PAP’s Big Four Profit-Making Strategies
So, there you have it – 4 strategies that the PAP has used to cut down on Singaporeans:
- Increase prices unilaterally as they have monopolised the essential services
- Increase the rents of companies and caused them to depress the wages of Singaporeans
- Opened the floodgates for cheaper labour and allowed the wages of Singaporeans to be depressed to the level of a lower-income country
- Implement the foreign worker levy and increase the business costs of companies which caused the wages of Singaporeans to be depressed
Indeed, you can see that the PAP has its hands in so many economic sectors in Singapore and has monopolised the market to such an extent that The Economist ranks Singapore at 5th on the crony-capitalism index. In short, The Economist had called Singapore the 5th most country “where politically connected businessmen are most likely to prosper“.
Low And Middle-Income Singaporeans Made To Earn Less While Rich Allowed To Get Richer
So far, what you have heard is that the wages of Singaporeans are being depressed. But do you know that this only applies for poor and middle-income Singaporeans? For the richest in Singapore, they actually earn the highest salaries among the developed countries and one of the highest in the world?
Not only that, the high-income earners in Singapore also pay one of the lowest tax and CPF in the world.
And when compared to other Singaporeans, high-income earners also get to pay a lower tax and CPF rate than the majority of the low- and middle-income Singaporeans.
So, what is happening here, the richest in Singapore have possibly the highest purchasing power in the world. And because they are able to spend and have the ability to pay, the net effect is that this has driven up prices in Singapore such that Singapore is now the most expensive place to live in the world.
But what of low- and middle-income Singaporeans, or the majority of us? This means that with our depressed wages and declining real wages, it is now more and more difficult for us to buy even the most basic necessities.
In fact, a survey had shown that even for the middle-income in Singapore, more than two-thirds of Singaporeans do not even have enough to buy for anything else, other than the basic necessities that they need.
Also, a survey by Nielsen also showed that 48% of Singaporeans have to change their spending patterns to “shop at more discount/dollar stores” – the highest proportion of individuals out of 58 countries who have to change our spending patterns to “continually look for ways to stretch their budgets and find the best value for money” because we don’t earn enough.
In fact, it is worse off for the lowest-income in Singapore! According to National University of Singapore economics don Tilak Abeysinghe, “the bottom 30 per cent household (in Singapore) are spending more than what they are earning“. In fact, “the bottom 30 per cent of households (had to spend) 105 per cent to 151 per cent of their income last year“.
And what has this caused? This has resulted in a situation where the rich has gotten richer and richer in Singapore while the poor has continued to remain poor.
Not only that, the poorest 90% of Singaporeans have only seen our real incomes grow by 1% from 1990 to 2008 while for the richest 10%, they have seen their real incomes grow by nearly 4% or more every year!
Even among the richest, you can see that the richest 1% has seen their incomes grow the fastest – and do you know that the Singapore Prime Minister actually belongs to the richest 0.1% in Singapore? Also, the PAP politicians would belong to the richest 5%.
What this means is that their incomes have grown faster than the majority of the 90% of Singaporeans – that’s you, my friends.
So, what has all these created? As Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh had written most fluently, “as Singapore becomes increasingly fractured along economic lines”, “Singapore’s pro-rich policies (have) led to a higher expat:local quality-of-life differential”, where “economic ghettoes” have emerged.
In short, what we are seeing is that the Singapore market is now quite distinctly divided between a luxury upper-end market for the super-rich and a lower-class “leftover” market for the rest of us Singaporeans. The PAP has effectively created a dual-class society where the rich would earn the most and not only that, have it relatively easy – lesser policing, lower fines etc, while the rest of us Singaporeans are treated as second-class citizens.
Now, wait a minute – we are the Singaporeans! We were the ones who had voted for the PAP (well, 60% of Singaporeans anyway), so why have we put in place a PAP which would create policies which would make us Singaporeans the second-class citizen? How does this even work? You put in a government which is supposed to work for you and protect you but what they did was to push you down further the social ladder and made you less important? Is this how a responsible government should be treating its people – the 60% of the people who had voted for it no less?
In fact, because of the severely high inequality in Singapore, it has been shown that we have one of the lowest social mobilities among the high-income countries – which means that a child from a low-income family would be more likely to be stuck in poverty than his/her counterpart in another high-income country.
This is a shocking embarrassment, if you ask me and it is utterly disgusting that a government would stoop so low as to want to earn money off its citizens that it’s willing to sell them out and make them second-class citizens in their own country while favouring people who are not even citizens! Does this mean that Singaporeans should learn to be contended with how we should rub the shoes of the well-heeled and learn to clean up after them, once they’ve come into our country, earn what they can, then leave the country while Singaporeans have to clean up after them (note that this is by no means representative behaviour of all foreigners)? But is this what we had voted for? Is this what you expect from a government? Has the PAP renegaded on its responsibility?
Please note that there are 5 pages to this article:
Page 1: PAP’s Big Four Profit Strategies
Page 2: PAP’s Profit Strategies Increasing Income Divide