What population debate should be about
DURING the debate on the Population White Paper in Parliament last week, ministers continued to frame the discussion in a manner disconnected from the feelings on the ground.
It is not about growth versus stagnation; it is about home and country.
I would rather live in a comfortable HDB flat that I own than own a luxury condominium unit that I have to share with foreigners.
It is not about planning infrastructure for another 1.6 million people; it is about today's overcrowding and the possibility that things could get worse.
What is the point of building new flats and MRT lines if these facilities will be used by more foreigners, and which will require ever more foreign workers to build?
It is not about welcoming foreigners or being anti-foreigner; it is about disproportion.
Apart from some small oil-rich Gulf states, which other country in the world has foreigners making up 38 per cent of the population, not to mention the projected 45 per cent by 2030?
Singaporeans have always welcomed foreigners as we remember our own immigrant roots; we are not intolerant.
It is not about whether we need foreigners; nobody denies we do. It is about the composition of foreigners - whether they help us (for example, nurses) or simply latch onto our economy for their own benefit.
It is not about spirit; it is about numbers.
With foreigners now making up 38 per cent of the population, we simply cannot transmit our values when so many of them are here simply for the jobs.
It is not about raising incomes if we do not also talk about the cost of living and job security.
Increasing demand for housing on our limited 710 sq km of land leads to higher prices.
It is not about managing the message; it is about having a message that Singaporeans can feel a part of.