Posted by: bigtalksingapore | September 30, 2009

Thanks to foreigners, Singapore population is hitting 5 millions

The topic of Singaporean vs Foreigner is getting pretty hot recently, not just in the cyber world.
I also believed most of the coffee shop topics will be revolving around it for quite some time.

Singapore Department of Statistic released the official figure that Singapore population is going to hit 5 millions (Attachment #1).
Whoa ! 5 millions, that’s a lot of people to be squeezing in a small little red dot like Singapore.
All these happened all thanks to our foreign talent.
Thank you very much hor !

A few issues that I like to “BigTalk” below..

  • The number of non-resident (Working Permit) increased by 4.8% this year.
    The previous two years was over 10% (Attachment #2 Tag#1).
    And there’s also the ever increasing foreigner turned PR and Citizen (Foraporean).
    Is it until now that problem are surfacing ? Some sort of a process or immigration lag ?
    I don’t think so, this problem/issue have been existing ever since the “Great  Singapore Sales” open its door (Sale of Citizens, PR and working permit certificate).
    I think that they (Government and its media) are bringing it up because of the coming election.
    If they don’t bring it up now, it will still re-surface during the election, unless they issue an order to stop discussion on this topic during the next election.
    Hopefully, the public can vent their frustration before the election and then the storm can pass so that the damages will be minimized during the election.
    If this frustration drags on, then they may consider pushing back the election to a better date.
    .
  • The main reasons that started the “Great Singapore Sale” and push open the  immigration door so wide is the aging population and diminishing young work force.
    Our Government have come up with many policies to entice Singaporeans to make babies.
    But it seem that their efforts have resulted in minimum impact.
    Have they really understand the real problems behind their policies to make more babies ?
    I’m not smart, but in my opinion there are two main problems.
    Housing and Education.
    .
    Housing is so expensive in Singapore that setting up a families in Singapore is a daunting task.
    Our “Heavily Subsidies” HDB flat is still so expensive that we have spend our life to pay for it.
    Singapore is so small, if you put in more people, housing is going to be more expensive. More expensive housing make families setup more difficult which in turn lead to less babies and much more foreigners.
    This is like a vicious cycle that keep repeating itself.
    My suggestion is to create a HDB price distinction between Singaporean vs PR and Foreigner.
    Example, there should be a significant price discount (like 20%) of  HDB flat for Singaporean who applied for it for reason of setting up a family.
    Of cos, there may be a certain criteria for the price discount to encourage Singaporean to set up family and make babies.
    .
    Then there’s the education cost that demand parents to spend a large portion of their income.
    I would suggest that education for all Singaporean kids to be free in public school until they reached a certain level (Eg. After secondary education).
    Hopefully, by the time Singaporean children finished that certain level of schooling (secondary education), their parents would have completed much of their housing debt. Then they can redirect their resources to their children University education (Local or oversea).
    .
    Then there’s the issue of diminishing young work force.
    It should be time for them to review the National Service and Reservist system.
    National Service, Reservist Training and IPPT/RT is talking up too much of our Singaporean time and reducing our local work force power.
    So, it is natural that most employers prefer to hire a foreigner and PR (Permanent Resident) than male Singaporean with reservist commitment (http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?file=/2009/9/26/columnists/insightdownsouth/4777881&sec=insightdownsouth).
    We can’t really blame them for that because employers objective is to ensure smooth running of their company operation (Attachment #8 Tag #1).
    There have been some recent proposal whereby they are setting up a office space for reservists during in camp training  to do their work over the internet. But have they consider this, if the reservist is doing his company work and reservist training at the same time, the reservists mind will probably be on his company work. Lack of concentration during training can result in accident. If there’s live firing involve, the result may be deadly.
    We don’t want that to happen, do we ? ….  really we don’t right ?
    My suggestion is this.
    Cut the National Service period further from 2 years to 6 months (3 months BMT plus 3 months Post-ORD preparation training).
    After the ORD, release our young men to the work force to fill the industry or university education.
    A new system of recalling our reservist to training should be created to allow them to book their reservist training according to their work schedule.
    For example, the reservist training can split into many different modules (Eg. various weapon/equipment operation modules, range live firing modules, Infantry operation modules and etc.).
    Reservist have to complete all the modules within a certain period of say 10 years.
    Module may be conducted during weekend where the reservist is free.
    Weekday can be done on a 2 to 3 days time slot. Reservist need to take SAF leave from the company during which impact to company operation is minimum.
    Additional monetary reward should be given after the completion of each module.
    After the 10 years, if the reservists have not complete all the modules, then it will continue until he finished.
    Those that completed the modules within the 10 years will be considered to have completed their reservist commitment.
    For those highly motivated reservists, they can opt to take up more modules than those assigned to them. For example, an infantry reservist can opt to take up the medic module to learn about first-aid application. In this way, we can cross train them and it may come in handy in time of crisis.
    At the age of 30 year old, all reservist training should stop unless the reservist request to continue until their 40.
    Those reservists who cannot complete their modules before their age of 30 and still want to leave their reservist status can pay back monetary.
    The reason to release our reservists at age 30 is because at this age some of the reservists would have accumulated enough industry experience to start their own business. If they don’t want to start a business, it is time for them focus on their career (Usually will not change much) and starting a families with no army interruption.
    Lastly, start moving our National Service from a Enlistment to Employment system.
    By employment, I refer to the current regular signed up army personnel.
    An employed (Signed up) soldier is more motivated and will do a better job than an enlisted one.
    .
  • The issue of first generation PR to serve National Service and Reservist keep popping up.
    Our PM Lee comment “If we make it (NS and Reservist for PR) a requirement, we would not get the people we wanted. Secondly, if they did serve NS at 30, 40 and 50 years old. I would not like to be their platoon commander.”
    I can think of two different interpretation to the meaning.
    One, if the PR serve NS and reservist training at 30 years old, they would be too old to take the training. We don’t want to over exert our PR because they may injure themselve or just die off. We already got Singaporean soldiers dying off for no reason at all. If he become their platoon commander, he would have a hard time explaining it to their families, and imagine the reports and investigation that he need to do. If this is the reason, and if  Singaporean and PR are equal, then Singaporean should not be doing any more reservist training, IPPT/RT after 30 years old.
    Two, if the PR serve NS and reservist training at 30 years old, they would not get use to the army regiment and discipline. Many of them will resent and complaint. Some may even give up and leave Singapore. Or maybe they may band together in large number and stage a street protest in the middle of orchard road. Worst if some of them turn their gun toward their Platoon Commander. Then he will be in deep shit. On the other hand, male Singaporean get enlisted around 20 year old, at this age it is easy to train/condition their mind so that they follow order and don’t dare to complaint (At least not challenging their Platoon Commander publicly).
    These PRs are probably not loyalty driven, they’re mainly using Singapore as a launching pad (Attachment #5 Tag #1).
    So Platoon Commanders are afraid to trust our guns with them.
    .
    My suggestion is this, we should create a different classification for our PR.
    The first class of PR would be those with lots of money to bring into Singapore (They’ll need to bring in at least S$5m to Singapore), I’ll call them “PR Elite”.
    The second class of PR are for those with very very exceptional skills that Singapore need but cannot be found, I’ll call them “PR Professional”.
    The third class of PR are for the remaining foreigner, I’ll call the “PR General”.
    We may not want to push our “PR Elite” and “PR Professional” away from Singapore, so these two groups may be  exempted from NS and Reservist training.
    The third class, “PR General”,  should have no excuse to skip NS and Reservist training. They should be shouldering the burden of our male Singaporean and compete with them for jobs on equal footing.
    If we are concern about our “PR General” loyalty to Singapore, we can implement a screening process. Conduct an evaluation of each “PR General” after the first 5 years. See how they perform during their NS and Reservist training. If their performance is good and loyalty assure, then they can continue their “PR General” status. If not, revoke their “PR General” status and let them go back to their country.
    To be more transparency to Singaporean, Singapore Department of Statistic should not lump the “PR Elite”, “PR Professional” and “PR General” as one number. These figures should be separated so that citizens understand the situation clearly.
    .
  • While announcing the new population statistic, the Manpower Ministry took the opportunity to announce that they have shutdown 11 employment agency for illegal wrong doing on employment of foreign workers.
    Gee, what a good coincidence.
    I guess it’s a damage control tactic knowing that the new population statistic is going to draw public fire.
    .
  • Guess what ? GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation) took the opportunity to sneak out news of their 20% loses on their portfolio.
    Why ?
    They probably knew that the foreign population issues is going to draw public attention.
    Perhaps, while the people attention is on the 5 millions population figure, they can escape being fire upon by public.
    Tell you what, they’re probably right. I think they done it ! Clever maneuver.
    .
  • 20090929C3_SingaporePopulationHitting5MillionThanksToForeigner_MyPaperPgA1

Attachment #1: My Paper, 29 Sep 2009, Page A1
.

20090929C4_SingaporePopulationHitting5MillionThanksToForeigner_MyPaperPgA1

Attachment #2: My Paper, 29 Sep 2009, Page A1
.

20090929C1_SingaporePopulationHitting5MillionThanksToForeigner_MyPaperPgB4Attachment #3: My Paper, 29 Sep 2009, Page B4
.

20090929C2_SingaporePopulationHitting5MillionThanksToForeigner_MyPaperPgB4

Attachment #4: My Paper, 29 Sep 2009, Page B4
.

20090929C8_SingaporePopulationHitting5MillionThanksToForeigner_TodayPg3

Attachment #5: Today, 29 Sep 2009, Page 3
.

20090929E1_ManpowerMinistryCloseDown11EmploymentAgencyForForeignWorker_TodayPg8

Attachment #6: Today, 29 Sep 2009, Page 8
.

20090929D1_GicLost20PercentPortfolio_TodayPg1Attachment #7: Today, 29 Sep 2009, Page 1
.

20090926A1_NationalServiceSingaporeCitizenAndForeignTalent_TodayPg45

Attachment #8: Today, 26 Sep 2009, Page 45
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20090916A1_PmLeeOnNewImmigrants_TodayPg1

Attachment #9: Today, 16 Sep 2009, Page 1

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Responses

  1. […] statistics: Citizens constitute only 63 per cent of Singapore’s population – Big Talk Singapore: Thanks to foreigners, Singapore population is hitting 5 millions – ErniesUrn’s Xanga: Singapore is […]

  2. […] statistics: Citizens constitute only 63 per cent of Singapore’s population – Big Talk Singapore: Thanks to foreigners, Singapore population is hitting 5 millions – ErniesUrn’s Xanga: Singapore is overcrowded – kay poh chee: Singapore PR is given away like […]


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