457,000 new citizens & PRs vs 431,200 jobs?

Thank you for pointing out my error

Further to my article “The alternative news in 1 day? (part 47) – Foreign workers create jobs for Singaporeans?” (Feb 1) – someone pointed out that I had used 7 years of cumulative employment change from 2007 to 2013, against 6 years of cumulative new citizens and new PRs granted from 2007 to 2012.

Now I include the 2013 estimated new citizens & PRs?

Although I had indicated that the statistics on new citizens and new PRs for 2013 is not available yet – I agree that the comparison would be better if I use an estimate for the 2013 immigration statistics.

According, I shall use the 25,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs indicated in the Population White Paper.

With these numbers for 2013 – the estimated cumulative new citizens and new PRs granted for the same 7 years, from 2007 to 2013 is 138,003 and 318,931, respectively.

This gives a total of 456,934.

More new citizens & PRs than local jobs created?

So, with an estimated 456,934 new citizens and new PRs granted, which is even more than the 431,200 jobs created for locals (citizens and PRs) – how many of the jobs went to Singaporeans who are not PRs or new citizens?

And what are the implications of our liberal foreign worker policies and the huge influx of foreign workers?

0.3% increase in income p.a. last decade?

The real income growth per annum for the 20th percentile, was only 0.3% from 2003 to 2013.

1% increase p.a. last 5 years?

The real income growth per annum for the median income, was only 1.0% from 2008 to 2013.

I estimate that the real growth in basic wages has been close to zero in the last 15 years or so.

Unemployment up?

With such good jobs growth and vacancies growth according to the job vacancies report released a few days ago  – why is it that the unemployment rate of residents has gone up from 2.6 to 2.7%?

Longest work hours?

Also, Singaporeans have the longest work week hours in the world. The proportion (%) of employed full-time residents who worked more than 48 hours a week was very high at 39.2% for males, and 36.7% for all workers.

Negative productivity growth?

Productivity was about less than – 0.1 per annum over the last 8 years or so.

An “F” report card?

Looking at all of the above, is it any wonder that Singaporeans are so stressed? (“Not addicted to work, but to stress”, Sunday Times, Feb 2).

In the final analysis, as I read the newspapers today – do we really have much to celebrate on Singapore’s 50th anniversary? (“Jubilee to remember”, Sunday Times, Feb 2)

Whatever happened to our goal of a “Swiss standard of living”? (“Big lessons from a little Swiss Alpine resort”, Sunday Times, Feb 2)

Leong Sze Hian

P.S. If you would like to have a deeper understanding of the issues that Singaporeans are saddled with – come to the following public forum:

Give $1 as a gesture of support that paying the highest and getting the least is important to you!

Showing a $1 Gesture of Support to Send Out a Strong Message: Singaporeans Want Our Budget Back

The basic minimum costs of organising the Pre-Budget Forum 2014 event, “Singaporeans Pay the Highest Taxes, Get the Least Benefits”, on 15 February 2014 is estimated to be about $1,650 (rental).

Calling for 1,650 Singaporeans to give $1 each as a gesture of support, and to send the message that this is an important issue for Singaporeans.

You can transfer your $1 by ATM, Internet banking, or cheque, etc, to POSB Savings Account No. 279-12328-0.

If we spend just $1 more a day on every person in Singapore – we would still have $2 billion in surplus a year (or $34 billion, if we use the fiscal reporting standards by the International Monetary Fund!).

Please share this meaningful activity with your family, friends, etc.

This event is organised by Empowering Singaporeans, in collaboration with supporting non-governmental organisations – Maruah, Function 8 and Workfair, and speakers from AWARE.

Pre-Budget 2014 Debate: Singaporeans Pay the Highest Taxes, Get the Least Benefits?

pre budget 2014 conference

Organised by Empowering Singaporeans, and supported by MARUAH, Function 8 and Workfair

Amidst worries of contracting global demand and rising prices at home, Empowering Singaporeans, a group of concerned Singaporeans will host a forum prior to the government’s third Budget Statement widely thought to be at the midpoint before the next General Elections which must be held at the latest by January 2017.

Finance Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in a wide-ranging interview, recently disclosed his thoughts on government support for Singaporeans struggling with rising costs. Earlier, the Health Ministry announced a review of the 3M healthcare payment system. HDB cooling measures have also been implemented.

However, in the light of the public transport fare increase announced Thursday, it is unclear if the Finance Minister’s views will carry the day or whether his seventh Budget Statement, to be delivered on 21 February, will be business as usual.

Since the 2011 General Elections various bodies have produced alternative Budget proposals. But this event is a first as a group of NGOs coming together to discuss the Budget. Key civil society organisations, Function 8, Maruah, and Workfair Singapore, will participate in the forum.

A spokesperson for Empowering Singaporeans, which was set up late last year to raise awareness to Singaporeans on national policy matters, said, “We hope this forum will empower citizens to play a more informed role in working with the government on refining the public finances.”

The forum will be held at the following:

Date:   15 February 2014

Time:   2.00pm – 5.00pm

Venue: TKP Conference Center Raffles Place

Hall 1

55 Market Street #09-02

To find out more about the forum, you can go to the Facebook event page here.

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.