The PAP's elitist mindset has reared is seriously ugly AF head once again. The ugliness cannot get uglier. Or can it? Earlier, at a roundtable discussion on wages, the ambassador-at-large, Professor Tommy Koh, criticised the government's resistance towards instituting minimum wages in Singapore in favour of what it feels are better options in the forms of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) schemes. Prof Koh slammed the government for not keeping up with the times and with the reality of lower-wage Singaporeans by continuing to perpetuate "fake" ideological' bases against minimum wage.
Prof Koh challenged the NTUC and the government to show how the imposition of minimum wage can affect Singapore, citing the cases of Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan as examples where the imposition of minimum wages have not affected the competitiveness of the countries. The introduction of minimum wages in these countries did not directly lead to unemployment or underemployment of its people.
Singaporeans in the lower-income brackets are also facing unfair competition from the introduction of very cheap foreign labour that depressed their wages further. This is neither ideal nor sustainable for such Singaporeans who cannot run away or escape to their home country. It is a delicate act balancing their low wages, their wants and needs for self-improvement, and the challenges from the high cost of living here.
Nevertheless, it does not appear that the Singapore government will change its tack anytime soon.
What's worse is that not only will minimum wages continue to be a pipe-dream in the near future, the rights of lower-wage workers are also being impinged upon even further.
Under the guise of more efficient deployment of resources, the Tampines Town Council is leveraging on mobile, vertical positioning and wifi technology to monitor the work of the estate's cleaners. The town council also framed it as a worker-protection mechanism in the case of disputes and complaints by residents.
But we all know how it works. Every time a complain is received, the lowest in the ladder bears the brunt of the anger from the public. Just imagine, if a member of the public says that an area is dirty and provides photos, are any of the PAP's town councils going to reply and say , "according to our records, the place has been cleaned by Worker A at HH:MM time today?"
The workers need technological help and assistance to make their jobs easier. The older workers need education and machinery to help them do their work better. Not surveillance.
Who are monitoring the supervisors? Who are monitoring the Town Council's office workers? When the MPs don't turn up for parliamentary debate, who are they accountable to?
This move smacks of elitism, arrogance and a lack of empathy on the part of the government.
As usual, the rights of the lower-waged workers are just glossed over when they are not even paid enough for their labour in the first place. Singaporeans must let the PAP know what they think of their arrogance in the net GE.
The writer, Faith, has no faith the minimum wage will be implemented.