FIRST WORLD PROPERTY & CAR PRICES BUT STUCK WITH THIRD WORLD WAGES

Dear Editors,

I know of a PR who got retrenched recently. He is a PMET. So now it seems that the influx of cheap and maybe-good foreigners are not only displacing Singaporeans out of their jobs, but maybe also Singapore PRs, new citizens and foreign PMETs who have been working in Singapore for quite some time.

If the current policy remain unchanged, the fresh influx of foreigners (of lower-pay and maybe questionable qualifications and work experience) will keep displacing workers in Singapore (Singaporeans, PRs, new citizens etc.) out of their jobs and placing a constant downward pressure on wages. But the influx of foreigners will keep placing an upward pressure on housing, food, transport and other important necessities. The age when a Singaporean experiences job uncertainty may just keep getting younger — from 40s-50s, late 30s-40s then to around 30 and maybe even right after graduation sometime in the future. Most Singaporeans own a HDB flat as their main asset at their old age. With time, each generation may end up with a HDB flat with smaller floor area and from 4-5 room to 3-room to 2-room to shoebox, at one’s old age. Singapore may be a place where prices of properties and homes are heading first-world, car prices are out-of-this-world and wages heading third-world.

A breadwinner’s income stability is paramount to the stability of a family. Many social and family issues can result from the stress of parents trying to make ends meet, negatively impacting the lives of young children. This is also not helping the issue of encouraging more Singaporeans to get married and have more children.

But Singapore may not need to be like this. We are a wealthy country with sufficient savings to support a much more compassionate society. Our country (despite the small land area and lack of natural resources) may be able to comfortably support the lives of Singaporeans such that even the lowest-income can live dignified lives. If everything is mostly left to free economic market forces, a government’s work may not be that much to justify a huge salary. With the right policies in place, Singaporeans may be able to enjoy living comfortable and dignified lives in their own home country while sustaining a robust economy and still maintaining a high world stature.

All Things are Possible
A.S.S. Contributor

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