Necessary Numbers

In my Straits Times feed this morning, the article “10m population not really a ridiculous number for S’pore to plan for: Liu Thai Ker” caught my eye. While I am not one to favour crowds, I am also keenly aware of the need for a basic population mass in order that any nation state be able to even exist. Don’t even start with the QUALITY of that “human mass”, in a manner of speaking, you need a basic mass first! Yes, we have all heard variations of that joke about being a mosquito in a nudist colony, that is, you don’t know where to start, but please understand that you don’t know where to start if you’re a mosquito because of the presence of mass.

Yes, individuals make all the difference. We just need more individuals, more people, in other words, to be forward-looking, civic-minded, highly skilled and productive human beings. How do we compensate for the decrease in optimal lebensraum, or living space? Well, sanitation, good design, civic virtue and so forth, which is what Singapore has been doing since the beginning, thankfully. How about water and food? That’s another issue. We are more or less self-sufficient in water and look to be 30% self-sufficient in food in the near future. We need to secure other sources of food in the meantime.

Yes, we need to be able to punch way above our weight. We need to be able to offer goods and services that the rest of the world is eager to get and happy to pay for. We need a good base population for that. How many children are you willing to have? Are you willing to raise them as best you can, no matter how exhausting it can prove to be?

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