Monday, June 23, 2008

The truth about Singapore Labour

Singapore. The local MSN and Government Statistics will paint a rosy picture of High employment, along with happy citizens and most Singaporeans getting a rosy job lulling in an Air-Conditioned Office.

It would appear that reality is always harsher than what we had been fed. In truth, Singapore is severely dependent on low income labour. Look at our manufacturing sectors - tens of thousands of housewifes, aunties and uncles in their 50s. The logistics sector paints a similar picture - Who is willing to pack and move your goods? Certainly not the average joe who holds a Diploma or A Level Certificate. These form our real worker class and they do all the menial jobs in exchange for a pittance.

Then another harsh fact. These Manufacturing and Logistics MNCs prefer to stay in Singapore - simply because of the way our Government incenticises them.

Minimum wage - We have none. For that reason, MNCs can still dish out $5/h for the labourously tiring dead end job.

Wage increases - The NWC is but a lame duck in my honest opinion, as its recommendations only affects Government related corporations and to a lesser extent, GLCs. The other companies have absolutely no obligation to increase wages whatsoever.

Stable political environment - the PAP has held near complete dominance over the last half century, which during its time moderated the free press and social political voices that existed in the country. The result is a lopsided media and obedience to the PAP's rule. As MNCs will inherently favor Stable Democracy > Stable Democratic Principles > Stable Authoritarian > Unstable Democracy > Unstable Authoritarian; since our neighbours lose to us in terms of stability, it is only natural why MNCs placed their eggs in Singapore.

It is a sad day for Singapore indeed. 50 years of achivement is actually more like 50 years of noise and smoke.

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