opulation of 5m, 5.5m, 6m, 6.5m or 7m ?
First, we need adequate and efficient infrastructures in such a compact island. Also, we need cheaper and greener energy, and more importantly new sources of food supply and potable water that is affordable to all, especially those who are poor and struggling to make a living.
On food to feed a population of 5.75m (midway between 5 and
6.5m), I have to refer interested forumers to my comments on Jilin
investments by Temasek Holdings (see below). It is also available at my blog:
Also at Google docs, the link is:
Temasek Holdings’ investments in a huge farm project in Jilin, China
Sharing and inviting comments on what I wrote to the government and the media on the subject matter.
I refer to the media reports that Temasek Holdings will invest in a huge China farm project, which will be a proposed super farm of 1,450 sq km that will be named China-Singapore Jilin food zone with land twice the size of Singapore.
In my email of 25 July 2002 [see below], I suggested to the Singapore government to invest in overseas farms, forestry, etc., and not just in concrete and steel in office buildings, hotels, industrial estates, or in banks, businesses or telco companies, etc.
It is not too late for GIC and TH to look into more such investments by parking a few hundred millions of dollars here and there to invest in non-concrete projects.
We should invest strategically by putting our eggs in more baskets and to widen our sources of food supplies in the long term.
The news of the Jilin investment last week is a long wait for me as my suggestion to the government went back not just 10 years but to as far back as October 1990. > >
MCDS Feedback > hoo.co.uk> > Unit/MCDS/[email protected] > > > >
Subject: > More freedom, fewer safety nets, will help
Singapore grow >
25 July 2002
> Dear Sirs, > >
I refer to “More freedom, fewer safety nets ‘will help Singapore grow’ ” (Straits Times, July 25th) and it reminds me that there is no absolute freedom in any aspects of the human life. Very few people understand this. > >
In the Remaking of Singapore, we want the Govt to leave no stone unturned, not even the CPF sacred cow. > > But when the Govt announced the coming changes in CPF, those affected voiced against it strongly.
It is all about on which side of the bread we want the butter to be applied. No one can have the cake and eat it. > >
Govt has made many policy changes over the years. Some they got it right but not all. They have to pull the brakes and change course completely for some. >
However, on the whole, the Govt has done well. To err is human. However, it is wise to listen carefully, consult and not lose touch with the ground. > >
In difficult times, the art of Govt is about how to bring down the costs of basic daily necessities. It will carry alot of political weight when such issues are addressed to calm nerves. > >
Many of us including some young MPs cannot remember the Welcome Club of the 1950s. We must not lose sight of that chapter of our history in nation building.
It is still relevant to affluent Singapore today if we wish to continue to grow well economically. >
> I am glad the AVA has provided Bintan and Baatam with technical support in agriculture. More should be done.
I wrote about this in Oct 1990 that we should invest in areas around our regions to ensure we have steady, cheap and reliable sources of supply for our basic food needs. We have invested in poultry, pig husbanding and pawn farming in many countries.
The Govt will say that this be best left to the private sector. However, there is a strategic factor in such investments and the Govt should not rely solely on the private sector, which has only one aim and that is to make profits. >
> It is still not late as I wish to bring forth again > what I recommended many years ago: >
> a) invest in rice, fish and vegetables farming to ensure such farming activities can thrive overseas as it is important to our own survival as we need a steady source of food supplies. >
> b) help by giving the needed capital for fertilisers, farming machines and research in improving crops quality and yields. A firm foundation in farming will help feed the host nation too, a win-win situation as there will be less instability in the region when the host nations are fed, and at the same time ensuring we provide them a steady market for their produce. Terrorism will not rear its ugly heads so often.
Investments in factories and buildings are important aspects, it is a norm a trend, but it will not feed a nation in a downturn like what we see in Indonesia today. There is social unrest when factories are empty affecting all.
We should not put too many eggs in one basket. Countries like Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, they are hungry for investments to upgrade their farms. The World Bank can only do that much. But we enter into such investments for different sets of reasons, and it is for the betterment of everyone. >
c) Invest in deep sea fishing. We consume thousands of tons of fish each year.
We may not have the expertise and a blue-ocean fishing fleet, but we can invest in fishing vessels, build them here if we can and equip them with sophisticated fishing gears and have them manned by foreign crew. We can provide them a ready market for the catch. > >
No one owes us a living. We may invest in high-tech industries but we should not lose sight of the traditional areas, which are required to ensure a steady supply of our basic food needs at the lowest cost possible. Both the private sector and the government should unite in joint investments, which would benefit us as well as the investee countries. >
> d) in addition we should balance and invest in some long term projects. Examples, joint ventures to open up land around the world to plant pine and teak forests, etc. It will help both the environment to stay green, and provide the needed material resources for future generations as trees will take years to mature.
It does not need much upkeep and maintenance of the trees, and the future value of money in such investments will be protected. The initial investments will not be in hundreds of millions of dollars.
It is wise to spread our investments for the sake of our survival as a nation and for future generations. >