During a walkabout at Teck Whye Lane on Friday (Jul 3), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Chief Dr Tan Cheng Bock commented that a 10 million population target “is too much for this country”.
He added, “I don’t know whether the figure was plucked from somewhere in 2019… and I just read this from some report that discussed about building an underground city to be able to cope with this big growth”.
The issue of a 10 million population came after the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) made “No to 10 million population” as part of its Four Yes, One No campaign slogan for the general election.
Calling the SDP out, the People’s Action Party (PAP), said that their campaign slogan is based on a false claim that the government plans to raise the country’s population to 10 million.
SDP Chief Dr Chee Soon Juan said that PAP wished to jack up the population to 10 million by bringing in more foreigners, something Dr Chee repeated three times during a televised debate on Channel 5 on Wednesday.
Dr Chee said that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had in an interview raised the idea of bringing our population up to 10 million.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, representing the PAP during the debate, refuted him each time, referring Dr Chee to a statement the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) issued earlier in the day.
The NPTD also stated categorically that the Government “has not proposed, planned nor targeted for Singapore to increase its population to 10 million”.
Dr Balakrishnan also stated for the record that Singapore “will never have 10 million”.
In his comments, Dr Tan said: “If the data is not given to you, people will speculate. If you (let them) speculate, they will. Because they don’t know. You are not transparent with your data. Just tell us: we want 10 million, (and) why. We need it because of this (reason), we see it and we will tell you can or cannot.”
“And if the reasons are sound and logical, why not? But you’ve got to show us the data. Don’t give us in bits and pieces.”
Dr Tan said: “The fundamental reason why people start to question is because of trust, they no longer trust you. Are you telling us the truth? So you got to win that trust back.
“We (the PSP) will go in (to Parliament) and try to tell you when and why it happened”, Dr Tan noted. /TISG
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