Seeing his PAP colleagues mired in their lame arguments about the need for a large influx of foreign workers to boost the economy, Minister of Home Affairs decided to revert to the other justification: replenishment of the declining population.
First he ate humble pie by admitting, "I acknowledge that there are also those on employment passes holding jobs that Singaporeans are willng to do, and who compete directly with Singaporeans." So much for the PAP MPs who keep insisting that foreign workers take on only what Singaporeans decline.
But he then shoots himself by saying that Singapore needs 20,000 new citizens each year to make up for the shortfall of newborn babies. Ignore for the moment the number of Singaporeans voting with their feet, thanks to the hamfisted way they have been running (down) the country. Reports have it that the number of new PRs minted each year rose from 32,000 in 2003 to 63,000 in 2007, which works out to an average of 48,300 a year over a 5-year period. Wong has to explain this 48,300 figure when he already argued we need only 20,000. He can't. Because Low Thia Khiang has already presented their mismanagement during the past decade, their mad rush for "growth at any cost." Trust Lim Swee Say to try to defend this past growth strategy with "as a result, Singapore today continues to enjoy one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world," without qualifying that most of the jobs went to foreigners. Read what Wong Kan Seng confessed above. Two university dons actually pointed this out years ago, and were bruised by Minister Ng Eng Hen for telling the truth.
Once it was four legs good, two legs bad. Lim is now bleating "four legs better" with this: "But the past strategy is no longer relevant," noting that "the new model aims to reduce reliance on foreign workers." No, the world hasn't changed, the spin doctor's tune has.