Rare protest in Singapore sees demonstrators voice concerns about plan to increase population

Nearly 3,000 people have held a rare rally in Singapore to protest a government plan to bolster the population by admitting more foreigners, voicing concerns that it will worsen public services and push up the cost of living.

Such demonstrations are rare in the Southeast Asian country, where the ruling People's Action Party stifles opposition voices and places tight controls on public protests.

The chief organizer of the rally, Gilbert Goh, said the rally was a display of citizens' unhappiness over the population plan, which was endorsed in parliament on Feb. 8.

According to the plan, the government will bolster infrastructure and social programs to accommodate a projected population of 6.5 million to 6.9 million by 2030 — a marked increase from the current population of 5.3 million.