yap ah loy
SINGAPORE - Should all who want to live in Singapore be granted their wish, the island could be overwhelmed with a population of up to 13 million, even if some restless locals seek greener pastures elsewhere.
This appeal the Republic holds for potential immigrants puts it right at the top of research firm Gallup's Potential Net Migration Index, consolidated after a three-year survey of where the world's adults would like to move to permanently.
Places like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France are, not surprisingly, the most popular destination countries in absolute terms, the survey found. But the index measures - as a proportion of the total population - the estimated number of people who want to live in a country minus those who want to move out.
With a top score of 260 per cent, "Singapore's adult population would increase from an estimated 3.6 million to as high as 13 million," Gallup reported on its website.
It's both good and disturbing news for Singapore, which has grappled with the economic imperative to persuade talented foreigners to take up roots here, but also the need to control the migrant influx and its problems for a tiny city-state with limited land.
After accelerating immigration numbers in recent years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong two months ago signalled a slowdown in the intake.
Sociologist Paulin Straughan said the survey findings "mean that hopefully we will be in a situation where we can afford to be selective". "If the statistics are reliable, it seems to suggest we are in a happy situation where we have a bigger pool of talent (to choose from)," the Nominated Member of Parliament added.
But who are those who want to move here? The Gallup survey, which interviewed 259,600 adults from 135 countries over the telephone or face-to-face, did not specify.
It did, however, show that of the 700 million worldwide who would like to live elsewhere, 38 per cent were from Sub-Saharan Africa and 23 per cent from the Middle East and North Africa, while Asians were the most content to stay put - only one in 10 wanted to move permanently.
As for Singapore's overall attractiveness, it was this year ranked by Mercer as being the world's 26th most liveable city, but also the 10th most expensive.
MP Charles Chong (Pasir Ris-Punggol) is "not surprised" with the Gallup findings. "(There are) many bigger countries where the situation is comparatively less fortunate than the situation here."
At his Meet-the-People sessions, he encounters "quite a lot of people (who) want their relatives, parents to move here". The Government will have to "strike a balance" in taking in those with talent, and those who do the jobs locals are not inclined towards, he added.
But as for Singaporeans who want to leave, they will likely be the "educated, professional and (those who) have skills" - and they will need to be replaced, said Associate Professor Straughan. About 1,000 emigrate each year.
not surprising that whole world population wana come here cuz no natural disaster mah: no earthquake, no typhoon, no tsunami, no cyclone, no tornado, no hurricane, no volcano eruption, etc...
problem is sg also no enough land for them lor.
so many complaints about public transport, traffic jams, ERP, etc when population about 5 mils. When 13mils population, forum jam.