Parliamentary reply by DPM Teo Chee Hean on new immigrants and their impact to society and prices of local housing; as well as infrastructure and population density
TWELFTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
THURSDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2012
Mr Pritam Singh:
To ask the Prime Minister in light of our current population of 5.31 million and his view that Singapore can accommodate 6 million people in the future (a) how many of the 690,000 additional arrivals are envisaged to comprise new citizens, permanent residents and non-residents respectively; (b) whether the Government has made any social assessment of the impact of these additional arrivals; and (c) what is the projected impact of these new arrivals on prices of public and private houses.
Mr Png Eng Huat:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the existing infrastructures, such as those for public transport, healthcare and housing, discounting those that are under construction, are adequately designed to support the current population of 5.31 million; (b) what is the target population density in 5, 10 and 15 years’ time; and (c) whether the Government has conducted a survey on the quality of life vis-a-vis the increase in population density.
Mr Teo Chee Hean (for the Prime Minister):
The Government recognises that population growth in recent years has outpaced our planned infrastructure capacity. We have ramped up Infrastructure development in the areas of transport, housing and healthcare and these are coming on-stream progressively. Going forward, we will strive to better match infrastructure provision with population needs.
Issues such as our societal makeup and cohesion, our living environment, and economic viability are fundamental in determining the sustainable population we want for Singapore into the future.
Over the course of this year, the Government has been engaging the public widely on these issues and is preparing to release a White Paper on Population in January 2013 which will address them. We have invited Singaporeans, including all Members of Parliament, to provide their views. We have met with numerous stakeholders such as the business federations, labour unions, students and various civic and community groups. And in the process, we have received well over 2,000 pieces of feedback from individuals, groups and organisations, and I wish to thank everyone who has sent in their views and proposals, most of which were substantial and which require much time, energy and effort to put together. We are taking these inputs into consideration as we formulate and review our population policies for the White Paper which will address these issues as well as other important issues in a holistic way.