Light is shining through the thick foliage of the old oak tree. For 46 years, never has an individual got the guts to speak out so violently against the ills of the system, against a cancerous growth that all pretends not to see while the beneficiaries are lapping them up as their ill gotten rights.
Professor Lim Chong Yah has made a strong recommendation for radical reforms in our wage structure. Among his recommendations is a 50% increase of wages for those earning $1,500 or less per month and the freezing of wages for those earning $15,000 per month for three years. Those in between will continue to enjoy moderate wage increases with the main purpose of closing the widening wage gap.
The recommendations come at a time that calls or demands for drastic change which would otherwise be mulled over with some cosmetic changes to placate the victims of the economic structure.
Immediately we are hearing growls of pain and suffering from the super talents. Foul, foul, they screamed. Why should they continue to work when there is no increment for three years? The world appreciates their talents and they will move to greener pastures. And there are those earning in the millions that will see their days darkened. How could they survive the three years of drought without any pay rise? It is frightening. This country’s progress today is the fruit and effort of the super talents. If we lose them, we will, yes, go back to the third world 60s.
I think we should take a gamble and let our super talents move to greener pastures if they are that good. Sure they will find better paying jobs in the world. The whole world is waiting for them with open arms and willing to pay them the obscene pay they are getting today. Oops, maybe got to rethink this statement again. If we have to continuously import foreign talents to fill up top jobs, I doubt we have many super talents to go around. And knowing how protective are other countries are of their top jobs, I bet not even a handful will be hired if they quit their jobs in this island.
My apologies to the top talents here who feel that they will be able to land better jobs across the world. Some will, definitely. But if we look at Lim Chong Yah’s recommendations from the super talents’ point of view I think it also makes sense. What if it is true, all our super talents are hired in Wall Street and Fleet Street, in Europe and Japan, our little economic miracles will vanish over night. This is equally frightening.
A safer bet, not to risk the great economic progress that we are enjoying, is to reverse the recommendations. For those who are earning $15,000 and more, their income shall be raised by 50% over the next three years. Those earning less than $1,500 pm shall have wage freeze for the next three years. The recommendation for the in between group can be as recommended. This approach would definitely energise our super talents to work much harder and propel our economic miracle to greater height. Isn’t that what we want? It is all about meritocracy and the meritorious should deserve all the merits. And those earning a million can expect another half a million increase over the three year period. Those earning $5m can expect $2.5m increase. That would be great and we will have more multi millionaires.
Now which way shall we go? Maybe we will need another GE to decide what is the better move.