How much can PAP’s assurance go in a society that favours the rich?

I read Chan Chun Sing’s reply to the one question raised by the opposition: Has economic growth and job creation benefited Singaporean? “More importantly, as Mr Liang Eng Hwa asked, have economic growth and job creation benefited Singaporeans more than foreigners?”

This is a hot-button issue for the coming election, aside from other issues like the justification of the ministerial salaries, the cost of living, the rising income inequality and social divide, and the social perception of the overreact of POFMA.

The minister sums up his reply to that question in this precautionary statement, calling for prudent balancing, which is always “an evergreen challenge”: “We cannot open the floodgates and drown Singaporeans. But neither can we close our borders and reject foreigners in our workforce.”

Here is his clincher: “Above all, we must firmly reject efforts to stoke anti-foreigner sentiments by spreading falsehoods or creating invidious comparisons out of context.”

This balance is better spelt out in a seeking to strike the right and most proactive and dynamic balance between the following three factors: the needs of our industries and enterprises, the needs of our workers of this generation, and the opportunities for our children in the next generation.

He notes that ultimately, “what Singaporeans do not want are unfair employment practices where Singaporeans are passed over because of non-meritocratic considerations.”

Here are the brief stats to boot.

- “The PMET share of local employment increased to 57 per cent – one of the highest rate in the world.”

- “Our youth unemployment is among the lowest among advanced economies – testimony to the fact that our education system is providing the right foundation for our people to take up those jobs that are being created in the new economy.”

- “Growth in real average monthly earnings for employed locals was 3.2per cent annum…Higher than most other advanced economies, such as the US (0.5 per cent per annum), Japan (0.8 per cent per annum) and Germany (1.2 per cent per annum).”

Everything seems lovey-dovey on the western economic front of things, and by that count, we ought to be happy, right?

Like the Nordic countries, for example, the Finns, who are considered the happiest people in the world with the happiest immigrants in the world, according to a UN poll last year.

FYI, we came in 34th place last year, still the happiest in Southeast Asia though, but not the whole of Asia, for that honour goes to Taiwan.

But statistics like that always fall short because happiness is subjective and it varies widely, and the sample size is limited, and the reality is that a sex worker in some third world country has been surveyed to be happier than a well-to-do professional in some advanced economic country.

My point is, happy is as happy does, and the happiness of a country depends on setting the right foundation for growth.

For the advanced economies like Singapore, the real challenge is how to balance growth and inequality. You can be have three square meals a day with a roof over your head, but if your neighbours and friends are upgrading and moving out, and their children are having access to more advantages because of their economic status, you are still none the happier.

The truth is, in a secular state where the growth metric is predominantly economic in nature, GDP and such, the gap will only get worse with technology, automation and inviting foreign companies practising hidden discriminatory policies.

Minister Chan’s balancing act is still much needed, yet my concern is that you can only go so far with it when all your sincerest efforts are largely premised on a single benchmark that tends to favour the rich over the poor, the privileged over the struggling, and the famous over those who are largely hidden and invisible in society.

 

Michael Han

 

 

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34 Responses to “How much can PAP’s assurance go in a society that favours the rich?”

  • Sinkie:

    Why do the PAP elites die die also won’t reveal the percentage composition of the 2.2 million foreigners in Singapore in terms of nationality?

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  • most uselss:

    They are the rich themselves.

    The poor or middle class continue to vote them.

    This explain why they dont care about what we say.

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  • UniQ:

    There are 2 things under the Asian Culture that outsiders are forbidden and extremely sensitive anyone.

    1. Your Coffin Money.

    2. Your Home.

    PAP has not only touch but wreaked havoc on both very sacred ‘No Go’ taboo under the Asian Culture.

    If they think that their power is greater than Culture, I bid them to think again, this time think Harder !!

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  • Shit Standard of Living:

    Ah Chan: “The PMET share of local employment increased to 57 per cent – one of the highest rate in the world.”

    Local employment = Singaporeans + PRs

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  • CCS the Bunny:

    CCS focus in his whole speech points to “anti-foreigner sentiments”.

    Finally PAP is acknowledging Singaporeans are extremely unhappy over CECA and floodgate opening for FT to take over poor Singaporeans lunch.

    Govt is now doing damage control. Jos Teo tried past few weeks and got whacked as they embarrassed her for her low IQ.

    CCS is warning Singaporeans not to wake up India by opposing to CECA.

    It’s so disgusting to see our 4G leaders being pro-FT.

    Stupid 70% daft idiots need to wake up now or never.

    Singaporeans should continue to whack CECA and the village people being imported into our country.

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  • Old man rolling in his grave:

    Yawn…

    Does anyone understand this clown rambling on and on?

    If yes, kee chiu!

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  • Chan Trying Last Minute Job:

    Chan is the cousin of Pinky. They are both one of a kind. He realized now the the ground is very sour and is trying his best to convince people to support PAP policy for this coming GE.

    But we already lost trust in Pinky and him. He can say whatever he wants but he still cannot convince us to vote for PAP.

    We got screwed many times before by the PAP and will vote for the Oppo in the coming GE. Vote anything as long as not PAP.

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  • stephentan:

    Haha if any readers believe this moron chan (minister) that Sporeans are not displaced by FTs and wages not suppressed, then Sporeans will have to commit hara kiri.
    What a loadful of bullshiting datas from him lots of Sporeans are already being employed.
    Why not minister chan substantiate with facts that many sporeans are fetting paying jobs.
    I have come to know of university graduates are taking driving as a vocation. Why study so high and land themselves as taxi drivers. Many sporeans PMETs retrenched recently and resort taking jobs as taxi drivers and security guards and the very companies who replaced our local sporeans and yet replacing with FTs instead.
    So what cock and bull story of good paying jobs that sporeans are getting as propagated by minister chan.
    We must all be sleepling in lala land if we were to listen to this moron.
    Make pap an opposition party in this coming elections then for a better tomorrow for yourself and your family.
    FOR PEOPLE AND FOR NATION.

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  • Bobo:

    How many of you think that the 4G leaders could bring Singaporeans to world no. 1 citizens that have spending power, luxury live styles and own several hectares of land in Singapore? Please kee chiu.

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  • Stop being afraid, VTO:

    If you believe them , you die faster!
    Be smarter than we were in 2015.
    Nothing good happened for overall sgs.
    So why keep voting their broken promises in. Why?

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  • Asd:

    Nothing to hide ??? But diam diam hide… take m$ and hide here hide there… I think must be something very wrong if cannot open up to the citizen…

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  • Asd:

    Then you ask the foreigner to go do 3 months of NS before working in sg la…

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  • hard working labourers:

    //How many of you think that the 4G leaders could bring Singaporeans to world no. 1 citizens that have spending power, luxury live styles and own several hectares of land in Singapore?//

    aiyoh. ask yourself lor ? last time (decades ago), low cost, lesser people to compete, bigger space (relative to population) and greener and fresher air ?

    now fast forward to now, higher cost to pay, more people (open-leg policy) to compete with, smaller space and not so green (got showcase green) and air not fresh any more ?

    last time, even hard working labourers could easily get a unit of public housing as they were drawing living wage ? now how to compete with labourers on low wage and get married and still could afford a unit of public housing ? these 4G or 1000G leaders are just lucky to be riding on their lucrative not-so-mediocre job roles and also learn from the higher white idiotic masters in tokking kok ?

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  • Sinful nation:

    The primary role of the government is promoting economic affairs. The good news peddled by top officials and the rich is the ultimate prosperity gospel( none of you resisted obviously – including all opposition party vying for top honor).

    But this prosperous lifestyle comes with a condition or catch.

    And the condition is you need to accumulate a certain amount of money, and in the right environment, to afford or live the “good life”(especially to indulge in your ego,every of your senses and vanity – not a good thing)

    The way to wealth ir prosperity is by merit. Sounds fair right?(though there are many sceptics who think otherwise). Nevertheless the soft sell and persuasive philosophical meritocratic wisdom never seem to be opposed because many in power/influential have been sufficiently “buttered” to keep the shenanigan going.

    But the reality is your humble pay does not commensurate with effort or an honest day work because the mighty economy is an unforgiving/ungracious taskmaster or paymaster of discriminative proportion. So you can lose your health and sanity working 7 days a weak and your pay for an honest day work may never be any closer to a minister or a talented speechmaker or dealmaker who utter only a single word in a day – yes or no. And there can only be a handful who command an insane and indecent amount of powerful wealth at the top of the mountain/pyramid while the struggling masses are right at the base who carry, feed or support their wealth and most importantly are the lord over the masses. The mid section, or sandwiched middleclass, is neither the minority at top or the vast majority at the base of the mountain but one thing is certain you need to be above your neighbor(with unfair advantages or favor from the paymaster) if you want to survive in a puppy eat puppy world.

    In other words, we are dogs to each other(no respect or love) and we will literally KILL to secure one’s prosperity(at a national level, we will always be in conflict or at war through betrayer and immoral compromises). More unforgiving, the living earth and creatures suffered or destroyed under the monstrous all consuming economic system of the rich.

    And the strongman responsible is the high priest at the top of the temple who oversees and commands the national treasury like a tycoon/businessman and turn all of us into beast(nature), like him.

    You can’t serve mammon period and not be burnt/ severely judged one day.

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  • of course YES:

    //Has economic growth and job creation benefited Singaporean?//

    aiyoh. of course YES lar as it benefited a lot of the white monkey idiots and gang lar and many of them HAPPEN COINCIDENTALLY to be sinkies also lar ?

    and also NO lar for those daft sinkies who can retrenched and displace with lower pay even there is economic growth and job creation for 6.9m or 10m open-leg policy ?

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  • AritoCATs play Hide n Seek?:

    The AristoCATs, over the years, have mastered the following –
    Marketing Chops of “reFraming”. . .

    -

    Q – “Have economic growth and job creation benefited Singaporeans more than foreigners?””
    -
    That is a specific question . . .

    -
    the Response? -
    CCS : “Above all, we must firmly reject efforts to stoke anti-foreigner sentiments by spreading falsehoods or creating invidious comparisons out of context.”

    -

    They have data to answer a specific Q.
    Instead, they provide a Non-Answer,
    and,
    turn the Questioner into “negative” “stoking anti-foreigner sentiments”. . .

    -

    Wish that the AristoCATs master the art of good governance. . .
    instead of playing “hide and seek”. . .
    -
    Remember the Ballot Box ! (:

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  • stealing is 'illegal':

    //Above all, we must firmly reject efforts to stoke anti-foreigner sentiments by spreading falsehoods or creating invidious comparisons out of context.//

    what stoke anti-foreigner ? well it is all about stealing lunches and dinner right ? and stealing is ‘illegal’ and can get ‘arrested’ right ?

    what creating invidious comparisons ? else got friendly way to compare meh when stomachs have to be fed when lunches and dinners are stolen ? only white idiots can act so cool as they could still get rewarded so highly for their 6.9m or 10m open-leg policy sentiments lor ?

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  • More ceca to come:

    Heard today’s news..Shanmu is on a working trip to India..
    We’ll be hearing about more CECA cooperation in finance and IT.
    Shanmu speaks so softly n slowly…before he can let 10words fly out from his mouth, the india counterpart would have swung 50 or 100 words by him and catch him unawares.
    No wonder we get screwed time n time again.
    Hope shanmu is there to review the contracts as well ..and not sign more!

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  • Bapak:

    There is a lot of dirt under the carpet. 看不得光.

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  • Bapak:

    You trust this playboy?

    More ceca to come:
    Heard today’s news..Shanmu is on a working trip to India..
    We’ll be hearing about more CECA cooperation in finance and IT.
    Shanmu speaks so softly n slowly…before he can let 10words fly out from his mouth, the india counterpart would have swung 50 or 100 words by him and catch him unawares.
    No wonder we get screwed time n time again.
    Hope shanmu is there to review the contracts as well ..and not sign more!

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  • TruBlu:

    This je$ter is again talking cock.
    It is difficult to strike a *balance* between getting too many or too few FTs???

    So,45 PCT OF HUMANS HERE IN SIN CITY are NON-SGS,YES?
    What kind of BALANCE are you talking about?
    Maybe 60 pct non-sgs vs 40 pct sgs is *GOOD BALANCE*?

    YOU ARE JUST A BLUR SOTONG-KIA!

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  • Evergreen Cronyism:

    Clearly, these elitistocrats are “duty bound” to milk and bleed us sheeple while prudently employing economic digits – both local & foreign labour – into their crony-capitalist system of pseudo first-world economy wages (foreign mnc organizations aside)

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  • Lee Chuan Sing:

    If I compare this thing with Old Guards , I roll on the floor laughing!

    Mickey Mouse !
    Bugs bunny!

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  • Not qualify to be a Playboy.:

    Bapak:
    You trust this playboy?

    He is not capable to be a playboy. I doubt he can do it too. He is tiny and small and a very stupid small man.

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  • Simply Incompatible?:

    Han Fei Tzu:

    “A ruler makes use of the majority and neglects the minority, and so he does not devote himself to virtue but to law.”

    Kung Tzu (Confucius):

    “The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.”

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  • Con you:

    What the clown saying? Don’t understand.

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  • Main issue:

    The main issue is that much middle class is gone when the main breadwinner lost their well paying job…and could not find another well-paying job again.
    They are now unemployed or underemployed.

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  • Sinkie:

    India seeks Singapore investments to meet infra goals

    India on Monday sought investment from Singapore in its newly launched National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), under which the Indian government aims to take up infrastructure development projects worth over Rs 102 lakh crore.

    During a meeting between Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Singapore Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam, it was decided that both countries will take forward the collaboration on Networked Trade Platform Initiative of Singapore.

    “Finance Minister Sitharaman encouraged investors from Singapore to explore the newly launched National Infrastructure Pipeline and become partners to the big push that Government of India is envisaging for India’s infrastructure sector,” the finance ministry said in a tweet.

    The Indian government’s request came not long after the fickle decision by the state government of Andhra Pradesh in November to close the Amaravati Capital City Start-Up Area joint project with Singapore, causing millions of dollars in losses for some Singapore firms.

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  • Tharman, Don't Get Conned:

    India Knows that Singapore Govt has large amount of CPF money and is eyeing the money for their projects.

    Tharman make sure that you are not conned by the cunning Indian leaders again.

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  • Financially Speaking:

    S’pore Govt economic management is simply shambolic!

    All you need to know is by visiting any 2nd tier China city. You’ll soon realised the truth immediately. S’pore have been passed by those Chinese cities which were backwater towns 1-2 decades ago.

    Their Infrastructure are just as impressive as S’pore’s. Some cities are even connected by High Speed rail which didn’t exist 10 years ago.

    Yet their cost of living remains relatively low compared to S’pore.

    Their young people are either studying at universities for their future or are gainfully employed.

    Domestic Consumption are healthy & disposable income reasonably high with many retail malls.
    America’s Walmart operates numerous Hypermarkets in many Chinese cities. Why don’t they open one in S’pore?

    Economics don’t lie! full of foot traffic.

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  • Read for knowledge:

    @Shit Standard of Living:
    Ah Chan: “The PMET share of local employment increased to 57 per cent – one of the highest rate in the world.”
    Local employment = Singaporeans+PRS ////////////////////////////////////////

    Look at the figures here
    https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/total-employment-in-23-key-industries-up-19500-from-2015-to-2018

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  • pap human rubber stamps:

    ceca is absolutely wrong.

    daily news has it spoken loudly and clearly.

    India by itself is a land known for rapists burning their victims to ashes. even 80+ years old nun they won’t let go but taruk also. such beasts.

    why not ceca with Skorea or Japan or USA or UK instead? even with China it makes better sense. because these nations other than India do practice laws enforce them.

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  • Another useless PAP MP:

    CS (cross-subsidy) Chan is just another useless, over-paid PAP MP. He likes to use “big words” to appear smart but fails badly. Laughable.

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  • The Educated Dafts:

    Seems like a data driven article.

    The author seems to be careful to use data to support his argument.

    The only concern is that the argument is good only if the data is good.
    Do you trust those selective data?
    How would those data fit with your perception?

    We have come to a state where we not only have to question, but also to question the validity of these data, provided that they are available.

    Many are already aware that the unemployment data do not capture the full situation but to make the reader feel good, to hoodwink.
    –> You will have to do your homework why the data itself is questionable.
    TRE is a good starting place to find out more.

    This is just one of the few reasons why they are evil.

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