Singaporean workers work the longest hours in the world[Link] and top the world rankings for stress[Link] yet the wealth generated in our society is concentrated in a small % on the top of the pyramid. This is the result of years of lopsided and unbalanced policies that created a 3rd world wage structure[Link] in Singapore. This elitist system is unfair and over-rewards a handful in our society while those who work the hardest and deserve a better life are made to struggle at the bottom.
The report above appeared in today's Straits Times. If you didn't bother to read the article in detail, you would get the impression that if you throw a rock at a group of ordinary Singaporeans, you are likely to hit someone with a personal wealth upwards of $300K which is the average wealth of Singaporeans based on the Global Wealth Report published by Credit Suisse. If you read the article, you pick up this:
The median wealth of Singaporeans is just one-ninth of the average wealth. If you don't know what median means it is lining up Singaporeans ordering them by their personal wealth than picking the person in the middle. That person in the middle has US$30K vs the average US$255K. Its something like this : if Carlos Slim, the world's richest man decides to live life on an Phillipines island of 100 people each with a wealth of $1000, the average wealth of the people on the island will rocket to something like $400M...but the original islanders are not a single cent richer that $1000.
I looked up the median wealth as a % of average wealth for all other developed Asian countries in the report [Report found here]and this is what I found:
Singapore : 11%
Taiwan : 32%
Australia : 38%
Japan : 51%
These numbers correlates closely to what the GINI index tells us. Singapore has a very high income inequality and wealth is very unequally distributed.