Please don’t call me Mr so-and-so. Alex will do.
Below is my inline response in italic, thanks!
Hi Mr Alex Tan,
I was listening to your speech on the White Paper Protest. I think you’re a good speaker, and I have some questions, can you help me answer them?
In your speech, you talked about foreigners driving up cost of living, through depression of wages and competition for stuff like housing. However, it is because of their low wages that we also have very low wage push inflation and demand pull inflation right? This keeps our cost of living low. And economic progress creates jobs, which keeps our unemployment at 2% (very low for first world countries). So I’m not so sure about the impact of foreigners on jobs and cost of living.
It is a fallacy that low wages of manual labor result in low wage push inflation because we have forgotten that wages as a whole considers those on the management level. In Singapore, the GINI coefficient is one of the highest in the world and this income gap is the main reason why wage push inflation is actually rather high. In order to support the high salaries of the business owners, CEOs, senior managers and other directors, any form of low wage push inflation is offset by their obscene salaries. Also, it is not true that our cost of living is low with respect to the average purchasing power that we possess.
As for demand pull inflation, it is not low at all. The number of foreign millionaires in Singapore who are here to evade taxes in their home country has hit a record. If I remember correctly, Singapore has the most number of millionaires in the world, and most of them are actually foreigners who are here to benefit from the tax haven state – yes Singapore is a tax haven which do not tax capital-gain tax, estate duty(inheritance tax) and dividend tax.
You are right our declared unemployment rate at 2% is very low for any first world country, firstly, we are not first world, and secondly the unemployment rate is not 2%.
It is dubious our 3.1% unemployment rate [Source] is really that low when full National Servicemen are considered “full-time employed”. The unemployment figure in Singapore, if corrected for these NSFs headcount at about 40,000, with respect to our 72,400 unemployed Singaporeans data accounting for 3.1%, our actual unemployment rate is at least 5%. I welcome any debate to my calculation estimate.
The reason why our housing prices so high is also because of unwise market operations by past ministers like Mah Bow Tan, and today prices are kept low by preventing people from trying to profit from buying and selling houses (Cooling measures: decrease in loan period, increased buyers’ and sellers’ stamp duty etc.). The root cause does not seem to be foreigners as implied by your speech.
I did not imply that, I say that directly. The root cause for expensive public and private housing is foreigners. Private housing is no doubt, I don’t have to explain, let me focus on the public housing. Mah Bow Tan was the culprit who did not build enough flats, but the domestic demand for housing – the doubling in number of Permanent Residents(foreigners) from 287,500 in 2000 to 540,000 in 2013 [Source A and Source B] – clearly explain why did the resale market see such spike during this 13 year period. Let me reiterate here again: the root cause for overpriced housing is foreigners.
Also, your speech criticizes the english standard of foreign workers. But I don’t see what’s wrong with that, a smile speaks a thousand words and a kind act speaks all.
You have missed the forest for the tree. Why are Singaporeans required to have a minimum standard of English when they enroll in our public universities, specifically NUS and NTU, but foreign students can make do with English foundation courses after enrollment? Singaporeans do not speak good English, neither do I, but we expect English to be the de facto language of communication in business dealings. How would you feel to be served by a Filipino worker who expects you to speak in Tagalog? If you think the example is absurd, please check with your Indian and Malay friends the number of times China workers expect them to speak in Chinese.
Perhaps the blame does not lie on foreigners when we talk about the welfare of Singaporeans today? I think it’s more important to address the huge income inequality in Singapore and the poor social net, that’s why Singaporeans are suffering.
The general welfare of Singaporeans have no doubt being compromised by only one organization: the People Action Party. But the foreigners are at fault as well. Lower employment and education opportunities cannot be disputed. They cause the squeeze we have today everywhere. I am unapologetic to facts, but yes foreigners are to be blame as well, even though the PAP is the one who opened the gate.
Another problem is the lack of communication between the government and the people. They tell us that they get foreign workers because Singaporeans dowant do menial labour? Rubbish. There are economically more sound reasons for that, and I think the govt cannot talk properly to Singaporeans.
There is no lack of communication between the two sides, the PAP have a vast grassroots machinery and they plenty of scholars and resources to conduct feedback and surveys. The PAP is simply gambling their chips(votes), they believe they will still be in power and hence there is no need to introduce pro-Singaporean policies.
Also, what is a bank power crunch? (I’m not sure if I heard correctly?)
Hmm you may have heard wrongly.
Thank you for your kind attention Best regards, ABC
I have feedback that my speech was kinda muffled, so here I will attach my transcript:
Today, at 5.4 million, everywhere is overcrowded. Foreigners are everywhere and all over the place. We have Manila in Orchard Road, India in Serangoon Road and China everywhere. The influx of cheap foreign labor resulted in job competition, and your wages get depressed. The richer foreigners buy up cars and properties resulting in record breaking COE and Housing prices. And the increased domestic demand resulted in the cost of living becoming more and more unaffordable.
Young Singaporeans like me could no longer afford a car or flat, no matter how hard we work or how highly educated we are. Meritocracy has turned out to be a lie in Singapore. All the government wants from us Singaporeans is to serve National Service to protect the foreigners, pay CPF, make babies and work until we die.
Throughout the 10 year period where our population increased by 1 million, tell me, have your life gotten better or worse? How would our standard of living become better by bringing more people in? Albert Einstein, I’m sure you all know who he is, has this to say about doing the same thing and expecting different results: Insanity. Siao.
When you have a crazy government who has gone koyak, do you know what to do in 2016?
One funny argument the government like to use, is that our country is a migrant society. They say that our forefathers come from China and India, and we should welcome foreigners with open arms. But when my grandfather came from China, he didn’t have to serve National Service. When my grandmother came from China, she doesn’t speak English and there is no such country by the name of Singapore.
The government wants us Singaporeans to integrate with the foreigners. I think this is very wrong; it should be the other way round. They should not be asking you “讲华语好吗?” or “Can you don’t cook curry?”
Unlike other first world countries, Singapore does not have a first world immigration policy. When you have a third world immigration policy, you get all the third world people coming in. How many of them can even pass the O level English? How can they be called “Talents” when they could not even speak conversational English?
How can they be called “talents” when they are drawing a salary so low and so unattractive? The average work permit holder is drawing about $800 a month. Can Singaporeans survive on $800? How much do you have after deducting CPF?
At the same time, we have also been told that foreigners come to do the work that Singaporeans don’t want to do. Are Singaporeans really so picky or is this another nonsense propaganda? Do you know that the average construction workers in Australia earn more than $4800 AUD a month; that is 5 times more than what our construction workers in Singapore are getting. And yet, our Singapore property prices are 7 times more expensive than Australia properties. If you can pay Singaporeans $4800 a month to be a construction worker, why would there be a manpower crunch?
Unfortunately, our government does not want to listen. They think they can pretend to listen and talk their way out of this population problem. It was recently announced that our population has increased 1.6% this year. Do a simple calculation of 1.6% compounded every year for 17 years, you will get 6.9 million by 2030. They are not listening at all. The only way to stop a 6.9 million disaster from happening is to know what to do by 2016. The language to communicate with the PAP government is not English, it is through the ballot box. I hope everyone know what to do by 2016.
Thank you for your time!