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S Iswaran warns: Economic growth will slow down with declining birth rate

Posted by temasektimes on September 4, 2012

Soon after Singapore’s Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew berated his subjects for not making enough babies two weeks ago, other PAP leaders have followed suit warning the dire consequences of a declining birth rate.

Speaking at a dialogue at the Singapore Management University on Monday evening, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, S Iswaran, has said “Singapore’s demographic trends indicate that economic growth will be more difficult to achieve in future.”

He added that as the workforce is ageing and shrinking, Singapore needs to raise its labour force participation rate, boost productivity and employ foreign manpower judiciously.

“If opportunities dwindle, the consequences can be quite austere. Talented and high-skilled Singaporeans are mobile; some will almost certainly seek out opportunities in more vibrant economies and cities. This will not only be in traditional hubs in the West, but also in up-and-coming cities in fast growing regions like Asia. A loss of local talent also means a loss of the opportunities they could have helped create,” he quipped.

Singapore’s birth rate has plummeted over the years due to sky-rocketing property prices and rampant inflation which are ironically caused by the relentless influx of foreigners brought in by the government to boost economic growth.


25 Responses to “S Iswaran warns: Economic growth will slow down with declining birth rate”

  1. richard said

    I can’t wait to see those so-called talents and highly-skilled leave their cushy govt jobs or quasi-govt jobs such as GLC. Temasek, GIC. Go and show us how good they are outside this tiny island and how high they can go internationally – the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Don’t just helm things like SBS or some ministry – go and head Apple or some big well-known international names. Go thru the baptism of real fire – otherwise there is no loss to us.

    • Jaded said

      highly skilled? what a joke. Who is going to pay these people what they are getting now? Think outside people are so dumb as to recruit these jokers with no relevant experience to head their corporations?

  2. spotlessleopard said

    The so called economic boom only brought inflation and lowered the standard of living for the lower 30% of Singaporeans…..It did not improve noticeably for the so called middle income group. It only benefited the top 10% and the politicians…I would say go to hell with Iswaran and his prediction……return Singapore to the Singaporeans and deport at least 50% of the foreigners who are here only to lower the standard of living for Singaporeans….

  3. fpc said

    you don’t see this fucker challenging TJS in his claim that singapore can still grow at 4%.

  4. hihihi said

    All these rotten papayas should step out of their comfort zones.

  5. Just b@#ls-carrying with nothing new to offer, the hallmark of a crony in words and action. The PAP under PM LHL has attracted only self-centred cronies whose primary interest is to curry favour with the ruling elites and no motivation to serve the nation in the general interest. Whenever a higher up speaks, they invariably echo the same message, and commoners are paying them obscene salaries for their 2nd-hand b@#ls-carrying repetition of stale pronouncements. There is no conviction in what they say, being intended to curry favour with their bosses and nothing more.
    Cronies like Iswaran do not realise it’s the new normal that is the present order but they’ll find out soon enuff come next GE which is drawing closer by the day.

  6. Julie Ong said

    There they go again. They just have not a single clue to get things right. In fact this government is suffering from a poverty of ideas. So the easiest and most expedient way is to give excuses, namely, low birth rate, not hard driven, etc., etc.

    They have hoodwinked us by saying they need FTs. This they acted upon with the deluge of foreign workers/immigrants into our midst. Now, they have some of their economic plans out of kilter, and to thwart/divert any criticism they quickly blame the citizens for not having enough children. Sometimes I really wonder if our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong and his ministers have any sense of shame. I certainly think that they are irresponsible and will instantly absolve themselves from blame by first blaming others. In this instance us, the hapless peasants. This is untenable. No use criticising/speaking out because it’s just
    ‘noise’ to them.

    This never-in-touch minister does not understand that high housing costs plus the high cost of living have led many citizens to defer, reduce or even not have any children at all. This, in fact, should be lauded. Why would any responsible and caring person bring someone into the world to struggle/suffer? I find this reasoning by couples in their reproductive years to be fair and reasonable. The latest I heard is about a suggested tax increase. Details are unknown at this stage, but if the said tax is pretty much across the board then they are actually putting another burden on having children.

    I’ve had quite enough of this mob in our government. As one of my fellow contributor on this website has said: ‘they are too busy counting their money’! No concerted effort in looking for solutions or answers to any of the problems/challenges confronting us…….. but full of excuses and clever talk or lectures to the citizens.

    I want to put it straight to the government: if you can’t do the job please just resign. Call an early election and you will know if you actually have the confidence and trust of the people.

    But, of course……. the money is just too good, isn’t it? And to be frank where else are you going to get it?


    • Jack said

      It has not been proven that Economic growth will slow down with declining birth rate, this is merely one school of though.

      Moreover, the recent so called Economic growth did not really benefit the true blue Singaporeans, we saw the rocketed housing pricing, public transportation hike, medical cost increased, COE crazy price. In short, cost of living gone up by a lot.

      I totally agree with Julie Ong that high cost of living have led many citizens, to defer, reduce or even not have any children at all. May I also add, not to be married.

      PAP government is really out of touch, ministers only know how to regurgitate after the supreme leader. I thot PM Lee wants all of you to speak your mind?

    • P Koh said

      Well said. We know the Problems BUT above all, we just want to see the Solutions. They say that “Talk is cheap” but the government should never “Cheapen the talk”.

    • Mich said

      I am totally with you on this one. Never have I in my life been so disgusted with the government.

  7. Jaded said

    more doom and gloom stories… doesn’t work on me. I no longer believe in the boogeyman

  8. Silent Majority said

    Yes, Singapore needs more foreign talents. This is to be blamed on Singaporeans who refuse to give birth.

  9. Exaggerated said

    one of the failures is advocating to general public that HDB housing is a good investment; which in the first place should never happen. We all know public housing is to remain cheap for the general public, not for investment, not for profits. It is bad enough that the government does not subsidise the cost of HDB for the general public, but they are profiting out of it.

    Not realising the mistake (or refuse to realise), they did a sequel to their mistake; offering the sale of balance flats peg to market rate. If the flats cannot be sold at initial offering price (which was already deem sky high), how would people be interested or able to afford balance flats price peg to the market?

    Instead of offering at initial offering price, HDB prefers to leave it vacant which is neither recovering the building cost for HDB or providing a roof over the general public head.

    Some might say the HDB is on the road of no return on this “good investment” issue but if this issue is not arrested soon, it will be a recipe for failure and disaster. One method could well be maintaining the current valuation for existing flat owners, stop pegging the HDB housing to market rate and stop profiteering from general public.

  10. NaBey said

    I think your brain is empty!
    Africa population is forever booming, their economy growth is good?
    If so, u give me half your salary, i rest at home everyday keep shooting!

  11. LOL said

    Many years back, citizens are fined for having more children. Now e same govt is blaming e citizens for not making babies? Hhmmm……

  12. Leecher said

    The PAP defines economic growth that does not benefit the population but only a small group of people. There is no point whatsoever to listen to the PAP on how or why we need economic growth. It is like asking a blind man what their favourite colour is.

  13. tyu said

    Birth rates were slowing down significantly during the Stop at Two campaign did the economy slow down?
    Don’t lie, you mfarkers use this excuse to bring in more FTs to increase your votes. This proves how selfish you farkers are in introducing policy to benefit your party’s at the expense of local born citizens.

  14. Singapuraboi said

    Who is this idiot?! Ever since when is population size ever the determinant if an economy can perform well? Look at Africa and many third world countries where there is high population growth and the countries r suffering. There is famine and poverty. The govts want the people to stop producing so much so the national funds can go into other areas of national development and not just feeding the hungry. Isn’t that not what LKY did?

  15. i say what i think only said

    if home is a good place, who want to leave?

    be it talented singaporeans or pinoys, indians etc.

    u gave the talented singaporeans up by embracing on others and now it seems it is their fault for leaving?

    lao goh analogy of quitters.

    so many of us want to leave, either no $ or opportunities or skillset lacking overseas. Ya they take in those they lack, unlike us. we take in others to displace the existing ones.

  16. rongY said

    lky mesh up the country, his son done have the guts to tell him PAPA, time for you to retire you f…up the country i have to fixed the problem you created with a team of under performing, highly paid worthless scholars

  17. The government keeps thinking that the problems lies in Singaporeans. But they always did not see that the root of the problems lies in the “Bosses” employing Singaporeans.

    Sure enough, everybody knows that pregnant women are entitled to maternity leave and so does their husbands. But few knows that there is a loop hole in the law that protect pregnant women.

    My wife, an employee of an Australian boss, was issued a warning letter to be dismissed at the end of the month. She has been outstanding in her career in the local events industry. But when she has made known to her bosses that she is pregnant, everything start to change.

    She is only 18 weeks pregnant and the company is going to let her go no matter how well she perform when she reaches 22 weeks. just before her third trimester, so it’s still within the law.

    And we know, that she isn’t the only one that have been treated this way.

    So tell me now, how do you expect Singaporeans to enjoy giving birth when countless parents are facing such problems?

    That’s the thing with the people who are in charge of us Singhaporeans. Think on the surface and the interest of the bosses who give big taxes. But not on the root of the problems. I wrote a letter to the MOM and yet, they say they cannot comment nor take further actions!

    Tell me, how can my wife and i be happy and have a happy family?

    • who set policies and regulation? said

      Who set policies and regulations?

      Who allow bosses to employ foreigners? It is Singapore government right who did not set policies or regulation to regulate the situation, right?

  18. P Koh said

    Ivan, you will get no satisfaction from the Civil Servants at MOM and the best people to write to are those who start propagating propagation but are not able to see problems that confront those who heed their advice. Suggest you write to S, Iswaran instead and see what reaction you get.

  19. Are you politician or economist? said

    one plus one may not equal to two, one male and one female married and give birth to baby or babies, so one plus one can be three or more.

    Economic growth is affected by birth rate, but not totally true. China did not have high birth growth, but she had economic growth much higher than any other countries now!

    Are you politician or economist?

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