Several Facebook users – “Denise Fletcher”, “Jafri Basron”, and “Ryann Smith” – as well as a Facebook page “Sin Rak Sin Party” have recently posted screenshots of, or links to, an article first published by The Online Citizen (TOC) on 4 April 2019, which contained a false statement that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has released a “plan to build underground infrastructure ready for 10 million population”.
This is false for the following reasons:
The Government has clarified Singapore’s population plans on multiple occasions: (i) in Parliament in March 2018, when it stated Singapore’s total population is likely to be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030 (ii) in two Factually articles (“What is the aim of Government population policies?” in March 2020, and “Does the Government have a population target e.g. 10 million?” in July 2020), and (iii) in a media statement issued by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) on 1 July 2020. The media statement also stated that the publication of such falsehoods damages the public interest by undermining legitimate and honest discussion, and that appropriate action may be taken against any further publication of such falsehoods. Despite the latest clarification, the falsehood continues to be repeated.
The underground plans aim to make more effective use of Singapore’s subterranean spaces. Moving infrastructure, utilities and storage facilities underground would free up surface land for more green and public spaces, as well as for people-centric uses that would improve the living environment for all Singaporeans.