Population should be cap at 6M: NMP Laurence Lien

He also rants over companies 'addicted' to cheap foreign labour.

Nominated MP Laurence Lien became the second nominated member of the Parliament to oppose Singapore Government's White Paper.

Here's an excerpt from His speech delivered on Thursday:

Let me suggest that the long term policy should be to cap the total population by 2030 at 6m. This will require only allowing roughly a 1% annual workforce growth between now and 2020 – which can be most achieved through an increase in resident labour force growth – and around 0.5% thereafter. We should also slowdown the intake of new naturalised citizens to 10,000-15,000 of new births. Otherwise, the impact on social cohesion and the building of our social identity will be too adverse.

In fact, having a lower workforce growth would have a positive impact on productivity. If labour is scarce, firms will substitute labour for capital, skills and technology.

We also need to raise the wages and skill levels of foreign workers so that we can attract the more skilled ones here. In fact, the rising foreign worker levies have ironically dampened productivity. Where companies have to reduce wages of foreign workers to cope with the painful escalating costs, they end up only being able to attract lower and lower skilled workers with a lower reservation wage, and who are less productive.

Too many of our companies are addicted to cheap, less-skilled foreign labour. If we continue to feed them with cheap labour, it will only feed the addiction. These companies need restructuring, or rehabilitation, not more drugs.



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