Discussion on Singapore Population White Paper: Part 10

The Problem with the Singapore Government

You can see in this chart the summary of the root problem for Singapore and the Singapore government.

Essentially, the problems that exist in Singapore now are created by the government and their wants – the want for power, wealth, profits and rent.

This has resulted in the problems that our economy currently faces, of a disempowered citizenry and inefficient workforce, low productivity and thus the need for work workers.

This is how to read it:

1) The government’s governing principles is to maintain their power, so they prevent the estates of governance from being independent, rig the electoral system and enact barriers to prevent opposition participation. This gives them the monopoly to make all policy decisions by themselves.

2) The other government’s governing principles is to increase their wealth, which is to increase their profits, and their way of doing so is by way of increasing rents for businesses, as one of them.

3) Because of high rental costs, businesses have to pay high rents, so they depress workers’ wages. Because of high rent, their profit turnover is also low, and so there is little incentive to invest in technology or programmes to boost productivity.

4) The main reason why businesses are still investing in Singapore is because of the strong legal and regulatory structure that was set up by the founding leaders of Singapore.

5) Because workers’ wages are depressed, there is lower incentive to be work, which contributes to a low quality workforce. At the same time, businesses bring in cheap foreign labour which also contributes to a low quality workforce.

6) In order to control the people, the government also makes people work long hours so there is poor work-life balance, which creates a low quality workforce as well.

7) Also, Singaporeans are not able to speak up against bad policies, they feel that even if they have alternative solutions, they cannot propose them.

8) Essentially, because education is controlled in Singapore, Singaporeans are not fully equipped with work skills, as well as creative thinking and innovative thinking. It has thus created Singaporeans who feel disempowered, and who are thus do not feel motivated to work, and do not work efficiently. They are also not adapted to creating a productive workforce.

9) Because of an inefficient workforce and low profits which reduces incentive to boost productivity, productivity remains low.

10) And because productivity remains low, the government and businesses needs to bring in more workers for to increase economic output.

11) And hence, the Singapore Population White Paper.

But, what is the fundamental problem?

*****

To understand more about the problems facing Singapore, you can read the following parts of the article:

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

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One comment

  1. Anthony Sim

    This may be a very long article you have written. But I urge that readers should read all the other 9 parts to appreciate it contents.

    I remember in the 80’s we were promised by PAP that all Singaporean will be homeowners under the HDB scheme. It looks like with the situation and current market prices of homes, this dream is impossible.

    Tell me how they are going to house 7 million people when they cannot solve the current problem at hand? The current situation is already a problem which they admitted because of their failure to provide further developments to the infrastructure, hence the transportation debacle and housing shortages.

    And if they do not legislate minimum wages and fair distribution of wealth through justified taxes and etc….. I can see a new breed of people….. the homeless!!

    Let us remember Singapore is a very small island country. 3 million in 1980 was just too crowded for me. Just cannot image returning to Singapore right now, let alone 7 million in 2030.

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