By William Lim
This year National Day Rally was conducted in Ang Mo Kio ITE, with the focus on the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) which just started more than a year ago. I believe everyone was looking forward to it. For me, I was looking forward to announcements on what the government will do to help Singaporeans.
In summary of the rally speech, the government is looking to enhance three areas which are Health Care, Education and Housing. These three enhancement would probably bring cheers across the board. Although Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admit that there is no fool proof to enhance the three shifts, but the government is still trying to get the best out of it. I felt that this is a step forward to change the way the things are going.
Although much cheers have been given to the rally, I am very disappointed about the one shift of government policy which is missing in action – Job Security!
PM Lee had just clarified that the government is not decreasing the number of foreign workers but they are just slowing down the increment of the foreign workers. That is to say, more foreign workers are expected to land on our shore amid slower increment. PM Lee also highlight that the government will do its best to help SMEs to tackle the labour crunch.
PM Lee had stopped short on how the government are going to do to help workers in the following problems that we as employees are facing:
- Low wage workers – how are the government going to support this group of workers? How the government going to increase the wages of these workers?
- PMET – How can the government do to prevent job replacement by foreigners? What can the government do to help those jobless PMET regain employment?
- Work-Life Balance – Not mention a single word by PM Lee during the rally. Is he still trying to fix the issue or do not know the to fix the issue? This is everybody’s guess.
Job Security remains as one of the main concerns of every Singaporean yet nothing is mentioned at all on this issue in this rally. Without job security, all other things are just lips services including paying for your HDB flat for 25 years.
I feel quite disappointed with this National Day Rally. This Rally is all about one word: Image of Singapore. Government want to get rid of the Kiasuism of Singaporeans, become a logistic hub that everyone goes to (International airport & ports), and how to beautify Singapore. But it seems that the most important message hidden in this rally speech is: Preparing for the increase of population to 6.9M.
William Lim also blogs at his own site, http://mrnewbird.wordpress.com