Population growth's relevance to a livelihood
I AM glad that Parliament has endorsed the Population White Paper.
It need not have been controversial. Singapore exists and prospered because of its conducive business environment and foreign direct investments. Such a focus naturally leads to immigration.
It is not about how many foreign talents or foreign workers there are but how they are processed and managed. Population growth is synonymous with Singapore's economy.
There have been calls to reduce the growth of foreign workers and for Singaporeans to take it easy. Such calls are unrealistic, callous and risky. Without growth, businesses would not invest here.
I have been in sales for 20 years and none of my bosses reduced my growth targets, not unless they wanted the company to fold.
No shareholders, customers or suppliers will trust a non-growing company.
The same applies for Singapore Inc. The Ministry of Manpower has reduced the foreign worker inflow so much that the business community is crying foul. It is senseless and illogical to turn businesses away.
There are some who feel negatively about the different accents in crowded malls and trains. But this is a happy problem.
Singapore does not have severe unemployment, a flight of companies or real tensions.
The fear, uncertainty and doubt appear to be based on emotions rather than hard problems. After all, there has never been a time when Singapore had no or few foreigners. Singaporeans are descendants of foreigners.
I was married in 1997 and within three years, my household included two children and two aged parents. I am lucky to have a positive-minded wife, and I also feel blessed that there is a positive stream of foreign direct investments into Singapore.
I was employed by a foreign talent who gave me the opportunities to grow in my career. With high expenses, I simply cannot fail. This pushed me to work harder, and opened my mind to new cultures and social skills.
There were bumps along the way but that is life.
Are people trying to create a different Singapore, one that is about an easy life?
To opposing voices, please spare a thought for others. Ultimately, many businesses here are fuelled by foreign direct investments. Their success is Singapore's success, and vice versa.
I am glad the ministers have promised to look after Singapore's interest. More must be done on side issues such as getting permanent residents to do national service as required.
Singapore's economic and political interests, and national integrity must not be compromised. When Singaporeans feel proud, secure and protected, population growth will become a non-issue.
Fred Yap Hoe Kiat