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Date [ 2013-02-07, 10:05 ]

(Singapore=Koreanpress)  by John Kim = When the Government announced that it could have 30% more people in less than 20 years, with foreigners forming almost half the total, there was tremendous swell of protests.

A controversial report issued by a government agency stated that Singapore’s population could rise up to 6.9 million in 2030 from its current 5.3 million.
 Singapore’s total fertility rate stood at 1.20 children per woman last year. This is far below the 2.1 needed to maintain the native population. A level it has languished in for more than three decades.

In a parliamentary debate, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean defended the government’s population policies by declaring was “fundamentally for the benefit of all Singaporeans — ourselves, our children and their children”. Stressing that the 6.9 million forecast was not a target, but simply to “…. prepare infrastructure plans” for the long-term. He reiterated that Singapore needs immigrants to alleviate the shortage of babies and a rapidly ageing population.

“To prevent our Singaporean core from shrinking and ageing rapidly, we will need to augment our population with new citizens and permanent residents,” Teo added.  But with a third of the population already made up of foreigners, the Government forecast is not very comforting for the majority of the island’s citizens. With the foreigners currently being blamed for driving up the cost of living, straining public services and causing congestion in public transport, it looks like the Singapore government may have a hard time convincing its people that a 6.9 million population is just nice.

Feb 7, 2013
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