Fundamental problem is low fertility rate
THE fundamental problem with our population is that citizens are not producing enough babies.
The Government is introducing measures to encourage Singaporeans to have more babies. Hopefully, it will succeed.
The Population White Paper seems to be based on the assumption of low fertility. We must get to the root causes of low fertility, and I hope we are not giving up so soon.
We must understand the environment that younger Singaporeans desire before they can think about having babies. So far, financial incentives alone have not solved the problem, and more of such perks may not be the answer.
We could encourage more foreigners to become Singapore citizens, but if they too do not produce enough children, our problem in the future would be amplified. Then, we would need even more foreigners to support the economy.
Will we introduce a criterion that requires people wishing to become citizens to have at least two children? Will such a policy be sustainable?
A 6.9 million population may be what we will need in 2030 based on current assumptions of low fertility. What is the population that we will need in 2050 if we continue with the same line of projection? I am sure the number will rise exponentially.
Yes, we should plan for the worst-case scenario, but more importantly, we should fix the fundamental problem, which is the low fertility rate. Otherwise, we will be a Japan in the making.
Ang Miah Boon