Recovery of economy but not wages

July 27, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

In May 2004, NTUC chief and Minister Lim Boon Heng crooned: “[Singaporean] unionists and workers are very understanding, very practical, very resilient…That’s why our workers deserve to be rated Number One!

If they are so numero uno why do their wages continue to languish at Third World levels even as the Government never fails to boast that Singapores GDP per capita income is at First World standards. The mother of all spins is the PAP claiming that this is not a bad thing because it keeps our economy competitive. Of course – why didn’t we think of that?

This is why the very same labour leader cum PAP minister then wheels around and says that while “the economy is improving and employers are willing to give pay rises of up to 4 per cent a fair wage increase for these worlds best workers should be only 3 per cent. (Straits Times, May 23, 2004)

Two months later he checks that the strong economic growth numbers are exaggerated and decrees to workers: So do not expect employers’ CPF contributions to be restored.” (CNA, Jul 15 2004)

But while the economy grew at a pace that did not justify a restoration of the 1999 CPF cut for workers, it had apparently recovered and is growing again to the extent that the 10 per cent pay cut that the ministers (reluctantly) took last year was quickly and fully restored in July this year. (AFP report, Jun 21 2004)

The Singapore Democrats do not question whether the PAP Government will continue to tell workers that they must sacrifice for the collective good, in this case our economy’s competitiveness, while simultaneously gorging itself on the fruits of the peoples labour this is simply an autocratic Government living up to its true creed.

The real question is when are Singaporeans going to wake up and say enough is enough?