The 2020 General Election is drawing near and the he-said-she-said drama has begun.
In addition to seducing the public with your words, engaging in a smear campaign against your opponent seems almost obligatory for political parties in an election; it happens everywhere.
Some world leaders, like US President Donald Trump, take this a little too seriously, slandering their opponents even when there isn’t an election going on.
But even in Singapore, conflicting reports from different parties on an issue isn’t unusual during election season.
The Authorities Said Claims to Increase S’pore Population to 10 Million aren’t True
Claims that the Singapore government is planning to increase its population to 10 million are not true, said the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD).
In a statement on Wednesday (1 July), NPTD made reference to the claims that were circulating on various online platforms, and said that it “would like to state categorically that these statements are untrue”.
According to The Straits Times, both the Singapore Democratic Party and Peoples Voice party have made this claim, saying they were opposed to the idea.
A check on both parties’ social media accounts shows that they made these claims in the last couple of months:
But this is false, says NPTD.
“The Government has not proposed, planned nor targeted for Singapore to increase its population to 10 million.
NPTD’s statement referenced a Factually article published in March which said that Singapore’s population size is affected by factors like birth rates, life expectancy, and global developments.
“The Government aims to achieve a careful balance between these factors to ensure a sustainable Singapore with a cohesive society and vibrant economy that improves Singaporeans’ lives”, the article said.
The article also states that the Government does not seek to achieve any particular population size.
“We monitor our population trends closely, and regularly review our population policies along with infrastructure and social development needs.”
If this isn’t the political drama you were looking for, you can watch PAP’s Vivian Balakrishnan debunk the claim made by SDP chief Chee Soon Juan in a live debate, calling it a “cheap shot”:
Meanwhile, Dr Chee Soon Juan took to his Facebook page to upload a post about backing up his claims soon after the debate ended:
The Authorities Might Take Action
NPTD says that the publication of falsehoods on Singapore’s population “damages the public interest, by undermining legitimate and honest discussion”.
“Appropriate action may be taken against any such further publication”, it added.
NPTD pointed to an update on Singapore’s population outlook that was provided in Parliament in March 2018, which said that given recent trends, Singapore’s total population is likely to be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030.
“This outlook remains valid today”, it said.
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