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Ex-NWC Chief now proposes wage increase guidelines for low income workers

Posted by temasektimes on October 25, 2012

When he was the Chief of the National Wages Council, he was pretty much ‘silent’, but now Lim Chong Yah, the architect of Singapore’s wage system in the 70s, is making a lot of ‘noise’ lately about the plight of Singapore’s low income worker.

Presenting his proposal titled ” Shock Therapy II” at the Singapore Economic Policy forum on Thursday, Professor Lim calls for a continued issuance of quantitative wage increase guideline for low income workers who earn S$1,500 or less a month for the next two years.

He also proposed a compulsory minimum wage scheme of S$1,000 a month as a start-off quantum should the wages of the lowest paid workers remain stubbornly very low in two or three years’ time

His original proposal, six months ago, was to raise the monthly salaries of workers who earn S$1,500 or less by 50 per cent over three years and, at the same time freeze wages of those who earn over S$15,000 a month has come under fire by PAP minister and labor chief Lim Swee Say for oversimplifying the issue, which contains serious “hidden risks” for the Singapore economy such as structural unemployment and higher cost of living.

While Professor Lim’s occasional rants may get media attention, it is nothing but hot air unless he contests in the election and manage to win a seat in parliament to get his views aired.

Due to the government’s ultra-liberal immigration and pro-foreigner economic policies, the income gap between the rich and the poor has widened considerably over the years.

In the Kent Ridge forum conducted two years ago in NUS, Singapore’s Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew dismissed concerns about the growing income gap, saying it does not matter so long jobs are being created for Singaporeans (never mind the pay).


13 Responses to “Ex-NWC Chief now proposes wage increase guidelines for low income workers”

  1. Francischuanghli said

    The wool is coming out from the sheep skin. Increasing income = increase to cost of opperation = increases of tax collection (eg. GST). It ended up PAP stand to gain !!! Another cunning plot by the PAP gov’t, right ???

    • IronMan said

      Curb the operation cost. The SME are making huge profits from their low wage employees. Too much useless SME popping up. We need quality ones with higher paid qualified workers offering their services.

  2. Lawrence Wrong said

    They give no hoot for the lower income. They prefer these kind of people:

  3. No Can Do said

    Agree. This Prof rants much like an opportunist swaying with the wind and tide. He makes “noises” but is fearful when it comes to the crunch to make his stand. One shdn’t make too much of his proposals as they’ll be watered down when it comes 2 a showdown with the ruling PAPie ministers. In short, this Prof is not one to stand on his principles and proposals when challenged.

  4. NoPointLah said

    Mr Lim was a very senior civil servant and must have dealt extensively with the government. He should know better than everybody that this government fails to listen, and does not listen. So what’s the point of talking about these? They don’t listen anyway.

    Even when they hold the SG Conversation, they populate the discussion sessions with so many pappies. It should just be called PAP Conversation.

    Maybe he can talk to PAP “Team B” (Workers Party)??

  5. monkey said

    INCOME GAP the worse in singapore.Not improve at all.Increase the most for the top position and bottom line freeze donkey years ago.Too sad for singaporean.20 years ago for sweeper is $1,200 and for years need to upgrade, now basic is $1K.It like looking backwards.Bus driver wages so low ,need to find PRC for help to lower cost.
    This is call singaporean first.First world with low wages for the low income without minimum wages,call as a develop country.Too far apart.

  6. No Can Do said

    Moderator, pl delete my earlier post. Thanks.

  7. Robin hood said

    You can drag the horse to the water but you cannot make it drink. Prof Lim is wasting his breadth expounding the necessity of the minimum wage for those at the lowest rung of the employment ladder.

    He should join any of the opposition parties. As a champion of the workers, he will easily slide into parliament in 2016. Give it a thought, Prof.

    • friar tuck and john little said

      You mean Prof Lim and his daughter LSK should join the opp with estranged son-in-law LHY as main sponsor ? Will such an endeavour drive one old fart to his grave even faster ? what do u think ?

  8. Julie Ong said

    Ref. to the last paragraph: In the Kent Ridge forum …….

    Our former Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew is a hypocrite. Never mind the widening income gap (the low income may even get slave wages), but that’s OK to him as long as they have jobs. In the same breath he fought ever so tenaciously for huge and obscene salaries for the government ministers. In the beginning this career politician argued for freedom of speech and democracy only to do the exact opposite when he was elected into government. A two-faced man devoid of principle and integrity. He must be remembered for the evil he has wrought on his fellow citizens through unjust imprisonment by applying the Internal Security Act and the hefty fines for his political opponents for libel. That is

    Professor Lim Chong Yah should now be applauded for his proposal in regard to the minimum wage. However, the quantum of the minimum wage should be considered prudently and consensus achieved amongst those involved – union, workers, employers and even inputs from the citizenry. This is to avoid crippling the businesses that provide the employment. It may even be necessary for the government to defray some of the business costs from the employers to enable them to cope with the minimum wage. In short the minimum wage – great idea as it is must also be viable.

    Hopefully, we’ll get a fair and decent minimum wage for our long suffering and low
    income fellow Singaporeans.


    • Naivety said

      This minimum wage policy concept will never happen as long as the Pro Alien Party (PAP) remains the government of the day in Sinkie Land as well as Zorro (Zero) Lim Swee Say remains as the Chief of NTUC and Labour Minister @ PMO!!!

  9. Welovesingapore said

    The maids in SG has their embassy to fight for their pay increase. While our gahman has shown their real intention of keeping $1500 wage worker at this level as long as they can through chief of labour. This intention would be implemented throughout GIC link companies. In another word, we are worst off than working maids whom MOM are also protecting. We are naked workers not protected at the bullying end of PR supervisors and bosses. Why does this high pay Gahman exits for just to tax you and do everything to harm you and get enrich themselves with million dollars pay. Do not stay as suckers for too long than

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