Is aging the problem or immigration?


So many studies on aging – never talk about immigration?

I refer to the article “Ageing population to drag down S’pore’s annual GDP per capita growth for decades: IPS study” (Today, Jan 19).

It states that “If fertility rates in Singapore remain at current levels, the ageing population will cause a drag of 1.5 percentage points on per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth every year until 2060.”

As to “While immigration has traditionally been a major element in the Republic’s population policies, the authorities have recognised that immigration policy has to be well-calibrated, and is only one measure to mitigate the economics of the ageing population, they said.

There are limits to the extent that immigration can offset the effects of an ageing population, as “immigrants also grow old”” – perhaps we may need to state the obvious – to what extent has our liberal immigration policies contributed to our economic growth?

To put it another way – so many recent studies and commentaries on why we need to raise taxes because we need to spend more with an aging population – may arguably have largely failed to mention the obvious – the impact and implications of our liberal immigration policies.

Uniquely Singapore!

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.