Is the White Paper simply kicking the can down the road?

WP MP Low Thia Khiang is at his inimitable best with this simple but powerful speech that he delivered in Parliament today. His reasoning against the White Paper cuts through all the smoke screens that many of the PAP MPs (especially Mah Bow Tan)  have been dishing out over the past week.

In Mr Low’s words, the government’s use of non-stop importing of immigrants as a solution to everything is overly simplistic and it is simply “kicking the can down the road.

Here’s an extract of his speech which cuts to the crux of the issue and explains why many of us think the White Paper’s proposal is flawed:

The trouble with the government is not that it lacks 20/20 foresight in infrastructural development, but that it fails to recognize that the problem is its immigration policy in the first place. The problems of low birth rates and ageing population lie in a social and physical environment that is not conducive for family life. Therefore, the solutions must be sought by focusing on promoting the quality of life of Singaporean families. By focusing on immigration, the government is using the cause of the problems today as the solution for tomorrow.

What the government is doing is kicking the can down the road. The government has been using immigration to grow the workforce in the past 30 years. It is proposing to continue to do so for the next 20 years. The government said that it HOPES for an increase in the TFR to 1.4 or 1.5. This is a matter of national survival, and the government is only weakly hoping with an ambiguous target with no specified timetable. Without a TFR recovery plan with clear targets, our birth rates are not going to go up. So when 2030 arrives, what solution are we going to turn to?

Immigration again? Another white paper to project a population size of 10 million in 2050 as a roadmap? Anyway, let me tell this house, if we travel down this roadmap, Singaporeans will become a minority in their own country…” – Mr Low Thia Khiang.

To read more of this interesting speech:

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