Feb 9, 2007

The Great Squeeze

Singapore continues its determined march towards a new and unenviable world record. We're already the 2nd most densely populated country in the world. How long will it take before we occupy the top spot?

2001 wasn't that long ago. Back then, our population was expected to stabilise around 5.5 million in the long term. Now it's 2007, barely six years later, and the URA has to bump up that projection to 6.5 million.

Why? Not because Singaporeans have been making plenty of babies - in fact, our birth rates are
dismal. Clearly, the main driver is the huge influx of foreigners into Singapore.
ST Feb 9, 2007
S'pore sets new population planning figure at 6.5 million
By STI senior correspondent, Clarence Chang

SINGAPORE has raised its long-term population parameter to 6.5 million - up from the current figure of 5.5 million - following a mid-term review that takes into account recent trends in population and economic growth, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said on Friday.

The earlier figure had been decided in 2001 when the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released its last once-every-ten-years Concept Plan - a map of the Government's strategic plans for land use and transport for the next four to five decades.

'Bear in mind this is not a a target population figure. It is a planning parameter,' Mr Mah said, 'which takes into account current demographic trends and population policy'.

'It is a realistic number for the planners to base their projections and their planning methodology on, to ensure that we are ready for future growth opportunities.'

67 comments:

lamerooze said...

All I can say is that I'm pretty annoyed with traffic conditions. Want to boost baby making rates? Boost transport infrastructure first please!

Kelvin Lim said...

Yeaaaa...

More foreigners to displace all the unwanted Singaporeans!!!

Anonymous said...

Just witness the jammed roads and buses packed like sardines. Even off peak trains are rather packed too. I can see the distinct difference from just a decade ago. Overcrowding leads to a drop in standard of living. It is hard to quantify. However this govt is only concerned with the quantifiable and its relentless quest for GDP and economic numbers.

Anonymous said...

The question is how are we going to cope with the difference in the treatment that our government gives to the true Singaporeans and the so-called converted "Singaporeans".

I heard some are not coping well, they may "recce" the train tracks once a while for some possible solutions.

Evariste Galois said...

Singapore is one of the highest-ranked by density because there are very few city-states today. New York City or Paris, for example, is probably more dense than us on a whole.

If Italy had not been reunified in the Reunification, we might be competing with city-states like Milan, Venice etc.

A dense population is both a curse and a blessing. Ironically, direct democracy should be stronger in a densely-populated area (easier to draw on many people's consent in a feasibly short amount of time).

I don't mind the foreign immigration, as long as they go throgh the appropriate naturalisation process. But apparently, the government is taking shortcuts.

The foreign talent programme needs to stop. Let them to come into country of their own accord, rather than searching for foreigners withh talent actively (rather than looking amongst our own population). The fact that there is even a "looking for native speakers" search shows how much of the foreign talent programme is based on conceptions of race and ethnicity, and white-centrism.

Meanwhile, the expatriates and Caucasians that do work here never become part of the country, nor truly part of us - because they do not suffer and tribulate with us - they are treated just like as they are - foreign employees maybe with a bit of worship padding here and there, but none too intimate.

As a result, a paradoxical mixture of reverence and resentment against ang-mohs builds up. Just look at some of their comments - it makes them unomfortable. Many want to integrate, but cannot. The race-pandering serves neither us nor them.

Hence, we get immigrants that do not identify with the nation at all.

Some of the maids here will end up shaping our children's culture more than we will ever realise. Yet what ounce of recognition do we give them?

Evariste Galois said...

I didn't feel overcrowded in 2004 ... I don't think it has changed drastically. On the transport level - rather than the immigrant issue (dealt with in the post above) - it isn't that difficult to just upgrade the public transport network, what with our huge foreign exchange reserves?

I think the LTA has a tad of foresight; there is still plenty of room around Singapore - lots of large, unoccupied fields and underutilised MRT stations - but those stations are merely waiting for their time to come where they will be added on. Make the 15-storey flats 35-story flats, etc.

I'm not particularly worried - but I only wish that when they upgrade flats, they wouldn't disperse the residents all over the nation. After all, that only undermines any sense of identity created.

Elia Diodati said...

The estimated answer to your question, Mr Wang, is 2036.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi,
Just From a numbers perspective-there are 2 sides to this argument.
+ Increased domestic markets is good for domestic busness
- social and personal stress and increased competition for school and work vacancies.

I have many friends who were former foreignors ( ie now PR & S'poreans) and so I don't blame them. It is the govt that opened the door for them. Now that they are here, how do we ( old and new S'poreans) become one? Many of them don't have the same social memories as older S;poreans like me.
I suppose the same can be said for younger S'poreans.
If the govt is right about this policy, the payout is good, but if they are wrong, the outcome could be disastrous.

Dr.Huang

twasher said...

I've felt it was overcrowded all my life. Even the so-called 'green spaces' are teeming with people on weekends. Oh well, too bad, for the sake of economic growth lets just let people live like sardines. We must grow! We must grow!h

twasher said...

Evariste:

Not true that NYC or Paris are denser. See
http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-density-125.html

Singapore is the 29th densest city in the world. The only first-world city denser than Singapore is Seoul. All the other cities above Singapore are recognisably cities in developing countries with living standards are much lower than those in NY or Paris.

The only thing keeping me sane living in Singapore is escaping to the open spaces of Malaysia on the occasional weekend. Our parks and 'nature reserves' are a joke. It's not just an issue of transport. Humans have an innate need for space; after all we evolved to live in the bloody savannah not in HDB flats. I don't think I'm the only one who finds it psychologically stressful to have humans and concrete structures in inescapably close proximity everywhere we go.

abao said...

little wonder why Singaporeans have a low sense of patroitism when their country is going to consist of foreigners primarily...

Singapore Simpsons said...

yeah, to extrapolate kelvin lim's (February 10, 2007 12:05 AM) idea.

Singapore citizens are not something you rid-off easily when they become unwanted relatively less-profitable economic units, and the worse part is they may vote you out of power.

Contrast that to Singapore PRs and/or foreigners, economic untis you can throw out of Singapore Inc once their usefulness expired and they cannot vote you out of power.

So what one do if one were a Mr Burns set in Singapore Simpsons? Increase the imported population and thereby killing 2 birds with a stone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Burns

Jimmy Mun said...

I remember in my NS days, I was standing on top of this Elephant Hill (not sure of the correct geological name, but I think it can be well described as a phallic piece of rock), and as I spun around 360 degrees, all I could see was endless jungle for as far as my eyes could see. Nothing man-made at all. It was at that moment that I felt that Singapore is a lot larger than I think.

OTOH, the population density in places like Hong Kong is often underestimated. Yes, there is plenty of land, but most of which is unforgiving terrain that is not easily habitable. As far as inhabited areas are concerned, Hong Kong is at least twice as packed. With Hong Kong in mind, growing Singapore to 6 or 7 million isnt really that outrageous.

The trouble is with the urban planning in Singapore. It has always been the government's objective to pack Singaporeans into tight spaces. The feeling of being squeezed makes people willing to pay a big premium for space. And guess who is the biggest seller of land in Singapore?

Such a scheme would work well provided there is no massive change in the population, like the massive influx of foreigners we are experiencing now. Furthermore, earlier planning couldnt have catered for the volume and nature of the new "foreign talents" coming in. While the foreign factory operators used to rent places near the factory and walk to work, the new influx of foreigners are more likely to drive or mrt to work, adding greatly to the commute congestion.

Lastly, do you stop and wonder how much of the traffic congestion is caused by construction works? If and when the government introduces some new spaces, instead of rebuilding and rebuilding over and over again in the same build up area, you will find that Singapore can easily grow to 8 million without driving everyone on the island, insane.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't feel overcrowded in 2004 ... "

My oh my, this is 2007 and someone is still living in 2004. What hindsight!

Anonymous said...

Popped over to see the action at TOC. Looks like Deepthroat.sg and co. are really desperate.

It's like them saying to the opposition parties,"We die, we will make you die with us!"

No longer reasoning. Just killing.

twasher said...

jimmy wrote: you will find that Singapore can easily grow to 8 million without driving everyone on the island, insane.

That's because the only ones who will be left on the island are those who were not driven to emigrate by the overcrowding, or those who have no choice but to stay.

Evariste Galois said...

"My oh my, this is 2007 and someone is still living in 2004. What hindsight!"

Perhaps you need some context. I left Singapore in 2004. I intend to return, but in my post I was only was wondering if the place has grown overly crowded in the last 3 years.

I didn't think so; it was a rhetorical statement, anyhow.

Perhaps you should review your hostility, sir?

I'm proud of population density, well, as long as we build up. Immigrants aren't a bad thing. Being treated like second class citizens is the real grievance here.

Evariste Galois said...

Actually I came back here to Maine just a few days before the end of 2004, so it's really more like two years really.

I noticed the MRT squeeze, but I thought that was because they failed to restore full train services after SARS.

Evariste Galois said...

"Our parks and 'nature reserves' are a joke. It's not just an issue of transport. Humans have an innate need for space; after all we evolved to live in the bloody savannah not in HDB flats."


I've been on both sides of the housing lifestyle spectrum, and I can't say one is better than the other. I admire HDB flats. On the other hand, it's also nice to have your own 5 acre plot and a mini apple orchard.

But I liked being able to bump into my friends and former schoolmates in the market - very regularly. You can't do that here in New England, even in Southern Maine where the density is around city suburb level.

Sometimes, Singapore was a bit too small yes, because there were often not a lot of times where you got out of that 699 sq. km area. But population density itself makes the land feel larger too - than say if it was unoccupied field.

In sec 2 in 2004 I was considerably adventurous; walking from Bishan (the MOELC) back to home in Dover for instance, or walking behind what I thought was a decommissioned rail track (being overgrown with grass) that runs behind the Ministry of Education headquarters and nearly getting run over by a train. It's not the same as walking through jungle, (although it's right next to you), especially since there are cars passing by all the time, but having to cut through Lornie made Singapore seem a tad large.

The rail track one was considerably more interesting, because it ran into parts of Singapore I didn't know existed, as it seemed to be middle of nowhere, but most of all, there were squatter settlements of foreign workers, with campfires, along some parts of the tracks, sometimes bordering an HDB estate.

Forgive me for ranting: perhaps you'll say I'm only a sixteen-year-old who sees Singapore through rose-tinted-glasses, after ignoring the many grievances against the country in particular. But this country is part of my identity and my culture.

Population density is what defines Singapore; if you take that away, I might as well stay in New England. I *like* having a busy market in my backyard.

But wait, you people say. You're so young, only a child, partaking in something only the well-off can do. Wait till you taste the hardships of adulthood; I've been accused of these things more than once. I shall anticipate them here and now and say that living in a single-parent household with a working mother and nothing is about ideal.

So forgive me if I fight for an aspect of my country that I consider an integral part of myself. So that anonymous and his comment of hindsight: I suppose that 30 years go, your generation was living in kampungs and you identify with none of the Brutic high-density architecture. But this is our generation now, and we identify with it.

Evariste Galois said...

And I'm wondering why Singapore's area in that survey is only around 400+ sq. km. I mentioned Paris because I know they have the banlieues and the HLM estates (not unlike the HDB, except the HDB tends to be prettier) that have spawned their own subculture.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang's post is slightly misleading. Singapore is the 2nd most densely populated country simply because it's a city state. Most countries have both rural and urban areas, with the former therefore cancelling out the latter in terms of density. When compared with cities around the world, singapore ranks 29th, whereas taipei for instance, ranks 7th while Seoul is 6th. Beijing is 12th. I'm all for increasing the population; good for property market ;)

Anonymous said...

I have a theory. Since the government is losing support among the locals, what do they do? Import support from overseas. It is obvious that PAP doesn't play fair in the game of politics, we shouldn't expect them to anyway. So in my view, this increase in the population size is a way to shore up their support base in the coming elections. It's called long time planning.

Well, some may say that foreigners that come are more educated, more courageous to speak out, more democracy inclined. I beg to differ. The westerners who ultimately chosed to call Singapore their home and give up their citizenships elsewhere are mainly disappointed with their coountry's bureaucracy and lack of oppurtunities for progress and development. When the government roll our the red-carpet and welcome them with open arms, do you think they will in the short term vote against PAP? Unlikely.

As for the chinese or the indians, they've probably not experienced much demoncracy to begin with. So they are also unlikely to agree with us locals on our views of the PAP.

Chances are that out of the extra millions that the PAP plans to import, only a handful will be against vote against them. So in the long run, the PAPayas will continue to enjoy their peanut pay and peanut housing at the expense of everybody else.

Anonymous said...

importing more human batteries will also mean more gdp growth, no?

then our miw will be able to say that they deserve higher pay in view of gdp growth, never mind that wages remain stagnant (no thanks to the fierce competition).

and i think that it is totally unhealthy to live like sardines. i feel so claustrophobic just looking at how close hdb flats are next to one another. i'm just hoping this is not a sight i have to endure forever...

Wowbagger said...

In sec 2 in 2004 I was considerably adventurous; walking from Bishan (the MOELC) back to home in Dover for instance, or walking behind what I thought was a decommissioned rail track (being overgrown with grass) that runs behind the Ministry of Education headquarters and nearly getting run over by a train. It's not the same as walking through jungle, (although it's right next to you), especially since there are cars passing by all the time, but having to cut through Lornie made Singapore seem a tad large.

I have walked through the whole range of the central catchment area -- you can get from Macritchie to Pierce to Mandai to Bukit Panjang by walking almost entirely in jungle and perhaps climbing a few fences that cordon off the areas used by the military. So yes, there are isolated spaces that one escapes to on weekends, but what gets to me is the claustrophobic feel of the places where one does one's daily activities -- just walking through any HDB estate, going to the grocery store, etc. is stressful and stifling in itself. I won't complain about public transport because it's way better than any I've seen anywhere in the US. But I live in a big city in the US and it feels far more spacious than Sg, because the neighbourhoods in which people live aren't as cramped. Downtown is cramped, but in Sg everywhere has downtown-density.

Anonymous said...

According to wikipedia, Singapore's the 4th most dense country, after Monaco, Macau and Hong Kong.

Personally, I don't think population density means much until you calculate our distribution of public services per capita. If the government wants to increase population density, they should match it with a proportion increase in public services - maybe even more if there's exponential stress on the system.

Evariste Galois said...

"but what gets to me is the claustrophobic feel of the places where one does one's daily activities -- just walking through any HDB estate, going to the grocery store, etc. is stressful and stifling in itself."

I don't feel this way. I have a theory that the different generations have different opinions of the density.

Going to the market, for instance, is different from going to Orchard Road. The latter can be stressful if you're not in the mood for it, but even that is tolerable (in an air-conditioned environment).

I don't mind having to cut through crowded markets, empty void decks or whatnot to get home from school, because each environment is appreciable in its own right.

Again, population density isn't a bad thing. I guess it depends on lifestyle. Some people would be willing to live in the desert (try Arizona) - which by the way, can get very beautiful at night. But naturally many other people shy away from these places.

So again, the problem here isn't the density itself, which can bring its own blessings, but whether the government will upgrade the public infrastructure to meet the requirements of additional density.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"According to wikipedia, Singapore's the 4th most dense country, after Monaco, Macau and Hong Kong."

Macau & Hong Kong are not countries. Therefore Singapore is the 2nd most densely populated country.

Anonymous said...

someone says "again, population density isn't a bad thing.... it depends on lifestyle".

yeah, it is so refreshing to stay in a pigeon-hole hdb flat all your life, listen to your neighbours' conversations at night, inhale second hand smoke in the comfort of your living room, have light from flood-lit common corridor pouring in through your bedroom windows etc etc.

i'm so envious of kampong chickens...

Evariste Galois said...

"yeah, it is so refreshing to stay in a pigeon-hole hdb flat all your life,"

An HDB flat is much better than what I'm living in right now, which by the way, is considered pretty good for an apartment in the region I'm currently living in.

"have light from flood-lit common corridor pouring in through your bedroom windows etc etc."

What we did was stain our corridor-facing windows. The HDB's lighting ambience can be haunting yes - sometimes the estates seem like cold monolithic sentinels.

"inhale second hand smoke in the comfort of your living room"

Do you leave your gate open? I don't possibly see how this could happen. Perhaps I've been sheltered
(though I don't think so giving our financial situation hasn't exactly been bright) but I rarely feel this way about the HDB.

What do I hate about the HDB? The 99-year-lease. The eminent domain powers the government has; the restrictions placed on buying flats ; the fact that foreigners end up being eligible and common citizens get cold turkey. They put your block on en-bloc, rig the polls to make it look like a "consensus" that your neighbours want en-bloc upgrades when in fact everyone is content as it is, (they want the prime land), uproot you from your community and scatter you all over the island. On top of all that, they restart your mortgage.

That's what I hate about the HDB - lack of any property rights. (Which is an ironic sentiment, since I tend towards the left.) The lifestyle I don't have any particularly large grievances against.

Anonymous said...

Now I really know that my time spent in NS and reservist supposedly to defend the nation against foreign invasion is a big waste of time.

The PAP has thrown open the door wide open for these foreigners to establish themselves in all facuet of our society at will. So why the need for citizens to further waste time in NS and reservist? Why need to spent billions in military weapons?

The foreigners are not at the gates. They are already in the city! With smiles and blessings from the despotic autocratic PAP gang!?!

Anonymous said...

6.5 million people.
300,000 reservists.
xxx number of elites.
A whole lot of bullsh**.

I'd like our ministers to spend 7 days taking public transport to/from work without the bodyguards and LTA/SMRT staff chasing away the peasants to create space for them.

I'd like our ministers to take public transport on NE line bypassing Serangoon on Saturday evenings.

I'd like our ministers to shop in our neighbourhood NTUC queuing in line on weekend nights for their groceries.

Then tell me 6.5 million people will be happy smelling each other's body odour and peering into each other's orifices in the public spaces.

Squeezy in Singapore

the galoisian radical said...

The immigrants are not the problem. Immigrants integrate. It's rather the foreigners who come into the country with no intention of integrating, and hence no loyalty to their new host country.

Anonymous said...

gr: foreigners who come into the country with no intention of integrating, and hence no loyalty to their new host country.

Aiyah, not really a problem rite? Already survey found 50% youths here wanna emigrate, so eventually locals also no loyalty.

Foreigners no loyalty + locals no loyalty
= everyone no loyalty
= welcome to Singapore Inc, enter and exit based on your economic worth

Probably be some elites' dream model lah! :-P

Anonymous said...

But of course the government doesn't think it'll be a big squeeze. Those elites live in spacious abodes, relax in country and golf clubs, jet set around the world for work and play, move around in big cars and drink from golden taps. Of course they won't mind the rest of the population being squeezed to bring in more income to fill their pockets to maintain their lifestyles.

In fact, it is essential to guarantee they remain that way.

Anonymous said...

MIW really speak with fork tongue.

Back in the 70s, PAP campaigned that the people should stop at two. Citing that if population growth is not controlled, S'pore would be in dire straits 'cos of its limited resources esp. land, space, infrastucture, public services, etc. Population then was only about 2 million.

How is it then given S'pore still very limited resources, the PAP is now making a "blakang pusing" and wants to see population to grow to 6.5 million people.

Can't they see that our road systems are already bursting at the seams with daily jams and congestions, crowded buses and MRT, long queues at polyclinics and hospital's AE dept., limited spaces into JCs or polytechnics or universities, pigeon-hole like living conditions for 70% of population, etc. Already we have seen the effect on the employment scene for Singaporeans...that's right, besides resources, jobs are scarce as well.

My guess is that 'cos PAP leaders need not undergo such daily stress, frustrations and anxieties. They can't be bothered the effect that a super crowded population will have on the mental stress of Singaporeans. In their high and mighty ivory tower they aren't affected at all even if the population increases to 8.5 million people.

Anonymous said...

simple, wat? back in the 60s/70s, gahmen really cared for pple. more babies meant more mouths to feed. and if economic prospects remained bleak, a young nation meant higher tendency for social unrest, or fewer votes for them.

now, pappies are fattened and entrenched in politics, so to hell with peasants. more pple meant more gahmen revenue - cpf and taxes. so what if 6.5 mil pple live in BIG SQUEEZE (physically and financially), pappies still enjoy their humongous, gurkha guarded bungalows, complete with swimming pools, elevators, gardens and basement etc etc

who cares a hoot about bottom feeders?

Jimmy Mun said...

I read somewhere that, in proportion to the total geographical area, Singapore has the highest ratio dedicated to golf courses. One almost could be mistaken that golf is national pastime of every Singaporean, which is true if you only count the elite TT Durai/Wee family types. Like I mentioned earlier, Singapore is more condensed than we need to be. It is government policy to make Singaporeans feel claustrophobic, just as it is government policy to make you compete like mad to get into a JC and university.

I remember in my uni days, Singaporeans had to compete like mad to get a hostel room in NUS. The university admin couldnt care less. Then one fine day, the government decided to flood NUS with foreign students, and the foreign students repeated the same complaints Singaporeans had been making for years, and almost immediately, the admin created new rules to reduce the Singaporean hostelites and reserve rooms exclusively for foreigners and started building new hostels as though the hostel shortage was a new problem.

To effect change in Singapore, dont waste time talking to your MP. Talk to a foreigner. The government will quake with fear if foreigners complain about the Singapore squeeze.

le radical galoisien said...

Golf courses are one of the worst wastages of land ever. Not to mention harmful to the environment to maintain that artifical "green".

"How is it then given S'pore still very limited resources, the PAP is now making a "blakang pusing" and wants to see population to grow to 6.5 million people."

Overinterpretation alert. I oppose the PAP myself, but we shouldn't put words into their mouth. They are only predicting population growth will get into that certain amount.

Of course, the issue seems to be that they are not overly panicked about the problem, thinking they can accomodate as they go.

Saying the PAP wants "6.5 million people" is like saying the scientsts who predict us having 10 billion people in 2050 (or something like that, I forgot) actually want that to happen.

Anonymous said...

le radical galoisien,

If the government doesn't want 6.5 million population, why is it preparing for that population in it's master planning? Apparently GST plays a part in laying infrastructure foundation too. That's pretty enthusiastic, if you ask me.

There are many ways to curb population if they don't want it. Like the good old "Stop at two" campaign.

Forecast or no forecast, if there is genuine concern about overcrowding and they really want to maintain zero population growth, they will do something about it. This is a government that will stop at nothing to get what it wants, even in the face of strong objections.

This beating around the bush technique, playing around with words, is getting awfully tiresome.

le radical galoisien said...

Strong objections against population increase, or immigration rates?

I know there are strong objections against being treated like second-class citizens.

It's not they want it or don't want it. That's not it at all. If you didn't initially plan on having children that early, but due to some mishap in the contraception or whatever, you end up expecting one early. Would you start planning for one or would you consider aborting?

Many of us wouldn't be here, I think if our parents had choen the latter - if my parents had done that, I wouldn't. These are future Singaporeans.

The issue then is rather, "well, future Singaporeans, eh? How valuable is it to be Singaporean? Does the government plan on treating us like cattle?"

The government should not have a business in planning population growth rates. It does however have a business in accomodating in it. Again, I think you are overinterpreting. Just because I said the government doesn't necessarily want it doesn't mean the government explicitly wants zero population growth either.

Besides, I don't know where you inferred from my post that I said their main concern was about overcrowding. The only thing I said is that they think they can deal with it. There is this particular sentiment called "ambivalence", t'sais?

Anonymous said...

le radical galoisien(and are you also "the galosian radical")

"They are only predicting population growth...."

YOU were saying PAP predicting only? As if it's something TOTALLY NOT within their control. Beyond their reach and capabilities. Have you actually lived in S'pore in the last four decades?? Or are you one of the new immigrant to S'pore? We are talking about the PAP here.

If you can remember(or are you still too young), during the 70s and up till the late 80s, foreign immigrants to S'pore were negligible 'cos the PAP have got very stringent criterias for foreigners even to become a PR. Even then becoming a citizen(after attaining PR status) was never easy and could take close to a decade--after proving your worth. (Male PRs would have an "easier" route only after having completed NS even if they are in their late 20s). Population growth then wasn't that spectacular as the birth rates was "kinda slow". Singaporeans then were measuring their living standard, prefering to quality of life rather than "quantity of life".

Fast forward to the mid-90s to present time, suddenly the population growth is raising up with a vengence--as if Singaporean couples are suddenly feeling "the urge" and/or making up for "lost time". Not so. Based on birthrates of the 70s, 80s and even a good part of the 90s, the numbers doesn't add up to the current population head count. Correct me if I'm wrong, I read that about 25% of the current population is made up of foreign immigrants to S'pore.

As I mentioned before, if the PAP govt feared about the strain on our resources when population was then only 2 million. How is it that they don't feel it's a strain on Singapore and Singaporeans' resources with a current population of more 4.2 million and going on to 6.5 million. How is it that the PAP govt is relaxing their policies for more foreign immigrants to take up PRs or becoming citizens. In fact, all comers are welcome, be they hawker centre cleaners, bars or restaurants waitresses, sportsmen and women, etc. And Singaporeans are feeling the stress and strains of this very crowded environment.

And yes, I am against any increase in immigrants if it means straining Singapore's resources, compacting Singaporeans like sardines, increasing the already stressful lifesyle, lost of jobs for SINGAPOREANS(and alot in their 40s, educated and experienced, etc.

You said the the govt should have no business in planning population growth rates. Well, neither do they be in the business of having policies that increase foreign migrants to S'pore that have increased the hardship and sufferings of its citizens. Or in the business of increasing foreign immigrants just 'cos the birth rates is slow as well.

Already the bottom 30% of the population are facing very trying times. How much more for the percentage to go up. How much more must Singaporeans suffer. In the past, just putting the blame on globalization is just too simplistic.

Anonymous said...

I'm against PAP policies for a huge increase in foreigners becoming PR in Singapore, simply because alot of them have no affliation for Singapore and view it as a temporary abode to other countries or simply to go back home when they have gain experience and/or attain much financial benefits to do so. Look around, ask around.

One must remember as well that the countries that the "temporary" PRs go back to, have cost of living that are way way lower than Singapore. Therfore, it's a multiple PLUS PLUS for them. Whereas, Singaporeans my poor Singapoeans how did we come to such a stage. Low pay and high cost of living.

le radical galoisien said...

"Have you actually lived in S'pore in the last four decades?? Or are you one of the new immigrant to S'pore?"

I'm sixteen years old. Of those sixteen years, I have lived nine of those years (cut up into two legs, yes) in Singapore.

And yes, I'm the galoisian radical. It's just that google's reshuffling around with beta and google account integration makes things very confusing.

"If you can remember(or are you still too young)"

Why do you ask me such a pointless question when my profile states my age right there?

Why do you place prejudiced assumptions on my cultural and national identity and jump to conclusions about them?

You are no better than the bigoted Americans.

I'm tired of prejudiced people like you. I'm tired of prejudice in general.

le radical galoisien said...

"YOU were saying PAP predicting only? As if it's something TOTALLY NOT within their control. Beyond their reach and capabilities."

The government should never control population growth. It's within their capability, yes. But why do you even recommend they try population growth?

Fine, a point conceded: the PAP have tried before. They have demonstrated they don't even have qualms about eugenics.

But why do you say things like, "well, if they were really concered, they would try to use government influence to control population growth?" They can. They should not.

The government should not interfere in that area. Ever. The community - as a collective of citizens - can speak up about it, but no government should ever try demographics control again.

Do you know the associations of population control's friends? Hmm, shall we try Nazi Germany's nifty "Jewish population control" program? Why not China's nifty one-child-policy which has created a generation of stuck-up brats? The US' eugenics program to sterilise blacks, Catholics and other immigrants? Such a suggestion (which the PAP has tried before), is among there with Stalin and the Soviet Union's own attempts at demographics control.

The government has shown it will suppress the breeding of other races in order to keep the Chinese population around 75% or more.

This is not something we want.

Do you sir, support Chinese hegemony? That is your ulterior motive isn't it? The sheer ridiculousness of your suggestions and implications only makes me think that you only want the Chinese hegemony to continue, along with the prejudice, majoritarianism and racism that ensues.

A racist motive is the only reason why I would think anyone would even suggest a program like demographics control.

le radical galoisien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
le radical galoisien said...

"In the past, just putting the blame on globalization is just too simplistic."

Conceded. But...

"And yes, I am against any increase in immigrants if it means straining Singapore's resources, compacting Singaporeans like sardines, increasing the already stressful lifesyle, lost of jobs for SINGAPOREANS(and alot in their 40s, educated and experienced, etc."

What resources? How do they strain resources?

If you are against population growth, if suddenly the demographic trend of Singaporean's birth rates
decided to reverse, would you then start suggesting executing all excess babies?

After all, strain of resources, are they not?

These are persons we are talking about here.

Your forefathers were immigrants once. But it seems you have lost all compassion. I'm a TCK. Fine, I am biased towards being sympathetic towards immigrants. But would you prefer that the British government should have shut out your ancestors under your nativist ideology?

Your allegations that implicitly question my cultural identity are not appreciated. I can see you through your thinly-veiled remarks, seething with nativism and hate.

What do people not fucking get? I'm fucking Singaporean, part of you, experienced the same bloody propaganda, education system, and so forth but fucking people like fucking you continue to choose to treat me like a fucking foreigner. Yes, you can tell from my use of expletives that I'm quite peeved with your remarks. I've enough of people like you. I am not blind.

It is no wonder that with such a prejudice you hold that you have such a stance against immigrants.

le radical galoisien said...

"You said the the govt should have no business in planning population growth rates. Well, neither do they be in the business of having policies that increase foreign migrants to S'pore that have increased the hardship and sufferings of its citizens. Or in the business of increasing foreign immigrants just 'cos the birth rates is slow as well."

You again, overassume.

Planning population growth rates, planning for population growth rates are two different things. That I tried to clarify.

Now, planning population growth rates and immigration rates are even more separate and you appear to be conflating them. Allowing immigrants to come is not a form of direct population control, since immigrants come of their own accord.

Compulsory or coercive programmes
programs governments force on their population are highly different matters.

I have concern with parasitical immigrants, just like many of you. However, your totally hostile (and nativist) stance towards immigrants in general disgusts me.

You assume the migrants are causing the problems, but is this from correlation alone? It is not the migrants, but the administration.

This country, with proper infrastructure, can have quite a large carrying capacity; Paris has over 2 million people (city-area) over just 86 km.

It is not the migrants that are the problem (who suffer hardship just as well), but the administration that prefers to spend money developing golf courses over upgrading opposition wards, raise GST despite a huge amount of foreign reserves, and promotes raising the salary of ministers rather than alleviating the public transport congestion problem.

le radical galoisien said...

"If you can remember(or are you still too young), during the 70s and up till the late 80s, foreign immigrants to S'pore were negligible 'cos the PAP have got very stringent criterias for foreigners even to become a PR. Even then becoming a citizen(after attaining PR status) was never easy and could take close to a decade--after proving your worth."

My grandfather came straight off the boat, with nary a stringent check.

He never really picked up Mandarin nor English, but he became a distinguished police officer. Wah, so lax one. Can't even speak Mandarin or English.

No degree, didn't come to the country with any skills, in fact he came from a village with no education. I think I speak about the history of most of the ancestors of the Singaporans here. Most of our ancestors would never meet stringent criteria one. Should they have refused them, then, by your logic?

You seem very overly nostalgic of this era of "negligible immigration", along with all your nativist wariness of immigrants.

Did you know, over 50% of the people in France have had recent immigrant background?

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I am so inspired. Although I do not plan to have 10 kids, I will plan for 10 kids anyway.

Anonymous said...

you know somebody is a pappy troll when he posts long meandering rants with half-truths, semantics, rhetorics, and "personal experiences"... hahahah, i wld like to think he is actually a miw mp, but then looking at some of the blogs posted by p65 mps, i think he is simply a well paid pappy doggie..

woof woof, grrrrrrrr!

zHuAz said...

NYC and all are different. They have the sub-urbs and countryside to go relax. We got, well, Malaysia?

We do not need to be this dense to prosper. Look at Sychelles, Maudives, or even the new UAE strategies. We are suffering from the "OMG NO ASEAN" syndrome. There is hope beyond a larger market. And for that to happen, kill the overly employer friendly manpower policies and kick the GLC funding out from Gov sources.

NTUC and all have failed in practically all overseas ventures, so why not take them down and let other Singaporeans come into the mkt?

Anonymous said...

Hey, people volunteer to be homeless. Must be fun huh?

By the way, was that a monologue or cut and paste from a party manual?

Anonymous said...

".... only makes me think that you only want the Chinese hegemony to continue..."

First of all, there was not any mentioned about race, Chinese or otherwise in my comments. Where the hell did you get that?!?! Care to show it to me?

"A racist motive .........suggest a program like demographics control"

There you go again, talking about race and racial control. Really, show me the segment where race was mentioned at all!! Secondly, I guess you've been away from Singapore for toooo long. Because alot of foreign immigrants to Singapore are from CHINA. China with lots of Chinese people. Since I am Chinese. And you are saying I am a racist toward the Chinese?! A new kind of discrimination, religion? What??!!

"What resources? How do they strain resources?"...

You are currently residing in...? We are talking about Singapore here. Just an island?!? Not the great US of A where you ar currently at. The majority of Singaporeans still live in HDB, and travel in SBS or MRT, etc. Also where the hell in any part of my comments have I prejudiced against your cultural indentity?!?!!!

"You are no better than the bigoted Americans. I'm tired of prejudiced people like you. I'm tired of prejudice in general."

Maybe that's just it. You encountered so much racism against you in America and PROBABLY feels not being wholely or readily accepted that you simply thinks what I have commented must have to do with race. Well, in two years time you'll get the chance. To be a Singaporean or not to be a Singaporean. Go through national service. Put in two years of your life for country and countrymen. Plus the many weeks for reservist through the prime of your life. That's right you can't have dual nationality. No. Not as Singapore. Don't miss that chance!

Once again, I stating that I am against any further increase in immigrants IF IT MEANS my fellow Singaporeans (able-bodied, educated, experience, etc) will undergo FURTHER increase in stress, frustrations, anxieties, lost of jobs, hardship, sufferings, etc. You got that?!!?

And stop talking about Nazi Germnay "jewish control", executing excess babies and other racial rubbish.

BTW, this will be the last time I am dealing with you 'cos of your expletives toward me. And have a happy Chinese New Year, John R. Soong.

le radical galoisien said...

"NYC and all are different. They have the sub-urbs and countryside to go relax. We got, well, Malaysia?"

Okay, where do they have to go? It's not like drive to Newton Circle, get a meal and some air, then go back.

Maybe if you're upper middle class bourgeoisie (or higher), you are the ones that can actually afford a car and drive out into the suburbs. Maybe if you're lucky to have bourgeois relatives living there.

Most Singaporeans conception of NYC is either through a hotel or living
in some friend's rich suburb far from the inner city. And I mean those who actually go there.

le radical galoisien said...

"First of all, there was not any mentioned about race, Chinese or otherwise in my comments. Where the hell did you get that?!?! Care to show it to me?"

It was your nativist stance. It can be inferred from your attitude.

"Secondly, I guess you've been away from Singapore for toooo long. "


You make rash bigoted assumptions *again*.

I've been away ... for two years roughly. I left Dec 28, 2004. I very much intend to return.

"Also where the hell in any part of my comments have I prejudiced against your cultural indentity?!?!!!"

You ask me where you fucking got prejudice! Look at your own inquisitions! Try the "I guess you've been away too long", eh?

You still think I've been off for decades, izzit? Well sir, you are truly blind. Try clicking a few links. Aka my profile which states my age.

"You are currently residing in...? We are talking about Singapore here. Just an island?!? Not the great US of A where you ar currently at. The majority of Singaporeans still live in HDB, and travel in SBS or MRT, etc."

You reveal your prejudice again. I of course know this. I lived in an HDB flat? But you know what? The government wants to tear it down, scatter us residents all over the island, then reset our mortgage. Of course I take all this into consideration.

I've gone through the same propaganda as you. Singapore, they say is a small island with no natural resources. (I think the "tsunami" part has become a recurring joke already.)

But do you actually buy that rubbish? I'm taking carrying capacity into account. Singapore is not that dense for a city-state. Singapore is not a conventional country. Fine lah, most people don't have backyards. But here in the US, I don't have a backyard either. I used to have one here, 7 years ago, but the court decided to force a sale in my parents' divorce proceedings.

Government confiscating your home ... twice. Two different gahmens, ah. Lovely circumstances, eh?

The great US of A where I'm currently at? Oh please, life isn't rosy here, ya know. I'm homesick, but the bigotry is so bad in both the US and Singapore.

"BTW, this will be the last time I am dealing with you 'cos of your expletives toward me. "

My use of them is justified in the face of your prejudice. The fact that "The majority of Singaporeans still live in HDB, and travel in SBS or MRT, etc" was obvious; stating that towards me is as good as an insult.

le radical galoisien said...

'Hey, people volunteer to be homeless. Must be fun huh?

By the way, was that a monologue or cut and paste from a party manual?"

You talking about tinrina? I don't see her post here.

le radical galoisien said...

"Well, in two years time you'll get the chance. To be a Singaporean or not to be a Singaporean. Go through national service. Put in two years of your life for country and countrymen. Plus the many weeks for reservist through the prime of your life. That's right you can't have dual nationality. No. Not as Singapore. Don't miss that chance!"

I would, if I were coming back in time. But I'm not a nationalist. Culture transcends nationality. If I'm not joining NS, I'm going to serve in the US Army. That way, I might actually get an income, and get tuition for college rather than having my single mother pay all the bills.

I receive military training either way what. If Singapore got attacked, I would be able to fight for Singapore either way.

"And stop talking about Nazi Germnay "jewish control", executing excess babies and other racial rubbish. "

No sir, what's rubbish is your logic. You're so anxious to prevent population growth and shut out immigration, thinking that the immigrants are the source of your problems.

That is your bigotry, right there. I am not denying Singapore's problems. But you are blaming them on large demographic groups, rather than the political administration that caused them.

The solution is not to shut the immigration gates. It is to vote out the PAP in 2011.

Who are you voting sir in 2011? Huh? I know who I would vote for, if they didn't bloody set the voting limit at 21 so that I will probably miss the voting age requirement by one month.

I'm merely comparing your anxiety for population control to the other regimes who have tried it. I also posed a hypothetical situation to you: if you're so anxious to prevent population growth, would you kill babies to do it?

"Because alot of foreign immigrants to Singapore are from CHINA. China with lots of Chinese people. Since I am Chinese. And you are saying I am a racist toward the Chinese?! A new kind of discrimination, religion? What??!!"

Culturally, the PRC nationals are different from the existing Singaporean Chinese population. But I wasn't referring to that.

And by the way, check your stats. It may seem otherwise, but immigrants from China only account for roughly one fifth of the immigrants that come into this oountry. Conceded, the statistics are from a government organisation. But I know that though they do some pretty unethical things like put Chee Soon Juan in a kangaroo court, I don't think they are at the stage of Stalin-esque stats fabrication yet.

If you didn't notice, the population of Singapore took a nosedive between 2005 and 2006, from 4.5 million to 4.3 million. The logical inferrence is that there was a massive exit of foreign workers, probably because their work permits expired. This might or might not mean anything, or perhaps it is a pointer towards the discardability of people in Singapore in general.

"Once again, I stating that I am against any further increase in immigrants IF IT MEANS my fellow Singaporeans (able-bodied, educated, experience, etc) will undergo FURTHER increase in stress, frustrations, anxieties, lost of jobs, hardship, sufferings, etc. You got that?!!?"

This is the crux of your argument. But the migrants are suffering too. You know why got loss of jobs? Because we worship the multinational corporations, that's
why.

What resources do the migrants use by coming here? They sleep in squatters, in void decks, in the streets, in tents, in camps, and maybe if they're lucky, a rented HDB flat (yeah right).

Hsve you ever been out into the railroad track behind the MOE? Walk towards the east for a while - you will see ENTIRE SQUATTER CAMPS of foreign construction workers with their cooking pots, snugly tucked away out of sight, in the country side. (Yes, Singapore still has some countryside.) They lived so close to an HDB estate in fact, but they weren't noticed, because of the wall that exists between the camp and the estate.

Poverty eradicated in Singapore? Don't buy that textbook propaganda nonsense that we've done away wih the squatters. The temporary foreign workers, no use working with them.

But those that stay here - they are allies to be RECRUITED in the FIGHT against the administration, not your enemies. They are your fellow working brothers.

If you want to treat them like enemies, treat them like enemies lor! But I'd suggest recruiting their vote before the PAP does.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. We've got people who have either barely lived a decade here or been out of touch overseas telling us who have been here all our lives that it is not overcrowded in Singapore or that they don't mind it.

Yeah right, the government has no business in meddling with population growth. That's theory.

But they tell the rich to have more kids and the poor not to have that many. They tell you when to stop at two and when to go non-stop. That's reality.

le radical galoisien said...

"We've got people who have either barely lived a decade here or been out of touch overseas telling us who have been here all our lives that it is not overcrowded in Singapore or that they don't mind it."

I've lived in HDB flats from my childhood, when I came back, when I had to bunk over at my grandparents and aunts' because we had no place to go (i.e. homeless).

What the hell do you mean out of touch? I keep up excruciatingly with what goes on in Singapore. It's only been 2 years.

Okay, you tell me, what do you expect a 16-year-old to say?

Your comments are unfair because naturally I don't have many years of experience either way lor. But I think my perception is accurate. Living in Singapore was also HDB flat only. Sometimes there wasn't enough room so the entire family had to sleep in a single room. Ate from hawker centres because it was cheaper than buying groceries. Spent 5 hours a week on public transport. When you told me that Singapore was a country where the average person took bus and MRT, I knew what the fuck you meant.

But I loved my country. I loved its culture. Is that a crime?

What more will you continue to dig up as an excuse and cry, "uh uh, you don't know what it's like to be a true Singaporean!"

For I think that's only nativism and you think that anyone who deviates slightly from the conception of Singaporean - migrant or not - do not know what it is like to be a true Singaporean.

The maid who has been here for nearly a decade and probably has had a significant impact on whatever kids they pampered - nope not Singaporean.

Caucasian/Eurasian child. Ah! Must be descendant of expatriate! Everyone concludes. Go international school? Parents very rich right? Well actually it's lower middle class, HDB flat, local school. But no one bothers. You see, it's always prejudice. Can't be true Singaporean one. Wrong skin colour. Must only be foreign talent.

That audacious pilot who decided to protest against SIA's wage practices - not natural-born citizen, how dare he. Citizenship revoked. Nope, not Singaporean.

Migrant worker. Got children in local primary school. But got strong PRC accent one. Alas, not Singaporean.

Why do Singaporeans continue to hold prejudices against people of their own kind? The pok video only reveals the extent of prejudice the population still possesses.

The PAP takes advantage of this division and self-suspicion - that is why they continue to stay in power.

"But they tell the rich to have more kids and the poor not to have that many. They tell you when to stop at two and when to go non-stop. That's reality."

And what hypocrisy, that you would continue to advocate population growth controls?

Anonymous said...

Population controls? Do you not know a sarcastic remark from a personal opinion? Yes, you are only 16 and you have the audacity to tell people much older than you what is good for them. Wonder what would happen when you are 40 or 60. The whole world has to listen to you.

Yes, I am looking at your inexperienced 16 years on earth. You are imposing your preferences and world views on others. A typical 16 year old who thinks he is always right and nobody else gets it.

By the way, not all criticisms are directed at you. By tinrina's standards, you are just way too emotional.

Anonymous said...

le radical galoisien,

Homeless means not having a place to stay. Your condition is not homelessness because you have a place to stay.

Homeless is not having no ownership of property. If you call yourself homeless, there a countless who are homeless.

Really, your life is not as pitiful as you think and your perception is definitely not representative of all Singaporeans.

Keeping up with news is not the same as experiencing life back home. Our dear leaders know very well what is happening in Singapore, but they can't sympathise because they have not experienced what the poorest have.

In short, you can have your opinion, but don't assume that you can speak for all, or tell others they don't get it, expletives or otherwise.

le radical galoisien said...

"Yes, you are only 16 and you have the audacity to tell people much older than you what is good for them. Wonder what would happen when you are 40 or 60. The whole world has to listen to you."

It is putting forth an argument, online, on a medium open to commentary. And how is it audacious to disagree? Is it still the philosophy of seen but not heard?

I am alarmed because people suggest population growth is the source of the problems when the problems are likely to come from the administration itself.

The anonymouses in question propose a policy that deals with human demographics so apparently they have the right to further their nativist anti-immigration claims while opposers of their views do not.

"but don't assume that you can speak for all,"

That was not in any way my intent, but I wish to pre-empt those who would use the "out-of-touch" argument.

"Keeping up with news is not the same as experiencing life back home. Our dear leaders know very well what is happening in Singapore, but they can't sympathise because they have not experienced what the poorest have."

Is 2 years such a disparity? I can't be in two places at once. My question: what has changed in Singapore's population since 2005? Has it significantly become more crowded, that you chastise me for using what I think is a recent impression? This was a genuine question, but you refused to answer it.

Would you fault me for not living here recently enough? If anything, I am more out of touch with the Americans here than I am at home.

If I were writing this as a 16-year-old ITE student, you would not fault me. But see, it always comes down to matters of prejudice.

"Homeless means not having a place to stay. Your condition is not homelessness because you have a place to stay.

Homeless is not having no ownership of property. If you call yourself homeless, there a countless who are homeless.

Really, your life is not as pitiful as you think and your perception is definitely not representative of all Singaporeans."

I did not mean to evoke pity; only to say that I was not sheltered living in Singapore. Besides, the majority of Singaporeans have a stake in owning some sort of residence while a large minority rent. Although, due to the 99-year-lease conditions, very few people in Singapore actually own the home they live in.

mr siu said...

can somebody please invite our great actors actress ministers to read the comments and content of this blog and see what they are turning the country into. It's good for their karma to start listening instead of acting. Best actor award goes to LHL. I have serious doubts about his intelligence.

SPiNSuGaR said...

le radical galoisien..

Please don't assume the situation hasn't changed while you were away. I studied/stayed/worked in a foreign country for 3 years, 2000-2003. When I came back, almost everything had changed. One of my main observations was that it was much harder to get a cab, and much squashier on public transports than I remembered. I might have dismissed it as a trickery of the mind, but surprisingly my friends also echoed my thoughts.

I doubt people would have responded differently even if you were a "16-year old ITE girl". It's in your writing. You seem very self-assured & have alot of views.. that's good. But here, you come across as over-confident to the point of..well.. ignorance.. because you write with such conviction, yet you admit you have been absent from Singapore for the past 2 years.

Perhaps you'd be in a better position to write with such assuredness (and better received) after you come back and experience today's daily crush for yourself. :)

Anonymous said...

What? 6.5 million people! Give me a break! Singapore as it is today is suffocating enough. Why bring more people here? It is sustainable? I had to stand with my food while waiting for an empty seat at food courts. I wonder what's next?

An exist strategy away from squeezepore is the way to go.

le radical galoisien said...

"because you write with such conviction, yet you admit you have been absent from Singapore for the past 2 years. "

Conviction? Well it is only gut estimates. I admit part of this confidence comes from second-hand information which I correlate to my first-hand experience.

When I left, I believe the population - including foreigners - was around 4.2 to 4.3 million. I later see this shoot up to 4.5 million in 2005, then drop back down 4.3 million again in July 2006, then back up to 4.48 million December 2006.

Here I can see how things can indeed change quickly. But I also seem to conclude that a large part of the foreign workers really seem to be temporary (which makes them both a worry and not a worry) and volatile, and that we shouldn't count them as part of our permanaent population anytime soon.

My rationale is this. I knew the country was extremely dense then, it was evident whenever one went to Orchard Road or took the MRT during the peak hours - but then it did not seem that the population could not be accomodated for by building more infrastructure (and having the government treat its people like people rather than liable employees).

Back here, with my second-hand information - with news and parlances with friends coupled in, I try to imagine what the country is like, how it changes day by day, using my existing experiences as a base.

I do not mean to sound arrogant. This is my main confidence in putting my argument forward. It's "extropolated experience", if you will. My experience is limited, but I only brought up that issue only because you were asking me rather unfairly to consider "past years" which I had never experienced.

What I meant is that if another 16 year old explained why he thought the country could handle 6.5 million based on the experiences of life now, you wouldn't be flinging these obtuse statements like "you don't know what it's like".

Well, I wouldn't really know what it would be like exactly with 6.5 million people. But I can imagine, based on my past experiences with 4.3 million. Then I can also imagine what the difference can be with 4.5 million people in it.

I'm not ignorant of the significance of the passage of time. I fear by the time I return, I will have grown far too alienated from my comrades once more. It is a given that the country probably has changed in some significant way. But my question was along the lines of: is this so significant as to render previous experiences invalid?

le radical galoisien said...

"An exist strategy away from squeezepore is the way to go."

Do you mean exit strategy?

I have fled once too many times. I would say it does not necessarily get better by migrating. I am of the opinion (please do not think me as being hao lian again, I merely comment like everyone else) that the problems of Singapore are easier to fix than that of the US, for example.

Those who find little problems upon arriving in their new country probably were rich anyway.

And it's our neighbours who get suspicious of our landfill efforts, like Indonesia and Malaysia isn't big enough already.

And ask your neighbour (or 66.7% of them) - what the hell are they voting in the PAP for? What is their platform? Have they proposed to fix specifically any problems beyond vague talk of moving ahead? Only fools vote for the future based on past laurels - it ensures credibility, but you need a direction first. These are the reasons for our troubles.