Yesterday, the government released a White Paper projecting that Singapore’s population would be 6.9 million by 2030. I suppose this is a hint that the government is going to open the floodgate to import more foreigners in order to meet the population target. After all, going by our nation’s current low birth rate of 1.2%, it is not possible to reach this goal through natural replacement.
The government’s rationale for importing immigrants is because Singapore needs foreign talents to support the economy. Our unemployment rate has been consistantly low for the past few years, hovering about 2-3%. Yet many Singaporeans, especially PMETs, have complained that foreigners compete with them for jobs in recent years. This made me wonder aloud whether the influx of immigrant should be calibrated.
I mean what kind of foreign workers do we really need to import to sustain our economy? I agree that we need foreign nurses and construction workers because they do jobs which Singaporeans do not want to do. But do we really need additional one million nurses or construction workers? Besides foreign labourers, are we really short of talents in Singapore that we have to resort to mass import of immigrants? During market downturn, what is going to happen to these foreigners or PRs? The market is always cyclical in nature and we shouldn’t always base our growth statistics on current rosy scenario. These are concerns which I think the NPTD failed to answer in the White Paper.
How can you say that Singapore workforce would remain the core when half the population would be foreigners in 2030?
As a stakeholder, I am deeply disturbed by this issue. I am in my early thirties and is gainfully employed as a professional. But I shuddered to think the quality of my life in 20 years time. With almost 7 million people in Singapore, I am not sure whether I am still able to be gainfully employed and compete against foreigners for jobs in my homeland.
Currently, the playing field is already unlevel, given the low wages earned by many foreigner workers. Many employers typically favor employing foreign workers because they are seen as cheaper and younger and not because they are more competent than us. At 50, I think I would also have lost the energy to fight but then again, I would still need income to support my daughter. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and fellow Singaporeans. We struggle and work so hard all our lives trying to make an honest living, yet in the end, we are discriminated in our homeland when we are old.
SG Wealth Builder