OPINION: The Reason Why PAP Govt Is Adamant In Shafting The White Paper Down Singaporeans' Throats

Diary of A Singaporean Mind, 7 Feb 2013

Since the mid-90s, Singapore has evolved what is known euphemistically as an "open" economy. It is a combination of low corporate taxes, less financial sector regulation, less restrictive labor laws, less protection for workers, etc. Businesses escaping the regulated environment back in their home countries came here for the "open" environment where they can escape high taxes and tight labor regulation. In the past, businesses came primarily for our local human resource - Singapore's number one workforce in the world. But in the last decade, we attracted business that came because they were able to hire liberally from anywhere in the world and not because they want to build their expansion on the skills of the Singaporean workforce. The existence and expansion of these businesses that hired foreign labor curtailed and stifled those that build on the strengths and training of the Singaporean workforce. Now we have an economy that grows by taking in foreign labor - one that depend on suppression of wages not on advancing the skills and wages of Singaporeans.
These businesses now lobby for higher growth in our labor force at rate not necessary in any other developed country. Our GDP will grow along with the problems of widening income gap, rising cost of living and stagnant wages. The PAP has presented this white paper distorting the facts, obscuring the dire consequences and painted a fairy tale of rising quality of life and ever expanding economic opportunities for Singaporeans. For the last decade they have repeated this claim that foreigners are here to create jobs for Singaporeans and PAP policies have improved the lives of Singaporeans. Today there is an expanding underclass, rising income gap and Singaporeans especially older PMETs find it harder than ever before to secure jobs that keep up with the rising cost of living. Full story