Thursday, January 07, 2010

Singaporean workers clocked longest hours....

For many years, Singapore workers were ranked No. 1 in the world for more than a decade [Link]. The work the longest hours and have the highest savings rate in the world. Yet many Singaporeans find it hard to make ends meet and have enough to retire.
"Only workers in Iceland - which nearly went bankrupt - put in almost as many hours as Singaporeans in 2008 and Q1 2009" - BT Report[Link]
Wonder where all this work is leading to? MM Lee had demeaning things to say about Singaporeans not striving hard enough. So Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world but this not enough for the PAP govt? We are still not competitive enough. ...although we are the best workforce in the world, we are not good enough for this elitist govt that is paid the highest salaries in the world.
"Without the PAP, we would not have today's Singapore....."
- Editorial, Petir, 30 Oct 2007[Link]
The thing that I really didn't like about the NatGeo article on Singapore wasn't just what MM Lee said about Singaporeans but also the myth perpetuated by the article. It gave all the credit for Singapore's success to the PAP govt and much of it went to MM. The Singapore workforce that build the economy consisted mainly of children of laborers and coolies who grew up in the postwar years. A tough bunch similar to those in Japan, S. Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan...all successful countries in their own right but we never hear people say S. Korea's success is due solely to its govt or that the Japan's LDP is singlehandedly responsible for Japan's industrialisation. The PAP took away not just our rights and freedom, they also took the credit for the success of this country from the hundreds of thousands of hardworking citizens that formed the number 1 workforce in the world. While they took all the merit and paid themselves handsomely, many ordinary citizens have to struggle with the high cost of living and retirement.
S'pore workers clock up longest work hours: ILO [Link]
DESPITE the recession that hit towards the end of 2008, Singapore workers still clocked up the most hours, says a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Shorter work weeks and temporary lay-offs introduced to save jobs during the downturn trimmed working hours here to below the mandatory cap of 44 a week - but only slightly.
With working hours still way above 40 a week, Singaporeans put in more hours than workers in 12 other countries used for comparison in the recent report, an update on ILO's Global Wages Report 2008-09 released in November 2008.
The report shows 11 of these 13 countries posted a fall in working time in 2008 and the first three months of 2009, compared with 2007.
Average working hours in the 13 countries declined from 39 to 38.2 per week.
'Men and women have both been affected,' the report says. 'Among the six examples with disaggregated data, we find that hours worked by women declined from 36.4 to 35.8, while hours worked by men declined from 40.7 to 40.'
The report says the cuts in hours contributed much to slower growth in monthly wages, which eased from an average 4.3 per cent to 1.4 per cent for 53 countries.
'Overall, while a majority of countries could maintain declining but positive wage growth in 2008, more than a quarter experienced flat or falling monthly wages in real terms,' the report says.
One of them is Singapore, where real wages slipped one per cent. The others include the US (zero per cent), Germany (-0.6 per cent), Switzerland (-0.7), Japan (-0.9),
South Korea (-1.5) and Iceland (-4.8).
Wages fell 3.6 per cent in Taiwan and 6.2 per cent in Hong Kong.
'Compared with the annual average of 2008, real wages in the first quarter of 2009 fell in more than half of the 35 countries for which data is available,' the report says.
Although the report was released recently and quotes International Monetary Fund figures from October 2009, it does not go beyond June last year.
Working hours overall, including those in Singapore, should have fallen further as the recession deepened in Q2 2009. And that means wages as well.
'The picture on wages is likely to get worse in 2009 - despite the beginning of a possible economic recovery,' the report says.
Only workers in Iceland - which nearly went bankrupt - put in almost as many hours as Singaporeans in 2008 and Q1 2009.
South Korean workers, who, like Singaporeans, are expected to work 44 hours a week, clocked up fewer than 40.
Taiwanese workers also put in fewer hours, while the Japanese held constant.


Anonymous said...

That's why PAP is very lucky with the kind of voters and opposition here.

Will PAP achieve the same if it were to govern Timbuktu in Africa?

Sometimes luck, timing and place is very important.

In Chinese they call it tian (sky) shi (time) di (earth or place) li (benefit).

MM Lee may be brilliant, but he is also lucky.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant? Hahaha! More like mean, vindictive, arrogant, and a hypocritical coward.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

If Singaporean workers are working such long hours, but real wages are still falling, then where is the "meritocracy"?

Anonymous said...

Hey lucky, I am not a major MM fan and I completely agree with your article. However, each gneration has its challenges and in MM's generation, he was visionary enough to see that communisim was not a solution. True, this is not the same as founder of the nation etc, etc... but at that time it was the great decision that laid the path for what followed, hence, we should honor him for that.

With respect to nation building, I completely agree with you.

Anonymous said...

there is MERIT in working smart like a "visionary" and be paid millions.ha

Anonymous said...

Since when the patriots who get locked up in the Operation ColdStore ever say that "communisim was a solution to Singapore's independence" ?

Can you name some of patriots who support communist in Singapore or do you also listen to MM's version ? Didn't you have enough of his farting lie ?

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"there is MERIT in working smart like a "visionary" and be paid millions.ha" - Anon 7/1/10 20:15

"We also have a rule. I'm the exception to the rule but...I'm not doing the work! I'm just forecasting, I'm the radar over the horizon. And work is being done by younger people in their 40s and 50s." - MM Lee

Is meritocracy about getting paid for "hard-driving" and "hard-striving"?

Or is meritocracy about getting paid for working smart, or not even working!

Confusing signals leh.

Anonymous said...

What's happening to the Temasek Review? The site is down or has the governement closed it? If so this is totally unnacceptable!!!!

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 20:15,

His opponents were not communists. The alternative wasn't communism. There was a whole range of alternatives in Singapore and it wasn't between the PAP and communism. Communism was used as a bogeyman to jail opponents and repress those alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Hey lucky, I may have misread history but the communist were a major political force at that time and while I believe it is true that he used the threat of communisim to lock up his other opponents, dun you think it is going too far to say that communist were not a threat at all?

Anonymous said...

btw, what I meant to say was that when in power, MM could have taken singapore down the communist path that many other nations were following. That he did not was to his credit.


national disgrace.

but watch how the pap is gonna spin it again to show that

once again, it's singaporeans' fault that we're working the longest and yet paid the least.

Anonymous said...

our values are commercially driven. that's why it is confusing

these people who,through a merit system defined by them, want to build a "ponzi society" do not understand the concept of a FAMILY UNIT and thus,will never achieve what they thought they had set out to do

that's the reason, the wise are fools and the apparent fools are the truly wise ones. ha

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7/1/10 20:47,

TR is now a 100% PAP website under a covert name. TR is using that site to measure dissent and discontent among population, and those whose contributions include disclosure of the dirty linen on LKY or PAP do be careful, as they will block them and remove their contents. They only allow immaterial criticism on the PAPies’ policies, i.e. childish attacks are allowed because they don’t hurt them a bit. But when you pour out real dirty evidence, it would be a different picture altogether.

Few months ago, they claimed to have changed to a new server and all those who were blocked if they wanted to have live feed and be unblocked had to provide their internet IP to them so that they could remove the blockage. Furthermore, TR advised these blocked netizens not to use proxy channels to access their site because, as they claimed, these sites sometimes launch malicious virus on them. The actual reason is that when you use proxies they can’t identify your IP address.

If you can access the site maybe you want to warn those contributors there to be careful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 21.35 for that tip.

Would some kind soul teach me how to use proxy channels, please? I don't understand the concept?


Anonymous said...

anon 21:00,

"Hey lucky, I may have misread history but the communist were a major political force at that time and while I believe it is true that he used the threat of communisim to lock up his other opponents, dun you think it is going too far to say that communist were not a threat at all?"

No,you did not misread history. In fact, the government has presented the distorted version of Singapore's history.

There was no communism in the 1960s in Singapore. The dissents did not pose any security threat. They only posed political threats to LKY.

If you really want to find out more about the real situation in the 1960s, you could search for declassified documents stored at British National Archives in London.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 21:50

Operation cold store was in 1963, wikipedia and other websites credit it with destroying the communist....?

Could you cite your source?

P.S Whether the communist took over the govt by fair means or foul, it would have been an economic disaster.

Anonymous said... this case, what's the pt? it doesn't help the present.

Anonymous said...

TR a PAP website? Dude, whatever you are smoking I want some. This is the most ridiculous sotry I have heard so far.
I did access the site using a proxy.

Anonymous said...

they say pride comes before a fall.

but in a commercially driven society, pride and merit become blurred.

in fact, the fuel for pride is often embedded in merit

i think we practice an extreme form of meritocracy which is oppressive, divisive and isolationist.

they are fanning their own hot air and loving it. who can resit an ego stroke i ask you? ha

grumblers' club said...

Between LKY and say communist China's Wen Jiabao or Hu Jintao, I believe either leader from China is far more trustworthy, humble, and examplary. Neither do they put self and family interest ahead of the country.

50 years ago, LKY despised the communists but saw it fit to use them and then screw them.
Are we not seeing a similar situation for Sporeans ?

I consider LKY cunning rather than brilliant, like making his own luck with the help of stooges, slaves and kangaroos. How else to explain old fart winning so many seats and never losing a single law suit ?

Anonymous said...

Please differentiate between socialism and communism. They may have certain similarities they are not the SAME. There are many brands of socialism and to associate all of them with communism is nothing more than over-generalisation and fear-mongering.

Anonymous said...

Either long hours or be senile. Thses sheep are reared for the butcher

Anonymous said...

there is something sick about this animal they are breeding.

can't put a finger to it. there is something VERY unlikeable about this breed.

Anonymous said...

I am a school teacher. Here are my average working hours per day last year:

School time: 7 hours (no official lunch hours)

Marking scripts at home in the evening: 2 hours 3 times a week

CCA time: 3 hours (3 times a week).

Staff meeting: 4 hours a week

Working hours during June or December holidays:

School time: 5 hours average (meetings, CCA training, camps, workshops, department meetings, remedial lessons, supplimentary exams)

Do you think we clock more than the average 44 hours a week?

Are the spurs in our hides?

Are we so lazy that we have rumours flying around that teachers make up the highest proportion of workers undergoing work-depression treatment?

Anonymous said...

maybe they are neither this nor that,lukewarm and distasteful.

even when the pill is bitter, you must pretend it is sweet in your mouth. but how long can you live in channel 8?

no wonder 5 and 8 don't get along except on a superficial level

Anonymous said...

The PAP began as a Socialist party. Even after LKY seized absolute rule from 1965 onwards, the PAP govt's policies had largely socialist objectives - to benefit the masses. Yes, you can have socialist objectives in a market economy.

Today's PAP is very different. You-know-who believes in policies based on the ideology of "trickle down economics", to mollycoddle the Capitalists.

Anonymous said...

pride gives birth to highfalutin ideas. that's when some people get more equal rights and share of the pie than others.

at that height of glory, somehow, day light robbery becomes a holy profession.

Towkay said...

Why are Singaporeans so negative? This is good news! It means Singapore workers can provide better value to employers by working longer for lower pay. As a Towkay, this reassures me PAP's policies are working well. They will definitely get my vote.

This also affirms that we need to import more foreign talent in, clearly they are the people who propped up this score by working 80 hours a week for $1000. Singaporeans don't work half as hard and want double the pay. If this only measures Singaporean workers, we will be bottom of the ranking.

yamizi said...


That's why there's only one choice when we are able to vote...


Anonymous said...

Recently someone pointed out the various similarities in law Singapore has with communist China, North Korea and Cuba and suggested that we cannot be considered a democratic country..oops city. However they were many quick rebuttals pointing out that we have the right to vote, which to many is the one defining aspect of a democracy. So how do you maintain a dictatorship or communism system but still allow people to vote. Simple, tweak the system to cheat, bribe or make sure there is no competition. In some countries the ballots are fixed, in others opposition are threatened or killed. In countries where the ruling party is smart, they come out with complex system in the name of racial representation, economice of scale or simple increasing the election deposit. Countries with First Division politicans have a combination of all three.

Anonymous said...

"P.S Whether the communist took over the govt by fair means or foul, it would have been an economic disaster."
Thats a bit presumptuous to say.
Look at China, save for her HR
shortcomings, isn't she better
run than the biggest democracy,

Anonymous said...

maybe there is a lesson that we should all learn from the irritation and frustration we have with our rulers. anyway, it is not smart to oppose the government.

Anonymous said...

it is not smart to oppose gorillas in the cage

Anonymous said...

anon 12:53

Dun be an idiot. The coomunist in china are not communist.

Anonymous said...

Reading our official history we all know how bad the communist are and if they had taken power we would have been destroyed. We were saved from the communist by the timely detention of all the communist under operation coldstore. That being the situation, do immigrants from China have to declare that they are not a communist anymore and renounce communism before they are given PR or citizenship.

Anonymous said...

somebody needs history lesson

Anonymous said...

Something pertinent that I like to share here regarding PAP's inconsistent political vision.

On June 28, Senior Minister Goh was mentioned as follows:

He was speaking to more than 1,000 guests at the 70th anniversary dinner of Chung Cheng High School last night. He urged schools to help students retain their emotional bonds to Singapore, 'so that they think of Singapore as the home which nurtured them, and want to contribute in some ways to the country of their birth'.

And MM Lee mentioned only recently in the National Geographic article that if NATIVE SINGAPOREANS FIND THAT THEIR SPURS ARE NOT IN THEIR HIDES, IT'S THEIR PROBLEM.

On one hand, they want the youth to be emotionally rooted in Singapore and on the other hand, if they are not having it good being rooted here, that's their fucking problem.

What's the moral of the story?
When propaganda is not done consistently, the bullshitter ends up bullshitting himself. The other moral is: When you apply one rule, you don't need to apply it consistently throughout the whole group of people.

It is also interesting to note BG Yeo's remark about what it means to be a poltically consciousness Singaporean.

page 112:

There is clear in-fighthing in PAP. BG Yeo is trying to impress MM LEE to vie for the next DPM?



Anonymous said...

Hey anon 14:13,

I agree with you that some of the commentators here needs a proper history lesson. What I mean by proper history lesson is a lesson that is NOT TAUGHT by our government institutions that have presented a distorted version of the Singapore's history.

To those who preach communism as an evil,

Communism ideology has never been implemented so far. Please find out the actual definition of communism. USSR and China are not even communist countries. They're just state dictatorship countries.

Anonymous said...

you can oppose gorillas but make sure you are not in the cage with them.

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 15:25 & Everyone,

I think one question on everyone minds is whether the PAP, British or Federal Govt used the Special Branch to detain communists or political opponents. Was Lim Chin Siong a communist? What about Lim Hock Siew and Poh Soo Kai?

The British archives seem to show they were not. I'll show some extracts from my collection of Fajar that there was perpetual fear that the PAP govt will label all the leftwing socialists as communists to have them arrested in fact it was mentioned repeated in various issues of Fajar. Recent interview with Poh Soo Kai - he said the main disagreement with the PAP that cause the split was due to "freedoms of speech and assembly, and opposed detention without trial". In fact articles in the Fajar indicate the main disagreement was the PAP will resort to undemocratic means to win elections - in my posting on "Ideals of the Fajar generation", I pasted a para from the Fajar urging the PAP to stick to democratic principles. In fact the leftwing fraction that formed the Barisan Socialis strongly in favor of a more democratic Singapore and more rights for the people.

Anonymous said...

The real problem is obviously not that Singaporeans are not working hard enough. I hope our leaders look at the real problem with our plummeting productivity figures rather than being millionaire grumblers who only knows how to grumble about how lazy the world's most hardworking workforce is.

I guess the real problem lies in the big hole that the manufacturing sector has left behind and our IRs(even when it is opened and revenues are pouring in) has no ability to fill. With a view of the last two years' manufacturing output, one can see that output has dropped significantly. Hence if there is nothing to output, productivity figures plummeted and if you are a millionaire grumbler, you will grumble that the people are lazy instead of saying that they did not build a more resilent economy.

Anonymous said...

moral of the story one:

to catch a monkey, the old man offered crumbs in a cookie jar with a narrow opening so when greedy monkey reaches for the cookie, the monkey's hand will be trapped in the cookie jar so long as it holds onto the cookie.

moral of the story two:

monkey should stick with banana

Anonymous said...

The Communists were used as a bogeyman for some in the PAP to further their personal interests. Period.

In the 1980s, a handful of "Communists" were accused of trying to OVERTHROW the Singapore government.

Overthrow PAP! Wow! What big threats!

But in order to even stage a revolt, some or all of the following factors need to be fulfilled:

1) control over the military
2) control over police
3) widespread popular support
4) frequent attention of the media or control of the media
5) control over the salaries of the soldiers
6) allies and friends in the police, civil service and police

Guess which politicians has fulfilled these criterias for the past few decades?

I wonder who else is capable of even staging a revolt, let alone a successful revolt?

Onlooker said...

We ,Singaporeans, work long and hard for our money.

Except that we have the extra spur of NS liabilities, "Free" flow of Competition(especially if we do not have rich parents),Get uglified on MSM (for no reason except to boost Talent's fragile ego) and basically be classified as un(re)productive people who did not built this nation(the fairy tale :- LKY build Singapore all by himself).

One wonders,no?

Why dismiss the contribution of fellow Singaporean?

Anonymous said...

"In fact the leftwing fraction that formed the Barisan Socialis strongly in favor of a more democratic Singapore and more rights for the people."

more democratic and more rights do not necessarily translate to a better outcome for sg - many regional countries with "more rights" are cases in pt.

i think democracy is overhyped and singaporeans are generally not fooled by it.

probably the fools are those who lose their pants and roof over "democratic process".

the typical singaporean would prefer transparency then be swayed by political parties vying for power through democratic process to right things

in today's world, a truly non corrupt government cannot be non transparent for too long.

Anonymous said...

btw, how many can walk comfortably around naked?

i don't see any naked people around in public places, do you?

Anonymous said...

anon 17:40 wrote:

"the typical singaporean would prefer transparency then be swayed by political parties vying for power through democratic process to right things"

Do you know how much reserves we have?

Do you know how much income tax LKY pays? Even US president tax bracket is made public.

Do you know how come father and son and daughter-in-law are the best people in the world to manage our reserves?

So much for your so-called transparency.

"probably the fools are those who lose their pants and roof over "democratic process".

The real fools are those who vote for parties who show more loyalty to bottom-line, their own salaries, cheap foreign labour.

"in today's world, a truly non corrupt government cannot be non transparent for too long."

Kinda explains why the politician you idolize can never retire from politics as long as he lives.

Wonder what will happen if he truly steps away from politics. How big will his can of worms really be?

Anonymous said...

put it this way. you can rob, you can steal and you can plunder. you can also sue, blackmail and even murder to silence your opponents. of course, shamelessly pay yourself millions with taxpayers monies if you want to too.

but can you hold your head up high doing all those without "youtube trolls" screwing you for the entire world to see?

if that does not deter, how about being screwed by international dignitaries?

these people generally don't get a highfalutin education and work themselves up in high society and be put in the same category with hitler or madoff or tiger woods

in other words, these people have SHAME!

shame them enough, they will come down from their high horses!

and you ought to feel shameful for spending more than $40k on a french cooking holiday when decent hard working folks can't even earn enough to survive because you perpetuate a system that exploit them for your own gain.

but if you don't(shamed enough - or suffer the condemnation of the people - to correct your ways), beware of wrath in many forms - it will come sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think people like Ho Ching has shame - sometimes I wonder if her hide is made up of titanium or something like that - why come she can go on merry as ever after squandering the people's hardearned money (not hers mind you) and even collecting a award for being the greatest gambler in the world? Do you think she would have committed suicide if she couldn't live on the guilt? But no, she goes on tittering away and prattering with all the dignitaries wives in every photo that you see of you. Is that the image of a woman who is ashamed of yourself????

She will burn in hell of course but in the meantime we have to suffer the consequences of her actions.

I think we had better think of a way of saving ourselves.

Anonymous said...

these people play to win. most, if not all, don't enjoy losing. so the pressure is great to maintain an "aura of invincibility" because, they are all graded by performance like everyone else.

they also need cowhide skin to do the job. everyone has to suckle to everyone at that level. there is a lot of stroking going on to keep up a positive and powerful image.

as they say, the higher up you climb, the harder you'll fall.

couple with a nit picking people, because they all have been honed by a competition society, you can't escape the scrutiny of a more and more sophisticated populace.

Anonymous said...

typo...competitive,not competition society

Anonymous said...

Why you should not trust the present day government?

On Sep6, 2008 in The Star newspaper, MM Lee mentioned the following:

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew once admitted: “They come in here, they get an English education ? and they're off to America.”

However, he seems resigned to it. Recently he told his political party youth members: “As a government, and personally for me and my colleagues, my responsibility is to look after those who cannot migrate.”

Now, in January 2010, MM Lee changed his tune. He now says the following:

But taking a typically Darwinian stance, the MM describes the country's new subjects as "hungry," with parents who "pushed the children very hard." If native Singaporeans are falling behind because "the spurs are not stuck into the hide," that is their problem.

Whatever happens in your old age, you need to know: you have been told.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

LuckySingaporean said...
anon 20:15,

Can you name the bogeymen the gahmen are using now?

Anonymous said...

Make on Jajar online.

The smart Singaporeans will judge for themselves. They cannot let the tyrant Lee Kuan Yew and his family (Sissy Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching) to destroy their future. The CPF system is broke. Take precaution.

Two important things the PAP can control you - your CPF and HDB debt. Don't get chained by them. Destroy the PAP at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Don't "How Liang".
When you are 45 & you are jobless then you know.

Anonymous said...


yes, we support you. when you come out of confinement, we will provide you a job polishing marble table top at high class hdb restarurant called food caught.

Anonymous said...

Thinking the Unthinkable: Singapore Sovereign Default – Time to Dump Sing Dollars

Anonymous said...

Do you know that we have a higher population that Norway (4.5 million) and yet Norway has a better quality of life and income per capita and is a modern and developed country? Says a lot about the crap policies of PAP and all their bulls**t.

Anonymous said...

Anon 07:29

Norway got oil lah!

Singapore has high price HDB flats monopoly and CPF instead of oil!

That's the difference mah.

Anonymous said...

I think Singaporeans should get a house that is affordable and try to pay full by the time they reach 40 years old.

Don't understand the logic of 30 years loan, max credit, etc...

That means the person is unable to afford that bigger house.

Well be ready to see FREE SHOWS when the 2 CASINOS open and many hmm... locals are really very very weak when comes to temptation of gambling. Even possible to see families in cardboard living under the bridge in the future. VERY POSSIBLE

Anonymous said...

The report is misleading on its own though, but to be fair, "Singapore's workers" probably include PRs, FTs, foreign workers and SINGAPOREANS. Of course, statistically speaking, Singaporeans still must have clocked very high working hours as averaging foreigners' efforts can't pull us up that high.

Web Design Company said...

Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck! Web Design Company

similehere said...

We know what our WOW Gold customers need, so we offer the best service and best Cheap WOW Gold to you. More and more WoW players know,more and more gamers buy WoW gold from buy wow gold cheap. We are happy to see this, and we will continue to do well. Enjoy your game!

rocky case said...

Stephen Stapinski

Really your blog is very interesting.... it contains great and unique information. I enjoyed to visiting your blog. It's just amazing.... Thanks very much for the share.