(Or “Planning to open the floodgates again after the next GE?”)
“The government plans to ramp up infrastructure in Singapore over the next decade to meet the needs of population growth here in recent years, even though the inflow of immigrants has fallen since 2009,” spun the constructive, nation-building BT (a sister publication of STOMP where paid “content providers” posed as citizen journalists and faked at least one item of news).
It went on, “Population growth in recent years has outpaced infrastructure capacity, a paper released by the government yesterday noted. Published by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), the paper notes the need to build infrastructure in a timely manner. A major effort over the next 5-10 years will seek to meet the demand for housing, transport and public services.” More details below*.
One wonders if all this spending has two purposes:
One we all know: improve the governing PAP’s image with the voters so that in the next general election (it has to be held by 2016, but can be earlier), the PAP can improve on its 60% share of the vote, and perhaps even win back Aljunied GRC?
And if the winning majority is back up to the high 60s, open the doors again to FTs by the cattle truck-loads?
If you think I’m being too sceptical or cynical about the government’s intentions, this is what the May issue of the ISEAS Monitor says abt an earlier report** in April this year by said government unit, “[it] serves as an early warning of a possible relaxation of recently tightened immigration policies.” ISEAS is the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies , a think-tank that is a statutory board that needs government financing.
Note that it also said that the White Paper on population promised by the end of the year, will be based on said report made public in April.
And in ST (also sister of STOMP) on the same day that BT’s report, it was reported that the government is asking our views on population: FTs and birth rates included)
Still think I’m too sceptical?
Watch and wait. And think thrice about voting for the PAP even if the PAP makes sure the public transport system improves by a factor of 10, new public housing becomes affordable, and the needy get lots more help.
*The rail network will be doubled in Singapore, from 138km in 2008 to 280km in the next 10 years. One new segment of the MRT network will open every year to from now to 2017. This will ensure that more than 400,000 housing units on the island will be within 400 metres of a rapid transit system station, more than double that today.
More than 800 new buses will be rolled out over the next five years, which will raise the current bus capacity by 20 per cent. Some $4.7 billion has been allocated in fiscal year 2012 to enhance the public transport infrastructure in Singapore. In all, the government has committed to spend about $60 billion to double the Singapore MRT network from what it was in 2008, and to increase the capacity of existing rail lines, the expenditure overview stated.
**It warned of the low fertitilty rate and the need for 20-25,000 new FT citizens a year to keep the population from declining in 2030.