Saturday, February 02, 2013

6.9 million population is a worst case scenario

The Prime Minister and Minister of National Development has now said that the 6.9 million population is a "worst case scenario" and is used for planning purposes. 

Normally, in planning purposes, one does not just put out one scenario, especially when it is the worst case scenario and is not described as such. 

There is also the risk that the tail will wag the dog. Having planned the infrastructure and public services to meet this scenario, a future Government is not likely to see these facilities being wasted, and will increase immigration to take up the vacant facilities.

It is possible to build according to our actual needs, but this has to be carefully managed.

It is better to set a lower population target (say 5.5 million) and allow the population to increase due to birth. For the next few years, we need to sort out the current problem of congestion on the road, pubic transport, hospital, schools, housing and other pubic services.

I would have preferred the Prime Minister to say, "We issued the White Paper to get the reaction of the public. The message is quite clear, that the people does not wish to have a congested place. We will ask the planners to rework out the scenario for a smaller population".

That would be more honest, isn't it?


Lye Khuen Way said...

Yes, most definitely, Mr Tan !
We may get that response as a LNY Message, no?

It would be a Good, very good Message worthy of a prime minister.

Spur said...

hmm, dunno about that. It may be more dishonest. Coz the elites really really have no idea except to increase (low cost) population in order to:
1. maintain GDP growth,
2. sustain corporate profits growth,
3. make companies happy,
4. continue rent-seeking activities and policies (e.g. tight property market, tight HDB market, tight COE market, tight medical market, etc) to boost govt revenues.

cd-rom said...

Hi Mr Tan. I wish to share an information that I know.

I have a friend who is a journalist. This journalist told me that when the the government engages the media to make this announcement, they specifically emphasizes to the media that the 6.5 - 6.9 million people is a projected figure. The figure is not a targeted figure.

Thank you.

simple said...

"they specifically emphasized to the media that the 6.5 - 6.9 million people is a projected figure. The figure is not a targeted figure."

That could be an honest comment and is based on the assumptions in the White Paper. But that may be a half truth too because if the GDP growth is higher than projected or if productivity growth is less than projected, population growth may have to be higher.

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