Monday, March 1, 2010

Response to "Young PAP on Budget 2010"

The "Young PAP on Budget 2010" is available at Young PAP's website or at this link -

The reproduction of the article:
Young PAP on Budget 2010
Written by YP Activists from the North (Singapore)
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 08:45

A lot has been said about Budget 2010. We'd like to share our personal thoughts on some of the hot debate topics to date:

1) "Minimum Wage - why isn't this in Budget 2010?"
Some have asked for Singapore to have a Minimum Wage -- a mantra thickly repeated but thin on substance. Any Minimum Wage proposal needs to be clear on at least 2 questions. If the proposal hasn't answered them, you should ask why this information has been left out.
- Will a Minimum Wage be restricted to Singaporeans only?
- What is the level of Minimum Wage being proposed?

But even without these important details, one can see how a Minimum Wage policy would hurt ordinary Singaporeans.

If Minimum Wage is only for Singaporeans, it will encourage employers to fire Singaporeans and hire foreign workers -- because foreign workers will become even cheaper compared to Singaporeans.

If Minimum Wage is applied to both Singaporeans and foreign workers, mobile businesses will move their operations abroad, to places where the cost of labour is cheaper -- again losing Singaporean jobs.

It's clear: Minimum Wage would harm Singaporean workers - especially low skill workers whose jobs can easily be replaced when the employer relocates overseas.

Minimum Wage would hurt small businesses and SMEs with thin margins. Because these businesses have difficulty moving abroad -- so they may have to close shop instead.

Minimum Wage would disadvantage charities and social enterprises that hire Singaporeans and are trying to help fellow Singaporeans.

Yet despite all these bad effects, Minimum Wage would do nothing to help workers up-skill, retrain and find a new job.

2) "Shouldn't we reduce taxes and fees on the less well-off?"
Yes, that's precisely what Singapore has done through a progressive income tax system -- where high earners pay more income tax.

Furthermore, Singapore has a progressive system for redistributing the fruits of economic growth. Tax revenue comes from all taxpayers in Singapore regardless of their nationality. But Singapore's Budget transfers are aimed at Singaporeans. This gives more subsidy and transfers to less well-off Singaporeans.

3) "We should privatise Temasek and GIC and give the equity to Singapore citizens."
This is, in essence, a proposal to deplete Singapore's Reserves and give them away as a handout. It is good to help Singaporeans but wrong to squander Singaporeans' future away!

In recent times, some First World countries have seen financial difficulty, e.g. Greece and Iceland. Even the British Pound Sterling was attacked by currency speculators in the Black Wednesday incident of 1992 -- speculators later described as those who "broke the Bank of England".

Any proposal to drain Singapore's Reserves dry, no matter how carefully disguised, must be seen for what it is -- lowering Singapore's economic defences.

4) "Can't we get the private sector to do low cost housing? We can just give away the land for low-cost housing."

Low cost housing, without responsible stakeholders, can cause a race to the bottom in quality and safety.

There is also the problem of causing property prices throughout Singapore to fall. This will undermine the major investment of most Singaporeans who are homeowners.

Any "cheap deal" to create low cost housing out of nowhere in Singapore must be studied carefully. Will it compromise housing quality for less well-off Singaporeans? Will it destroy the value of Singaporeans' homes?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 March 2010 08:52


The article is written by a group of PAP activist, whom call themselves "YP Activists from the North", whom shared their personal thought on certain "hot debate topics". Unfortunately, after reading what they got to say,they seemed to turn out to be a very shallow group of activists - single faceted and totally lack of the sensing of the ground temperament. At best, they are simply trying very hard to "back" the governing party's party lines. In summary, its simply a poor attempt to dismiss what the Oppositions got to say and encouraging ppl to resist "change for the better".

And I'm extremely unimpressed by their lack of "pride" to show their names and identity. And for their article to be published on the official youth wing of the PAP is, what i deem, a big SNAFU and a pathetic reflection what the Youth Wing of the biggest and more powerful political party can offer.

In a immediate response thru the facebook, this is the comment i made (in case they "censor" it):


all i can say is its a matter of perspective and how you gonna commit to our beliefs.

1) Just as a minimum wage you guys claim will hurt ordinary Singaporeans, the lack of minimum wage is already hurting "ordinary" Singaporeans. Aren't the foreigners already taking up a lot of jobs that Singaporeans were used to be doing. Just check out your neighbourhood Kopitiam. Minimum wage is not a single economic instrument that works on its own. It should be coupled together with immigration policies as well as other economic and social policies.

Just as i'm on immigration policy, why is the immigration so slack to the point where "unqualified" immigrants are taking up jobs that originally belonged to our less educated population?

To become PR or Citizen, one must be at least very rich, or they have to be skilled workers in order to be able to stay in Singapore. Now all these unskilled workers are taking up the jobs of our unskilled population (because they can accept even lesser pay as opposed to what is already very low pay)

2) I have no complains abt the taxation as the less well off already do not pay income tax.

3) Privatising of the SWFs does not mean it would deplete the Singapore's reserves. At the same length, you might as well close down the stock exchange as it would "bankrupt" all the floated companies. Your "fuller explanation" is in fact more dilute than the "summary".

4) I'm sure there is a much more "complete" plan towards whatever solutions or suggestion there is. I personally do not see a benefit of leaving building of low cost housing to private sector.

I'm sorry, i have to dismiss with your "analysis". I'm disappointed if this "article" is what Young PAP (Official Youth Wing of the ruling party) can come out with. Its extremely shallow; either its irrelevant or its single faceted.


Additional comment towards their article:

They do not provide solutions and suggestions, but just pure dismissal of what the public is concerned abt. Their dismissal of these debatable topic is also done is an extremely one sided and bias approach - tanishing what "respect" one might held for the YP before reading the article.

If this is the quality of the "young leaders" within the Youth Wing of the PAP, there is no wonder why the PAP kept looking for talents beyond their own party hierachy, from the private sector. And it also re-assured my decisions not to be associated with them nor joining their youth wing, is correct.

With the election looming, this article is a pure political snapshot at the Opposition, which missed by a million mile unless the reader is really really shallow and have a total lack of sensing of the ground.

Childish; Disappointed; Disgusted.

No comments: