This is how the job market in Singapore has become unfair for Singaporeans:
- For migrant workers who come from lower-income countries, the wages they receive in Singapore would still be higher than what they would receive in their home countries, thus making Singapore more attractive and viable for them.
- For Singaporeans who take on low-wage jobs, their wages are driven down due to competition from migrant workers who are willing to take lower wages (because this is still higher than what they would receive in their home countries).
- The same apply for Singaporeans in median-wage jobs, which also face competition from migrant workers who are willing to take lower wages. At the same time, for jobs in some sectors, hiring of the same nationality has resulted in Singaporeans being squeezed out.
- For migrant workers who come from higher-income countries, the wages they receive in Singapore would also be higher than what they would receive in their home countries, thus also making Singapore more attractive and viable for them.
- For Singaporeans in higher-wage jobs, they are either squeezed out, or they are deemed not as qualified as a migrant worker.
These are the problems the government has thus created:
- They allowed most wages in Singapore to be depressed to the level of that in a lower-income country.
- However, they also caused prices to be driven up due to them increasing rents for their own profits and due to the driving up of prices from higher-income migrant workers.
- Thus, Singaporeans face a double-whammy where wages have been pushed down while prices go up, where purchasing power is thus doubled down for Singaporeans.
The rationale for being against an overly-open border policy for labour is thus this:
- Singapore has a cost of living that is unique to Singapore, necessarily.
- It doesn’t make sense to pay workers wages pegged to the cost of living in another country, when it should be pegged to Singapore’s.
- Migrant workers can be return to their home countries where the savings would translate into a higher purchasing power.
- For Singaporeans, we cannot run to another country, so our purchasing power will keep dropping.
This what thus needs to be done in Singapore:
- The issue in Singapore is one of wages and employment.
- For wages, the logical solution would be to ensure that wages in Singapore are pegged to the cost of living in Singapore. In conventional talk, this means that a minimum wage needs to be implemented in Singapore that is pegged to the cost of living, where Singaporeans cannot be paid wages below a minimum amount. So, if the minimum wage in Singapore is $1,500, all workers in Singapore cannot earn $1,500. Every worker has to be paid more than $1,500.
- As such, when workers are paid fair wages across the board, regardless of their nationality, everyone would earn a fair wage in Singapore. However, there is still the issue of employment. First, when borders are overly porous but there are only as many jobs created in Singapore. Thus there might only be 3 million jobs in Singapore, but if there are 2 million Singaporean workers and another 3 million migrant workers come in to look for a job, then there would be 2 million people here who wouldn’t be able to find a job.
- Then the next question is – for the citizens who live in Singapore and who are less mobile, is it OK for them to compete with migrant workers for jobs in Singapore on an equal basis? For example, if the 2 million Singaporean workers have to compete on an equal basis with migrant workers, what if all the companies choose to hire migrant workers? No Singaporeans would have a job.
As such, a government has to do two things.
- Logically, a government would have to first, either ensure that Singaporeans have the first opportunity to be hired.
- Or if they do not want to do so, they would have to ensure that they provide adequate unemployment financial assistance for their citizens.
To sum it up, this is what a government in Singapore needs to do:
- Implement minimum wage to peg the wages of workers in Singapore to the cost of living in Singapore.
- Enact laws to allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity to be employed.
- Provide adequate unemployment assistance when Singaporeans are not able to be employed.
When you understand logically the issue of wages and employment in Singapore, you will understand what the current problem is that Singaporeans face:
- The PAP is unwilling to implement a minimum wage for workers in Singapore.
- The PAP is unwilling to implement a effective policy to allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity for employment.
- The PAP is unwilling to provide adequate unemployment assistance for Singaporeans.
But, in order to understand why the government is unwilling, you would need to understand why they are unwilling:
- The government owns the largest companies in Singapore, such as Singtel. For a company which is primarily motivated to earn as much profits as they can, when workers earn lower wages, they would be able to earn higher profits. These companies are not concerned as to whether the workers are Singaporeans or migrant workers, as long as they are cheap. As such, having a minimum wage is against the interests of these companies.
- For these companies, if a law to allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity to be hired first is implemented, this would mean that they would have to hire Singaporeans first and pay higher wages, which would mean lower profits. Again, it is not in the interest of these companies to have a law that would allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity to be hired.
What does this have to do with the government then?
- What is the first responsibility that a government has to its citizens who have voted for it to run the country? Is the government’s first responsibility to take care and protect its citizens or is it to make money?
- If the government’s first responsibility is to take care and protect its citizens, then it would enact laws such as a minimum wage law and a law to allow the its citizens to have the first opportunity for employment. When this doesn’t happen, you know that the government’s first priority isn’t to take care and protect its citizens. This is what is happening with the PAP.
If the government’s priority is to make money, then the question you have to ask is – who is the government making money for? For its citizens or for itself?
- If the government’s priority is to make money for its citizens, it would ensure that when the country earns more money, it would allow its citizens to earn higher wages and subsidise more for public services. As yet, real wages in Singapore have declined and there is still no minimum wage. The government subsidies only 30% for healthcare even though it should subsidise 70% by the standards of other high-income countries, the government does not subsidise for public transport even though it should subsidise 50%. Singaporeans are also made to pay the second most expensive university tuition fees in the world.
- As such, by logical deduction, you can see that the PAP’s priority is to make money, but not for Singaporeans but for itself. How can you deduce that? There is $1 trillion in the reserves but the government is unwilling to increase its expenditure for Singaporeans. There is an estimated $28 billion in surplus last year but the government has chosen to under-report on this and is unwilling to increase its expenditure for Singaporeans. There is $253 billion in CPF but the government wants Singaporeans to meet a $148,000 Minimum Sum where more than 85% thus cannot meet this amount and cannot withdraw their retirement savings. The government wants makes Singaporeans pay $66 billion in Medisave but only allows Singaporeans to withdraw 1.3%.
- Meanwhile, the PAP pays itself the highest salaries for politicians in the world. The PAP MPs are the richest 5% in Singapore. Meanwhile, many also helm directorship positions and are paid high allowances.
Now, back to our question – a government should implement minimum wage, allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity to be hired and provide unemployment assistance.
- It is clear by now why companies wouldn’t want minimum wage to be implemented because they want to earn higher profits. Where does the PAP come in? Because the PAP’s priorities lie in making money for itself, it would be more concerned that these companies earn higher profits. As such, minimum wage is not something the PAP is interested in.
- For the same reason, the PAP is also not interested in enacting an effective law to allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity to be hired, because they would need to pay higher wages and earn lower profits.
- Finally, if the PAP has to pay higher employment assistance for Singaporeans, this would mean eating more into their revenue. If the PAP’s first priority is to earn money for itself, providing more assistance to Singaporeans means lesser for themselves.
As such, the problem of low wages and unemployment among Singaporeans will not be resolved under the PAP. Doing more for Singaporeans naturally contradicts with the PAP’s aim of wanting to earn more money for themselves.
The only way that Singaporeans will be able to earn higher wages and have the first opportunity to be hired is when the PAP is no longer the government. Only when the government changes will we be able to see a change in priorities that would be more aligned to Singaporeans. At this point, the PAP’s profit-orientation for itself and people aligned to it will only necessarily mean that Singaporeans have to earn lower wages and that no effective laws would be enacted to prevent them from hiring cheaper foreign workers.
Singaporeans are barking up the wrong tree. Singaporeans can keep asking the PAP to give them higher wages and protect their employment but the PAP will never do it, because their priorities are different from Singaporeans. The only way is to remove the PAP from government and install a government where the government’s priorities are aligned to Singaporeans – and which will take care and protect Singaporeans.
And this means that we need a government which would implement a minimum wage of at least $1,500 which will grow to at least $2,000 in subsequent years, implement a law to allow Singaporeans to have the first opportunity to be hired and provide higher employment assistance of at least $1,000.
Herein lies the contradiction, an entity where its priority is to make money for itself is called a profit-making private company. Right now, the PAP has made itself the government but it is only pretending to be the government. The PAP has made used of its role in government to turn the government into an affront for them to make money for themselves. As such, the government is no longer the government but just a shell for the ambitions of a profit-making group of people who has imbued their own interests into the government and completed changed the responsibility of what a government should be.
This is why the PAP will never take care and protect Singaporeans. Government is used only as a shell entity for them to further their own means and wants. Singaporeans hoping and praying that the PAP would one day take care and protect them is like praying that one day we will have wings and learn to fly.
The PAP is disinterested in doing so simply because it is not their core operational motive to take care and protect you. Their core interests is to make money off you, for themselves. And they have hijacked the government to do it. A logical deduction, as we have done here, will show you clearly what the truth is.
Of course, it’s up to you to wake up to this realisation and be willing to accept it. If you are unwilling to accept this truth, you will continue hiding in your shell and keep voting for the PAP until one day, when you have to go for a major operation, when you cannot afford to pay for your house, when your children cannot afford to go to university or when you lose your job and cannot find a job that pays you well enough. Then, by then, you will wake up, as many Singaporeans have, and then you will start cursing at the PAP.
But instead of pretending that the PAP will still protect you, isn’t it better to open your eyes and wake up now? Instead of wait for things to hurt, isn’t it better to realise what is really going on now and do something about it, before it starts to hurt?
Well, it’s all up to you. You don’t have a lot of time. If at the next election, the PAP wins, they will be able to bring in more migrant workers to tilt the balance for them. They will be able to employ more migrant workers and be able to pay lower wages. If you don’t act at the next election, when you lose your job or earn low wages permanently by then, you will only have yourself to blame – your fear of facing up to the truth is what will cause you to lose what you have. And unless you are thinking of migrating to another country, you should know that there’s only one course of action you can take and that is to vote the PAP out. And if you are already thinking of migrating, you would already be thinking of voting against the PAP anyway.
It’s all up to you know. It’s now or never. It’s your future or never. What will you do? Will you face up to the truth and take action? I’m fighting. Are you?