TRADE and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang has urged Singaporeans to understand the need for foreign workers, cautioning that Singapore will have to turn away big investments if it is not flexible on this issue.He said the government plans to cap the proportion of foreigners at one-third of the workf
No, that wasn't a threat. Many people wouldn't understand. It is a cost of our present economic model. If we vote the opposition and get them to pressure the government, I am not sure in a matter like this, how the government could respond successfully. It is very hard to change economic model. The last time we made a marked change was when we were thrown out of Malaysia. Out of desperation Dr. Goh decided we would do the unthinkable of leap frogging the region. Unless our backs are against the wall, we are not motivated to do something so drastic. If we have a strong opposition we might cripple the government. What is more effective for us to change paradigm isn't an pressurising presence of many opposition members but a repeat of a crisis like separation from Malaysia.
I imagine if Tan Jee Say were to be voted into parliament, he would be pressurising the government to adopt his economic strategy. Of course, the PAP government would refuse. Question. Would the sort of debate between them be helpful for us? I pretty much doubt it.
I think SM Goh is worried about all these possibilities but MM Lee attitude is to let us try. He is prepared to see us learn this the hard way, while we think the old man is wrong about all these. That is why he suggested that we will be repenting our decision to give Aljunied to the opposition a few years from now. Those who don't understand can only think he was fear mongering again.
The way ahead is very difficult and dangerous. The PAP leadership, I wish was more courageous. The opposition don't know what they are signing up for.
Here is what ST published.
TRADE and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang has urged Singaporeans to understand the need for foreign workers, cautioning that Singapore will have to turn away big investments if it is not flexible on this issue.
He said the government plans to cap the proportion of foreigners at one-third of the workforce over the next decade, but this limit will constrain Singapore's economic growth.
'We will keep foreign workers to one-third of the workforce but I can tell you that one-third of the workforce is a very severe limitation to us,' he said.
'I have to be very selective now and take in investments that don't bust that constraint.'
Mr Lim said in 2006 and 2007, when Singapore took in a 'bumper crop' of investments from multinationals such as energy giants Shell and Exxon-Mobil, which required more foreign workers, the economy expanded by about 7 per cent, he noted.
But with the current limits on foreign worker numbers, Singapore will have to aim for lower growth of 3 to 5 per cent, he said.
We are really caught this time. That the Opposition can help us make Singapore better given the challenges ahead is a fallacy. That the PAP dominating parliament and running the government will solve our problem is also going to turn out to be untrue because society will not be able to bear the social cost because PAP politicians are such lousy communicators. Their high pay is certainly not helping either. Overall it could be better to travel to that crisis point without too much opposition presence in government. There is no guarantee we can emerge from that future crisis successfully. With our collective memories, the people will naturally look for another Dr. Goh. The best we could do is to have the conditions that allow a Dr. Goh to emerge. As it is, that is unlikely. Given the culture and management of the civil service, we could not today get another Philip Yeo. A Dr. Goh would be so much harder isn't it?
Why can't the present leadership see that our growth paradigm is quite exhausted?