Et tu, Harry?
The paper, which projects 6.9 million people by 2030, charts the country’s strategies in managing a shrinking and ageing population.
A question on Japan’s ageing society during the dialogue triggered the discussion.
Mr Lee noted how Japan refused to take in migrants and that led to the situation it is facing today.
Mr Lee said: “So I see a nation reduced to half in 20 years, and if it still continues with the same policy, reduced to a further half, and eventually, it is all over!
“To have a nation, you must have people and you must have young people to be able to drive the economy and young people buy the products — all these gadgets and fine dining — and if you don’t have that, and you refuse migrants as the Japanese do, you will just dissolve into nothingness! I think before that comes, they may change (their) policy.”
A question on China’s one—child policy was also raised during the dialogue.
Mr Lee said China is headed in the wrong direction with this policy as a shrinking and ageing population will mean assets, such as property prices, will go down.
“Property prices will go down, assets will go down. There is no younger generation to put the pressure up so I think it is heading towards the wrong direction,” said Mr Lee.
He added Singapore is in a similar position with its low total fertility rate but the difference is that Singapore takes in migrants to make up for the numbers.
Mr Lee pointed out that authorities here maintain a “certain quality of control” and that is one reason why he feels other emerging ASEAN economies are unlikely to surpass Singapore anytime soon.
Mr Lee said: “They will make progress but if you look at the per capita they have got, the differences are so wide. We have the advantage of quality control of the people who come in so we have bright Indians, bright Chinese, bright Caucasians so the increase in population means an increase in talent.”
How many bright Indians and bright Chinese are there, Harry? Surely they are not infinite. And what will they do in Singapore? Well, engage in the finance and marketing rat-race and depress their fertility to 0.78, wasting valuable genes just so your property prices don’t go down. Singapore is an IQ shredder.
And using Japan as a bogeyman. Japan has 120 million people. How many bright Chinese and bright Indians is Japan supposed to take in to offset their demographic decline? 10 million? Do they exist in those numbers? And what then? Would they show any allegiance towards the Japanese nation? Of course not. But what does he care? What’s important is those property prices. And fine dining! Hey, didn’t he have a chat with Tyler Cowen last year?
And China is wrong to restrict fertility! Of course, why on earth would China think that 1.3 billion people are enough? The fact that it doesn’t have enough water or energy to cater for them surely means something? But not to Lee Kuan Yew. For all his sham rhetoric, Singapore migrants are mostly low wage laborers. Who would build his condos if China restricts fertility?
Lee Kuan Yew is widely admired because he had the guts to stand for his tribe, the southern Chinese people in Singapore, and build a fine country for them. But that didn’t last. Because the real tribe of southeastern Chinese isn’t their people. It’s the Money God.