning: 41 years of white rule have apparently led to massive retardation of the cognitive faculty in our locally bred immigrant and her descendant. Recently, an international audience had a rare glimpse of one of our starling personalities - by courtesy of the acclaimed BBC I believe. I am glad to inform you, and all potential pink card aspirant, that such uncanny behaviour and motormouth skills are very common among our masses. This is further attested by an uninvited opportunistic aunty eager to bear her bits, and pieces, to promote a certain great nation. We are especially proud of her faithful and dutiful regurgitation of her master's poop in return for a few minutes of visual infamy in a letterbox. If you are not put off by now of what can await you and your next generation, you are certainly welcome to be part of a closely knit family of possibly 8 million people jostling to participate in our favorite national pastime of shopping and eating in our limited space and resource deficient malls. And because being tiny with nothing natural except our natural desperation for any kind of talent, regardless, the chances of fulfilling your wildest dreams of being spotted and groomed to replace our only international star is extremely possible.We hope that you will be eternally grateful for acquiring such a coveted passport and to have been served with this envious opportunity to be one of us.

ouch said...

before concluding the interview, the british thanked her for a erm..."bizarre experience".i wonder why?

Whispers from the heart said...

Mr Wang,

I know you must be frustrated. Our world class citizens seem to have problems with logic.

Maybe Ms Lee was also one who was obliged, in some ways, to perform nation-building duties.

Rest assured, some of us saw through the bollocks.

Unfortunately, they are still using the same solution despite my recommendations for some extreme solutions for Singapore.

In the meantime, it's good to start shipping out our children. National service will mean more than army training when his time comes. He might be in the BMT - breeding mission taskforce.

satayxp said...

Mr Wang, forum members in HWZ (if u can sieve thru the chatter and noise) have already pointed out the tenuous if not fallacious link between population numbers and keeping the economy going. Nonetheless your blog is a timely post and provides very good analysis. Good stuff dude!

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Wang, Big Boss Daddy screwed up the present lot 30 years ago with his policies and now Big Boss Baby is trying to screw-up the future generation with his quick-fix solution and is buying the people's vote through the MSM and the idiotic bootlickers. We need 14,000 babies and what we will get is 14,000 loyal pappy supporters.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang

You are performing a good public service of sieving through what our leaders (and our mainstream media) say. Like what I pointed out in an earlier entry, too many Singies take everything our leaders say to be gospel truth.

I want to delve a bit into the assumptions of the population figures used by our leaders. First, what's so magical about this 4 million figure? (Most people will agree that we're already bloody overcrowded).

Remember in the early 90s, we had an official figure of about 3 million and our economy was humming along just fine. Why the sudden emphasis on 4 m (or 7 m as I've come across in some articles)?

One reason is the shape of our population pyramid. Instead of a healthy bulge in the middle (more people in the 15-60 working age group), the pyramid is now becoming top heavy (more people above 60). Our over-emphasis on the stop at 2 policy had made this worse.

So it's not really the absolute no of people that's the problem but the age structure. And our government's simple assumption is young = productive, old = unproductive.

As you've pointed out, having more babies now only solves the problem 20 years down the road. Importing more foreign labour now is the easier short term solution.

I want to leave readers with three thoughts:

1) Why can't the govt focus on increasing the productivity of our existing population instead of just adding more foreign labour inputs. (Our GDP/capita figure hasn't improved much in the last few years. Rankings-wise, I think we have actually slipped.)

2) More Singapore males mean more NS recruits to maintain a deterrent citizens' army.

3) The rationale for sending our elderly to overseas retirement villages is connected.

Anonymous said...

Not only are they not babies, they are not orphans.

They will either bring along their own parents who will have to be supported too, or they will remit their money back to their home country to their parents.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wang, I share your view about the error in equating babies and new population in the guise of working adults. Its nonsense. I am very skeptical as these new immigrants will only create more Older Singaporeans in time to come - IF they even stay!
The influx will start again. More Singaporeans, especially the middle-managers upwards will either be displace, misplaced or replaced to make way. How many jobs created last year? What levle/sort of jobs? How many went to Singaporeans? How many new jobs being created will then go to these new immigrants?Globaliaztion? Or just creating a more privileged class amongst us while our Sons have to pay a price through NS. How many of these new immigrants wants their Sons to do NS here? What are the numbers? Wondering even the number of our neighbours who have become PR's who have volunteered their sons to do NS?
Most can have their cake and eat it. They can just go home when their careers/jobs end here and say a big Thank You to us. Where can we go?

Jenny said...

"No matter how hard we try, it would be hard to produce another 14,000 babies. Hence we need to attract more immigrants."
Watch out for another press secretary type clarification - "What the Prime Minister meant to say was to attract more immgrant babies."
Isn't this getting tiresome? First it was the "private" versus "public" visit to Taiwan. Then it was the "counter" and not "fix" the opposition. Now its "laksa" and not "mee siam". When will Lee Kuan Yew realise his son is not fit to wear his shoes?

Anonymous said...

I agree with satayxp and the 'anonymous' who pointed out what's the fascination with the magical number of 4 million people. Short term wise, to 'import' foreign talents into SG is to keep the current economy boom going - at least for the next 20 years - so as to continue to line the pockets of our MIW. By 20 years later, the current dynasty would have passed and retreated elsewhere - leaving SG to its demise.

As to the correlation between babies numbers and economy, obviously there's none. Even my mom realises that MIW have miscalculated when they initiated the 'stop at 2'policy. The MIW should know that Singaporeans aren't as naive as before, they should wake up and smell the roses that we are as sophisticated and thinking as the Americans - a benchmark drawn by the elitiest MIW himself. We can accept that "the Truth Hurts".

gold said...

well said.

This is truly an enlightening post

simplesandra said...

If Singaporeans aren't giving birth (and that applies to ALL races), what are the chances immigrants would after they get their pink ICs, especially when they no longer receive anymore preferential treatment from the government?

Another round of recruitment then?

Anonymous said...

Besides why Mr. Wang has astutely pointed out, another figure that minilee has tried to fudge is the 4 million figure. Let us not forget, 1 out of that 4 million population figure is already a foreigner. So if minilee talks about maintaining the population, it stands to reason that it should be 3 and not 4 million since out of that 4 million also includes low skilled temporary migrant workers like the Bangladeshis and the PDMMs.

John Riemann Soong said...

"do not think it their duty to marry and procreate as part of nation-building,"

Someone needs a good dose of Orwell. Let us all do our Duty to the Party.

John Riemann Soong said...

Technically as of 2005, 800,000 were foreigners, not one million.

In 2005, we had a population 4.5 million, and thus 3.7 million were either born or naturalised.

In July 2006, our population dropped to 4.3 million. That's a massive emigration of 200,000 in one year, either from foreign workers who left, or Singaporeans.

agc123 said...

May be PM Lee should import babies instead of FT. right ?

Anonymous said...

maybe the government is trying to import foreign talents to settle down and procreate. getting them to do work here is just a decoy.

of course, these foreigners can always pack and leave in a breeze. so the government must make their stay in singapore as pleasant as possible.....

Anonymous said...

say the ruling party gov succeeds in attracting new immigrants to work here and eventually live here. assuming that the rules work right, these new immigrants would start contributing to the public coffers right away. assuming they are also high-value workers, maybe they'll have a good chance at paying for their own retirements and medical bills, therefore not increasing the burden on public finances in 20-25y time...

...by which time the babies of today should start working already.

so maybe even though LHL's logic is fallacious and arguably deceptive, the numbers may still work out (in theoretical projections). problematic i admit, given the many assumptions above, the rising lifespans etc.

however, his shifting the blame onto Singaporeans for not reproducing is a low blow. previously, the stop-at-two policy provided gave unnecessary state reinforcement of the almost inevitable demographic trend of falling birth rates with rising economic development. i look to Trees, Robots & Babies
for possible current reasons why many singaporeans may choose not to have too many kids today.

i don't have children, but when i do, it wouldn't be in singapore. the lack of freedom of expression, the confinement of thought and action...not for my kids, thanks.

Hermes said...

Thanks for the link. Appreciated.

I tried to compare both transcripts and ...

Failed.

But still, you are plainly too cynical. Heed your wife's advice.

Small Lee wouldn't need Big Lee running around at his age (i.e. Batam) if he's competent. So the guy's learning now. Ah Goh took a few years okay.

Anonymous said...

But in all fairness without the benefit of hindsight, anyone would have thought that "stop at two" was a great idea back then.

We could only hope that the experience would make us more circumspect about the longer-term effects, intended or otherwise, of any policy.

This enjoyable read was a good start!

Anonymous said...

To: agc123 said...

"May be PM Lee should import babies instead of FT. right ?

Friday, August 25, 2006 12:44:44 PM"

The Govt is already doing that. Where does the term pei-du-ma-ma come from? The pei-du-ma-ma (pdmm) are here because their children are studying. It has already begun.

Jobs for foreigners. NS for Singaporeans.

Majullah Singapura.

Lunatic_fringe

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

maybe the government is trying to import foreign talents to settle down and procreate. getting them to do work here is just a decoy.

of course, these foreigners can always pack and leave in a breeze. so the government must make their stay in singapore as pleasant as possible....." Friday, August 25, 2006 1:20:26 PM

The problem is we are already making foreigners too welcome in Singapore. Foreigners will come here if there is a demand for their skills and jobs available that pay them enough for the hassle of settling in Singapore. Already out of 4 m population, foreigners (i.e. PRs and non-citizens) make up about 1m. How many more do we want? To be like Dubai with virtually half or more of the population foreign workers? Sorry, we dun have petrol dollars to support that type of economy.

Jobs for foreigners. NS for Singaporeans.

Majullah Singapura.

liberation front

silau said...

in terms of nation-building enthusiasm, though, I think it'll be hard to top what this guy has to suggest, from a letter to Today:
http://www.todayonline.com/articles/138423.asp

Steady lah. One local + one foreign wife. Increase birth rate + welcome 'foreign talent' some more.

teck soon said...

It looks like Mr Wang is a non-racist Singaporean! Finally, someone who says "a 40-year-old stem research scientist in the US" instead of just calling him an 'ang moh'! I am impressed. It is so rare to find a blog that does not resort to insidious pejoratives when debating "foreign talent".

swl said...

Firstly the bulk of what Singapore have been getting and will continue to get, are not talents but immigrants workers or economic refugees. People move to where they think they will have a better future and prospect. In this regard the govt, more than ever, must tighten the entry criteria and requisites instead of loosening them! To sift out the chaff from the wheat! Instead LHL and his administration seems bent to do just the opposite, which will put more social strains and resentment in society. Nation building takes a big step backwards when the flood gates are opened indiscriminately.

Secondly, if birth rate is really wat LHL is concerned about, then it takes less effort and resources for the govt to get existing citizens to procreate, then say trying to get foreigners to come in, settle down, hope they will stay, and eventually procreate. See how much more they need to do in the second instance? Does not quite make sense at all. Conditions to procreate are the same whether one is a citizen or a foreigner. If locals are not procreating, what makes LHL think dat foreigners will? Bcos the root causes of low birth rate are never addressed at all.

3rdly, the continual huge influx of foreigners competing against Singaporeans for executive and middle management jobs is also a clear indication that we have not moved up the value chain. We are still stuck in the old economy price competition mode. Which explains why the need for CASINOS as quick fixs. I think PAP has lost the plot a long time ago, and it is getting desperate.

Lastly i want to say that Economic freedom is closely linked with Political freedom. Whichever you choose to start off with, sooner or later you come to a point where you wouldn't be able to move forward without the other. Right now Political freedom is what Singapore lacks and needs, in order to progress economically.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Delusional people like Ong Kean Hin actually exist in Singapore.

That's one desperate mentally-challenged chauvanistic sex maniac waiting to sow his raging hormones abroad on government sponsorship.

And to think that Today has published that suggestion!

Hold on, let me check if it's a humor column...

autonomous coward said...

perhaps it is the fact that if we have the wrong population pyramid, there will be less CPF for the garment industry to be playing around with...

Anonymous said...

>Technically as of 2005, 800,000 were foreigners, not one million.

No. 800,000 are non-residents (i.e. work permit, EP, student pass, business/tourist visitors etc.).

The 3.2 million residents includes foreigners who are PRs. The actual number of PRs in Singapore is as closely guarded a secret as the value of our reserves

AA said...

This is why we read your blog and why you mustn't stop blogging Mr Wang: no one else can pick out the things you do so keenly.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, I think the truth of the matter is somewhere in between... and the govt cant be totally blamed.

The reason why there was a drastic drop in population 30 years ago is a combination of many factors and does not lie solely with government policies (although it must have had a major impact)...

If you work the numbers... it was the Middle East Oil Crisis which affected the entire world... back then, people just didnt want to add more mouths to feed because they were all not secure about the future...

This is a major factor in which I am surprised everyone seemed to have left out...

Yes. There MAY been a screw-up when they didnt relax the Stop-At-Two policy sometime ago but back then, could anyone have dreamt about the tremendous growth since the 1970s and the pressing need for manpower now? For a long time, 2 was a most prudent number for families.

Also, there is also a leap of logic here... if one blames the govt and argues that the Stop-At-2 policy is the main driver, then conversely, the govt shouldnt have any problems raising the birth rate like now!? The small family size now is more of Singapore's changing social preferences... like many other developed countries...

John Riemann Soong said...

> The 3.2 million residents includes foreigners who are PRs. The actual number of PRs in Singapore is as closely guarded a secret as the value of our reserves

Thanks for reminding me...then there's also the issue of how many are native-born. Not being a nativist here, as I think most who are naturalised should be welcomed with open arms, but then again there's an issue if they relax naturalisation procedure for economic (rather than social) purposes.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Actually, in my post, I would not have blamed the PAP government of today for the "Stop At Two" policy of yesteryear;

if PM Lee had not blamed the young Singaporeans of today for the effects of the "Stop At Two" policy of yesteryear.

Either way, that is not the main point of my post - the main point is that babies are not adults, and adults are not babies, and it is illogical to say that we need more foreign talents because no enough S'poreans have been producing babies in very recent years.

You can see from his speech what he intended to suggest - that because his baby-making incentives in 2004 failed, therefore now, in 2006, he plans to grossly expand his FT intake.

And you know that it's nonsense. Babies are not adults, and adults are not babies.

Finally - I want to point out that it is not at all obvious that the aging population issue in Singapore is as serious a problem as the government makes it out to be. It may be, but it may not - our policy-making, however, seems to assume that it will be, and we then go on to make policies which could in the future well have unintended, serious and adverse consequences (just like the "Stop at Two" policy did).

In future posts, I will address this in greater detail. If you want to understand some of this now, however, I recommend you go to my sidebar, look for the link to the Institute of Policy Studies' research on aging populations worldwide and start thinking of whether how much that applies in some other parts of the world would really apply in Singapore.

For now, I'll just feed you with two tidbits for thought:

1. One of the great horribles of an aging population is that in heavily welfare-based countries, governments which don't have a sufficiently large base of young working adults to tax will find it increasingly difficult to keep paying pensions, providing free/cheap healthcare etc. However, Singapore is basically not welfare-based; most of us DON'T get a monthly pension to the last month of our lives; and most of us DO compulsorily save (thanks to CPF) every month for our retirement years. So this "horrible" doesn't apply to Singapore that much.

2. A hot area in scientific research right now is how long human beings can really expect to live (and live healthily). The numbers just keep going up - the current mainstream view is that life expectancy in the USA will be around 85 by the year 2050 (up from 77 today) and will top out eventually in the low 90s, and this estimate does not take into account major scientific advances that can change the rate of human aging itself.

This is really amazing considering that some anthropologists' conclusions that early Homo Sapien typically reached sexual maturity and started reproducing around age 11-13; then assuming that he wasn't eaten by predators or didn't die prematurely from disease; would have died of old age around age 25.

The key point to think about - if in the year 2030, the average Singaporean is dying, say, at age 80; and the average Singaporean is quite healthy and functional and able to work at age 70;

then what is the significance of the fact that in 2006, we were aggressively importing ever-increasing nos. of foreigners to settle here? The way I see it - it could well be overpopulation, on our little island.

--

These are just some quick thoughts on a complex issue .... As I said, I will write more in the future.

John Riemann Soong said...

There's also the use of biochemistry and nanotechnology to efficiently safeguard against cancer, ie. prevent it by detecting wayward cells with mutations before they ever become cancerous.

I remember reading about how to make cancer cells engulf each other (as a form of apoptosis), rather than relying on the immune system to do it.

biased observer said...

> The 3.2 million residents includes foreigners who are PRs. The actual number of PRs in Singapore is as closely guarded a secret as the value of our reserves

Today's ST has an article that mentioned 440k PRs. Which really surprised me given, as you said, how secretive the government has been with that figure.

Another datapoint to add into the mix.

Anonymous said...

The post ND Rally propaganda on the Mainstream media is nauseating. Ft this, FT that.

Ever walked around the neighbourhood recently? Town centres, Orchard, on public transport etc. Somehow it feels like pure born and bred Singaporeans are fast becoming the minority. And near my place, there are PLENTY of old folks sitting on benches, just staring into space or chatting with their fellow grey-haired friends.

John Riemann Soong said...

I guess I wouldn't be pure born and bred then. 5 and a half years of childhood in another country.

John Riemann Soong said...

You know, despite taking the PSLE and everything else.

Frank said...

"it could well be overpopulation" is worse than you think. Take Mah Bow Tan's father-in-law. The geriatic old man, on the onset of dementia, is such a nasty fellow that his own children in Australia would not want to have anything to do with him. So son-in-law imports him to Singapore, not sure as PR or citizen - you gotta give this guy clout. Now guess who pays for the subsidized medical care?

Anonymous said...

There is a perspective lacking on this issue - all these foreign talents who have been PRs may eventually accept citizenship. And when they do, will naturally be very grateful to the ruling party. So, who do you think they will vote for? I think it is PAP's tactic to import loyal voters more than really coping with the aging population of this country. Let's face it, natives here are slowly but surely voting against the PAP.

If Singaporeans can come together as one people, it is easy to bring the government to its knees. Make your demand, set a date, and boycott work on that day collectively. Of course there may be repercussions, but no pain, no gain.

pennythots said...

I agree that the numbers do not crunch - that importing adult immigrants to make up for 14000 missing babies does not add up.

However, the above doesn't *entirely* fall flat, if you take into account the following supporting arguments:

1) that we do import "young" foreign students from China, India, etc, who will eventually grow up to be part of the workforce in future.

2) making a huge generic assumption here, that migrant foreigners are more likely to reproduce after settling down here, as compared to "native" singaporeans who are jaded with all the policies etc etc.

3) Even if (2) is not true, if the imported population is of child-having age, that increases the pool of adults of child-having age, which ceteris paribus should increase the number of children born.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Pennythots:

I'm aware of that. That is why I wrote this in my post:

"Of course, I have also oversimplified. The true dynamics are more complicated."

The thing is - PM Lee is the one who makes it sound so straightforward; and unfortunately the argument in the form he presents it is as wrong as it is straightforward.

As mentioned, I will write more about the aging population in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Yup, looks like the Gahment is trying to cover up their mistake 30 yrs ago in forcing Singaporeans to "stop at 2". See what's happens now; we do not have enough people in this country and have to import FTs. We should fire the PaPpies and especially old man Lee for his big policy blunder.

Anonymous said...

But how to fire the PaPpies? In the May GE2006, Lee Kuan Yew already said that "you can't change out a government through an election." So he's challenging the nationalistic Singaporeans, if such animals exist at all, to start a fifth column that may even lead to civil war. That would be disastrious. However, with the influx of gamblers coming to the casinos, and opening the floodgates to foreigners of all categories, including illegal immigrants who can run hawker stalls, that's a looming disaster of another kind. The next generation of Singaporeans looks set to be wedged between a rock and a hard place.

Anonymous said...

I believe MIW also made a big mistake with the HDB lift thingy, and now who pays for the mistake?

http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.com/2006/06/ge-issue-lift-upgrading_16.html

Guest-Drop-In said...

Mr Wang,

Well said!

All these years, the PAP government have just too good and monopolistic powers or rather golden rice bowls and naturally for that, they had all intentions to use all the singapore resources to cause every single residents to be entrapped into this "monopolism". The mindsets of the PAP behind every kinds of measures so exhibited during GE to tear down opponents and seduce the public to the good or bad is also definitely present in them now with regards to policy making and 'nation-building'.

By what evidence can one see those "GE mindsets" as not present now when there's still no qualms to justify all the high pays for the cabinet members and justify their 'rightful' entitlement to the pension scheme. The high pay would be have given them all the pension protection but as Jack Neo's movie said,"Money Not Enough".

Don't we all know that the cries of the people are not really heard but they are just to be managed to a level best left to the private sectors, you and me again, or even better be swept in the dark of the night or under carpets, just like those homeless in public parks are rounded out from public sights
in the middle of the nights. Even so, who is there to say such approach and mindsets isn't inherent as the PAP government go about resolving national problems.

The PAP power-brokers have been able and will continue to execute such blatant "success", like the Suzou Project, Micropolis Bought-Over, Stop-At-2 Policy, HDB Asset-Enhancement and now the IR, all because the PAP have all the monopoly of power in form as well in substance!

In this regard, isn't it interesting that most will agree that one component of a tyranny is
monopoly of power!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear you got mauled by the brotherhood. Are you alright Mr Wang?

I hope you fine, pls dont go out from this play-pen remember it is a dangerous world out there.

Stay here and I promise you, you will be safe

Ah Mah

jessica said...

http://intelligentsingaporean.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/pulling-a-fast-one/#comments

Pls stay in your play pen Mr Wang. Remember always in the kingdom of the blind even a one eyed person can be king. Here you are everything outside you are just a rag doll.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

you have attracted some juvenile delinquents.

A sad by-product of our supposedly world class education. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness, Mr Wang, those were just trolls. You really should've known better. Don't waste your time with those kinds of posters.

klimmer said...

I guess that is what happens when you get guys who study a lot and had no real world experience - they try to engineer society fancy words and impractical theories.

What it really comes down to is the government needs to stop behaving like its the fount of all solutions and let market forces decide labor. It was their shake and bake policies that resulted in the current mess but they dont seem to realise that the dynamics have changed.

Immigration & it's accompany social divides are unavoidable but they really ought to stop pimping us around like we're the village bicycle. It's so typical of PAP's angular decision making process...

Anonymous said...

i actually welcome foreign "talent"... but is in the mold of Deco... but all we get is Agu Casmir... and more than 1 million of them... sad

Anonymous said...

The first time I read the speech, I interpret his message as Singapore needs to import foreign talents, encourage them to settle down and start a family, which leads to more babies.

In my opinion, Singapore doesn't need "talents". What we need are foreign workers (say from Bangladesh) to fill up the structural gap - i.e. do all the work pampered Singaporeans are not willing to do.

http://mikosee.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

let me add to the discussion as a 40something male singaporean migrating soon....
remember the 1st time sm goh fight the ge as pm.his percentage of vote is not that good(in miw standard).i remenber the policy change.cpf money can be use to get secondary property.the property boom that follow.ipo of singtel,every citizen can now own apiece of singtel by investing thier cpf fund.the steaming stock market.everything look so good and promising.the long line of spore cars heading for jb.the next ge,not only pap got a better vote percentage,they manage to reduce the opposition seats.MIW always use economic figure as a election weapon,also use it as a threat to voter...vote for me for more good years.In order to produce good figure year after year,they need to keep pushing the economy.In the earlier year,it is the productivity campaign.as the years get by.overtime work become a norm of working life.where got time to have baby and to attend upgrading course.beside,labour wages is always the tool use to prime pump the economy whenever we arein a shit.our mm is already 82,he has to make sure the pm entrench himself comfortably in the pm seat in 2011 when mm is 87.one of the quick fix way of producing fantastic growth figure is to stimulate the by lowering overall cost structure.one of the quicky way will be bringing in foreign help,never mind you singaporean get restructure and your purchasing power decrease in the process.not everybody suffer,it is the bottom 30percent who get hit hard.i work with quite a bit with ft.a lot of them are using singapore as a stepping stone to get to western countries.as for the low cost foreign worker,many work for a few year,srimp in the expense here and leave once they cannot take it anymore.i see a lot reduction in productivity in a lot of area in the economy,it is just quantity but not quality work done.many PR are reluctant to take up citizenship.i think the worst of it all is the rojak identity forming here.my filipino colleage told me canditly thier heart will always be with philipine,the same answer from the chinese PR,india PR and they will leave at the first sign of trouble.many chinese ft have gone back to china as they can make more money there.i notice thier common mindset is whichever place give me a better deal,i will flee.USA is a huge nation,they can definitely take such human capital migration and split identity,can singapore a tiny nation afford it?
i do not know about other singaporean.i am born here,got through the singapore system,serve NS and reservist.yet,i am now preparing to migrate to thailand in my forties in my last few years.it is a big decision to make for someone to give up the red passport to plunge into the great unknown.how about those well qualified young singaporean??have fortyone years of nation building achieve nothing of forging a common singaporean identity?or maybe the identity is in a process of disintergration?

Benj said...

Yes babies are not adults and adults are not babies, thanks for that insightful comment. HOWEVER, adults can MAKE babies, and that is most likely what your esteemed PM meant when he said that we do not have enough babies, therefore we need immigration so that the immigrants will MAKE babies.

Its simple if you think about it...

Phoenix said...

This is a nonsensical post. It's one thing to try and be an expressive trailblazer of angst among a people who feel they're unfortunate citizens in a despotic place (wait till you see what life in other 'free' countries is like), but quite another to make stupid arguments in the name of logic.

Yes, there's a shortage of both talent and babies. Both of these are big economic issues that go beyond the apparent caliber of self-proclaimed star bloggers.

1. TALENT:

Singaporeans don't do a whole lot of jobs. We grow up so spoilt by our mall and airconditioned cultured (our HDB environment is better/cleaner than posh apartment condos in many countries) that some jobs are just below our dignity.

So, on the lower end, it is vital to import workers from China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India.

On the higher end, Singapore has placed itself as being a decent hub for big global companies from Shell to Apple to Google. Are Singaporeans trained to fill these roles and be smart and savvy enough to have a presence in front of their counterparts in the 15 big Asia Pacific markets? Not quite. Sorry to prick your bubble. Not many "regional directors" in big multinationals are Singaporeans. For a very good reason.

2. AGEISM/BABIES

The logic that babies will take 20/25 years to become productive members of society is moronic. Sure they will, but it's not a reason NOT to import people today. Have our policies to encourage locals to produce more babies ourselves worked? Nope.

So we need foreign talent, ideally from good families from good countries, and with actual skills that're in demand (e.g., science and technology) so that while we produce more Singaporean babies, we also fulfill the demands of our economy.

Stop whining and start learning.