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Title: The Population White Paper : the hidden rationale for Singaporeans' concern
Authors: Kesavan Thangam
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Singapore's Population White Paper (PWP), published in 2013, is a blueprint for Singapore's future population. It addresses Singapore's 'demographic challenges' (PWP, 2013) and postulates solutions to manage them. A critical solution proposed would be to increase the population size of Singapore. The PWP postulates an increase in the size of Singapore's population from 5.31 million (accurate as at June 2012), to a maximum of 6.9 million people by the year 2030. Of this proposed population target, non-residents1 could range from 2.3 million to 2.5 million people, together with permanent residents" comprising 0.6 million people. This would mean approximately 45 percent of Singapore's total population could be non-citizen migrants (non-residents and permanent residents) by 2030. The rationale of this proposal is to supplement Singapore's shrinking workforce with foreign labour. Though the PWP proposed feasible solutions to Singapore's population challenges, it failed to gain traction with Singaporeans. However, although Singaporeans do understand that foreigners are essential for the continued development of the country and its economy", it is imperative to also explore the reasons for their reluctance in acceding to the PWP. This paper aims to examine why the PWP was not well received by Singaporeans and it argues that Singaporeans' resentment over the PWP could potentially be due to the manner in which it was framed and presented to them. Though the PWP was framed with numerous concrete plans and empirical facts, it fell short in providing a deeper understanding and reasoning that Singaporeans would appreciate and accept, of the importance for more migrants in Singapore. Thus, this paper argues that Singaporeans did not agree to the PWP, largely, because they were unable to relate to the policy paper, as it may not have provided an in-depth explanation, for the proposed expansion in the population size of migrants. This paper employs the academic work of Walter R. Fisher to explain why Singaporeans were less inclined in accepting the PWP. Moreover, the work of academics, statistical evidence, opinions of Singaporeans and their leaders will also be employed to strengthen the argument of the paper.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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