The Rhetoric

“Put employees first, not shareholders…employees are our colleagues, we don’t want to to give them a sense that they are expendable digits, to be treated like commodities.”
Union leader and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lim Boon Heng, Straits Times, Jan 23 2002

The Reality

“This this not a theoretical risk, it’s a real problem. Germany, which has the toughest laws for firing workers…has the highest unemployment rates. And it’s not a coincidence. It is because employers make their calculations – too hard to drop, better don’t hire.”
DPM Lee Hsien Loong on why the government must make it easier for firms to lay off staff in bad times, Straits Times, Apr 5, 2002

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