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Singaporean complains: Middle class is being ‘squeezed’ by the PAP’s economic policies

Posted by temasektimes on June 11, 2012

A Singaporean Ramzah Osman has written to the TODAY Voices expressing his concerns at the PAP’s economic policies in response to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech at an economic forum last week during which he warned that Singaporeans will ‘fail’ if we are content to be ‘average’.

Mr Ramzah asked if Singaporeans are paying a high price in pursuit of economic growth:

“Singapore’s fast-ageing society is often cited by the Government to secure a steady immigrant inflow to ensure that our population is maintained at a reasonable level. This, though, has led to growing income disparity, as a portion of expatriates who were offered jobs here were given attractive remuneration packages.”

Though Singapore’s economy has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years under the PAP’s ‘growth at all cost’ policy, the fruits of the growth are not shared equally among all Singaporeans leading to a widening income gap between the rich and the poor.

The relentless influx of foreigners buying up Singapore’s properties and cars have also squeezed the middle class who are unable to compete with them in terms of spending power:

“After taking up citizenship and with significant spending power, they would be able to buy cars and flats without batting an eyelid. With an increase in demand, prices of Certificates of Entitlement and housing would increase. Middle-income earners like me would be squeezed out of the market, as our purchasing power is not as strong. Less assistance, relative to the lower-income group, would be provided to the middle-income after this year’s “inclusive” Budget.”

Mr Ramzah concluded his letter by voicing out what most Singaporeans want:

“We simply wish for progressive growth, whereby everyone has an equal chance of creating a meaningful livelihood, and not just for foreign talent to be a stop-gap measure to ensure that we meet economic growth targets set by the Government.”

Unfortunately, the status quo is likely to remain so long the PAP remains in power and looks set to be so for the next hundred years at least.


37 Responses to “Singaporean complains: Middle class is being ‘squeezed’ by the PAP’s economic policies”

  1. Jardel said

    Lol. Is there a guarantee that we will be no.1 should be we be more than average? Look around you. I think the answer is very clear.

  2. spotlessleopard said

    The PAP leaders are correct is saying Import of foreigners provide jobs…a recent report shows that out of eight jobs …7 went to foreigners…and 1 went to Singaporeans…well IT DID CREAT 1 JOB FOR SINGAPOREANS….and according to Teo Chee Hian…the alternative media report alot of lies…

  3. Serves you right said

    Middle class was the cosy majority who voted for PAP for their own selfish stability, wasn’t it?

    • Sure or not said

      I am from the middle class but unfortunately I am not the majority.
      You have a sweeping statement on the majority middle class.

      • panz3rr said

        man has no class. all is equal. we differ in capabilities not spending power

      • Why no class said

        Why I have different class from primary one to secondary four? After school still have tuition class, enrichment class…

      • So many class said

        My uni also give out degree in 1st class, 2nd upper class, 2nd lower class and 3rd class (this can only be found in S’pore).

  4. Gaba said

    Heh they still don’t get it. Singapore is becoming a country where the rich and ultra-rich, and the middle and lower class are squeezed further and further away. The PAP gahmen has not learnt it’s lessons after the election and now just wants to throw its gates open to whoever can give the MIW $$ in their pockets. They just think up a number for flats, pegging it higher and higher each time. COE going through the roof they just say ‘it’s supply, not demand’. Ask them questions they ask back ‘what do you think?’ There will be an accounting for their actions in 2016. They are totally out of touch with common Singaporeans, but embrace FTs like Saverin and everybody else. Government for the 1%.

  5. Jack said

    With Government Linked Companies filtrated into all businesses including casket service, it is not just the middle class being squeezed. All local businesses are being squeezed too due to Government policies of feeding and fattened these GLCs.

  6. alibaba said

    vote for WP next elections

  7. Sissy Bapok said

    “Unfortunately, the status quo is likely to remain so long the PAP remains in power and looks set to be so for the next hundred years at least.”

    Totally disagree with the above statement.

    The PAP Govt will consider itself lucky if they survive GE 2016.

    In any case, if they continue with their wicked ways, they will be history in GE 2021.

    That’s for sure.

    • Alan Lau said

      you still want to wait until 2021? u sure they wun change anything to be in favor of them? 2016 .. tell them to fuck off already

  8. Ron said

    The PAP has the People’s Associations, the Community Centres, etc. So why not have community tea-parties so that residents can debate issues, voices their frustrations and also brainstorm? These sessions are for citizens only, the votes that matters.

    Why only talk to students in controlled environment? The outburst by one student is just an example of frustrations boiling over.

    What is the purpose of Meet-the-People sessions if they are narrowly focussed on hearing individual issues? What is needed are more open forums where the Ministers come face to face with large groups.

    The resentment to foreign workers also exist in other countries. It is not an easy problem to find a good balance but definitely getting healthy debates going will help. Otherwise the social media will continue to paint the PAP as a dinosaur party to be got ride of in 2016.

    Another way is to convene discussion forums with chambers of commerces, the unions and other organized groups.

  9. koh said

    dont squeeze you, how they pay themselves millions??

  10. please said

    Nowaday, many rich peoples are relocating to SG. Its mean that our citizen is very precious. Therefore, Singaporeans must be very greedy now lah. WE must insist that the government stop issueing citizen to those which are seeking work here. We are like Saudi, although we had no oil, we can tax the rich foreigners. THose poor FT can get lost after their contract ended. Any political parties can please Singaporean would be very much welcome to Served us.

  11. Grow GDP at all cost said

    I abhor the “grow the GDP at all cost” policy, simply because the ministers’ salaries are too closely pegged to the GDP, so that the ministers’ single mission now is to shape any policy in order to grow the GDP regardless of its detrimental social cost to the ordinary people.
    One detrimental consequence is that the ministers will try to import as many foreigners as possible, because more working people in Singapore means higher GDP, and hence higher ministerial pay. Even worse, the ministers will not care too much about the quality of foreigners coming in, and they will be more than willing to accept filthy rich people who had acquired their wealth (in their own countries) by utterly shady means such as tax evasion, corruption, smuggling, gambling and prostitution dens, drug paddling, illegal political connections, and pecuniary criminal activities. Singapore is probably the only developed country in the world that would accept such filthy people with alacrity as long as they can wave their money.

    • Ron said

      If some CEOs are abusing the quota system by claiming that their wives, old parents, children etc are employees when they are not, how come MOM cannot find out? Simple. Make sure that companies declare who are related by family reasons to the company, to the Directors and Senior Managers and have them sign a declaration on the position, salary, job description. Then conduct spot checks and interview the phantom family workers. And if MOM visit, ask where are these people sitting in the company? If there are no desks, no evidence of any work or documents prepared by such phantom workers, MOM will know what to do.

      It must be a criminal offence and even taxation fraud. And even the business license can be cancelled in extrement cases. Maybe have a hotline for people to leak the news.

  12. Jacob said

    And the stupid fucks expect us to have children. To work as a slave and to serve NS or what?

  13. Angry Singaporean said

    Some righteous Middle Incomes, Opposition and lawyers should investigate all actual employment data for foreigners vs singaporean in each company and start to “question” PM what is the meaning of Singaporean come first while MOM still take in foreigners without control?

    Hope there is some “hero” like Hougang Cleaner take legal action towards this MOM that approved all S-pass/EP without check! Many company take in a lot more foreigners than it should be while others cheated on salary requirement as many pay foreigners alot more less than requirement yet MOM did not check at all!

    And the worst is many bosses just use their companies pay CPF for his/her wife & family members (without working in that company) in order to get more foreigners quota! and many other ways to get more foreigners with less levy

    Many people know all cheating ways in the market but it seems MOM do not care to check until some complaint or incidents cases…. if this is the attitude and performance of MOM, i wonder why are we still pay them the world highest pay??

    MOM deprive of many jobs to singaporean and loss of income to many middle income household affect their parents/children billing, etc…..yet is MOM ever care? open a job counter to “wayang” only…..i wonder can we as paymaster to the civil servant has the right to check all the s-pass/EP application?

  14. Like I said before, Singapore is heading for the Monaco society concept. There is no middle class, only the poor and the elite in the longer run, don’t be hoodwinked.

    Middle class is only an illusion, asset rich but cash poor and the asset is worthless without a strong buyer market. Most of them are cash strapped because of the morgate tied to the banks. Its a vicious cycle that cannot be stopped. Once stopped, it will collapse heavily.

  15. Sad Sad said

    I have been asking myself – what are the real benefits that I really gotten???? Rich – probably don need as much help. they have the cash. low income – govt and some organisations are helping them. middle – ??? bare in mind our parents are aging. Whatever we earn does not really come to us. Can new HDB/EC income ceilings increase? should inflation be taken into consideration? Have to forked out 2K+ just for my parents and also the medical fee. resales hdb is too ex. Condo is crazily priced. why?????? I serve my NS faithfully and give my 200%. When war comes, I will stay and fight. I have to pay my uni fee monthly after graduation. Am 2.5 yrs behind, no funding or scholarship. Yes, I’m not as paper smart to be a scholar, but I love my country. I feel insulted when pple laugh at us Singaporean or said Singapore is so small, what’s there to defend….. But as I step my foots into working society, I slowly feel that I can’t survive in this country anymore.

    Still remember those times in army, during road march, and those no day no night missions – What keep me going are the images of enemy attacking my country, take away my home, bully my family, change the road name to some others, etc ,etc. And immediately I get the strength to continue on and pull thru.

    I love Singapore. And to many fellow Singaporean, I love you too.

  16. SomethingVeryWrongSomewhere said

    Serves the 60.1% daft citizens right for having voted in the MIWs in GE 2011!

    Can someone confirm that new Singapore PR were also allowed to vote during last GE 2011 please?

  17. Realist said

    If the middle income is not being squeezed then how to close the income gap ?
    If you close the middle income with the rich then the poor will have a bigger income gap.
    Middle income will have to suffer for the next 5 to 10 years when the poor close in.
    The rich will become richer and will have no statistical significance to closing of income gap as their proportion will be small.

  18. Tony said

    LHL has been PM for many years. Below is his “track record”:

    (1) low productivity of Singapore economy
    (2) low birth rate
    (3) depressed local wages
    (4) shortage, “shrinking” and high cost of public housing
    (5) shortage of public buses
    (6) shortage of MRT trains
    (7) shortage of hospitals
    (8) shortage of doctors
    (9) shortage of nursing homes
    (10) shortage of teachers
    (11) shortage of places in schools and universities for Singaporeans
    (12) shortage of jobs for Singaporeans
    (13) foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans
    (14) frequent breakdowns of MRT trains
    (15) overcrowded public transport (buses and MRT trains)
    (16) bailout of public transport (failed privatisation)
    (17) frequent 50-year “ponding” (or flooding)
    (18) high inflation (Singapore now more expensive than Hong Kong)
    (19) high cost of education
    (20) high cost of healthcare
    (21) high cost of electricity (another failed privatisation)
    (22) high cost of private transport and fuel
    (23) depleted CPF accounts after buying “affordable” HDB flats
    (24) many CPF accounts below CPF Minimum Sum
    (25) massive (billions) losses of taxpayers’ money by Temasek and GIC

    So many “malfunctions” means LHL and PAP are incompetent.

    • SomethingVeryWrongSomewhere said

      Yes, fully agreed with you…Tony

      Not too sure why these daft 60.1% of Singaporeans could not see these distinct inadequacies & marked incompetencies arising from the MIWs who paid themselves millions & run Singapore like a global MNC (Singapore Inc.)!!!

      These white Pappigs should be voted out long ago as they are unable to justify their performances & failed badly in their respective track records & KPIs!!!

      Please vote new party for change as I’m sure that another party would be able to do a much better job than current incumbent!!!

      • GE2016 said

        is not the 60.1% does not see it, is they and their families members have not taste it from the papies as yet !!!
        I had hear that a family were staunch pap supporters till one of them got retrenched, apply for a job at MOM, she got a accountancy degree and they
        gave her a chambermaid job !!!
        dun know how true but from the way the papies are doing now
        we just have to wait till the needles prick to the 60.1%

    • Good government should listen to criticism said

      Good government should listen to criticism

      PAP like foreigners, as foreigners praise them.
      Foreigners like PAP, as PAP praise them.

      PAP do not like old Singaporeans, as Singaporeans criticise them.
      Singaporeans do not like PAP, as PAP criticise them

  19. - said


    everywhere around the world is the same. You don’t like how the world works, then there’s one place left for you which is N.Korea. everything is equal there..

    gd luck

    • Kiev said

      Spore is worse then communist country ! Dear singaporean ! Let us bare in mind ! Our illusion cpf money has been made to pay for illusion hdb price ! 2illusions = $+$ lost to gov. This itself can bring Pap to holland (vote them out pls) .

      • Jack said

        The HDB resale value is determined by the HDB appointed market valuer, who will value the resale HDB based on instructions of you know who, this will affect the market price of HDB. The higher the value of the the resale HDB flat, the higher will be the new HDB flat price too, correct? Then, you will pay a higher price to buy the higher priced new HDB flat. And HDB makes a lot of money from you while you committed to work and Pay AND Pay for the loan your whole life. Very smart of HDB and CPF board.

  20. Prof Lim CY was being tactful when he proposed freezing incomes abv $50k a month and raising incomes of the rest of the ppl.. In reality, his shock therapy shd be more ‘shocking’, as the high pays of ministers and head honchos in GLCs shd be drastically reduced in equitability to share misery with the the current difficult economic environment.
    PM’s quote of Dr Goh Keng Swee’s comment that many political concepts seem grandiose but hv little relevance to practical realities is both interesting and telling. Sadly, the govt seems to hv fallen precisely into this sad state that Dr Goh had cautioned against, to miss the specific trees requiring attention for the imposing woods. Thus, while PM’s broad concept of growing the economy for the general good is wonderful, he misses the groundswell of concerns that, except for the elites who benefit unsconscionably from the growing economy, the commoners, the elderly and the less abled are being sidelined by the govt in numerous areas.
    Growing the economy needs careful callibration such that a) it does not narrowly benefit the small group of the elite for the income divide between the rich and the rest of us to become ever widening and socially unconscionable; b) GST and other taxes do not impact on the non-elites and the commoners as to squeeze them out of house and home, and of basic necessities as well. Therefore, GST on basic food and certain items ( eg toiletries, household supplies, etc.) shd be relaxed, as well as maid levies, among other things. c) public transportation shd be made affordable, if necessary, free or nominal to the elderly and the disabled. d) CPF medisave and other contributions shd be tweaked to help the citizenry to enjoy their twilight years. Any proposed insurance schemes using CPF money shd be subsidised for govt to hv a ‘stake’ in their proposals for the ppl. Among other things, medisave contributions for the working elderly shd be relaxed as against the current requirement of contributing 10% of their gross annual income when they perforce wld need to expend more on transport, medical care and attention, and other basic needs. e) more comprehensive medical care for all and sundry. f) influx of FTs at citizens’ expense and discomfiture in terms of housing, car ownership, housing, etc.. And so on.
    The above is just a short wish-list and it is far from exhaustive. But the govt wld hv done much to fulfill them.

  21. Patrick eng said

    My income has been stagnant for the last 15 years and have not benefitted from the GDP growth. So where did the benefit ended up in ?

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