“HK finds room for 7.2 million people”

In Hong Kong, Political governance on 20/02/2013 at 5:40 am

That was the headline of a SunT article in the same issue that downplayed the protest at Hong Lim Green, a downplaying that not only got me annoyed but upset a retired senior ink-wielding Imperial Storm Trooper

One can only assume that as the same issue carried a front page story on why according to PM, S’pore is a great place to breed, that the story filed from HK was meant to reinforce the view that the 6.9m number that had gotten 5,000 S’poreans to protest was no big deal: their reactions were “emotional” , “unbalanced” or “not shedding light on important issues”*.

Unfortunately for ST, the article contained a table scan0001  comparing the land use in HK and S’pore. Two comparative figures stand out

— Land Use

HK        S.pore

1108       710 sq km

— Country parks and nature reserves

HK         S’pore

738*           57 sq km**

*66.6% of Land Use


Need I say more on why S’poreans are upset? Especially as the 8% grren space includes the Central Catchment area which will be ripped apart to accommodate the planned projected FT expansion

ST has rightly been given a lot of stick for its coverage of the 6.9m debate. But two cheers to it for the land usage comparison table which sabos the PM’s and his govt’s assertion that 6.9m people doesn’t mean living in a slum. Despite all the extra land and green spaces, even SunT’s HK eporter admits that life isn’t that comfy.

And “Yes’ fair-minded readers, and PAPpies can bitch that I used the comparison stats unfairly, but hey the PAP govt** and allies in the media and the think-tanks (ISEAS is an honourable exception), ain’t playing fair in trying to persuade us that living like battery-hens is high quality living.

*Er how can the PM, defence minister etc say that they are listening and have learnt from when one ESM Goh Chok Tong makes these remarks? PM should give him a tight slap to show that the and his govt are sincere in caring for S’poreans, unlike GCT. Remember during his premiership, FTs were allowed to sneak in under the radar. And our fears were dismissed.

***Donald Low, a senior fellow at the LKY School of Public Policy and a former senior civil servant, has criticised the white paper, “wasn’t even a References section to show what research the writers of the paper had done, what social science theories they relied on, what competing theories/frameworks they looked at … There was also a surprising lack of rigorous comparison with other countries that have gone through, or are going through, a similar demographic transition.”

  1. The writer of white paper Ngiam Siew Ying, Director of the Policy and Planning Directorate at the National Population and Talent Division(NPTD). (Her brother Ngiam Shih Chun is also superscale officer.)
    The paper was cleared for submission by PS (NPTD) Niam Chiang Meng.
    Supervising Ms Ngiam was DS Amy Hing Nguk Juon.

    Click to access cont…PB_AR_2012.pdf

  2. The comment by Donald Low about the lack quality of a proper reseach paper is probably right, but then even of the PWP just have the number ‘6.9million’ & nothing else, it’ll stillbe passed by parliament.

    Yes, a piece of paper just with the wordings ‘6.9million’ would still be good enough for the PAP to pass the policy. It’s the votes that matters not the substance.

    • Yes, agree with that. They will assert: ..”white papers are not meant as submissions for academic critique” . And will also say: …” there was vigorous debate over 5 days, the longest in our parliamentary sittings” Suggesting that a full democratic process was taken.

      ..” we would have liked to have 100% backing of paper, but we understand that not all will agree. We will do better to communicate important issues regarding Singapore’s future”

      Yes, at the end of the day, its the votes that matters… either inside parliament or outside.

  3. “HK finds room for 7.2 million people”

    We welcome HK to take in the whole of our present cabinet and not just only George Yeo.

  4. […] policies….. – Singapore Notes: He Did Hear Us – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: “HK finds room for 7.2 million people” – Where Bears Roam Free: PAP using Chinese Clans to divide Singapore – Yours Truly […]

  5. I suspect they are using the numbers to show that HK is able to pack more people into a lower liveable area to justify us having 6.9m

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