Friday, December 11, 2009

MM Lee advises Japan to import foreign workers.

"MM says Japan should study how Singapore turned to foreign workers to boost its economy"-My Paper

Japan has a very backward policy towards foreign workers. The number of foreign workers is less than 0.5% of the total population[Link]. The number of foreign workers is about 10% among OECD countries[Link]. The Japanese population at the current fertility rate will decline by 30% by 2050. The Japanese govt is taking measures to encourage Japanese couples to have more children to reverse this trend. Suppose the Japanese take MM Lee's advice to learn from Singapore and import foreign workers by the millions to keep the economy growing. In a couple of decades, the Japanese will be a minority in their own country like Singaporeans will be within a decade. So they give up a unique precious culture, a closely knit society evolved over centuries and become a minority in their own country just for one more decade of economic growth. Economic growth? The Japanese have been there and done that. The population won't decline forever and after a while, the decline will reverse when it's cities become less overcrowded. To aim for "perma-growth" - GDP growth prioritised above everything else by packing more and more people on a limited piece of land is clearly unsustainable.

The Japanese people are already very concerned with the M-shaped income distribution [Link]resulting from a widening income gap (no where near Singapore's). The Japanese are a highly egalitarian society[Link] - they will resist any move that will cause their fellow Japanese to sink further below the poverty line. Importing a large number of cheap foreign workers will repress the income of the poorest Japanese further and this will never be acceptable to the Japanese.

MM Lee also advised the Japanese to abandon its political system which is still based on seniority and learn from China, which requires its political leaders to step down when they turn 65[Link]. Hmmm....how old is MM Lee?...Quite an amazing piece of advice even by his standard.

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Japan faces tough choice, says MM

MM says Japan should study how Singapore turned to foreign workers to boost its economy. -
Dawn Tay
Fri, Dec 11, 2009 my paper


JAPAN, facing economic and social problems partly due to its ageing population, could take a leaf out of Singapore's book, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said yesterday.
It could study how Singapore turned to foreign workers to boost its economy, he said.
He was asked how Japan could break its cultural and economic barriers in integrating foreigners at a dialogue to mark the 40th anniversary of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Singapore.


He said: "Japan faces a difficult choice here. If it continues its policy, it will have an ageing population which does not consume much - old people do not change cars or televisions every year. One of the reasons why the Japanese economy is not bouncing back, despite stimulus packages, is because the consumer market is down."


Japan has to consider letting the younger generation take up political and business leadership earlier, and to embrace women as part of its workforce.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you what is the latest joke that he says and is published in mainstream media today?

I don't do work, I forecast.

He is deserved to be paid millions for forecasting only as what he said came true - in the reverse sense.

Anonymous said...

He is turning into a joke....haha

Anonymous said...

he does have a track record for converting the bigger boys. but one can never truly be satisfied until his wisdom is appreciated by the last samurai.

the yakuza may not be that please with his ...forecast though.

DanielXX said...

Japan is a sticking point because they have refused to adopt the doctrine of growth by any means. Instead, they stick to their own, restrict foreigner entry, have stagnant GDP growth. But their GINI coefficient is among the best in the world, and are continuously creative in their industries.

Japan is something Singapore should learn from. I find it shameful that we should try to preach to them, when they have so much that we don't: teamwork, innovation, social consciousness and responsibility borne not out of fear, but of ethics.

Anonymous said...

He is giving out the wrong advice to the wrong people. He should be advising dictators on how to create a sustainable dynasty while disguising it as a democracy.

I think LKY invented suing political opponents, which is a class above simply killing them which can be quite messy (Philippines case good example). Making a one person protest illegal, and using the state's resources to conduct pork barrel politics are also innovative ideas.

runroad said...

Does he really still have all his marbles? He seems to be living in the past when people took some notice of his advice. Now they've seen his track record and it seems everyone knows how disastrous his mad policies are except for the crazy perp himself.

Shamelesssly giving gratuitous advice to a 3000-year old nation to irrevocably trash its rich culture by flooding the country with foreigners just as he has done to his own nation and people! And all for a one-off short-term gain! Unbelievable. Truly a barbarian at the gate. I wonder if he can still speak enough Japanese to discover what they really think of his pathetic Economics 101 lecture?

Anonymous said...

he has the talence of turning the most rediculous ideas into something that sound plausible.

Anonymous said...

I have made a post on this as well:
http://shibneedsjob.blogspot.com/2009/12/mm-to-japan-play-gdp-game.html

Anonymous said...

After listening to the old fart, I hope the Japanese will not lose confidence in Spore...

...to the Japanese it is important to have honour, accountability, sense of shame, sense of fairplay, respect for opponents....

.. old fart and his PAP would be a national disgrace in Japan.

Anonymous said...

MM Lee was invited to the event to say something.

So of course he will have to think of the best thing to say.

There you are, this was it.

Or do bloggers have suggestions on what he should have said?

Sometimes when we have nothing better to say, we will just keep quiet. But VIPs cannot do that.
So sometimes have to take what they said with a pinch of salt.

Anonymous said...

I think he is really going mad this time.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese race by nature, are born to have fair and white complexion. If Japan follow the way of old fart, a double-head snake, who guilty of treason by betraying patriots while working as Japanese translator during WW2, very soon Japan will be filled with 50% Black monkey from India, and have their world turn upside down by China-men. On top, Japan's anthem song will have to change to Michael Jackson's Black Or White 'It Don't Matter If You're
Black Or White'

Anonymous said...

"teamwork, innovation, social consciousness and responsibility borne not out of fear, but of ethics."

YOu forget about important trait such as sustainable culture and true sense of belonging ! The Japanese are very proud of their own race because it is the only kind of its own. As for Singaporean, you talking about robotic and mindless droid ?

Anonymous said...

"After listening to the old fart, I hope the Japanese will not lose confidence in Spore..."

If Japan is capable of starting another world war, Singapore and old fart will be its first target for samurai beheading practice due to the humiliation of Japan by the old fart.

Anonymous said...

"MM Lee was invited to the event to say something.

So of course he will have to think of the best thing to say."

Japan will be very happy if the old fart just shut up and sit down, and hand them a million dollar blank cheque rather than insult them at face value.

Anonymous said...

The world already take old fart's advice very seriously. Whatever old fart say, the world will be smart to do otherwise. If old says open to foreigners to occupy 1/3 of nation's population, the world will open to 1/3 of kangaroo population instead.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese people are a smart race. Most are also polite and respectful. They cannot invite the MM to go and say nothing. They will also not throw shoes at him for saying something they did not like to hear. But I also do not think the Japanese will heed this piece of advice. Their way is not worse than ours. dt

Anonymous said...

Time for his other foot to go into the coffin. Long ovedue IMO.

Anonymous said...

and i was wondering where pinky clown got his genes from...

Anonymous said...

Personally speaking, I don't wish to see the Japanese, in the name of survival, adulterate their unique culture and race with foreigners because, though I am not a Japanese, I am more proud of them than I am as a singaporean - crap included

They are a resourceful people and ruthless enough to even take their own life out of honor.

Rather than to seek an easy way out, the SIN way,perhaps they should implode. Maybe then the remedification will be more enduring.

Anonymous said...

The old man is totally gone, finished. All he can see and think of is numbers, dollars, at all cost.

Mark this, Japan will emerge as the front runner in sustainable technology.

Anonymous said...

"""MM Lee also advised the Japanese to abandon its political system which is still based on seniority and learn from China, which requires its political leaders to step down when they turn 65."""

Even China can do it, why a more "advnaced" "coutry" cannot do it???

Clear eyed said...

"... learn from China, which requires its political leaders to step down when they turn 65. Hmmm....how old is MM Lee?...Quite an amazing piece of advice even by his standard."

Lucky, you forgot that the 86 year Old Man believes he's God, so no rule on this earth applies to him. He can shoot his mouth off whenever he feels like it as he doesn't have to practise what he preaches and is above all Laws, even those made by him. We just have to ignore the black pearls dribbling out of his mouth.

Anonymous said...

The mental one seems to think he is also mentally suitable to mentor, of all countries, the Japanese.

There are really much more than issues of dollars and cents, and the Japanese are more than aware of the problems of letting in too many foreign workers. They are not as naive as our own leaders, whose only concern is economic growth at the expense of social degression.

Anonymous said...

The Singaporean identity, painstakingly built up over 40 years...soon to be wiped out so that the elites can stay in their bungalows and eat caviar.

Anonymous said...

LKY: "I'm the exception to the rule: I'm 86. But I'm not doing the work, I'm just forecasting, I'm the radar over the horizon."



He has the thickest skin in the world. Not doing any work but can take over 3 million a year pay. Shameless!

Anonymous said...

If the Japanese have any respect left for old fart, they should stop inviting him to give mindless advice and spare him further embarassment.......................eventually history will quote him as a leader who started well but sadly end up as just another numbskull

runroad said...

'Or do bloggers have suggestions on what he should have said?'

Well duh, dude:


Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you very much indeed for giving me this opportunity to address the tough choices that beset your fine country at the present time. I should point out that Japan and I go back a long way, y'know [grins]; matter of fact at another time in another life I worked for you for several years and came to admire your no-nonsense way with those who would say no. Ah, for those happy days when one could treat the ungrateful peasants to a foot or two of cold, sharp steel between the shoulder blades [chuckles]! But I digress, I'm not here to wallow in pleasant nostalgia - that was then and this is now.

I am but the humble regent of a nation a thirtieth the size of yours, far poorer financially and culturally near-bankrupt. Nonetheless, that has never before stopped me pontificating on matters I vaguely understand but hold fanatical opinions about so here is my advice to you - whether or not you need it.

You don't need me to tell you that your economic and social troubles stem from decades of complacent governance, an inordinate fondness for pork-barrel politics, and rent-seeking politicians who have clung grimly to power till death did its part. Remarkably like my S'pore lot you might cry, and I would have to agree. But be that as it may, I have to congratulate you on taking the bull by the testes and tackling the root cause by throwing out the Richard-heads responsible into the wilderness to rot and starting over afresh. Mind you, it's not a solution I would recommend to my own electorate for obvious reasons [titters] but trust me, it is the correct long-term answer. So well done chaps for not falling for that old line about the opposition 'not having the experience' to run the country.

As for your rapidly-ageing population demographic, again I note with some envy that your visionary scientists and enterprising businessmen have spotted the looming business opportunity and are busily innovating and installing automated machinery to help maintain output. Unquestionably you will lead the world once more in true productivity.

[Sighs]. That would have been my preferred solution too but unfortunately our best and brightest seem to have left us, left the nation even though I've striven to make it crime-free, drug-free, and rights-free. There seems to be no pleasing some people. Now we are committed to importing vast hordes of cheap labour which is at best a stop-gap solution to a problem for which we have no answer except to keep taking larger doses of the same medicine until it eventually kills us. It will, however, do wonders for our raw GDP numbers in the immediate-term and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what really matters to the thoughtless and unwashed.

I'll conclude with that pearl of wisdom. May I wish you all a very good evening and thank you once again for having me here tonight. "Ah so desu ka! Ich bin ein Nipponer, y'know."

There y'go, a humble and inoffensive speech which should please our Japanese friends no end. Will that do?

Onlooker said...

Senile MM.
Of course, he want the tech level of Japan to erode too.

So SilLEE.

Anonymous said...

Old fart trying to mislead Japan into chao by using monkey policy so as to cut-short the war ? Old fart, please wake up ! WW2 is already over ! Japan is now in peace and world ally.

Anonymous said...

The jap have already been wondering if singapore political environment is sustainable.

I think it's slowly manifesting...

Anonymous said...

"Even China can do it, why a more "advnaced" "coutry" cannot do it???"

Exception to the rule. It's stated clearly.

obscene advice said...

"MM Lee advises Japan to import foreign workers".

Perhaps the old fart had Sporeans in mind to become the foreign workers....including himself.

The Japanese ought to know by now that old fart does not do any work, he makes forecasts only.
And of course old fart expects to be obscenely paid even if he is obscenely wrong all the time.

Anonymous said...

If Japan wants me and I can find a decent job there, I will emigrate immediately.

Singapore is a country and a city... VERY TOUGH FOR LESSER MORTALS WHO ARE NOT TALENTS< STARTING FROM A $300,000.00 FLAT THAT IS AFFORDABLE IN THE EYES OF GARHMEN.

Anonymous said...

Haha, well-written, runroad.
That is both humourous and sad at the same time.

Yes, he should say something as an invited guest but to say someting like,
"You know, you guys can learn a thing or two from us."
to a nation that is so much more advanced than us sounds haugthy and condescending.
Especially to a people who values humility.

Anonymous said...

"I'm an exception to the rule"

That says it all, doesn't it? Discussion over. Haha... what a joke

Alan Wong said...

It seems that the old man has forgotten that he is only supposed to be the nanny in charge of mentoring his son.

It is equally amazing why would our Prime Minister can allow his nanny Mentor to go around lecturing other govts on how to govern their countries. Is he a wimp or what ?

I thought our PAP Ministers already made it absolutely clear to foreign countries not to meddle in our internal affairs. Yet we have this old man acting like he is the only smart ass around telling others what they should be doing to govern their countries !

Is that not disgusting ? Is he not shameless or what ?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I do agree with what he said about Japan. Like most people who do not agree with PAP, I choosed to escape to another country. In my case, it was to study in Japan for 4 years. In addition, the focus of my studies was on Japan's society and culture.

There IS a need for foreign workers in Japan and the fact that there are very few legal routes to work in Japan means an influx of illegal immigrants with no access to proper healthcare and no protection to their rights. I have even heard stories of overstayers who can't return to their own country. They have to work in Japan to support their families back home but they can't go back unless they voluntarily let themselves get caught by the police.

Comments about the 'purity' of Japan culture and race troubles me. Their culture is made pure because they erased whatever differences found in their indigenous Okinawan and Ainu population.

Some Japanese are so obsessed about race that they discriminate against their minorities. It is easy to access an individual's family registry through one's 'koseki', a record that is easily obtained. If you are discovered to be a 'burakumin', considered an unclean caste of people, or a 'zainichi', a person of Korean or Chinese ancestry, your employment and even marriage opportunities decreases.

I know people who are born in Japan, speak only Japanese, but hold on to a Korean or China passport, simply because there are too many obstacles to getting a citizenship.

FYI, creativity only applies to a very small percentage of their population. Most of them are simply drones who OT even when there is no work to do because everybody else OT and people who follow rules so strictly that I am forced to admit that Singapore is much more efficient because we know that rules can be bended.

Yes, Singapore is not a perfect country. But please keep in mind that Japan is not perfect too.

Anonymous said...

For 3 million, he's not doing any work but forcast?
Lets see 2 of his recent forecasts:
1."We are in the Golden Period"
and we know what happened next.
2."Our investments are for the long
term" before dumping them at a
market low losing multibillions of
our money.
Just give me 300, I can do better

Anonymous said...

Words of wisdom indeed. Heard better ones in IMH

Anonymous said...

To anon 14/12/09 21:13 who said: 'Yes, Singapore is not a perfect country. But please keep in mind that Japan is not perfect too.'

My reply: Ha ha ha... In that case, whoever you are (prob a lky supporter), why don't we invite the japanese pm and ex-pm to come tell us about our imperfection and our problems and how to fix them... since our country is also not perfect,, ha ha ha...

i know you have small brain, but you don't have to make us laugh at your silly comments. keep them to yourself.

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