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Friday, February 8, 2013

Population White Paper - Being one in 6.9 million

And so, today in Parliament, the Population White Paper was endorsed by a vote of 77 to 13.  The result was inevitable, and the way the White Paper was shoved down our throats, regrettable.  Political views aside, the targets/projections/worst case scenarios that were revealed during the past week provided me with quite a bit of food for thought.

Singapore in 2030, as the ruling party sees it, would be a place with more immigrants and more foreign workers.  It will be more of the same of what we have seen in the last 10 years - sudden influx of immigrants and foreign workers who fail to integrate into our society, causing social problems and hampering the strengthening of the Singaporean core.

Aiden is not happy about the Population White Paper.
I wonder how Aiden would cope in 2030.  He would be 19 years old by then, perhaps serving National Service after doing his A Levels.

Would he be serving his nation with pride?  Would he be glad that he is living in a vibrant and cosmopolitan city state enjoying a high standard of living?  Would he be a patriotic young man willing to defend his country with his life?

Or would he be wondering why he has to waste 2 years of his life while half of his male JC classmates get a headstart in university?  Would he be trying to get by solely on his meager NS allowance because his parents are already struggling with the cost of living that has spiraled out of control?  Would he be wondering who exactly he is protecting should there be a war - his fellow Singaporeans or people who are treating Singapore as a stepping stone/money making opportunity with no real intention to stay and integrate?

With things coincidentally going not very well at work, I did think about the possibility of migrating in the future.  Afterall, statistics show that this is on the uptrend over the years.  I also have some (older) friends who have taken the leap of faith and swore never to return.  Label them 'leavers' or 'quitters'?  I don't know, but they look like they have 'happy' engraved on their foreheads, permanently.

For now, the thought of leaving behind our loved ones/friends to begin a new life in a foreign land is too daunting.  It might be a regrettable way to deal with a bleak future.  Or would it also be inevitable?

How are you preparing for 2030?


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