“If the decision is to have a place that Singaporeans are proud to live in and where others look up to, Mr Lee said the country can get there. He said Singapore has the resources and it is prepared to thrive.
But Singaporeans need to have a “toughness of mind” to do that. Should Singaporeans decide on a more relaxed pace of life, with less pressure, Mr Lee warned that new pressures will come.” ~ ChannelNewsAsia [Source]
In yet what seems like another potshot taken at Singaporeans, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong steps up the pressure on Singaporeans reminding them to toughen their mind as Singapore would remain a stressful place to live in under his GDP-first style of governance. Although Singaporeans are already clocking one of the the most working hours in the world at 2307 per year [Source] and marrying later due to social stress, the Prime Minister either sees no need to alleviate the hard-striving Singaporeans’ sufferings or is simply disconnected from the masses.
Singapore has one of the fastest pace of living in the world with intense competition internally in the ranking-obsessed society from pre-school to employment. The unhealthy competition worsen ever since PM Lee Hsien Loong took helm and imported some 2 million foreigners since 2002. Under PM Lee, cheap foreign influx flooded the labor market and depressed salaries of citizens. Employment opportunities for Singaporeans were also stifled as MNCs prefer to hire their own people and relocate them in Singapore. One such example is Changi Business Park, where foreign employee pass holders outnumbered locals by nearly 3 to 1. Aside from PMET jobs, low income workers like cleaners see their real median income salary falling between 2000 and 2011. The obvious lower employment opportunities and income however makes good profits for foreign employers and government-linked companies.
Incompetent companies survived on the savings made from cheap foreign labor, while the better ones chart record profits. As a result, employers in Singapore become poor at innovation and risk taking as the PAP government pampers them with corporate tax cuts and pro-employers policies. The government-controlled workers’ union, the NTUC, and with draconian laws threatening indefinite detention to workers on strikes, employees in Singapore are under-represented and voiceless, with one of the lowest salaries among the developed countries. This is proven by a commentary by the Straits Times [Source], which revealed that the median purchasing power of Singapore workers in Singapore lag behind most cities at a ranking of 50th out of 73 cities. The immense financial stress alone working on Singaporeans have resulted in the lowest birth rate and the highest retirement age.