“Relatively healthy”, that is what PAP Minister Tan Chuan Jin has to say about the employment state in Singapore under his Manpower Ministry’s watch. The hot-tempered Brigadier General, who once demanded monetary compensation from Opposition Member Vincent Wijeysingha for alleged defamation, went on to neutralize his position and gibber about job creation, job training and job matching – clearly avoiding the topic of increasing unemployment rate and, more importantly, explaining how did the economy see an increasing unemployment rate when businesses are complaining there is a manpower crunch?
Rising unemployment rate is bad news for everybody, and especially so for the PAP. When there is unemployment, the PAP could not bring in more cheap labor to pick up jobs with salaries an average Singaporean can survive with. When there is unemployment, the PAP could not complain there is a manpower crunch and they are “compelled” to bring in more foreigners. When there is unemployment, the PAP couldn’t justify any of this including the 6.9 million population target. When there is unemployment, PAP Ministers could not held their nose high and snub “Western” ideas like democracy, welfare, workers’ rights, unemployment benefits and Minimum Wage. This is really bad news for them because the PAP ideology will fail to prove its superiority over its neighbors and even the first world countries. This is also why, the PAP’s first and foremost priority is to find employment for Singaporeans and to do that, they increase the cost of living so high that nobody can survive a day in Singapore without employment.
The issue of unemployment will always top PAP’s priority and they have a bag of trickeries to ensure the unemployment rate remains low. Internally, they massage the unemployment figures by mixing citizen statistics with Permanent Residents, and having those who are not able to find employment for more than 6 months out of the unemployment stats. Externally, they outlawed private workers’ unions and keeping a tight leash over its appointed and controlled union called NTUC – simply by putting a toothpick-misappropriating Singlish-speaking Minister of no portfolio as its union chief. Those in the NTUC who have served the PAP well by refusing to fight for better wages and unfair work practices like zero retrenchment benefits, will get the opportunity to become Member of Parliaments or Ministers or even cross-trained as the Chairman of Temasek Holdings. Being a good dog serves you well, as their predecessors exemplified. The oppression of workers’ rights is important because their salaries will always be cheap and businesses will not threaten to close down because they are not making enough profits from the savings on labor. You will see the PAP avoiding the salary topic as much as they could, because the economy they envisage is built on a pyramid with a large base of cheap labor. Income gap? I can’t hear you. Rich-poor gap? I don’t see any. The half-deaf half-blind approach of the PAP to (mis)handle these issues is the main reason behind the very resentment fueling votes against them.
The PAP do not want Singaporeans to get rich, because when they are well to do, they can retire and live a comfortable life without employment, hence propping up the unemployment statistic. Having the elderly and the disabled struggling on the streets for a living is perfectly acceptable to the PAP. Touting tissues and half-begging is not begging after all. And while critics prepare their keyboards to insult the PAP’s uncaring elite face, they tell you they have a wide range of social programmes people needing help can apply for. This is yet another strategy the PAP use to minimize its “welfare” outreach – by having people incapable of filling up application forms applying for help schemes. Instead of legislating a social safety net by enforcing a Minimum Wage and paying a monthly pension to the elderly and disabled, the PAP wants the poor to fill in a form applying for help and go through the meritocratic insults by higher beings like PAP MPs, grassroot leaders(mainly foreigners on Permanent Residency) and the receptionist and case officers from the respective Ministries’ ivory towers. The PAP sees it fit that there is absolute zero excuse of not working even when you don’t have limps or sight.
Let’s share a quote from a PAP MP to remind Singaporeans how important employment is to them: “Who are you? What are you doing? Why aren’t you working?” [Source]. Remember, a slave has a job too. The PAP mantra says it is good to have a job and certainly better to exploit people and profit out of their miseries. No hard feelings, my fellow economical digits.