How much more business friendly does the government really want to be?

How much more business friendly does the government really want to be?

By Chris Kuan

An open letter in 2014 published on writes how a IT professional with 12 years of working experience was forced to resign from his work after being bullied by his boss at a bank. Even after speaking to a Member of Parliament, he found out that there is no framework/structure for his grievance.

When I was gainfully employed, I had product/function groups reporting to me from various locations in the Asia-Pacific region. That and travelling to these locations frequently lead me to one observation: unlike the Australians, Chinese, Hongkies, Indians and Japanese, Singaporeans don’t really pull together. Maybe it is different in other industries.

This is of course not particularly relevant to the plight of the bank IT professional. The way to help solve the problem highlighted by this article without putting to much restrictions on workplace hiring is to adopt a measure from Hong Kong.

If the employer make a worker redundant, the employer cannot hire to fill the same position for one year. This would make employers think 3 times before they fire someone just because a cheaper alternative is available, a common problem in Singapore.

Mandated redundancy benefits will also help but unfortunately not for contract workers.

Of course the suggestions put a dent to the full flexibility presently enjoyed by employers but then how much more business friendly does the government really want to be, without making the employers themselves indolent?

Being “Cheaperer” to secure jobs?

Cheaperer means the government has hollowed out Singapore’s skill base just when skills will be desperately needed in the coming Internet of Things (IoT) and thinking robotic revolution. This is not just in engineering but also in banking and finance.

We should remind ourselves that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has always said they needed a super majority in Parliament, better still no opposition at all so that they can focus on the long term. But look at what has been done with that super majority? Same old same old with short term fixes that have long term negative consequences.

Singaporeans in the majority who are afraid of life without the PAP has given the PAP a proposition that makes it indolent and deluded about their policy choices. Think of it this way, being afraid of alternatives also have negative consequences all of their own. It is not such a simple matter of trusting the PAP as many would have it, for trust is a tradeable commodity in politics.

This article consists of two posts that was first published by Chris on his Facebook account and reproduced with permission

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