Jentrified – A good speech made by WP MP Yee Jenn Jong in Parliament today. His views and insights shows he understands the angst and pains that many of us ordinary Singaporeans are going through. If only the PAP MPs could put aside their pride and blind party allegiance to feel the heart of Singaporeans. Perhaps, just perhaps…

Yee Jenn Jong

(Speech delivered on 6 Feb 2013 for the Population Debate)

A Singapore Core
Madam Speaker. I object the motion. The Workers’ Party is proposing an alternative model – one that is based on a dynamic population for a sustainable Singapore.

What is a sustainable Singapore?

Reading through the white paper, I get a sense that Singapore is a large factory. We need 2-5% annual economic growth. Our local workforce will shrink due to ageing and fertility issues. To achieve the targeted economic growth, the paper worked out that we need 1-2% yearly increases to our workforce. Based on that, Singapore will receive large number of immigrants. It could bring our population to 6.9 million within the next 17 years. There will be a population increase of up to 30% in an already congested Singapore. Most of us in this House will still be around 17 years from now. It will…

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One Response to

  1. Singkieu says:

    My response to WP MP Yee Jenn Jong’s speech, posted on his blog as referenced on above on jentrifiedcitizen:

    MP Yee:

    Your party’s point of view is crystal clear and well delivered per your speech.

    I agree in general with the various points you have made, and would like to chime in here to reinforce your point about increasing the TFR, which therein, in my opinion, lies the crux of the problem.

    All this debate about “6.9M in 2030”, 17 years into the future, should have been made 17 years ago in 1996, when the figures and rhetoric could have most likely been “5.0M in 2010”.

    The ugly truth is, simply, we have failed to address adequately, let alone solve, the issue of the declining TFR, over the last 17 years.

    But that’s ‘water under the bridge’, so let’s focus on how to solve the issue at hand, which is that of a declining TFR.

    Admittedly, there is no easy solution, but at a risk of over-simplifying matters, let me bring it down to this to bring it into perspective:

    If the rising costs of raising a child/children in Singapore (i.e. a comfortable and adequate home to raise a family, a vehicle to ferry them around, general living expenses etc.) is becoming more and more of a concern, you can be sure that I will hesitate to procreate.

    If the increasing competition for a child (if I were to have one) to experience while growing up in Singapore (i.e. enrichment classes, tuition, exams, streaming, university entrance, etc.) is becoming more and more of a concern, you can be sure that I will hesitate to procreate.

    If the impending solution (by those in power) is to import more foreigners that will simply jostle for limited space, where my children will grow to inherit a sardine can and where they will be the minority in their own country, you can be sure that I will hesitate to procreate.

    About me: I am a 39 year old pink-IC Singaporean. I completed my NS in 1994 and have a degree in Engineering from one of Canada’s top universities. Up till 2005, I lived and worked in Canada and the US before returning to Singapore in that year. Currently, I am expatriate in a developing ASEAN country for a US-based multinational corporation, in a professional field. My family remains in Singapore, and I visit practically every month. I have never been married and have no children.

    May I humbly suggest that a way to increase the TFR is to attract overseas Singaporeans such as myself, to return home. We are an easily forgetten bunch, but some of us may be ready to come home with a (foreign) wife and young children in tow, or if without children, ready to procreate because either way, we still have faith in our education system.

    To do that you will have to address quality of life issues in Singapore that will pull me back. The last thing I need is for you to bring in even more foreigners to ‘support’ my aging parents. The second last thing I need is for you to bring in even more foreigners to jostle for limited space and infrastructure.

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