The Straits Times
Published on Feb 05, 2013

Share how 6.9m figure was worked out


IF THE 6.9 million population figure is a projection and not a target, then the Government should share with us the parameters on which the projection is based ("Paper on population is 'to spur debate'"; yesterday).

As it appears that many Singaporeans feel it is not tenable for our country to sustain a population of 6.9 million, it is imperative that all premises and assumptions of the projection be made known, and a referendum held to see if Singaporeans are comfortable with this projection.

If Singaporeans feel that the projection is reasonable and accept that this is needed for the country's survival, then we should move on to achieve the common goal.

If the referendum shows that most Singaporeans are not comfortable with a population of 6.9 million, then the Government should work towards policies to sustain a lower rate of population growth.

It is futile to put up a White Paper but not make the details known, and expect Singaporeans to debate the issue.

This is not an issue of "target" versus "projection", but a detailed and informed debate on an issue that outstrips any other in terms of serious repercussions since our country's independence.

Colin Loh