Thousands protest in Singapore at immigration plans

AT least 4,000 people staged one of Singapore’s largest-ever protests yesterday – a further sign of discontent over immigration policies and growing income disparities under the long-ruling People’s Action Party.

The parliament last week approved a white paper that said the island’s population of 5.3 million could grow by as much as 30 per cent to 6.9 million by 2030, mostly through foreign workers to offset a chronically low birth rate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Critics say the island is already too crowded, with a population density exceeding that of Hong Kong.

They blame the flood of foreigners over the past decade for stagnant wages, crowded trains and rising prices that put housing beyond the reach of the average Singaporean and say further inflows would change the very nature of the island.