I wanted to get a pack of "AA" batteries for my clock so I went to the ABC thrift shop.
Guess how much these 48 "AA" batteries cost me? S$1 ...yes just S$1. That is about 2 cents per battery. A few weeks ago I bought a pair of goggles for $1.50. What do the batteries and goggles have in common?.....MADE IN CHINA.
A factory worker in China works for about 90 cents(about US$0.60) an hour....If you work as a slave, you get to work for 19 hours a day on one meal a day.
What has all this got to do with Singapore? Well our esteemed MM Lee visited China recently and it was reported in the Chinese papers that he was full of praise for China's system of govt and warned them not to adopt "western style" democracy like what Taiwan and Korea did because it will not be conducive to economic growth. I can imagine that if the Chinese workers are empowered by democratic freedoms and independent unions like those in S. Korea to ask for higher pay than the S$0.90 per hour, it will slow down economic growth. I guess MM Lee understands this very well ...how keep wages low and minimising workers protection is key to rapid economic growth. Chinese workers typically are retrenched when they reach 40 because their productivity drops and they are replaced by younger workers.
I'm glad that our MM Lee is able to advise the Chinese govt on the evils of democracy and how it can slow their economic growth.