The PAP prides itself on having a tripartite system where the government, employers and unions co exist in utopia.
Sadly, Singaporeans have continued to believe in such hogwash and as a result, workers have been repeatedly screwed.
Workers, especially those earning miserable wages, have been abused for more than a decade under PAP’s tripartite system. The reasons are obvious:
1 The government runs our country as a mega corporation and is therefore pro business, anti worker.
2 Most employers work for government-linked companies and those who don’t are likely to have business dealings with GLCs.
3 Workers’ unions are a joke unto themselves as “unionists” are all appointed by the PAP government.
So who is really fighting for workers’ interests?
Tripartism has been redefined in the Singapore context and is an illusion that has caused immense suffering for low wage workers. In reality, what we have is a …. tripantat system. (pantat means ass/butt in Malay)
This simple equation allows us to see through PAP’s illusion:
Tripartism = Government + employers + unions
Tripartism = Government + mostly government related employers + government appointed unionists.
With the government’s omnipresence, we are really stretching our imagination by accepting there are 3 different entities.
Our tripantat system has only one objective – to benefit businesses. When businesses are faced with high rental cost, the landlord government did not lower rental but lower wages by importing foreigners willing to accept third world wages.
First to be hit will always be those at the bottom such as cleaners. According to Leong Sze Hian, the real median salary for cleaners has actually fallen 30% since 2000. link
Real tripartism would have seen strikes and this sad state of affairs would not have happened. Every citizen deserves to earn decent wages to support a family regardless of the nature of work.
But under out tripantat system, low wage workers are screwed and made to go on crutches to beg PAP for tax dollar handouts.
ST propaganda headline screams “Over 40,000 cleaners will see basic pay go up by $200 over next three years” as if the government has been helping Singaporeans. But shouldn’t this increase have been implemented years ago?
Typical of PAP wayangs, the Tripantat Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) is only making recommendations which are not likely to be adopted by most companies. The simple reason is the PAP has refused to legislate minimum wage in Singapore because it will hurt its businesses.
GLCs employ the highest number of foreigners who are willing to accept low wages.
Tripantat associates say there are manpower challenges such as high turnover and that efforts have been put in to raise standards and image of the industry.
But the issue has always been depressed wages caused by PAP’s red-carpet-for-FT policy. Now that wages are so low, who with family commitment wants to be a cleaner?
To confirm, if cleaners are paid $3000 a month, office workers would also be applying. Standards and industry image would be automatically raised.
Chairman of TCC and star wayang actor PAP MP Sapari only encourages, urges and recommends service buyers and service providers. Begging companies to cooperate without any bite?
Why should the PAP help workers when the bottom line of GLCs and bonuses of elites will be adversely affected? If they had sincerely wanted to help, PAP would have already lowered rental cost which is the real killer.
What a joke our tripantat system.