Cow Beh Cow Bu

Growth at All Cost Strategy: What’s the Downside?


CHUA CHIN LENG: Population grew from 5.3m to 5.47m in 12 months. The target for 6.9m, supposedly a planning parameter, will be reached in no time. Anyone still believes that it is only a planning parameter? The details of this ‘slow’ population growth are better left to Leong Sze Hian and his team to elaborate.

And like a programme reflex actions, all the horror stories are uttered, in fear, that there will be consequences of an economic slow down, of belt tightening, of labour squeeze. Did anyone say anything about the adverse consequences of 6.9m and an unceasing thirst for more population? The only people that said anything of this side of the coin were from the social media. The official view is that population growth is all goodness. Where got anything negative? You want growth with no bad consequences just add more population and you will have economic growth and growth.

Now, horrors of all horrors, the population is not growing as fast as desired, but still growing rapidly. Is there no goodness in a slowing down of the economic growth? Is there nothing good in slowing population growth? Everything is going to be bad? China is deliberately slowing its economic growth and the western soothsayers are all praying and saying see, China’s economy is crashing. But the Chinese know what is good for them and are engineering a slow down. And their economic growth is attained by real productivity growth and manufacturing growth, not by adding more and more people.

Why is it that there are no negative consequences in pumping growth by adding more people into a piece of rock? Why are there no benefits to a slowing down of population growth in a small red dot? Are the analysts and economists objective in their remarks and comments? Are they blind and can only see one side of the coin?

Are they real? Can they put up a balance report to reflect the other side of the coin? The people need responsible people to put up a balance picture of what is happening, and what is the real thing, what is good and bad for them.

This commentary was written by Chua Chin Leng.
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