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Lim Swee Say, Population

Lim Swee Say calls for consensus on White Paper on Population, across parties

Published on Feb 7, 2013 2:55 PM
 
File photo of a newborn baby. Labour chief and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say said on Thursday that he hopes Parliament can come to a consensus on the White Paper on Population and work together to tackle Singapore's population challenges. "Let us work together regardless of parties," he said, after identifying three points of agreement between the PAP Government and the opposition. These points were: that having more babies is better than having more new citizens, that a smaller total population is better than a larger one, and that living conditions for Singaporeans must improve. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Labour chief and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say said on Thursday that he hopes Parliament can come to a consensus on the White Paper on Population and work together to tackle Singapore's population challenges.

"Let us work together regardless of parties," he said, after identifying three points of agreement between the PAP Government and the opposition.

These points were: that having more babies is better than having more new citizens, that a smaller total population is better than a larger one, and that living conditions for Singaporeans must improve.

On infrastructure bottlenecks. Mr Lim said that where the Government has not been doing well, it must improve, and what it has already done well, it must do better.

Some worried that areas which have started to improve might worsen again as the population grows, he said. But that must not be allowed to happen.

Mr Lim also mentioned other concerns which union and grassroots leaders had. One was the need for good jobs and good wages, and to have a "soft-landing approach" in economic restructuring in order to avoid structural unemployment and wage stagnation.

"If we hurt businesses by going too far, the ones ultimately hurt are the workers," said Mr Lim in Mandarin.