Thursday, May 5, 2011

Immigration: the SDP solution

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan: "A recent review of our long-term land use and transportation plan concluded that we have enough land to cater to a population of 6.5 million.

Singapore is already the third most densely populated country in the world with a density of 7,023 persons/sq km. Even Hong Kong - long known for its crowded roads and housing estates - is less dense (6,349 persons/sq km).

The Government announced last week that the new number is 5.1 million - an increase of 100,000 in just a year from 2009.

Out of this only 3.23 million are Singaporeans which makes 36 percent of the population foreigners. In other words for every three persons you see around you, one is not a Singaporean.

And because of the PAP's very deliberate policy of flooding this country with foreigners, we have housing prices shooting through the roof because non-Singaporeans continue to buy property here like there was no tomorrow.

The MRT trains are at bursting point. One netizen reported that a station was so crowded that people coming up from the escalator could not get off safely because the train platform was filled with commuters.

We're digging more and more tunnels for the trains without knowing whether they are contributing to the unprecedented floods that we have had.

Economically, the influx of cheap foreign labour is causing wages of locals to be depressed. The widening income gap is unsustainable.

Socially, the immigration policy is causing tensions that are beginning to manifest in unfortunate and ugly ways.

We must check the PAP's recklessness and stop it from increasing our population by another 30 percent!

The SDP's Solutions:

So what can we do to resolve this problem? To alleviate the situation, there are a few important urgent steps that we can take:

1. Introduce a Singaporeans First Policy.

Such a policy will require businesses to demonstrate that the kind of skill that their company requires is not available among Singaporeans before they are allowed to hire a foreign worker.

This is the practice in many other countries where governments protect the interests of their people first.

Likewise when it comes to retrenchment employees should be required to lay-off non-Singaporeans first and only retrench locals as a last resort.

2. Legislate minimum wage.

A minimum wage policy will make businesses more judicious in employing cheap foreign labour and force them to upgrade the workforce. This has the effect of raising productivity. For more on Minimum wage, see here.

3. Democratise the political system.

A more democratic system will encourage Singaporeans, especially young and talented Singaporeans, to stay put. Many younger and talented Singaporeans are emigrating to other countries because of the PAP's stifling undemocratic system. An open and democratic society will stem the brain drain and foreign talent would not be needed in such frightening numbers.

4. Rely less on MNCs and GLCs.

We can do this by encouraging innovation and creativity to flourish in Singapore. MNCs have a voracious appetite for cheap labour, the cheaper the better. This means that they want workers from our neighbouring countries who are willing to work for wages that Singaporeans simply cannot survive on.

By encouraging home-grown entrepreneurs, we reduce our dependence on MNCs and, in turn, our reliance on foreign workers. Not only do we upgrade our economy, we also keep our population at a realistic and sustainable level. Dismantling GLCs will also encourage local entrepreneurs to come to the fore, and add to the effort to upgrade our economy beyond one that simply relies on a cheap labour force.


Only a system of checks and balance can prevent the PAP from dragging our country down this dangerous road. Say no to 6.5 million. Our country will suffer irreparable damage if we allow the regime to go ahead with its reckless move.

No comments: