Social activist Gilbert Goh has organized an open mic event at Hong Lim Park for Singaporeans to share their views against the India – Singapore
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), and to a controversial white paper released by the government of Singapore in January 2013 that projects Singapore’s population as 6.9 million by the year 2030.
Gilbert called “for ORDINARY Singaporeans to be heard – especially so if you are unemployed, under-employed or simply fed-up with the system here”.
He also wrote on a social media post that, “You may be well educated or lowly educated and feel that the country has failed you – SPEAK UP! Don’t keep it all inside you…”
The event’s NParks speaker’s corner permit was being secured at the time of writing.
The event was partly spurred on by Ramesh Erramalli, a man who was filmed abusing the security guard at his condominium.
Erramalli’s dispute with his condominium’s security guard was over a rule by the condominium’s management, which imposed a S$10 fee for visitors who park their cars there after 11pm. His guests had come over at about 10.30pm for Deepavali festivities.
The video shows the security officer asking what time the visitor would leave, followed by the resident questioning if guests could not visit him after 11pm on Deepavali.
“I bought your f***ing property for S$1.5 million, you know? This is S$1.5 million, okay?” says Ramesh.
After the security officer tells him he would let the management know of the situation, the resident replies: “Tell the management to f*** off.”
The incident with Ramesh sparked a huge public outcry and outrage against Indian nationals working in Singapore. There was also a call for Ramesh to be sacked from private investment bank JP Morgan.
The CECA covers tariff reduction/elimination for 82% of Singapore’s exports to India. It also allows the free movement of professionals in 127 sectors to enter and work in Singapore.
Gilbert’s open mic event will also highlight Singapore’s Population White Paper.
Mrs Josephine Teo, who is in charge of population matters in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said on March 1, 2018, that Singapore is not expected to change its immigration policy, and its population is likely to be “significantly below” 6.9 million by 2030.
She also added that because of Singapore’s falling birth rate and slow population growth, the current rate of immigration allows Singapore to achieve close to the same effect as if Singaporeans had a full-replacement Total Fertility Rate of 2.1.
The number of Singaporeans aged 20 to 64 is projected to peak at 2.2 million around 2020 and will decline after that, even with immigrants. “Without immigration, it would have started to shrink earlier and decline at a much faster rate,” she said.
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