Housing up ok, rental up ok, electricity up ok, COE up ok..wages up DANGEROUS


Productivity has to go up before wages can be raised? Why? What's the incentive for producers to increase productivity if wages remain low? Laying the blame on workers for their low productivity is simply saying we're clueless but we aren't changing. Workers don't by themselves, either through training or hardwork, raise productivity. it has to come from the producers and the management who can decide on investing in technologies/automation or simplifying the process. And keeping wages artificially low often results in higher total cost. A good example is our construction industry. Those who've done an a&a or rebuild will know that the cost is often more than the prices of comparable homes (and so much more) in high labor cost countries.

Putting the economics aside, I suspect it all boils down to the kinda society we want. I rather enjoy the convenience of calling a plumber up at moments notice to cheaply fix a plumbing issue. Am I willing to give up that convenience and perhaps learn some DIY in exchange of fewer foreign workers and a chance for fellow citizens to earn a fair wage for their labor?

Will some mncs relocate if we reduce the number of cheap foreign labor? Maybe. But isn't it time we reduce our reliance on such low skilled and labor intensive industries? We can't be so addicted to our past success that we are afraid of change. In any case changes are coming and will pass us by even if we hold on to the last decades ways of doing things. We might as well loosen things up while we have some level of control over the outcome.


New Member
it's mainly abt the 'bigger picture' which the govt increasingly paints on a yearly basis - ie. more foreign workers/talents, higher gdp, improving local economy.

employers, foreign or locals, thus have more choices in the form of lower wages, but yes, you are right that there might be higher total costs ie. retraining, redeployment, and lower productivity to boot! sometimes, i do wonder why the heck the various govt agencies are promoting local entrepreneurship or enticing me to join some sme govt schemes - all in the name of creating job opportunities? i mean, huh?

in recent years, i'd find that the local employees, however hardworking or talented, are getting more and more disadvantaged whenever they get compared to the lesser talents coming in from philippines and india - specifically supposingly profitable industries such as info-tech, pharmaceutical and banking. for construction, even more competitive, as the hq usually deploy their homeland team from the respective countries. And ssssseriously, if our true-blue local engineers, architects, programmers or marketeers are that lacking in quality, i suppose we need to relook into the manner of courses conducted in the local polytechnics or unis.

all in all, my biggest concern for this country is the gradual reduction in wages of my fellow singaporeans (esp. blue-collar, and the white-collar are feeling it now) in the face of high inflations and growing pool of foreign talents. as long as this is not carefully reviewed, i don't see why our ministers don't get that our birth rate is currently standing at 1.2, for instance.