The connection with the conversation

In News Reports, Politics on January 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

I hope someone will clarify the difference between the objectives of the White Paper on Population and the on-going National Conversation.

I know the White Paper has been in the works with the specific objective of solving a population problem – fewer babies, not enough manpower etc. But it strikes me that to do something like this involves going into realms that I thought Singaporeans would have a say in. Such as what sort of economy we want. In the White Paper case, it’s moderate growth going down to 1 to 2 per cent in the future. So I suppose we’ve settled the issue of whether “growth at all cost’’ or not.

Then there is the masterplan for Transport to lay down the infrastructure for the future. But aren’t we still discussing whether our current public transport model is good enough – you know, SMRT and SBS as the only players?
Also, seems like we ditched the idea of productivity – hence, higher pay – at the lower levels? Most of us are going to be PMETs, so it means jobs such as cleaners will still be for foreigners and still at rock bottom rates?

And we have already settled on so many universities to churn out so many graduates with an economy that will hopefully provide the jobs for them? I thought there was some concern that we might not be able to cope with so many grads?

Is the Singapore Conversation going to be a “soft’’ one then? How to be a nicer, more gracious place? Values-oriented? Surely, values must come before the hard stuff like the Population paper gets formulated.

Anyway, I am thoroughly confused. Some clarification is in order before some people start thinking that the Singapore Conversation is a non-starter – since some stuff’s already been decided.

Then again, maybe I’m just stupid.

  1. I think if like what WP party mentioned in their rally, if we can find a way for the senior to work on if they intend to and take home reasonable salary. I am sure that will still pump into the economy an the productive citizen will still be able to delay the impact.

    Instead of opening the floodgate and allows any Tom, Dick and Harry to come in and dilute both the salary and productivity yet blaming the local for not performing. I am sure if this is discuss in a national level, including opposition parties or Singaporean in General, The will be a solution for sure. I agree on your point that this should involve each and every Singapore…

  2. There is quite a lot more to worry about. One example (I can think of) is the ratio of lawmen to population. It is obvious that lowering this ratio will have consequences. I am not convinced that we will be able to maintain the good things about Singapore (e.g. law and order). If the jobless rate stays constant with a growing population, crime will most probably go up (being Bayesian here).

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