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Parliament
 
POPULATION

Parliament endorses Population White Paper

Published on Feb 8, 2013 6:26 PM
 
The population white paper was endorsed with an amendment on Friday, with 77 Members of Parliament giving their approval. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

The population white paper was endorsed with an amendment on Friday, with 77 Members of Parliament giving their approval.

Thirteen said no, including all nine Workers' Party Parliamentarians, Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam and Nominated MPs Laurence Lien, Faizah Jamal, and Janice Koh. NMP Eugene Tan abstained from voting. Eight people were absent.

The House had voted after WP chief Low Thia Khiang called for a division in the votewhen Speaker Halimah Yacob wanted to seek "ayes" from those who were in favour.

A division is when MPs record their stands electronically instead of voicing it with an "aye" or "no".

The white paper's amended motion supports maintaining a strong Singaporean core by encouraging more Singaporeans to get married and have children, supplemented by a calibrated pace of immigration. It also calls on the Government to attend to current concerns in areas like transport infrastructure.

Earlier, both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean addressed the House after five days of intense debate.

PM Lee said the population size in 2030 and beyond is for a future government and generation to decide. He added that he believes Singapore's population cannot grow indefinitely.

So while a population of six million will not be sufficient to meet the needs of an ageing population, the total number of people here should be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030, and should not increase further after that.

The Government also wants the best for citizens and is hence not passing the responsibility of planning for population matters on to future leaders, he said.