After deducting 22% from his salaries for CPF, a Singaporean office worker takes home S$1,560 a month. Bills for internet, phone and utilities for the family then rip off another S$600 a month leaving him under S$1,000 for purchase.
The average Singaporean is unable to spend S$100 on a meal at the local restaurant, and neither does he have S$500 to spend on shopping. When compared with citizens from other developed nations like Asian economies like Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan, Singaporeans are relatively poorest in their own country and their purchasing power are too weak to support the local economy.
Heavily-reliant on tourist dollars, retail shops and restaurants are now seeing “the real Singapore” today. Tourists around the world are avoiding travel to Singapore due to uncontrollable local transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus. Random strangers are getting infected and clusters are forming, just like how dengue fever has caused rampage in the country.
The weak purchasing powers of Singaporeans are not issues that emerged yesterday, but through years of salaries depression orchestrated by the government.
The influx of foreign workers from graduates to unskilled workers destroyed local salaries since 2004, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong started his population growth-for-GDP campaign. Lee Hsien Loong wanted a 6.9 million population, and in the process, invited at least 20,000 to 30,000 foreigners every year to work in Singapore.
Salaries went down and unemployment rate for Singaporeans shot up as a result. The economy was also slugged with inefficiencies, with national productivity rate declining every year the number of foreigners went up.
The Wuhan coronavirus came at the right time, and like the saying, we only know who have been swimming naked only when the tide is low: Singaporeans are actually poorer than they think.
Interestingly, Singaporeans believe they are “richer” and developed a sense of superiority thinking they are “higher class” than foreigners from other parts of Asia. This is an outcome of years of consuming government propaganda, who brainwashed them into believing Singapore is a role model for the world. The truth cannot be further, as proven from this recession, with local businesses literally begging for tourist dollars and Singaporeans struggling with the cost of living. The domestic market is non-existent.
The right course of action today is to boost the domestic purchasing power, through increasing wages. How can this be done is straightforward and easy, but again, I am not paid to provide solutions even when I have them readily on my finger tips. It is hence my duty to first help Singaporeans by removing the ruling party PAP, before assisting the country to improve. Proving any solution now is only aiding the corrupted and incompetent.