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4/30/2012

It’s the wrong formula



Giving worker’s a pay rise is like a nightmare to many, the employers are thinking of folding up, the govt is worried that the tripartite relationship will be affected, and the workers are unhappy of the pay increase coming their way. The problem, I think, is because of Prof Lim Chong Yah’s unsolicited recommendation. Would it make any difference if he was commissioned to come out with a recommendation?

This is perhaps the most controversial and unhappy recommendation coming out from someone who was and still is, I think, part of the establishment. Obviously he forgot what needs to be done to have his recommendation accepted in the first place and be received without any furore. Look at all the govt’s recommendations, from affordable housing, retention of CPF money, higher COEs, higher fees of this and that, the unending pursuit to raise the insurance coverage of the people with more and more premiums to be paid, none of them has received this kind of hesitation and rejection. Every govt recommendation is very well received by the people, with very little criticism and objections.

To me, it is good not to play to the gallery. Find a good formula that is acceptable by the tripartite. There is one proven formula that I think the govt will support for raising the income of workers. And the employers would not have the gumption to criticize or reject its logic and goodness.

Why don’t someone suggest using the same formula for the ministers and apply it to the workers, with the same kind of reasonings albeit a little modifications here and there? There are very few changes needed except for the choice of top earners. Instead of the top income earners of a few top professions, use the income of the top few select workers that is representative of the workforce, and peg it at a certain percentage. Need not be pegged right at the top, say 25% off would look reasonable. And the govt can tell the workers, see, whatever we do, we do the same for the workers, fair, fair. It is like leading by examples. And the employers, being a willing partner, will definitely agree with the govt’s reasons behind the thinking. Not agreeing would be a slap to the govt’s position and that is politically incorrect.

Where are the champions of worker’s interest? How about it? Swee boh?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who knows, maybe Prof Lim made that recommendation at the behest or the knowledge of the estab, with the purpose of stirring up a debate, or HOW we can raise income of the lower ranks but without blunting the competitiveness of the business. Who wants to legislate to raise income but end up closing the busineses of SMEs and shops?

One can argue how western countries can pay their blue collar workers so well with good social benefits, but look at where they end up now. A BANKRUPT and powerless govt. This is despite having a country well endowed with natural resources. And a uncompetitive economy with 10% unemployment.

Singapore is no magic island. What is so special about Singapore? It is nothing. No big consumer market, no natural resources, small pool of talents and spoilt and pampered people with low EQ. MNCs can jolly well set up shops in Malaysia, Indo, India, China...where the costs are so much cheaper and workers complain less. True, costs have gone up but so are other countries.

So sinkies better know where they stand before they complain and demand further. They could be digging their own grave. For if the economy goes to a tailspin, people lose jobs, it will be lower income who suffer most.

Anonymous said...

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jjgg said...

Anon.9.55..European countries have been providing social welfare to its citizens for the last 4 generations...so what's the problem with a little angst now n then...you say their unemployment at 10%? But they still enjoy their football
..sun n sand..Singaporeans?...poverty in midst of wealth!! Inflation n cost of living still amongst the highest in world...unless u want to compare us to some African nations..apart from the lure of casinos n shopping malls..have we developed? Give us a decent beach instead of another shopping mall...so what's wrong with downsizing a bit...repatriate 50% of the guests workers...have a few property developers go bust..cheaper housing n better transport will follow...then we redo the Singapore landscape..

Anonymous said...

Yes, they watch football, sun and surf, go Kmart and shop till drop. They are doing all these consumerism using tax payers money-through all sorts of govt handouts like free medical, education and unemployment benefits. Spend till the govt is dry. The govt can never turn off the subsidy tap. So you are saying we should follow their footsteps?

Poverty in the midst of wealth ? Majority of sinkies own million dollar HDB flats, and you say they are poor? They can sell, downgrade or and retire like a tycoon elsewhere, do the europeans or americans have this choice?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Some of the assholes in Sin think of nothing about asking Sinkies to downgrade and sell their homes.

The home is not just a piece of tradable property but comes with a history, emotional and psychological attachment and sense of security to the homeowners. And acts as the root or anchor for the children that grew up in them. Cutting away the past so easily has made many Sinkies like duckweeds, rootless and lack of any identity or history.

This kind thick heads behave exactly like the current underage prostitute case. As long as it hurts others and not them, they can talk damn big. Wait till they are caught with their pants down and cry for mercy and with mercy acting like deaf frogs then only will they know what compassion and care mean.

jjgg said...

Anon..clever u...downgrade to enjoy the lifestyle u cherish...or perhaps ..downgrade to enjoy what the Europeans been doing for 4 generations!,, wake up man!!

Anonymous said...

The word is "choice". We have this luxury of choice, which other countries don't. And this choice didnt come easy - it came through years of hard but right policies and sweat of forefathers.

If you are well off, nobody will force you to downgrade. If one is dealt unfavourable cards, then one must be flexible. And adaptable. Nothing wrong to downgrade from private condo to HDB, from 5 room HDB to 4 room. And just as well, you can upgrade too. You would be very thick headed and foolish to continue to hold on to something and blame your bad luck, blame the market, and blame the govt for not helping, and everybody else. This is not about compassion; its about doing what is practical that will solve the problem and move on. And frankly, there is not much difference between a 4 room, a five room HDB, and a condo. I have lived through all. It is all in the mind.

Sure, govt can subsidise all sorts of things more. But eventually who pays? It is you and me, and your children. The govt is just the custodian; a bad govt will promise you things to get elected, spend more for present generation using your childrens' money.

Pest Control Portland Oregon said...

If it's the wrong formula, then what's the right one?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Wait for the govt to come out with one. Sure right one.

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