“If Singapore depends on the talent it can produce out of three million people, it’s not going to punch above its weight. Lee Kuan Yew
We were 1m, then 2m, then 3m before we added all the foreigners to 5m. When we were 1m and 2m, we were already producing the talents that built the foundation for our economic miracles. We were producing talented Singaporeans even then. Unless those were not talents, then we are just slapping our own stupid face.
Now we are 5m. Did the increased population with foreign talents, throw out any great talents? The only foreign talent that is worth mentioning is Olivia Lum of Hyflux. The rest were plain employees, sitting on their fat asses and get fat pay which any Singaporeans can also do so given the chance. Many of the CEO positions can easily be filled by Singaporeans and you will not see any difference in performance, maybe even better.
The three local banks were built by Singaporean talents. Without local talents there would not be any big local banks to think of. SIA, SMRT, Creative, Singtel were also locals. Not sure about Temasek and GIC. The hospitals with their specialists and state of the art equipments were mainly run by Singaporeans and Malaysians. By the way, I think Singaporeans have never regarded the Malaysians as foreigners historically.
Did we produce lesser talents when we were 1m and 2m than we are now? There are some great talents in R and D, imported. But these are instant trees. Would their offsprings be more talented than the offsprings of coolies and labourers, washerwomen and salesmen? What about the risk of offsprings from fake papers and fake talents?
If we can produce talents before, when we were 1m and 2m, I don’t see why we can’t produce talents when we are 3m. The bigger the population, the bigger the pool of genes, but not necessary will produce better talents. Many small countries are producing more talents than bigger countries with bigger populations.
Today we are punching above our weights by individuals who were produced during a time when the population was a million or less.