Thursday, December 06, 2012

The fallacy of trading away workers' rights for their economic benefits....

The recent strike action by a group of drivers drew many different responses from Singaporeans. Some quickly criticise the drivers for breaking the law ... never mind if the laws are just or unjust, they have to be followed. Others view the incident as a slap on the face for the PAP govt for its foreign talent policy as it involved a GLC and foreign workers - it is a real joke that the PAP govt has berated Singaporeans again and again for not integrating well with foreigners when its own GLC was not really treating its foreign employees well. Many Singaporeans accept that because bus transport is an essential service, the ability of workers in this sectors to undertake strike action has to be limited. Let me ask you, if these services are so essential that workers' basic rights have to be given up, why is it  privatized? Privatization results in not just in service quality being trade-off for profits, there is constant pressure to make profits at the expense of service availability and safety. One point brought up by JiaJia's brother in the video (previous posting) is the poor living conditions results in PRC drivers not being well rested when they drive our public buses. A strike action by some drivers can result in inconvenience but the lack of rights of these drivers can led to low morale and safety issues.

Yesterday, a group of Hong Kong unionists protested at our consulate demanding we abolish some of the harsh labor laws and release jailed PRC drivers[Link]. As Singaporeans, we really do not like a bunch of unionists in Hong Kong telling us what to do and we can see this in the negative reactions of some netizens towards the Hong Kong protest. The authorities cannot be expected not to punish the PRC drivers once laws are broken regardless of whether we believe the laws are just.  However, one thing we should ask ourselves is this. - many of us have been to Hong Kong and taken their public transport, the general feedback is that it is at least as good as Singapore's and they don't have to limit the rights of workers to achieve this outcome.

While the reactions of Singaporeans are mixed, if the strike action had taken place anywhere else in the developed world and even some developing countries where workers' rights are respected and human equality and fairness are not compromised, there will be overwhelming support for these drivers. Their living conditions are appalling in a 1st world country and as a group these drivers from PRC were discriminated against. After the strike we see the SMRT management on its toes, CEO Desmond Kwek visiting the dormitories, townhall meeting held with these drivers, living quarters were fumigated and a 24 hour hotline set up for these drivers.  Other than a sit-in or strike, what else could have achieved the same change in management and brought the plight of these drivers to everyone's attention?

A few months ago, I took a cab and asked the cabby one of those "wrong questions". The cabby looked like he was in his fifties so I asked him if driving a cab was his "retirement job". He said it wasn't. He then told me his "sad story". The company he had worked for 20 years sacked him for "poor performance". He suspected his sacking was due to ageism as he recalled the same thing had happened to other older workers in the same company. There is an economic reason why companies do this. Workers are given increment every year to motivate them when the company does well. After many years with the company and many rounds of increment, the company finds it can hire a younger person for much cheaper so they sack their older workers although they are still performing. In the past the labor market was tight so companies were willing to "pay for loyalty" but these days they have a hire and fire mentality. The cabby thinking that he was a victim of ageism went to MOM. The officer assisting him at MOM told him there is little MOM can do to help him as such cases are difficult to prove and they told him that if he was still not happy, he should get a lawyer. The poor feller gave up and became a cabby.

Whether you believe his story fully or not(coincidentally Leong Sze Hian wrote an article on age discrimination in Singapore http://theonlinecitizen.com/2012/12/statistical-evidence-of-age-discrimination-against-older-workers/),  what is true is workers who are unfairly treated have limited channels to make things right. Why is this so? As long as employers do not break the law, there is little employees can do to get employers the address the situation. Many things employers do can be unfair but legal like giving little or no retrenchment benefits when they layoff workers even though the company had many profitable years in the past and sitting on a pile of cash.

The main argument the PAP sold us to remove the power and independence of unions and rights of workers is that there will be overall economic gains for ordinary Singaporeans if employers can do what they want with workers - employers will be more willing to hire, and invest if there are no unions in the way of what they choose to do. One example of this argument is a company that runs into financial challenges can layoff workers without a union in the way to stay afloat thereby keeping the rest of the employees. By being as pro-business as possible, we were told we can attract investments, create jobs and have broad economic prosperity and overall benefits for Singaporeans ...most of whom are workers.

We are now a first world country and no other first world country has the type of labor laws, weak unions, lack of workers' rights as Singapore so it cannot be argued that Singapore needs to do this to remain competitive when none of our competitors has to do the same ...if our workers have indeed been shouldering the burden of competitiveness and are the true heroes of our economic success, then the lack of benefits for our old workers is even less acceptable and the excessive pay packages of the PAP elites even more appalling. The SMRT PRC bus drivers are the poorest paid bus drivers working in the developed world followed by the Malaysian bus drivers and Singaporean bus drivers in SMRT. Former CEO Saw was the highest paid CEO in SMRT's history. When she was CEO, SMRT frequently claimed that it was not able to hire Singaporean drivers because Singaporeans are not interest in becoming bus drivers. The truth is the pay for bus drivers is too low and nobody is interested in working a full time and still not able to adequately provide for his family. Saw like many other CEOs, and business owners like Douglas Foo lobbied the govt for cheap foreign labor. Without strong responsible independent unions to represent the interest of workers and level the playing field, their interests were unfairly traded off to benefit CEOs whose main motivation is increasing profits margins to get higher pay packages for themselves.

SMRT's labor problems is not a sudden one-off event.  In Aug 2012, before the PRC driver's strike,  Singaporean SMRT drivers expressed disappointment NTUC for not being able to fair deal when their work week was extended to 6 days. NTUC accepted the unfavorable proposal and the SMRT drivers were left in despair unable to do anything more about the situation[Link] - their pay was effectively cut even as the cost of living rose. The inability of workers to exercise what are seen else where is basic rights has lead to dire outcomes for our lower middle and low income workers. The result is a large income gap (2nd highest, at times highest) in the developed world. Hard working people like bus drivers (aka bus captains) see their incomes stagnant or falling to become the lowest paid drivers in the developed world while PAP leaders become the highest paid politicians in the world...says a lot about our system, this is not really meritocracy, people are not rewarded based on how much hard work they put in and contribute to society and the economy...it is where you stand in the unlevel playing field and your  ability to influence the system to your advantage that matters. Workers, in particular, low wage workers, whose rights have been taken away and left without a strong independent voice stand on the lowest part of the unlevel playing field unable to climb up ....it is the system and not the lack of effort on their part that resulted in their plight.

117 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Hard working people like bus drivers (aka bus captains) see their incomes stagnant or falling to become the lowest paid drivers in the developed world while PAP leaders become the highest paid politicians in the world...says a lot about our system"
Lucky Tan

But lowest paid bus drivers are not majority of voters what. They are not even voters!

Because PAP is smart enough to ensure smart people can make lots of money and therefore will not be lowest paid or poor.

And I believe majority of voters are smart people or else PAP would have been voted out, let alone win 60% votes, tio bo?





Anonymous said...

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a warrant card and be properly trained," suggested Dr Vivian
Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources.

(Everyone has a part in keeping environment clean Lee Bee Wah - Channel NewsAsia)
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1231465/1/.html

ThanksToVivianBalakrishnan

(Hawker centre patrons harassed & coerced to return trays « Letters « TR EMERITUS)
http://www.tremeritus.com/2012/12/04/hawker-centre-patrons-harassed-coerced-to-return-trays/

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http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/0.html

(Hundred Flowers Campaign - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Flowers_Campaign

Joshua Chiang

Anonymous said...

this is your best article.

well articulated and totally convincing.

Anonymous said...

If PAP leaders are not smart, how can they be highest paid politicians in the world, tio bo?

Ghost said...

The labor movement in Singapore is a running joke for foreigners. I think it tell people a lot when even workers from China goes on strike.

Taichiseal said...

Very good post. Thanks.

Come 2016, make PAP pap (pay and pay).

[also have a read - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-05/rich-world-s-fastest-inflation-may-escalate-on-singapore-wages.html ]

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Anonymous said...

Despite what had happened these couple of years, what did we hear from the man in charge? More of the same old rubbish. Obviously we are witnessing an inept leadership that cannot steer even with a tsunami head on.

Anonymous said...

When the PRC drivers accepted the lowest pay in the developed world, did they not know that they have traded away their dignities in the eyes of Singaporeans?
And when you have no dignity, no one listen to you and you get condemned when you go on strike. If not for the intervention of the Chinese Embassy, would not be surprised if those on strike were all charged and jailed while the ring leaders will be called Marxist conspirators and locked up without trial with the key thrown away by ISD.

Anonymous said...

If public transport is so essential a service, then why is it that the CEO can go scot free after screwing it up big time to the detriment of many many commuters many many times? How come she is not charged and jailed like the PRC strikers?

Anonymous said...

For bus drivers or even train drivers, overtime pay can be a lot, even if basic pay is low.

Sometimes with overtime, their pay may even be more than their supervisors. Provided there is overtime lah.

Read this link http://gintai.wordpress.com/smrt-train-officer/ (from the horse's mouth) for the case of SMRT train drivers.

The said...

It is okay to bring in competent and PROVEN people to replace deadwood. What I am afraid of is that they have not learned the lesson and history will repeat itself. The problem with the previous team is that a wrong type of person (retailer) was recruited to run a transport company, and she brought her cronies (also retailers) to help her run the company into the ground.

Now, we have an ex-general parachuted (pardon the pun) into a transport company. Was the general in charge of military transport - specifically rail transport? (I am not aware of railways run by SAF). And now this general is bringing his cronies, equally unqualified and unproven in running a commercial entity to run SMRT.

Veritas said...

As I have commented on the other blog, LKY was a supporter of strike. LKY shot to stardom when he represented striking postman in 1952.

Other than the left wings of PAP like Lim Ching Siong, Rajaratnam and Devan Nair were two big time trouble makers.

http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=Zezti4yBF3gC&printsec=frontcover&dq=S+Rajaratnam+trade+union&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zzXAUMeGMtHOrQfuoIHQBg&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=strike&f=false

According to Raja bio, he poisoned penned newspaper article against the government depicting them as villain. Raja further instigate trouble by describing that postmen are paid "measly salary", and using words like "fighting the most wealthiest and powerful"....etc.

Then their trouble making worker got themselves a lawyer. His name is --- Lee Kuan Yew. Lee became a rock star instantly with his name on all newspaper everyday.

In 1955, PAP left wing Fong Swee Suan led the Hock Lee Bus riots. It results in 4 death. The blood spillage of Hock Lee Bus riots was a major contribution factor in bring PAP to power in 1959, as it galvanize the Chinese voters.

LKY was then the boss of PAP. Today LKY and PAP pushes all of Hock Lee Bus riots responsibility to "communist".

Nothing can be further to truth. LKY did not publically distance himself from Hock Lee Bus riots aftermath. In 1956, he and Lim Chin Siong even fly side by side to London.

Lim even went to election in 1959 under the PAP flag.

We can conclude that LKY is the greatest beneficiary of Hock Lee Bus riot.

In short, the meteoric rise of PAP was due to LKY starting his career as a trouble maker organizing strike. Today, in a poetic justice, the labor exploitation is so bad in Singapore that, the 2012 strike may be the start of the destruction of PAP.

Anonymous said...

The SMRT drivers have very little support in real life. Most of their support comes from disgruntled people typing in cyberspace.

You see, many of us Singaporeans hire maids. We make them work very long hours each day, and vast majority of us are openly against giving the maids one day off a week. And we expect the maids to accept a low wage of less than $500 even though the maids are providing an essential service.

We treat construction workers and toilet cleaners the same. We genuinely expect them to accept low wages, long working hours, poor work conditions, maybe even dangerous working conditions, in return for a low wage and non-existant benefits.

And even after this, we can still go to our church/temple/mosque with a clear conscience and ask our god to bless us with more money and better health.

Many of us do sleep well, enjoying the work hard of those who toil under poor conditions and low wages. And we have vested interests to keep things that way simply because we have gotten away for so long with such behaviour.

Before you curse me and disagree with me, ask yourself how much do you pay your own maid. Do you give your maid rest days?

Anonymous said...

Lee Kuan Yew and his pap gangsters treat ordinary working Singaporeans like dirt. We are mere digits. Time to kick them out of power.

Minghui Kuok said...

At the end of the day, we have to understand that economic growth is the only way for S'pore to remain competitive. But yet that doesn't mean the common masses have to play the sacrificial lambs. It's a delicate balancing act and during the earlier years of our country post-independence, our founding fathers (LKY included ofc) are able to strike that balance.

One very scary trend that I'm seeing here is this: A results based system is the only way for S'pore to survive, but somewhere down the road, it became a problematic social trend that even our Government had ended up as a victim. Process counted for very little and that's why the voters made themselves heard in the last GE, hence the need to implement policy reforms from the people upstairs.

I still remember the rhetorical talk on sustaining the economic growth is the still the only way out, NOT slowing it down. This will always be coming from people who have fallen foul of such a superficial norm and it's basically coming from everyone who have nothing to lose in terms of the word "retrenchment". Although I'll have to stand out and say NOT every employer is a short sighted bloke. At least I'm still going strong in my current job that is.

A lot of nations laud us for a clean anti-corruption system and high GDP. I agree with them. But these are only two of the overall factors, not the ends-all-means-all picture.

This comes to mind one particular episode in the local politics where I believe this was when the rumour mill started moving where our late President Ong Teng Cheong was concerned. He was the last and only minister to approve a union showdown. No prizes for guessing how the whole conspiracy theories managed to pan out.

Anonymous said...

Here is why we need growth:

Every year, there are more people entering the job market than those leaving it.

If there is only so many jobs to go around, then it means each person gets a smaller piece of pie.

In countries with huge populations like Indonesia and China and Phillipines, many people are broke not because there are few resources. On the contrary, many people there are broke because there are too many people sharing too few resources.

And in order to feed and clothe them comfortably, the economy, or the overall wealth of the country, has to keep growing. Or else there will simply be less for everyone.

Of course, there are some social problems when a small handful amass a ton of wealth, and the rest have little left to share. It makes for a very unequal society.

Anonymous said...

anon 1515 - Here is why we need growth: Every year, there are more people entering the job market than those leaving it. - you believe that our growth is to make way for people to enter the workforce? most of our growth is to employ cheaper foreign workers and making the rich richer. growth is only part of public policy. things liks justice, equality and happiness is equally important and we need a balance of such things.



Anonymous said...

we need more alternative parties like cows, horses, goats in the farm to balance the power of pigs so they can slap when pigs go off track.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6/12/12 14:29
Hey, we pay loads to maid. Unfortunately, a big portion of it is sucked up by Greedy Gahment.

Anonymous said...

We need growth because our population is always growing. People are living longer than before. And while TFR is low, it will only be many years later before we experience population decline due to low birth rate. But for the next 20-30 years, there are gonna be more of us. We each will have less if our total economy is still at year 2000 levels.

Anonymous said...

@17.13, quite a number of sporeans are doing their part to make sure there are not more of us. that's why the govt has brought in so many foreigners in so short a time. ;-P

Anonymous said...

We have the daft 60.1% to thank when our house burned down.
By the look of it, it won't be long. The general is brining in more of his army personnel into the corporate world.

Anonymous said...

Sadly the aging population does not seem the understand the gravity of the situation and many are still voting for the failed policy of a dynastic party. Older workers get sacked because the compnay and hire cheap foreign workers and if they want to stay employed they will have to lower their expectation and get paid peanuts. To me the the green eyed politicians should rot in hell

Anonymous said...

The most common unofficial labour policy I hear from friends, co-workers, union, MOM is this: If you are not happy (with the office policy or any unfair practice), quit!

They all like to taunt you like that and show no genuine interest in putting things right.

You not happy, quit lor!

I hope these people get their due karma. Some already have. Really made my day!

Anonymous said...

Tripartism used to work in the past as there were three parties, the government, business owners and labour. Along the way, governments started to see itself as a business and that's when things started to destabilise.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Anon 18:46
That was a keen accurate observation!

Yes, when the PAP start seeing everything in Dollars and cents, the moralduties / obligations of a Government went out of the windows.

We have "no government " but "coverment",, no?

Anonymous said...

Let's put the facts right. Starting pay of train drivers is $1,200 (same starting pay for more than 15 years!) Starting pay of bus drivers NOW more than $1,600! It used to be below $1,000! Why? It's due to the law of supply and demand. Few locals want to drive buses but there is a long queue want to drive trains. Name me any other country in the world where train driver pay is lower than bus driver except only here in Sg. Why shld train drivers be paid more when almost all are locals? Lots of them want this job whereas very few locals want to drive buses.
If you work 2 shifts per day including working on your off days your pay will be much more than your basic - double or triple. Any stupid idiot knows that! (Unlike others, esential services are exempted from clocking OT 24 hrs a day if need be!)
Be careful of what you say. Say it in perspective and not half truths! Refrain from talking like Shitty Times. No one believes what they say.
Locals dare not strike because they know the law. Maybe those PRCs didn't know the law or they were too desperate and they got to choice? It served their purpose. Their case got highlighted all over the world. We feel shameful that they broke our 26 yr of strike free. Remember no strike doesn't mean all is well and good. Read this writer's previous post - Emperor got no clothing but no one dares to point it out.
@Lucky Tan - This is one of the best articles you have written. I agree with some of the readers here that it's very well written. I thank you for it. Even Shitty Times can't hold a candle to you. You are our hero!

Medaka PRC!! said...

"...Tripartism used to work in the past as there were three parties, the government, business owners and labour. Along the way, governments started to see itself as a business and that's when things started to destabilise."
6/12/12 18:46

Yes, they sold their sold to business and businessmen own them.
This is evident with threats of:

" We will need to shift operations elsewhere"

"Singapore will be worse off"

"Who will look after the elderly?"

"Growth will slow"

Call their bluff. Dump the whole lot and offer them up for sale. Not sure if anyone will want them.

Only within the shores of Temesek are they big shots. See how they behave in Aussie, UK, USA or China.

Anonymous said...

ageism or replaced by foreign workers, singaporeans are left with no choice.

it is alright if there is no national service, so it's a free for all what. but then, singaporeans have all sacrificed 2 years of their prime; how can they be left behind now?

For the girls who did not serve NS it is understandable they be kicked out and replaced by foreign talent but not the NS boys! No one be left behind... rember?

Anonymous said...

but then, singaporeans have all sacrificed 2 years of their prime; how can they be left behind now?
Anon 6/12/12 20:39

If Singaporeans are not happy with their sacrifice, they can don't vote PAP what.

Just too bad lah, if their not happy vote is only 40%.

Anonymous said...

Singaporean SMRT drivers expressed disappointment NTUC for not being able to fair deal when their work week was extended to 6 days. NTUC accepted the unfavorable proposal and the SMRT drivers were left in despair unable to do anything more about the situation...

You would not want to mess around with NTUC cos it is backed by the Army and Police.

Anonymous said...

the government seems to be harboring an old ideological clutch. It can't discern the changing wind that blows across ALL lands. It insists on exploiting exclusive laws as if they have to sole right to do as they please, disregarding humanity COMMON DESTINY.

Outdated thinkers like LSS may have overstayed or warmed the throne for too long.

Anonymous said...

Simple fact.

Our ministers' salaries increase 10 times over the last 10 years but our salaries did not increase 10 times like them. And Singaporean's state of awareness didn't go up 10 times during the same period.

Anonymous said...

We must all vote alternative parties to stop gov from paying themselves millions and paying the workers peanuts.

Anonymous said...

Politically Correct PAP-MIW Jokes
-----------------------------------
1 A PAPig is not "out of touch", he is just "reality impaired."

2. A PAPig is not an "asshole", he just has a case of "rectal-facial inversion."

3. A female PAPig is not "easy", she is just "horizontally accessible."

4. A PAPig is not "running out of ideas", he is just "verbally repetitive."

5. A female PAPig is not a "cheap whore", she is a "low cost provider."

Anonymous said...

LKY was both a opportunist and a hypocrite. When he was in the opposition, he was challenging the Govt and asked for freedom of press, freedom to strike, etc.

But when he is in power, he made sure there is no such liberty for the people. Look at the sorry state of affairs he has made the citizens while his sons & daughter in law enjoyed power and riches.

All civil servants cannot receive bribes but he & his son can receive special discount from developers. WTF PAP.

Anonymous said...

As the strike by SMRT PRC bus drivers settle, we ask ourselves who the winners and losers are in this strike.


As strike is not allowed in Singapore, and after this SMRT strike incident, no employees will dare to strike anytime in future.
Because of this, GLC, MNC and SME bosses are confident their businesses can continue to perform without any disruption.
As the demand for pay increment by the SMRT PRC bus drivers who went on strike were not met, bosses are happy that pay need not be increased for employees even if the employees are unhappy with their pay. Bosses can continue to take advantage of the biased employment landscape by continuing to pay cheaply to foreigners and lowly paid Singaporeans.
With cost saving from the salary of employees through exploitation, businesses have higher profit, hence higher income for bosses.

Result: Bosses are the winners after this strike.


As PAP pretend not to know about the exploitation of employees by bosses, bosses can continue to exploit the employees to maximize their businesses profits. These exploitation benefits the bosses as the increment of their income are guaranteed.
As PAP salaries and bonus are pegged to the median income of the highest 1000 income earners, which include these bosses, PAP salaries and bonus are also guaranteed to increase or at least preserved as long as the bosses continue to receive high income.

Result: PAP is the winner after this strike


As the SMRT PRC bus drivers had failed to get their salaries to increase reasonable to the level they wanted, foreigners know very well that they have no way to demand any reasonable increase to their salaries in the future. As foreigners are already paid so cheaply in companies located in Singapore, foreigners know deeply that they are fated to continue to be paid cheaply as long as they continue to work in Singapore.

Result: Foreigners are the losers after this strike.


As foreigners continue to be paid cheaply, bosses are the most happy. Foreigners will continue to be in high demand by the bosses. Bosses will not want to hire Singaporeans as Singaporeans are considered not cheap. Singaporeans will have difficulty to find any reasonable jobs with reasonable salaries as bosses give priorities to cheap foreigners. Singaporeans who are employed will continue to see their salaries being depressed without any reasonable increment due to the lowly paid cheap foreigners salaries which have adversely distorted the employee salaries market.

Result: Singaporeans are the losers after this strike.

Anonymous said...

"Sadly the aging population does not seem the understand the gravity of the situation and many are still voting for the failed policy of a dynastic party. Older workers get sacked because the compnay and hire cheap foreign workers and if they want to stay employed they will have to lower their expectation and get paid peanuts. To me the the green eyed politicians should rot in hell"

Unfornately, it is the older generation who keeps supporting bad government policies. Including balless civil servants, the poor and ignorant, etc.

9 out of 10 taxi drivers don't support the government. Younger Singaporeans also do not support the government. I dare say many Malays and Indians are also against the mispolicies we are living with today. This is not a mid 1980s scenario where you can dangle a carrot like HDB upgrading to attract voters. They have nothing else to dangle now except to start stamping blue PRs to pink ICs.

Anonymous said...

My office likes to use the word "The door is always open!" WTF!

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Anonymous said...

"The officer assisting him at MOM told him there is little MOM can do to help him as such cases are difficult to prove and they told him that if he was still not happy, he should get a lawyer."
Lucky Tan

Exactly. That's what lawyers are for.

Another alternative is to don't vote PAP lah but this depends on the 60%. So if you are the 40%, also no use.

So still better to get a lawyer.

No money to get lawyer? Then get pro bono lawyer lah. If cannot, no talk lah.

Anonymous said...

"As foreigners continue to be paid cheaply, bosses are the most happy."
Anon 7/12/12 00:18

Then try to be a boss lah. What's stopping you?

Anonymous said...

Do you know how many companies, esp SME close down on a daily basis? I think it is unfair to say bosses are always wrong and will always make a lot of money. Such shallow analysis in this blog. All these stuff about employees are being exploited by evil employers. Do you know that as employers, we are aware that our employees come to work, log into facebook and their blog half the time, MSN and complaining to others how underpaid they are and have no rights, and yet at the same time complaining they have been exploited? And do you really think your employer doesn't know you are doing your personal things more than 50% of the time during work hours? Singaporean employees, what are you complaining about? Singaporeans, when your worry is your next iphone purchase and next holiday overseas, why are you not contented. What other rights do you want? If you think being an employer means you can go around exploiting people, then try. Stop complaining about employer should pay you 100x more because you are so super talented.

Anonymous said...

BTW, did anyone check the PRCs employment contract that says they should strictly work 5 day week from Monday to Friday? I mean to be fair, I think it appears this blog and many others, esp Vincent from SDP, have somewhat deviated from the main grouse of the PRC workers, which is they want to be paid as high as Malaysian drivers. It appears that everyone seem to assume the bus drivers contract says strictly Mon to Fri work week and SMRT has changed to Mon to Sat without increase in working hours? So I guess for us to make an accurate assessment, did anyone check the employment contract on the Mon to Fri work week? Frankly, as an employer I find it odd because buses need to run on Sat and Sun. Unless you are telling me that only Singaporean and Malaysian drivers do weekends? Then I feel more sorry for my fellow Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Your employers give you a job and pay you based on their view of your market rate. If you think you are underpaid, you can always (i) resign, and if you are creative enough or risk-taking enough (ii) set up your own company (and exploit people mah (iii) leave and find another job. You have options. May I enquire, all these blogs complaining your have no right as an employee, other than the right to hold employers on ransom and go on strike, what other rights do you want? Talk is cheap. It's easy to complain. Perhaps the owner of this blog, please enlighten us employers, other than the right to go on strike and put customers in jeaopardy which you think is very important, what other rights do you want?

Veritas said...

Do you know how many companies, esp SME close down on a daily basis? I think it is unfair to say bosses are always wrong and will always make a lot of money. Such shallow analysis in this blog. All these stuff about employees are being exploited by evil employers. Do you know that as employers, we are aware that our employees come to work, log into facebook and their blog half the time, MSN and complaining to others how underpaid they are and have no rights, and yet at the same time complaining they have been exploited? And do you really think your employer doesn't know you are doing your personal things more than 50% of the time during work hours? Singaporean employees, what are you complaining about? Singaporeans, when your worry is your next iphone purchase and next holiday overseas, why are you not contented. What other rights do you want? If you think being an employer means you can go around exploiting people, then try. Stop complaining about employer should pay you 100x more because you are so super talented.

A big reason business close down in low wage society is due to the destruction demand as the workers are poorly paid. Elites generally failed to see the problem. If the workers are poor, who is going buy their stuff.

When nobody buy stuff, the boss need to cut cost. They target wage reduction and that lead to vicious cycle. Eventually the society will collapse.

When I was in secondary school, I remember teachers told me in history lessons that during the great depression, farmers pour away milk to create shortage of supply, in order to increase the selling price.

We are puzzled? Why would farmers thrown away food when people are starving?

The intellect who wrote these books refuse to point a important thing to student. When there is extremely inequality in capitalism, the workers are too poor to pay for anything. So goods got to be thrown away. Eventually, productive assets got to be dismantle or leave to rot.

And when capital are destroyed, the rich suffer. The next stage will be the poor will turn into a bunch of criminals, street gangs and even militias. Now, the rich cannot even have peace of mind, as someday, they might got killed by these mobs.

In fact, inequality destroyed a society never mind it is organize in capitalist, feudalistic or slavery mode of production.

Lim Swee Say is obviously an idiot who said inequality don matters.

Veritas said...

To solve ever increase cost problem in running business, cutting wage is not the solution. In fact, when the society is equitable, there will be huge demand for everything.

In fact, a high wage society is a solution for the problem of poor business.

Wait a minute, then why not every country adopt a high wage mode of society organization? There are 2 main reasons.

1) Elites like to have inequality. They want everything for themselves.

2) A society cannot have high wage without high productivity. So that is why the honest economist stress that a country must industrialize, and must develop high tech.

And why Singapore is a rich country when our industries hollow out. The reason is PAP since Goh Chok Tong has been engaging in criminal economics like money laundering, attracting odious monies all over the world here.

The day when other sovereign government have the will to stop the money laundering by implementing capital control against Singapore, we will run out of monies in no time.

I think everyone should read Karl Marx.

Anonymous said...

"Unless you are telling me that only Singaporean and Malaysian drivers do weekends?"
Anon 7/12/12 10:12

I think that's where OT comes in. With OT, bus drivers can earn more than $2000 per month or even up to $3000 pm, which is maybe more than the pay of their supervisors!

In fact with OT pay, SMRT train drivers can even earn more than their supervisors!

Read this http://gintai.wordpress.com/smrt-train-officer/
(straight from the horse's mouth)

Now you should roughly know why PAP can get at least 60% majority votes every election.


The said...

/// Tripartism used to work in the past as there were three parties, the government, business owners and labour. Along the way, governments started to see itself as a business and that's when things started to destabilise. ///

Just a slight correction. It is not destabalised. In fact, this structure is so stable that we did not have strikes for 26 years. The only problem is that instead of being tripartite, it became bipartisan, with the government going into business and therefore siding with employers. Therefore we have two behemoths - the government and business owners - on one side. And pitted against these 2 giants are the poor employees - which is why they are screwed left, right and centre.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, if their complaint is the number of OT is reduced, its even more invalid. Because employers do not employ workers guranteering a minimum amount of OT. In fact, we will try to allocate the resources efficiently to minimise OT, if possible. It's impossible to please everyone you know. Some people like the PRCs like more OT and more pay. Some people are actually happier when they have less OT and more time to rest. So the first group will go on strike but then the second group is happy. What I'm trying to say is, for a moment, can you guy see from an employer's perspective?

Anonymous said...

besides than strike, there are many other ways to express yourself(which have been practised by Singaporean for donkey years liao)

1) Be an unhappy worker.
2) Be a "bochup" worker
3) always take advantages of your employer to personnel gain
4) Job hopping frequently


Anonymous said...

It's ok. The low salaries and long working hours mean that Singaporeans and foreign talents only work here for 1 to 3 years, get experience which translates to better skills and knowledge, and then leave for countries with better benefits. It's called churning.

Singapore' economy gets the lousy end of it since skills and knowledge gets drained out, and stuck in the low-productivity and low-level jobs.

For the PAP, this is all good.

Anonymous said...

And I think this blog seems to suggest the strike can be prevented? It's easy to say such things from hindsight. We are humans. A lot of things and people's actions CANNOT be prevented. Say if I run a company with 2 workers. One is a Singaporean who is culturally more similar to my organisation and can serve my customers better. The other is say a PRC. Both do the same job but my preference is A. So I pay A better than B because he is the type of employee I want to retain permanently. I am very sure B will be upset with me. B starts taking a lot of MC and bad-mouthing me. Trust me, the easiest thing to do is to pay both of them the SAME. But as a fair employer, I cannot cross my heart and pay them the same, because I really think A deserves more based on my own judgement. Obviously B will feel differently. Most people over-rate their own ability from my experience. B will become unhappy with me. In short, I cannot please the whole world. So can this be prevented? I don't think so. Because B's perception of his own value is higher than my perception of him. As to what actions B will take to voice his unhappiness. He could I guess go on strike and provide poor service to my customers. But if B choose to go on strike, is he always right? Can the strike be prevented? Maybe not. It's just in his character to use blackmail to get what he wants. Do you understand what I am trying to say?

Anonymous said...

And I am sure you will say, YOU lousy CEO. You should be fired. The fact that B is unhappy means you did not manage your staff properly. You should be fired. You incompetent. And there are times that you can can tell B you think he is not as capable as A, but reality is, he is NOT GOING to accept it. Nobody likes to believe they are not as capable or culturally suitable than another colleague. So can I PREVENT B from being unhappy and maybe resort to drastic actions like resigning or say taking many MCs or going on strike? No. Because he is not going to accept the fact that he may not be as capable as his other colleague. So, if I have unhappy employees in my organisation, does it mean I am incapable and that can be prevented? For those of you who run a department, you will understand what I mean. The poorer performers will always be jealous of the better performers, especially if I reward them differently. So it is impossible to keep the entire organization happy. Frankly, I don't mind natural attrition. Those dead wood should be removed anyway. There is a reason why the PRCs are on 2 years contract. It could be because many of them from PRC do not perform and after 2 years, you know which are the performers and give them a better contract. Contract staff are contract staff for a reason - it means you are UNSURE they are up to mark and yet you give them a chance.

Anonymous said...

You cannot prevent a strike.

You cannot prevent unhappiness.

You cannot prevent low wages, inequality and poverty.

But you can prevent the majority from having low wages and being unhappy.

You can prevent the opposition from winning by making it hard for them to win in GRC system.

Then majority will be happy and will vote for you.

Then you can win 93% seats with only 60% votes in the election.



Anonymous said...

And also, a "boss" has a different type of stress. Maybe not the workers type of stress but still stress ok? Different people have different skillsets - some are leader, some are followers. So leaders doesn't mean no stress lah. In fact, we have more skin in the game because we put our money into a business that CAN GO BUST by the way. And we still have to handle human resource problems like employees always compare salaries and everyone seem to think they should be paid the highest from my observation. And we have to use out judgment so as to reward our best employees. Frankly, those with LEAST stress is the middle management - most of them just spend most of the time in front of the PC facebooking and complaining about their bosses not working. They don't have to be answerable to board of directors, don't have to network to get business and worry about the next order, and don't have to take responsibility for poor performance of the company. And funnily, the middle management are the ones who complain the most and not very productive. And yet companies do not fire them because we will get into trouble with all these employee rights. Frankly 50% of the middle management are dead wood and can be eliminated without any disruption to service for many organizations and yet many companies just close an eye and continue to keep them and pay them.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anon 7/12/12 11:08

It is not that middle management has the least stress.

It is different levels of management have different types of stress.

Or different types of managers have different types and level of stress.

Just like rich people have rich people type of stress.

And poor people have poor people type of stress.

Anonymous said...

That's why whether rich or poor, they also commit suicide.

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Anonymous said...

In Singapore the low wage workers like the PRC strikers are often severely punished for their mistakes, regardless of whether their strike is just or unjust. But such accountability is not observed for the top level management, for example, the former SMRT CEO Saw who went scot free after screwing it up big time to the detriment of many many commuters and many of our incompetent ex-Ministers Wong KS Mah BT,etc.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, I complement you on yet another enlightening article.

Netizens come in all stripes, and frankly, they are not even representative of the cross section of Singaporeans. Hence I agree that Low TK has absoultely got his strategy correct - stay away from the interent sphere and work hard on the ground. Comments expressing extreme views are cheap, and most commenters usually have an axe to grind, especially against PRC and other foreign workers whom they perceive as the mother of all our troubles. No amount of education or sensible blogging can change that. People need to understand that facts to be viewed objectively, SMRT exploited all its workers with the recent pay-adjustment, even the locals. But the PRCs were far worst than the rest because they relied heavily on OT to make up for the lower pay, they earn sweat money and fulfill a service singaporeans choose not to do themselves.

Anonymous said...

The strategy is to recruit more members and promote the franchise, nothing special just old fashioned inward looking chinaman stuff. Very dinosaurs actually.

patriot said...

Why are workers asking for raise and increase in wages?
Apparently, the ONLY Problem lies in the high costs of ALL PROPERTY, RENT, UTILITIES, TRANSPORTATION, HEALTHCARE AND HUGE SALARIES OF TOP CIVIL SERVANTS AND THE UNBELIEVABLE WORLD RECORD REMUNERATIONS OF THE RULERS.

THE GOVERNMENT OF SIN AS THE LARGEST EMPLOYER, BUSINESSMAN AND CONTROLLER OF THE PEOPLE, IS THE ONLY ONE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS THE PEOPLE FACE.

ALL IT NEEDS TO DO IS TO BRING DOWN THE COSTS OF ALL THE ITEMS LISTED ABOVE.

CAN THE GOVERNMENT DO IT?

What say You?

patriot

Anonymous said...

Netizens only come in 3 stripe:-

25% hard core opposition voters - you can put a monkey and they will still vote for the opposition. And whatever issue arise, instead of focusing on solving the problem as a nation, their key focus is to blame someone. So they will jump on every opportunity to blame PAP or some large organisations, esp GLCs. In short, they relish at every chance to blame PAP or GLCs. These are the ones who likely to vote for TJS during the presidential elections, even though many has warned that not everyone likes the rabid opposition faction. When you read their blogs, every post is about blaming the PAP. And presenting cases, only one-sided views are given. Serious confirmation bias.

30% PAP fans - these are people who have benefited under the PAP's rule and will vote for the PAP under all circumstances.

40% middle ground - these are the more rational ones. They will review all facts of the case before jumping into very quick conclusion. Sometimes they support the opposition, sometimes they support the PAP, depending on facts of the case. So when there a strike, they are not that quick to blame the PAP and say "Oh if it were SDP, they would have prevented it." Seriously? Even if you are very healthy, sometimes you cannot prevent getting cancer. So a very well-run company sometimes cannot prevent certain factions beng jealous or unhappy.

By the way, these bus workers are NOT the low wage construction workers. Please do not confuse the 2.

Anonymous said...

Netizens only come in 3 stripe:-

25% hard core opposition voters - you can put a monkey and they will still vote for the opposition. And whatever issue arise, instead of focusing on solving the problem as a nation, their key focus is to blame someone. So they will jump on every opportunity to blame PAP or some large organisations, esp GLCs. In short, they relish at every chance to blame PAP or GLCs. These are the ones who likely to vote for TJS during the presidential elections, even though many has warned that not everyone likes the rabid opposition faction. When you read their blogs, every post is about blaming the PAP. And presenting cases, only one-sided views are given. Serious confirmation bias.

30% PAP fans - these are people who have benefited under the PAP's rule and will vote for the PAP under all circumstances.

40% middle ground - these are the more rational ones. They will review all facts of the case before jumping into very quick conclusion. Sometimes they support the opposition, sometimes they support the PAP, depending on facts of the case. So when there a strike, they are not that quick to blame the PAP and say "Oh if it were SDP, they would have prevented it." Seriously? Even if you are very healthy, sometimes you cannot prevent getting cancer. So a very well-run company sometimes cannot prevent certain factions beng jealous or unhappy.

By the way, these bus workers are NOT the low wage construction workers. Please do not confuse the 2.

Anonymous said...

I agree most commentators have an axe to grind. Its hard to find a rational voice - and all the comments are somewhat similar. Something unfortunate happen. First impulse is to blame PAP or GLC. And then without fail, will bring up the high pay of certain individuals and say highly paid individuals must be wrong and greedy.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, maybe you don't have a single friend who is an employer. And I can tell you, many times, we just close an eye when our staff are doing their personal things most of the time during office hours. Companies is full of dead wood, esp middle management. Many ae not very hard driving, and they just come to work, sit around and collect pay and enjoy the air con, esp the back office with no concrete sales target to meet. Many are already earning high pay because we give them increment every year even when they sit around and don't contribute much. Just collecting pay. And why didn't the employer fire them you may ask, esp when they are highly dispensible? Its just out of a good heart and fear of backlash. So those of you keep complaining you have exploited by your employers and demand this and that, could you cross your heart and say you present good value to your employer? Both ways. I know in certain countries in Europe, companies go bankrupt with high pensions and inability to let go of employees who are dead wood. Like it or not, without entrepreneurs and risk takers who create jobs and work, where will we be? And workers keep thinking bosses or entreprenuers owe them a job and increments etc. But are you delivering as well? Ask not what your company can do for u. Ask what can do for your company.

patriot said...

I forgot to mention that the Sin Government is virtually liked the Owner of Singapore. It is the Largest Property Owner on top of being the Largest Employer and Business Operator.

patriot

Anonymous said...

ANON: 7/12/12 17:06
"Ask not what your company can do for u. Ask what can do for your company."

Screw you and your company.
We don't owe you a living.
Just as you don't owe us a living.
Typical employer with a subsidy mentality.
Workers don't owe you a living.

Anonymous said...

Companies exist to serve their customers. Companies hire employees to serve the customers. The employees exist for the company. The companies do not exist for the employees - the company exist for the customers. So please get the equation right. As for SMRT, their bus division even before allocation of mgmt costs have been losing money. If not for the ex-CEO who is ingenious enough to create retail space out of the stations, I think the bus division would have gone bankrupt. Its funny. How many of you will voluntarily pay for the increment of your maid more than what is stipulated? NONE right? If your maid threaten to commit suicide or report sick all the time to threaten you for higher pay, what will you do? Then you will say oh, its the maid's fault. So lazy. Singaporeans always complaining about maids and can't even give them one day off. And there you judging bus drivers paid so much better than a maid as being exploited. Let's pay the drivers higher, fair enough. But let's also increase bus fare or else the bus division is not self-sustainable. And thank goodness the ex-CEO has enough foresight to set up retail spaces in the MRT stations - clearly the retail revenues ha helped to subsidise the artificially low bus fares all these years.

Anonymous said...

anon 17:07
"And why didn't the employer fire them you may ask, esp when they are highly dispensible? Its just out of a good heart and fear of backlash. "

LOL, what a fantasy!

serf said...

It is not just the system, it is also about the pigs behind the system. even if we change the system, without changing the pigs, the plight of lower class workers will still remain the same. unless we change the pigs, even if we have underwent 1000 times system changes, end result will still be the same.

Anonymous said...

anon1850- "not for the ex-CEO who is ingenious enough to create retail space out of the stations' -how did you know she did not steal the idea from someone/somewhere? I have seen that coming from some blogs long ago it was implemented.

Anonymous said...

anon1850-'Singaporeans always complaining about maids and can't even give them one day off' - singaporeans actually complaining about having to pay so much for maid levy to the gov who does not even help out in the housework. if gov scrap the maid levy and stupid bond, singaporeans will be happy to let maid go one or even two day off.

Anonymous said...

ANON: 7/12/12 18:50
"If not for the ex-CEO who is ingenious enough to create retail space out of the stations, ..."

You are really a frog in a well.
Creating retail space out of the stations have been done decades ago in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong etc.

I guess you don't travel much out of S'pore since your head is stuck inside LKY's arse.

Anonymous said...

No worry audience, we will be witnessing the demise of one great swine or hog or pig in the near future. Then this system will crumble but a new swine or hog or pig will take over.

Anonymous said...

ANON: ANON: 7/12/12 18:50
"... the company exist for the customers."

Wrong. This is Singapore.
The customers (taxpayers) exist for the company i.e. SMRT.

Didn't we just subsidize SMRT to the tune of $1.1 billion.
And still SMRT will not give Poly students a student's discount.

Only by voting Opposition will SMRT exist to serve Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Please.

This is coffee shop talk we are doing here.. just utter your piece and get lost quickly!

You write so long?? what trying to impress people you are doing phD thesis? we can tell you are really just a nincompoop! next...

Anonymous said...

PAP-MIW Jokes
-------------
Q: What's the difference between an onion and a PAPig?
A: You don't cry when you chop up a PAPig!

Q.What's the difference between a dead dog and a dead PAPig?
A. There are skid marks in front of the dead dog.

Anonymous said...

Ha!Ha!

Q.What do you call a female PAPig with two brain cells?
A. Pregnant.

Q.How do you circumcise a PAPig?
A.Kick his sister in the jaw.

Q.How did the female PAPig scare her gynaecologist?
A.By becoming a ventriloquist.

Anonymous said...

I have given up hope on Singapore politics as I totally agree with what one anon wrote in bried regarding his observation of Singapore politics: Stupid people deserve stupid politics. So, I've been busy preparing patiently for my escape to another land but I will keep my pink IC. Singapore is not home to me. It's a global city.

Anonymous said...

The propaganda Shitty Times has started to sing loudly that fares must go up when drivers salaries go up .so u know what will happen when the fares are next reviewed. But why must the solution only be to increase fares ? Why can't cut drastically the salaries, bonuses, share options of the CEO, board of directors, senior staff, ministers, n dividends to shareholders ? Dividends to shareholders benefit only how many people. The transport companies all make humongous profits every year n yet keep increasing the fares n pay of top people while lower level staff are underpaid. Temasek is the biggest shareholder of the public transport companies so good dividends must always be paid

Anonymous said...

You want reasonable bus fares?
Vote Opposition.
Because the bus companies are owned and operated by the Pro Alien Traitors ... yes ?

eremarf said...

Companies exist not to serve their customers - but to earn profits. And they should think about doing so in the long run situation. But they're infected with short-term-ism (my first insight into this phenomenon came when I was teaching - principals have incentives to burn teachers out for short term profits, leading to long-term problems of teacher shortage - they also have incentives to achieve exam results at the expense of a wholistic education for students, leading to a future low-quality local workforce).

CEOs come and go quickly - they have several years to prove their worth and earn their bonuses. They would rather cut costs in the short-term than improve performance in the long-term (e.g. via maintaining product/service quality, innovation and R&D in products and procedures, etc) - witness SMRT's Saw and her maintenance regimes. Profits go up and with them her bonuses. By the time underinvestment in maintenance, etc hurt the company - she has already left with the bonuses (and we don't have laws to allow clawbacks, like England is imposing on their bankers now). In the end, public transport is too big to fail - because it's an essential service, and because it's a GLC - the gov't has a stake in ensuring it performs well economically (after all, their friends are the head honchos and earning their "deserved" salaries for overseeing year after year of strong profits).

I don't know how (un)sustainable this is - probably we will find out at future elections. The determining factor is how much stomach Singaporeans have for being exploited by corporate/GLC fat cats.

It's possible to organise things differently. Other societies have done it. It's just a matter of what's important in life to Singaporeans. I'm not very hopeful but I'm not cynical either. I have no idea what kind of future my fellow Singaporeans want. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky,

Have you read this blogpost yet?

http://limpehft.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/interview-prc-talent.html

Brutally honest but true!

Anonymous said...

I started life as an unthinking, die hard PAP voter. "Vote PAP, I can't go too far wrong."
Then I became a swing voter because I started to question the quality & caliber of some of the PAP candidates that were put up for elections. "Good grief! Is this the best you attract to your cause?"

I am now a die hard Opposition voter. The events over the last 10 years have me shaking my head in total disbelief. The ongoing SMRT saga; from former CEO Saw till present day SMRT; is a microcosm of what I see happening all over Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I started life with nothing now I have assets I could never dreamt of owning. I dun spent my time in chatrooms reading the sob stories or visiting bars and lounges; when you read rubbish 24/11 you soon become one.. so stop wasting time here and get a life.

Anonymous said...

"... so stop wasting time here and get a life."

Convincing Sinkies to get rid of people like you is not a waste of time.
GE 2016.
Regime change.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON: 8/12/12 10:09

"24/11"? Really.
It's 24/7 to most people.

You must be from SMRT's management.
You work your bus drivers 24/11 right?

Anonymous said...

Public transport is a public good, like education and defence.

The return on investment in public transport cannot be quantified as the entire economy benefits. It should not be a profit-making commercial enterprise.

Anonymous said...

I think the only solution is actually WP's solution. I never like SDP - very opportunistic in blaming the government. Even some of the claims by Vincent is highly doubtful - e.g. bus drivers promised 5 day week from Mon to Fri.

Nationalise the bus services since it is not profitable. SMRT can continue to run its MRT and retail operations as at profit. that will please their shareholders. Sell the bus operations to the government. The government then can run the bus operations at a loss, funded by taxpayers. Having said that, i want to reiterate that not all taxpayers take buses, so even the subsidy must be reasonable and not sky-high. So bus fares must still be able to substantially cover the costs of running the business,including pay of drivers. So if it comes to the point where drivers pay have to increase, bus fares would have to increase as well such that the business is sustainable. That is only fair.

Anonymous said...

The opposition will not become stronger even if bus fares are increased.

So PAP will most likely still win at least 93% seats again next election.

So it is OK to increase bus fares.

Anonymous said...

It appears they are "adjusting" to the new reality. But so long as they continue to feed on "stale bread" and uphold the rules of stoning people, nothing really changes

Anonymous said...

I hope they increase the bus fares.
I want to more Sinkies hate PAP.

Anonymous said...

eremarf, I fully agree with your statements.. We should have a claw back system that penalizes non performance and those policies that favour short term gain over long term benefits. It's pretty sad that the current systems are open to gaming by ppl only in it for short term gains.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:51
"24/11"? Really.
It's 24/7 to most people.

Ya you've got me there you little prick. And oh dear you must be very petty, trivial and .... ball-less too right?

Anonymous said...

ANON: 7/12/12 18:50
"The employees exist for the company."

This is a PAPig aspiration.
As phony as "Temasek Holdings is working for the benefit of all Singaporeans."

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Anonymous said...

Limpeh has completely brainwashed Sinkies into thinking that only the elites (as defined by Limpeh) is capable of leading Singaporeans into our next era of greatness.

Whenever I read anything LKY says, I always cross-reference it with the American Declaration of Independence.
It's a simple one page document.
But it encapsulates the essence of what makes America great.
"That all men are created equal..."
i.e. that we the common people have the inalienable right & capability to make a difference.
The phrase "boh pian" does not exist.

Below are the key paragraphs;

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

If you change your mind, you can change your world.

If you believe this feels right, spread the message to your friends & relatives.

Anonymous said...

Get out of the original curse. You are forced into an end game, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

LT,

The government has always contended that SIngaporeans are only interested in bread and butter issues - they don't really care about ISA, minimum wage, universal healthcare...so I hope you can see what is going on here.

The government has intentionally latched on the bread and better issue and perpetuate it with rising cost of living, inflation, high hdb cost...so that it's always hinged on singaporeans' minds to focus about bread and butter issues instead of other issues such as free speech, human rights, etc..

I hope you can see this.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, I do hope the gov would increase the fares to further prove that they are merely heavily overpaid incompetent fools that cannot come out with better solutions besides raising fares. This would also make more (including die hard) voters decide to vote alternative parties for a change.

Anonymous said...

For almost 50years, singaporeans traded in freedom and rights for economic benefits. However, we have seen no economic benefits at all. Most singaporeans are already disillusioned with highly priced state owned flats, ridiculous COE pricing, nil real terms return on CPF, deteriotating education, transport and healthcare standard.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Didn't u say that TCJ and Tuck Yew were going to solve our problems? Just like Khaw was going to solve our housing problems?

Anonymous said...

How can they solve the problem?
They are part of the problem.
Problems-In-White

Anonymous said...

WP, which is the best opposition party because they have 6 MPs, already said they are not ready to form the govt what.

So PAP is the best available party to be govt to solve our problems lah. And 60% had rightly voted for them.

If you still don't know, let me tell you all problems are due to only one problem, which is money no enough.

Just too bad lah, if your money no enough.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10/12/12 08:51 you are correct. If money got enough, then increase in bus fares will not be a problem.

Anonymous said...

Increasing the bus fare is the solution if bus fare is really the problem.
SMRT has "deep seated problems."
Translation.
SMRT has serious management problems.

Does anybody seriously believe that if SMRT were to increase the salaries of bus drivers, all the problems will go away?

Anonymous said...

If SMRT and SBS increase bus driver starting pay to $2K pm, and with OT up to $3K pm, then maybe they can get all Singapore drivers. No need PRC or Malaysian drivers.

Then there will be no strike. There will also be enough buses and drivers.

With money, all the problems will go away.

Of course bus fares will go up a lot lah.

If 60% is already OK with HDB prices went up a lot, why not bus fares also, tio bo?

What is bus fare increase compare to HDB price increase?



Anonymous said...

"What is bus fare increase compare to HDB price increase?"
Anon 10/12/12 10:55

Exactly lah. That's why I think PAP ministers are so smart.

Anonymous said...

To those who are upset that their CPF is beyond their rich, their wealth being squandered to pay ministers world's highest salaries; to those who feel their rights are taken away; to those who feel fear when they know what is the right thing to do but they can't because of group pressures, political pressures; to those who write because there is something inside them that says something is not right in the world and i need to help it make it better in a small way that i can; to those who vote for a government that condescend them that they are not good enough to lead; to those who always feel insecure in a system that says they are not good enough but foreign talents are; to those who wonders why a singaporean single man at age 33 can't buy a flat but need to serve reservist to protect the flat of a PR couple who lives beside him; to those who feel they need to serve NS and reservist but when the soldier falls sick, the island state won't cover their hospital bills; to those who feel oppressed in singapore; this is for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcKoYGNj0BU

Anonymous said...

It is a great comfort to know that 60+% of Singaporeans are wise to have voted for PAP.
Had the PAP had been reduced to 45% or less, Singaporeans may not have houses to buy and wait hours for their buses and trains.
Worse, no one will care if the people jump from highrise, into MRT Track or into reservoirs and the sea.

At least, the leaders are cracking their heads to provide Singaporeans the bests in living

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMYbd2ZhhjE

Anonymous said...

"It is a great comfort to know that 60+% of Singaporeans are wise to have voted for PAP.
Had the PAP had been reduced to 45% or less, Singaporeans may not have houses to buy and wait hours for their buses and trains.
Worse, no one will care if the people jump from highrise, into MRT Track or into reservoirs and the sea.

At least, the leaders are cracking their heads to provide Singaporeans the bests in living"

Bullshit lah! Even with 45% votes to PAP, they will continue to be deaf. Why? 60.14% voted for PAP and PAP was rewarded with 93% seats. As long as they have at least 60% parliamentary seats, they don't need to contest their ideas to the people of singapore. Why should they? To pass a policy, they need only 60% in the house to agree. With 93% seats at 60% votes, they are deaf. This is no watershed election. If 60% votes gets 93% seat, and 40% opposition votes get 7% seats in parliament. why do you need to caution the people of singapore that they are wise to had voted for the incumbent?

GRC system does not reflect the true voice of the people and it does not even reflect 40% voices who disagreed with the government's policies and lack of policies in many instances. Even if 50% voted for PAP, they will still get more than 60% votes in parliament and they will continue to be deaf.

So, be aware. Don't be easily misled.

Anonymous said...

be aware

the miw knows who posts what and searches for what... becos daft singaporeans dun know how to protect their personal rights.. this is like watergate except no one has realised or noticed that!

Infringement of personal freedom like phone tapping or internet tapping is a crime in most developed countries except when the people are too daft to realised that!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, even if the 60% change their mind and vote for the opposition, the MIW will still screw up the lives of the people for doing that. People have to know its not easy to change the government because they don't give a shit about you but only their golden rice bowls. The way the AIM thing was done is just an example. From the TC computer system to the GLCs and reserves in in their hands. Be smart join the MIW make as much money as you can, have fun with the foriegners and when you have enough pack up and leave.