Singapore Statistics have released the updated census of Singapore [Source] and the numbers inside are telling that the ruling authoritarian PAP have little or no solution to Singapore’s existing and long term social problems. Here is why:
1) Falling birth rate continues
Singapore residents are still unable to replace themselves to stop the drastic falling birth rate at 1.2, this shows that not only Singaporeans are not reproducing, Permanent Residents are likewise avoiding so, hence cancelling PAP’s speculations that there is anything wrong with anyone holding the pink ICs.
2) Old-age support ratio worsens
The number of working Singaporeans supporting elderly is currently at its lowest in history at 6.7 adults per elderly. Every decade, the ratio goes lower by 1.3 on average, and by 2021 Singapore is expected to see an approximate 5.4 ratio. This is however not a issue as the PAP Government do not support Singaporean elderly and simply forwarded their responsibility to private charities and self-help organizations.
3) Overcrowding worsens
Population density has reached its highest ever at 7436 persons per km sq. Unfortunately, the PAP government doesn’t care about the overcrowding issue either as PM Lee Hsien Loong has indicated that Singapore would probably increase its population to 6 million or the 2nd densest country in the world at 8399 persons per km sq.
4) Family formations trends
Singaporeans continue to marry later and divorce rates have risen to its peak in history at 7604 cases in 2012. The inherent cause of such trends is largely financial as the cost of living in Singapore continue to increase and deter people from having more time and effort spent on relationships.
Despite the effects of new policies to boost birth rate, there is no stopping to the falling birth rate issue. It is hence evident that the PAP government has no better solutions that would bring the birth rate up. As housing remains unaffordable, the cost of living is also unchecked by the PAP and CPF Withdrawal Age continues to increase, it is natural Singaporeans postpone or put off family planning until they can ensure they are able to retire. The real solution of ensuring a decent retirement for Singaporeans however deviate from the PAP’s short term economical goal of growing higher GDP.
Although the problem of falling birth rate could be temporarily mitigate by the import of foreigners, the PAP government doesn’t realize that this will compound the ageing population problem further when new citizens grow old and doesn’t reproduce either. Over the years, there have been solutions proposed from the people but the ground-up approach clashes with the PAP’s bureaucratic style of governance. Some of this solutions called for more housing subsidies, allowing singles to buy HDB flats, disallowing PRs’ rights to HDB resale flats, free education for Singaporean students, restructuring the COE system and ease inflation through the removal of GST on essential goods items. The PAP however approach the falling birth rate through giving more incentives to businesses to grant more parental leaves and increasing the one-off cash payout for birth, which is apparently not working. As elitism seeps in the ruling PAP, getting solutions from the commoners is a bruise to their ego and doesn’t justify their million dollar salaries. It is very likely these social problems will continue to worsen to a point where a shock therapy is needed to correct things out.