SINGAPORE: The People's Power Party's (PPP) sole candidate for the General Election Goh Meng Seng said the Government should state a specific number for Singapore's projected population.
He made the comments during a walkabout at MacPherson Market and Food Centre on Saturday morning (Jul 4), in response to the 10 million population figure raised by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) as part of its election campaign.
The SDP said the Government wants to increase Singapore’s population to 10 million people. The ruling People's Action Party (PAP), however, called the claim a falsehood.
Speaking to reporters during his walkabout, Mr Goh said that the Government should specify a projected figure if it was not 10 million.
“The transport policies, the housing policies, healthcare policies are all related to population projection. If you do not have the parameters right from the start, nothing works. You either over build or under build. We suffer or we waste money,” he said.
The Government “has to have a plan” and “be open about it”, Mr Goh said, adding that he believes they are "afraid to tell us because most people do not want more (people in the country)”.
Mr Goh urged Singaporeans to “touch (their) heart” and ask themselves if they “want more population in Singapore”.
“I think if you ask people, 80 per cent of Singaporeans will say ‘no, enough'. We have at least 40 per cent of the population who are foreigners. Do you still want more?” he added.
“They do not have the moral courage as leaders to state what they believe (in) and work towards that. You have to sell your policies, (such as) why we need 6 million or 6.9 million.”
Mr Goh is contesting in MacPherson SMC against the PAP's Tin Pei Ling, who represented the constituency after winning the single seat in the 2015 General Election.
Together with a handful of PPP volunteers, Mr Goh spent about two hours distributing leaflets detailing his stance on issues ranging from healthcare costs to Housing Development Board (HDB) flats that will “depreciate drastically after it reaches 40 years old”.
Mr Goh said he is not a fresh face to residents of MacPherson.
“Whether I'm well known in the estate, I will say that this is not the first time I came here,” he said.
“In 2011, when I was the National Solidarity Party’s secretary general, we sent a team here with Nicole Seah and we have walked the ground. So I'm not totally unknown.”
Despite MacPherson's generally older demographic, Mr Goh said he also had his eye on the constituency's younger residents.
The 50-year-old added that he has reached out to young voters through email and Facebook, where he said they asked him “some very tough questions about jobs”.
“If you look at my policies, I’ve talked about jobs. I’ve talked about HDB and CPF, which also affect the young. It’s just that the focus of my messaging may be more towards the elderly in the ageing estate, because it’s targeted unfortunately,” he said.
“But rest assured when I’m in Parliament, it will be a national level. Maybe with a slight tweak towards more compassion and empathy towards the elderly estates.”