20150423 Population White Paper questionable, PAP not even keeping track of immigration policy

The PAP claims that “immigration helps to balance the shrinking and ageing of our citizen population”. (NPTD pg 12) Singaporeans have been repeatedly told that elderly citizens will triple to 900,000 in 2030 in an attempt to fear monger us into accepting PAP’s flawed immigration policy.

In my query to the PMO 2 years ago, I discovered that the government has not even been keeping track of its immigration policy.

The chart below confirms the largest group of PRs are between 30 and 49 years old, similar to citizens’ age profile. New citizens are selected from the pool of PRs. Questions:

– How do new citizens, selected from a group of PRs with a similar age profile as citizens, help mitigate the issue of ageing population?
– During the last 2 years, about 3,500 new citizens were aged 40 and above, almost 9,000 were above 31 years old. In the future, will they not contribute to the elderly pool and reduce the old-age support ratio?
– How does the PAP confirm new citizens help to increase our low TFR when it does not even collate any data to support this claim?

NPTD (page 12)

Are Singaporeans not being taken for a ride?

The number of new citizens since 1987 is around 300,000. A new citizen aged 40 in 1987, forms part of the elderly pool in 2012 and their numbers will increase every year. Out of the 900,000 elderly citizens in 2030, there will be at least 100,000 new citizens. Is PAP exacerbating the problem or resolving the issue? Will PAP then further increase the number of immigrants to justify increasing the old-age support ratio?

The PAP has been using the NPTD to drum in the ‘we need more foreigners’ message into citizens. It seizes every opportunity to call for an increase in immigrants eg age profile of citizens increasing (Singaporeans growing older, new citizens needed), declining citizens birth and marriages (need immigrants to help produce babies but PAP doesn’t know their TFR), etc.

The population table below confirms the huge population increase has contributed significantly to our GDP growth.

Population table

Year Pop (mil) Increase
1970 2.074 NA
1980 2.413 339,000
1990 3.047 634,000
2000 4.027 980,000
2010 5.076 1,049,000

Increasing the population has been a PAP shortcut to miraculous economic growth, much to the detriment of citizens. Because the PAP has been addicted to such a model for more then 2 decades, it MUST increase the number of immigrants AT ALL COSTS to prevent our GDP from collapsing.

Another piece of PAP’s propaganda – immigrants help to increase the old-age support ratio (table below) which is a fact … but PAP didn’t tell us about the cost.

Year: 2014
Population: 3.343 million
Citizens aged 65 and above: 12.4% X 3.343 million = 414,800
Citizen support ratio: 5.2 = 414,800 X 5.2 = 2.157 million
Residents support ratio: 6.0 = 414,800 X 6 = 2.489 million
Number of PRs = 2.489 mil – 2.157 mil = 332,000

Using an additional 332,000 PRs to boost the old-age support ratio from 5.2 to 6.0 is just a numbers game to our devoid-of-ideas scholars.
It is disingenuous of PAP to show only part of the equation ie the increase in old-age support ratio by PRs while ignoring the social costs of an additional 332,000 PRs (aged 20 to 64) and their family members.

To entice PRs to our high cost of living country, PAP has already sacrificed some 49,190 public housing units to accommodate them. For most of these PRs, private property is out of reach. And what about other benefits such as healthcare and education grants for their family members, courtesy of taxpayers? How many more resale HDB units will be owned by PRs in future, depriving locals of ownership?

In 1990, PRs number only 112,000. PRs more than doubled to 287,000 in 2000, which again almost doubled to 541,000 a decade later. It appears PAP has increased the number of PRs to increase the old-age support ratio. This ratio is then used to justify its flawed immigration policy.


PAP’s immigration policy defies common sense. Upon closer scrutiny, the only objective of the PWP is to achieve economic growth. Citizens’ well being will be compromised ie public transportation will be more overcrowded, public resources will extremely stretched, etc.

Anecdotal evidence suggests new citizens are not helping to increase our low TFR ie many families with one child and many unmarried new citizens. PAP doesn’t even collate such data and is therefore in the dark.

Singaporeans should not play into PAP’s propaganda but instead scrutinise the PWP. The downsides to PAP’s immigration policy are too great to be ignored.

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3 Responses to 20150423 Population White Paper questionable, PAP not even keeping track of immigration policy

  1. Alan Wong says:

    Maybe it was a total lie to begin with, that we need more foreigners to counter our ageing problem ?

    Maybe the truth is closer if indeed it is the votes that they need to counter their losing majority? But how to honestly tell the people this sort of hard truth ?

    The only way is to cook up the story that we need more foreigners. But how can this be true if they are also at the same time importing the aged parents of new citizens to come over ? Just look at the new citizens living around you to see for yourself what I mean.

    Unless they can prove to us the aged parents of new citizens are not going to worsen the ageing problem, so do you still believe that we need more foreigners to counter our ageing problem ?

    • phillip ang says:

      Hi Alan
      I think PAP had already decided on its immigration policy and justify it with half truths. That’s why, if anyone engages the NPTD under the PMO, and ask hard questions, they will have no answers. 😦
      PAP has always been focused on immediate results – using legislation or throwing money at solutions. They are not bothered about future generations suffering.
      If immigration is the solution, other countries would have thought of it light years before the PAP.
      There are so many foreigners in my estate with hardly anyone integration taking place. Integration is not so simple as PAP makes it out to be ie give instructions and it will be done.

  2. wongcheokwan says:

    “Old age support ratio” is a fake economic doctrine. A new citizen or a work permit holder supports his aged parents but NOT you and me. He only pay a little more on the margin, insignificantly.

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