Teo Chee Hean: We need immigrants to maintain a ‘strong’ Singapore
Posted by temasektimes on October 11, 2012
Selling the policy to a group of Singaporeans during a town hall meeting two days ago, Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean reminded Singaporeans again of the need to import immigrants in order to develop a vibrant and liveable city.
“If we don’t have a sustainable core Singapore population, we won’t be able to sustain the kind of Singapore that we want in the future. That is a critical element of the Singapore in the future. The current birth rate is not enough for us to sustain our population or even maintain it at its current level. We want to be able to raise the population through encouraging births,” he said.
He added that Singapore should be open to immigration to make up for shortfalls in birth:
“Immigrants will grow old, but they are making up for shortfall that we have today when they come in….We want to maintain a strong Singapore and we are going to try and do that by increasing our birth rates as much as possible and by supplementing it with new citizens who share our values and who can assimilate and integrate as much as possible.”
Foreigners now made up 38 percent of Singapore’s population, up from 14 percent in 1990. Of the remaining 62 percent who are ‘citizens’, an increasingly number are born overseas.
With no real opposition in parliament to check on the ruling party, Singaporeans have no choice but to prepare for another wave of influx of immigrants to help them build a ‘strong’ Singapore.