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Singapore Could Accommodate Six Million People In The Future

In a TV forum composing of about 30 Singaporean guests, among whom are educators, grassroots leaders, young parents, seniors and new citizens, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore could accommodate six million people in the future.

The programme dubbed as “A Conversation With PM Lee,” was hosted by MediaCorp and recorded at Caldecott Broadcast Centre. It tackled various issues on Singapore’s future such as pre-school education, low birth rate and the country’s population. The forum became an interactive venue to exchange views between Mr Lee and the participants. Moderating the forum was Chun Guek Lay. He asked Mr Lee what is Singapore’s ideal population target is vis-à-vis its economic progress.

“It’s very hard to give a concrete figure because the situation is evolving. We’re gradually increasing our land area, and if we rebuild our older towns, then we can accommodate more people. Today our population is over 5 million.

In the future, 6 million or so should not be a problem. Beyond that, we’ll have to think more carefully,” said Mr Lee.

Singapore’s total population as of December last year is estimated to be at 5.26 million.

Meanwhile, the participants were polled on issues accepting foreigners and immigrants in Singapore. Seventy-seven percent (77%) said “yes” on accepting foreigners in the country. Sixty-seven percent (67%) agreed on welcoming immigrants to boost the low birth rate in Singapore.

The cultural impact of immigration was discussed during the forum. Some participants see that the arrivals of immigrants in Singapore have contributed to the country’s economy. They said that newcomers bring new skills and business networks. Aside from this, they also enrich Singapore’s culture and language.

“If new immigrants are willing to take root here and be loyal to Singapore, we should treat them graciously,” PM Lee said.

Also on the panel during the forum were Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Chan Chun Sing; Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Josephine Teo; and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law, Sim Ann.