Singaporeans show their unhappiness with immigration policies publicly at Teo Chee Hean
Posted by temasektimes on October 11, 2012
According to one participant who attended a Town-Hall meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and two other ministers to get ‘feedback’ on the nation’s population policies and ways to reverse the declining birth rate in Singapore, many of the participants appeared to be fed up with the current situation and were merely there to air their grievances.
“The mood in the hall was pretty somber as the participants voiced their concerns, grievances and anger one after another such that at one point, the moderator has to interject to calm them down…..The ministers appeared to be answering from a script – the same standard template reply. They don’t give the impression that they will change the policy. They are just there to explain the rationale behind the immigration policy and to sell it to us.”
After DPM Teo reiterated the importance of Singapore continuing to import immigrants to boost its falling birth rates, sighs could be heard among the participants with one irate man standing up and walking away on the spot, prompting him to say:
“I could see that, just watching the faces of the audience; some of the things, people nodded their heads while some shook their heads. This represents the kinds of dilemmas and difficulties that we have, as the government, to try and meet the aspirations of our people.”
One Singaporean Osman Sidek wrote in to the Straits Times Forum today asking if the next generation will have to deal with a larger aging population in the future:
“If indeed this increase is required to support our ageing population, wouldn’t that generation itself grow old in the future, thus needing a bigger population to sustain it? Aren’t we merely passing the buck to later generations?”
Another Singaporean Paul Chan pointed out the ramifications of a larger population using Hong Kong as an example:
“It took Hong Kong more than 100 years to accommodate a community of 7.1 million, even though they largely comprised Chinese from a single province – Guangzhou in southern China. Beneath the veneer of a vibrant city are tremendous stresses and fault lines, despite the apparent advantage of homogeneity where more than 90 per cent of Hong Kongers share the same Chinese dialect – Cantonese – as well as the same social and cultural backgrounds.”
Despite the ‘feedback’ from Singaporeans, it is highly likely that the decision has already been made by one old ‘wise’ man behind closed doors and the session as well as future ones are merely a ‘PR exercise’ or ‘wayang’ to sugar-coat the bitter policy which is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life in Singapore.