Singapore’s population target was a hot-button topic during the elections after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat denied saying Singapore should plan to increase its population to 10 million, stating on Thursday (July 2) he expects the population to be “significantly below” 6.9 million by 2030.
During a live political debate, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan spoke about Mr Heng “toying with the idea” of increasing Singapore’s population to 10 million.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jul 28), Lee Hsien Yang, son of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew shared an article from the Straits Times that was published in 2008. The article published on Feb 2, 2008, was titled, ‘MM ‘not quite sold’ on idea of 6.5m population for Singapore’, and was written by one Li Xueying.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang shared the full transcript of the article in his post. Netizens who commented on the post agreed with then-MM Lee and added that Singapore might not have enough resources to support a larger population given its land space.
The Republic’s population grew at a slower pace in the last five years compared with the same period before, even as total population hit a record 5.7 million in June of 2019.
The latest annual Population In Brief report shows the total population expanded by 1.2 per cent from June 2018 to June 2019, compared with 0.5 per cent before that.
Citizens accounted for 3.5 million of the 5.7 million, while the rest were made up of permanent residents (PRs) and non-residents including foreigners who work here and international students.
In an interview with Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao published on Friday (July 17), former chief planner Liu Thai Ker said sustainable development requires long-term planning.
The purported 10 million population number was always a planning parameter and not a target for Singapore, he added. /TISG
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