In all this hue and cry of the PAP leaders about our wage levels hindering economic growth, not one word has been said about the cost of living in Singapore.
The cost of living in Singapore is higher than even in the developed countries like Britain, Australia and even the United States, perhaps excepting New York.
Has it not occurred to this PAP government that if it wants the workers to accept lower wages, then it must set about reducing the cost of living especially in the areas of transport, medical care, school fees [why can't we afford free education at primary level at least] and rentals of stalls at markets and hawker centres.
I see DPM Tony wants wages reduced to below the United States.
The cost of wages paid to Ministers and Judges exceed well above that paid to Ministers in the United States and their Judges. The Prime Ministers here gets three to four times that of the President. What about bringing the wages of the Ministers and the Judges and even of the top civil servants to below that paid in the United States and other developed countries. Shoudn't that be done first before calling on the workers to accept reduced wages. The savings from a reduction in the Ministers' salaries to below the United States could then be channelled to pay for the cost of health care of citizens earning less than $1000-00 a month who should receive free medical care.
Why should it be the workers who have to make sacrifices for the country's economic growth.
J B Jeyaretnam
27th August 2003