Here is the video link.
"It's a good result and we should be happy..." - PM Lee on the 15% economic growth this year[Link].
"I'd imagine there will be more than 100,000 extra foreign workers this year. I cannot see it otherwise, but we have to accept that" - PM Lee [Link]
"Higher growth not higher wages yet..." - Straits Times 15 Jul 2010[Link]
Singaporeans want good economic growth so that they can get higher wages and better job opportunities. In recent years, economic growth produced little of these benefits for Singaporeans. Real wages grew by only 1.4 per cent per annum from 2001 to 2009, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Q1 2010 report. Going forward the govt aims to raise median income from $2400 to $3100 in 2020. This is roughly 2.5% per annum. Job opportunities for Singaporeans especially those above 40 have not improved as structural unemployment remains a problem in Singapore. In the past, before we imported foreign workers by the hundreds of thousands, when the economy grew, the labor market would tightened up and older workers would get reasonably good job opportunities. Not true for today's economy....PM Lee said the rapid growth means 100,000 more foreign workers will be brought in ...and this also means older Singaporean workers who are unemployed or under-employer will see little improvement in employment opportunities because employers can employ younger foreign workers given the floodgates are open. The video link I put up shows the excitement in Philippines generated by Singapore's rapid growth which represents improve job opportunities for filipinos. I do not begrudge the individuals from Philippines who take up these job opportunities - they have families to feed and many are hardworking individuals looking for a better life for themselves. However, Singapore is a nation not a corporation and the success of govt policy has to be measured in terms of how much it benefits ordinary Singaporeans.
No Singaporean I met has been particularly happy about the high economic growth except one guy who is waiting to sell his HDB for a high price so that he can move to Australia. We have become familiar with the effects of high economic growth - rising cost of living relative to wages, overcrowding of public transport, increase competition for housing and cars, higher stress levels etc. The high economic growth leads to a lower quality of life for many Singaporeans and PM Lee's remark that 100,000 extra foreign workers has brought about widespread dismay among ordinary Singaporeans who believed that his govt was sincere about moderating the number of FTs.
The PAP govt with the network big businesses to which it is linked has formulated policies that are unbalanced with benefits going to a small segment of the population. These policies have exacerbated the effects of our income gap which is the largest among developed nations and life for many Singaporeans has worsened year after year in the past 2 decades.