Do not over react
This was an old joke of LKY’s time. When he opened his mouth, everyone jumped and tended to over react. Unfortunately this state of affair is still continuing till today. The Stop at Two policy lingered on for too long waiting for the man himself to say stop, but he was too busy and did not do so. So no one dared to push the button, or no one intelligent enough to see the problem coming.
In a way, the housing fiasco was also a case of over reaction, but with a clear agenda. With a surplus of more than 10,000 units of unsold flats, a happy problem, turning into a disaster that building another 50,000 units over the next two years would not be enough. In the meantime a property balloon has been created that cannot be pricked but pricked it must. Whichever way, to prick or not to prick, some parties would be hurt real bad.
Back to the population ‘crisis’. There is a shortage of babies according the economist’s formula for growth and sustainability, but not a shortage of several millions after exploding from 3m to over 5m over a decade! How can that be? And if the population has grown so fast, should there not be a huge surplus instead, like the surplus of HDB flats. Why is it that after flooding the island with 2 plus millions and there is still a huge shortage? Unbelieveable!
The last few years have led to a population explosion that has strained the whole infrastructure built for a much lesser population. The population increase over the last decade is more than what the normal growth needed for at least 10 years or 20 years of babies. No?
With a 3m population at 2% growth or 60,000 a year, a simple extrapolation will mean 600,000 in 10 years. Even compounded it will give a number less than 1m. We now have 5.4m or an increase of 2.4m! Is this not enough, not an over reaction, that we needed less but imported more than what we needed?
Then why the hooha that the growth number is still not enough? The trick is the bigger base and a statistical formula that says no matter how big is the population, you need so much percentage of growth to be sustainable. Now the base is bigger, so with the same percentage, more and more babies are needed. Even when the population hits 10m, they would insist on a 2.1% growth rate. They forgot why French caps were invented.
And the latest message, just multiply without a care of how many. Now, if the daft Sinkies really follow the edict, and every family just reproduce 4 or more, what is going to happen? Would it lead to another over reaction, another population explosion to be followed by another Stop at Two policy? No need to bother with whether the infrastructure can support, the number of jobs needed to create, the amount of food needed to be imported and the energy and water resources needed to support a 6m or 9m population.
Over reaction without thinking and without planning? No? No? In a financial crisis, or when there is natural disaster like flood or drought, when there is a food shortage, the bigger our population, the bigger is our problem. Even with money the producing countries may not have enough or want to sell them. Forgotten about the wisdom of keeping trim and fit? Are we over reacting again?