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First Hand Acccount : Population Dialogue Session with Ministers

Posted by temasektimes on October 12, 2012

I was there at the dialogue session, it was so well orchestrated that it felt like a multi-level marketing “sales” event. It started with DPM Teo giving the presentation on fertility rates, immigration numbers etc and reinforced that immigration is needed to fill in the missing babies since 1980s. Charts, numbers and graphs were all used to appeal to the head to assure that infrastructure was being upgraded, immigration was calibrated etc. There was also an innovative use of an instant survey to ask a couple of questions.

Kicking off the questions was Dr Amy Khor with whether the two child policy was so successful to cause the problems today. It was textbook answer of that the policy was needed at that time etc etc and they changed it in 1987. Then came the questions fast and furious. Out of the 35 questions I estimated, about one or two thanked the government, the majority about twenty questions were harsh and upset with the government, the rest were relatively neutral. The quality of some of the questions were quite weak, either unprepared or too narrow in focus. But some were thought provoking and related, e.g. Would Singapore return to Malaysia in the future if we did not have enough Singaporeans ? Why are PRs allowed unlimited time to decide if they want to be Singaporeans or not? Why still have landed properties if there is so constrained land in Singapore? Make it non existent for everyone. Why are we still selling our property to foreigners and the highest bidders when there is such a crunch ? Now the urban planning says 6 million in Singapore, but similarly in the past, Singapore was designed for 4 million, now we have 5.3 million. Who will know if the government screw up again and increase it to 8 million ? Would the government be ready to accept non traditional families like lesbians and single moms ?

The mood was definitely not kind to the Ministers. Whenever someone said something supporting Singaporeans, the audience would clap and cheer. One young Singaporean even addressed Dr Amy Khor’s clarification that he was okay with 10 million in Singapore, he quipped,”I am okay with 10 million in Singapore with the appropriate infrastructure, ten million SINGAPORE citizens!” to loud applause. Another guy at the end of his question even said,” I will be more comfortable with a Singaporean lesbian and her kid, then a foreigner!” The final blow was from a small business owner that even chided the Ministers Grace Fu and Tan Jin Chuan calling them managers rather than leaders and not having conviction to set a path forward or vision (Grace Fu on non traditional families) and unsure what economic growth is for Singapore (Tan Jin Chuan, which led him to return with a lengthly merry ground defense of himself)
So much so that DPM Teo had to admit that we are so used to scoring 99 percent that when we score 75 percent we get upset.

To be fair, I have to give credit to the Ministers and organizers for staying an extra hour till 10.30pm to try to address all the questions. I think some of the audience members should reflect how they wasted their opportunity to ask in-depth questions. Only two suggestions were picked up, one possible re-zone of the land use to increase land for housing and a special needs person as an NMP in the future.

From my perspective, the most disturbing was the wrap up by DPM Teo, he asked three questions, where Singapore wants to be in the future? What is the definition of a Singaporean ? And how these two questions affect the population in Singapore. For the first question, he painted an appealing vision that now 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban cities, and the future even more will live in cities, and that Singapore wants to be one of the key global cities in the world – vibrant and dynamic and cosmopolitan. The answer to the second questions is that the Singapore identity is always in flux and we are a migrant society. Everyone of us have some relative or parent or grandparents that were immigrants to Singapore. And the third question, was the text book answer that we needed a core of Singaporeans with the values and mores for society but we need to continue to supplement with young dynamic immigrants who provide the economic drive and the foreigners will return home and not be a burden to our society. All of these questions and their answers are logical and true, but it begs the question….

IS THE SURVIVAL OF SINGAPORE OR THE SURVIVAL OF SINGAPOREANS ? The key focus for our existing government ?

I pondered on this question as I took the Somerset MRT train north bound to the suburbs at 10.50pm after the dialogue session and found the train packed including a group of merry Americans, a loving Filipino couple and a Malaysian watching Ipoh parody of Gangnam style.

Then I realized the message I got from the dialogue session and the path our current leaders are taking us down, and the sad reality being, ”

Singaporeans are essentially migrants helping the survival of Singapore for the next batch of migrants.”



22 Responses to “First Hand Acccount : Population Dialogue Session with Ministers”

  1. Jack said

    I wonder where can I watch the original uncensored video?

  2. sporeoboriginal said

    So.. Its singapore pte ltd lar.. From what we can understand. So this singapore pte ltd.. Who is tau keh ar? Lol.. At the end of the day its always so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for familee. Yes.. Pls send the people to watch over me : )

    • Lee said

      This is nothing new. A Taiwanese political show years ago already said singapore gov running Singapore like a company and not a country. This is where I had lost my loyalty to Singapore, when this gov is only interested to make this Singapore Pte ltd a world class corporation

  3. hachoo said

    I dont think you are far from the target in your comment. My previous posting has mentioned it but from an another angle. It was mentioned as citizenry cleansing disguised under the banner of country renewal. The older generation has been exhausted and the younger generation lacks commitment and loyalty, hence the need to import new potential migrants in high volume and hopefully the right number of them will stay on. They are buying time for this to reach the targeted volume, hence the 6 million or more. The spin doctors has been at work since early this year before the PM dropped the 6 million number. Nothing will stop them from reaching this no matter how much noise you make or how discontent you will be. This is their political agenda for their own survival and this is their priority not yours.

  4. Malaysian PR said

    The survival of Singaporean is rest upon the survival of Singapore.

  5. True sinkie said

    Thanks for posting the true ground sentiments of the dialogue. The ashitty Times conveniently left that out in today’s papers

    • anakin said

      The New paper is just as shitty. take a look at this:
      I like comment:
      An expert said that one reason for such international interest is that other countries would find it unusual that Singapore places so much emphasis on racial harmony.” what expert is that? Some sports editor in USA lost his job coz he called Jeremy Lin a “Chink”, so don’t give us this thing that only Spore places emphasis on racial harmony. All civilized nations do.

      Trying to put in some anonymous expert to show how much emphasis Singapore places on racial harmony……what a laugh……

  6. lalaho said

    All these dialogue sessions are just plain wayang. Your best strategy is to vote for the opposition. Do not spoil your vote. Pinky Loong had so much confidence that he declared a few days ago that he will rule as PM for 10 more years. That means that PAP win still win the majority of votes. Do NOT let it happen & let Pinky Loong lick his sorry s for it.
    This may be wishful thinking but if you feel that the PAP has taken a wrong turn, take them out at the voting center with your vote for the opposition. Also, the best A team from WP should go to AMC GRC to knock Pinky Loong, that way no more 10 years more to rule boast. Temasek Times may not like WP but the rest of the voting population see otherwise so respect our opinions.
    The rest of the dialogue sessions to follow are just WAYANG.

    • Kkl said

      Opposition party need to file better and more capable candidates in the next GE. They also need to propose better alternative policies to Singaporean. If we have voted more clowns to the parliament. singaporea parliament will soon became a zoo

      Mod’s note:

      Please vote for real opposition parties and not fake ones like the useless, shameless, spineless, hopeless and worthless ‘Wayang Party’ aka the PAP’s ‘B’ team.

      • Copycat Chan said

        All the clowns voted during 2011 comes from the opposition
        1 * womanizer = WP
        1 * liar = WP
        2 * copycat = WP
        2 * No Comment = WP
        1 * Only know how to read from script = SPP

    • Naivety said

      No worries bro, you will have my fullest support on this issue!

  7. said

    the questions are true but the responses from the ministers are not good enough

  8. PAP is not Singapore said

    “Singaporeans are essentially migrants helping the survival of Singapore for the next batch of migrants.”

    What’s the point?

  9. dragon said

    We need the true not wayang wayang anymore.More room for singaporean national conversation issue live on the spot no more selection and scan.

  10. JG said

    So what do you think? — TCH

  11. Pink Panty Loong said

    I won’t even waste my time to have a dialogue with them. It’s just another platform to sell their stupid policies. They are not interested in how we think at all. Just vote all these monkeys out in 2016.

    Mod’s note:

    It is impossible to vote them out because the PAP’s ‘B’ team aka the ‘Wayang Party’ will come to its rescue in the event of a freak election:

    ‘If the PAP fails to win a majority in the next election, the Workers Party will form a coalition govt with it (to keep it in power)’

    – PAP’s ‘B’ team MP Pritam Singh, May 2011

    A vote for WP = A vote for PAP! To vote out the PAP, its ‘B’ team must be completely eliminated first.

  12. steven theo said

    If u keep thinking n brainwash SGPn that we r also migrant, then SGPn will be migrant forever as every stage of our life there r also migrant settle down in SGP. THINK ABT IT. SGPn then will never have a SGPn identity. So gov pls wake up and review what u say to SGPn

  13. steven theo said

    Why do we need to have SGP identity when the gov keep reminding us we are also migrant before ? Why SGP become independence while the gov still acknowledge we r always reminded that we were migrant country. Isn’t our independence become insignificant. The gov have to come out of this shell and mentality to be able to breakthrough n compete as a country with irs own identity

  14. steven theo said

    We might as well call Migrant of SGP instead Pfizer Republic of SGP !!!

  15. steven theo said

    When gov want to add more FT, u remind us we were migrant before. But when we r living as difference migrant status, u now say we must be united n think like one SGP ppl n not as migrant bcos this is yr country. That is Chameleon behaviour !!!!

  16. Anson Be said

    I respectfully disagree. Our Forefathers work their ass off for us. So if teh new immigrnts want to come in, they shd work their ass off for their next generations, not us. Furthermore, our forefathers kicked the colonial masters out for our Singaporean’s led government as they were for Singaporeans. Now, it is our turn tokick teh current one out for not working for us, but for thr FT

  17. P Koh said

    We are so marginalized with the great influx of new citizens that we have actually lost a big part of our local identity and very soon we will no longer be called Singaporeans but maybe “Sink-a-pore-ants”. Ask any new citizens what nationality they belong to and the first word from a PRC new citizen would invariably be “Chinese” rather than “Singaporean”. Why is the government giving away our TBS identity.?

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