Former army general who has never worked a day in the private sector, Minister of State without portfolio Chan Chun Sing, held a closed-door NTUC event with businesses teaching them how to raise revenue. Among his pearls of wisdom is an advice telling Singapore businesses to broaden their view and go international and digital:
“NTUC wanted to broaden their view on how they can use the international and digital market to boost revenues.”
The NTUC chief said he discussed with the businessmen on how to raise revenue and lower costs through NTUC, and that NTUC can link these Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to expand overseas.
Minister Chan Chun Sing also announced a new scheme for the Singapore government to subsidize SME businesses’ costs on human resource welfare. Under the new scheme, SMEs pay S$10 a month to the government for each employee to access benefits enjoyed by NTUC members. The scheme however excludes workplace protection, but the Minister said it is set up to help SMEs enjoy welfare benefits that employees in Multi-National Companies (MNCs) provide for their staff.
SME bosses are complaining about the lack of manpower due to the recent tightening of foreign work passes. Singaporeans are hesitant to join SMEs as they have low resources and do not pay equal wages. SMEs in Singapore are notorious for not paying bonuses, depressing salaries, giving minimal welfare and annual leaves, and preferring to hire cheaper foreign labour. SME bosses usually earn huge profits, lead a lavish lifestyles while their employees barely make by for a living.