|Amid simmering hostility and shrinking population Singapore opens door to a few more migrants
Foreigners could make up nearly half of Singapore's population by 2030, the government said as it unveiled its politically sensitive projection today for a city of up to 7 million.
Hostility against foreigners, especially mainland Chinese, has surfaced regularly in Singapore. A Chinese who crashed a Ferrari last year was called “mainland trash.’’ Concerns about “nasty views’’ online and in public, were raised by the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself in his annual address to the tiny island.
There are also various restrictions on foreigners. A foreigner earning less than S$4,000 is not allowed to bring in his family.
In a white paper on population, the government said flagging birth necessitated immigration. The paper, released by the National Population and Talent Division, said the total population could range between 6.5 and 6.9 million by 2030, AFP reports.
Foreigners would make up nearly half the population by then with the proportion of Singaporean citizens projected to fall to 55 percent from 62 percent as of June 2012.
Singapore's total fertility rates of 1.20 children per woman last year are far below the 2.1 needed to sustain the native population, and have been so for more than three decades.
“We do not expect our TFR to improve to the replacement rate of 2.1 in the short term,'' the paper said.
“Taking in younger immigrants will help us top up the smaller cohorts of younger Singaporeans, and balance the ageing of our citizen population,'' it added.
“To stop our citizen population from shrinking, we will take in between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizens each year,’’ it stated, adding that the immigration rate would be reviewed “from time to time.’’