Tag Archives: THARMAN

Former Ministry of Finance Director Dismisses Forbes Article

There is one argument from the article that is worth highlighting and which I mostly agree with. And that is booms which are led by real estate development and the financial sector are mostly illusory. They create the impression of economic dynamism without creating any real productive capacity in the economy (think back to Bangkok, KL and Jakarta just before the Asian crisis). They also distort and re-direct resources away from productive activities. Real estate and finance are inherently distributive, not creative, activities – they move money and wealth around, but they don’t lead to any productive capacity and technological capabilities for the economy.

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MAS refutes Forbes.com article on imminent meltdown

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today (Jan 14) rejected suggestions that a credit bubble was brewing in the Republic, after an article published on Forbes.com predicting an imminent meltdown of Singapore’s economy went viral. In response to media queries, the MAS reiterated that Singapore is not facing a credit bubble that puts the country or its banking system at any risk of crisis. It added: “Serious observers and investors are not in doubt about the country’s financial health.”

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Deputy Prime Minister Tharman is Wrong

It was the buying and selling of credit default swaps and the subprime loans in the US that triggered the financial collapse in 2008. This – and not the minimum wage system – caused the destruction of the economy which led to massive unemployment. If minimum wage has crippled economies, how do we account for Switzerland and Norway which have unemployment rates and economic performances similar to Singapore’s? The minimum wage in both countries is set through collective bargaining.

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Why Singapore’s Economy Is Heading For An Iceland-Style Meltdown

Singapore’s unemployment rate is a mere 1.8 percent even as the country’s red hot construction sector has been attracting overseas workers, and a growing number of wealthy citizens are hiring domestic helpers from neighboring countries like the Philippines and Indonesia. The ranks of Singapore’s wealthy are growing rapidly thanks to the country’s asset bubbles, which is helping to fuel a luxury consumption boom in everything from high-end apartments to exotic supercars.

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Targeted minimum wage – a positive step, but more can be done

We note that there are many enforcement and legislative functions in the suggestions above, to ensure that the worker-centric aspirations of this policy do not go to waste through mismanagement. The Ministry of Manpower needs to play an active role here to ensure the right conduct of companies. The fact that the announcement was made by the DPM clearly demonstrates the gravity of the policy and the need to do right by workers. We also hope that MOM will take DPM’s lead and work towards fair wages for all industries in Singapore.

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Cleaners’ Progressive (Minimum) Wage Model

The Government announced in the Committee of Supply debate 2013 that all cleaning companies (presumably, it means the cleaning services providers) would be licensed this year to uplift standards more widely across the industry. Key licensing requirements include mandatory training courses and adoption of the PWM for cleaners. Do we really need to license cleaning services providers to uplift cleaning standards? Does the Government intend to mandate minimum cleaning standards and suspend or revoke licences if such standards are not achieved or maintained.

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Govt to set ‘minimum wage’ for 2 industries

The government is setting “minimum wages” for the cleaning and security industries but has refused to acknowledge so because of the oidious connotation of the term “minimum wage” among businessmen and investors.It will begin by legislating what is effectively a minimum wage for the cleaning sector. It will introduce an amendment to the law this month which, when passed by Parliament and implemented, will set a tiered wage system for different jobs in the sector. This was announced on Wednesday (8 Jan) by DPM Tharman who is also the Finance Minister.

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The alternative news in 1 day? (part 20) – Give buses and to be rewarded via bus trial?

Further to my article “The alternative news in 1 day? (part 18) – Fine transport operators” (Jan 7), I understand from Terry Xu, Executive Editor of theonlinecitizen, some of the bus services selected for the trial are under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). The programme refers to the 550 buses funded by the Government and another 250 added by the Public Transport Operators (PTOs), to increase the bus fleet by about 20%. The first 15 bus services out of the 22 announced for the trial are: 3, 17, 39, 52, 176, 184, 188, 228, 241, 242, 302, 325, 858, 901 and 911.

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Budget 2014: Catalyse growth holistically

In a fast-changing world, the Government must help firms in setting up environmental scanning and intelligence-gathering systems on a global basis. This would help them predict business trends, pre-empt opportunities, achieve first-mover advantages and move up the food chain.

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