Will Singaporeans allow a 6 million population that raises the foreigner presence from Singapore from 40% to near 50%? 2 out of 3 handpicked participants by the Government in the televised “national conversation” says yes. The island already has the highest population density in the world and further influx could worsen the existing social problems largely ignored by the PAP Government in the name of progress.
The PAP Government earns tens of millions in taxes everyday from ERP, COEs, foreign workers’ levies, HDB levies and GST, and increasing the population will further boosts these income adding to more fundings for Temasek Holdings, the state’s sovereign wealth fund company managed by the Prime Minister’s wife. Citizens on the other hand bear the brunt of these degressive policies causing them to have one of the low purchasing power and disposable income among the developed countries.
Low income workers in Singapore see their salaries stagnanted and for some dropped, like the cleaners who saw a 30% fall in median salary between 2000 and 2012. Many Singaporeans see their salaries depressed by the influx of low quality engineers and executives from third world countries. As the Ministry of Manpower do not enforce strict control in the issuance of foreign employment passes, many foreigners working here hardly speak English or are simply incompetent in their jobscope. As a result the nation’s productivity level fell every year continuously ever since the influx began in 2003.
Employers in Singapore possess enormous powers over employees in Singapore because of the PAP’s weak political will that often pander to the callings of the multi-national companies. Cheap foreign labor are given freely to Singapore employers and most workers are exploited to work beyond their working hours without overtime pay. Singapore workers register the highest working hours in the world at an average of 2307 hours per year. There is no protection of workers’ rights in Singapore because trade unions are banned and organizing a protest or a strike will result in an indefinite detention as legislated by the Internal Seurity Act. The only legalized union, the NTUC, has government officials installed in key positions of all of its functions and the entity is often heard parroting the government’s pro-employer agendas. With exploitations legalized, an increased population will create a larger base to earn profits for the ruling elites.
Cost of living has also inadvertently spiked due to the number of foreign millionaires resettling in Singapore. Singapore has literally become a tax haven where rich foreigners can stash their cash in Singapore banks with bank secrecy laws enacted by the PAP government. These millionaires usually take up Permanent Residency or citizenship to buy up both the private and public HDB housing, putting many Singaporeans out of affordability to home ownership. The PAP Government refuse to disclose the building cost of new HDB flats and instead chose to peg the new flats to the current resale market. A corresponding increase in population will also mean higher profits in the property avenue.
Singapore’s supposedly world class infrastructure has also started to break down with the public trains and buses seeing overcrowding and more frequent stoppages. Publicly funded universities in Singapore practises double standards in their admission policies where foreign students and scholarship holders are not given similar restrictions on English standards. Most of NTU enghineering students are from China who just need to pass a simple English test, while the Singaporean students are expected to have a minimum B3 in the GCE O Level.
A 6 million population will proportionately amplify whatever profits the PAP are reaping by another 20% while Singaporeans will see their standard of living worsen each day as the exclusive growth do not correlate with the benefits citizens are getting. Propaganda measures are in action full swing as the PAP are getting more worries about an increasingly educated population who are not easily swayed by carrots of upgradings and cash payouts that most of the older population naively traded their freedom for.