During the announcement of the East Coast GRC line up, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that the ruling party PAP has to take in more foreigners to protect Singaporeans’ jobs and because of that, there were fewer retrenchments and wages went up:
“The Government came to the conclusion that one good way to protect the Singaporean workers from (global economic volatility) was to expand the size of the work force, to go for higher growth. The foreign manpower provided some buffer to the local workforce from the fluctuation of the economy.
That strategy worked for 10 years…during which global unemployment went up and stayed high, while many industrialised nations suffered wage stagnation.
But because of our higher growth policy and more liberal intake of foreign manpower, we were able to stay away from unemployment and wage stagnation. The gain for the Singapore workforce: There were fewer retrenchments. Also, wages went up, not just in nominal but real terms.”
Minister Lim Swee Say has been hard-selling his population policies and justifying the government’s white paper proposal to raise the population to 6.9 million. The East Coast GRC anchor minister also bid farewell to former Transport Minister Raymond Lim and even wept at the press conference.