“Welfare has been treated like a dirty word in Singapore–and rightfully so” – PM Lee Hsien Loong
I guess that is why they use all other words like Workfare and Comcare that are not found in the Oxford Dictionary. No wonder our poor folks get confused when they go and look for welfare they get this dirty look and they are turned away because technically there is no welfare. Wonder if that was what happened to Mr. Tan.
Photo from Singapore Press Holdings
Photo from Singapore Press Holdings
I totally support PM Lee’s assertion that welfare will totally fiscally destroy us. It will plunge us all into poverty and drown us in deficits. Some of you will say that almost every single 1st World country including our perpetual competitor Hong Kong give out welfare to the poor without hurting their competitiveness. But they are different. Our competitiveness is build mainly on cheap labor and low wages ..and not driven by entrepreneurship, creativity and private enterprise. Whenever we go into recession CPF is cut, wages are frozen …it is always low wages that bail us out everytime there is a recession. We are different from other 1st world countries:
  • There are no independent unions to protect low wage workers because the PAP tells us that is a bad thing.
  • There is no minimum wage to ensure that those who have full time jobs are paid enough for basic subsistence.
  • There is minimal retrenchment benefits because PM Lee said that you have to make it easy for businesses to fire workers so they won’t hesitate to hire.
  • Businesses can import labor easily to keep labor costs down. There are no rules that they have to show they cannot get locals first before they hire from overseas. They can well hire foreigners just because they are younger.
  • Basic utilities such as power, water and transport are run by profitable govt linked entities who can easily raise prices to maintain profitability.

Think about it. You combine the 5 things above and the lack of welfare. What kind of system do you get? A uniquely Singapore system that favors business growth above everything else…..more progress, more GDP growth, more millionaires, higher prices. See how wonderful a system we have for the power elites that rule over us.

When labor is not cheap and not importable like in Singapore in the early 1990s, it encourages better management of labour which are treated as a precious commodity that has to be motivated, trained and retained for the long term. These days workers are treated like expendables …always on short contracts, readily retrenched. I guess the PAP govt just wants to make life more interesting for us by giving us more challenges and job changes so we get some variety in our boring lives.

See how important it is to preserve this system like what our MM said. For him and his elites, this is the system worth preserving.

So after debating in parliament for 3 days over this topic of poor Singaporeans, the grand conclusion is GST has to be increased to 7%. Nothing else will change. …still no minimum wages, no welfare, etc. Thank goodness the system is preserved. I was worried with all those heart rending speeches by elite PAP MPs and the great show of empathy…and show of sympathy for lesser Singaporeans something in our system will change….but nothing did change. …only the GST changed.

Singaporeans are so lucky to be governed by an enlightened govt. One that is always worried about how the evils of welfare will undermine our work ethics and make us lazy. It is for our own good that we have no minimum wage for basic subsistence so that we are always motivated by the hunger to succeed …by hunger I mean real hunger the type they have in N. Korea. This system is maintained for our own good. That is why they need to control the Internet, eliminate people like CSJ and ban FEER, because there is only one TRUTH in Singapore and the truth is the PAP always work for your best interest. Even if you don’t like it, they have rules to make sure you cannot protest, so you don’t waste any time and spend more time watching TV and shopping.

Article was posted on Nov 2006, and reproduced with permission from Lucky Tan.
You may read the original article here.