I attended the Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) conference in Manila from 11 to 13 November, which was held in conjunction with the ASEAN People’s Forum (APF)/Asean Civil Society Conference (ACSC).
How does Singapore relate to the core values of “Social Solidarity Economy” (SSE)?
Governance – participation of the poor in ownership and management – Singapore is arguably lacking in transparency and accountability. For example, it does not even breakdown its labour data into citizens and permanent residents (PRs) and lumps them as “locals”.
Edifying values – equity, caring and sharing – Singapore has one of the highest inequality in the world. Its GINI is the second highest in the world.
Social development – Singapore – from a cashflow perspective – is probably the only country in the world that does not spend any money on healthcare, pensions, public housing – and also makes money on water, electricity and transport.
Environmental conservation – Singapore is one of the highest carbon emissions countries in the world, and also utilises a relatively massive amount of resources and materials in the generation of its GDP. Singapore’s environmental ranking in the 2015 Living Planet Report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – out of more than 150 countries analysed, the report found Singapore to have the seventh-largest ecological footprint — a measure of the population’s demands on natural resources — in the world.
Economic sustainability – sustainable development – share in profits, direct involvement of the poor and financial benefits – arguably, is the Singapore model of heavy reliance in the last one to two decades or so, on immigration and liberal foreign labour policies to fuel economic growth sustainable?
Singapore’s state-centred economic and social development model may be in a sense – the opposite of the increasing emphasis on the need to be people-centred in the United Nations’ development agenda.
Some indicators from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2016, relating to the above:-
Social Protection: 29 out of 30 countries
Singapore’s ranking for Social Protection is 29 out of the 30 countries that make up the advanced economies in the world.
Education & Skills – Access: 25 out of 30 countries
For Education and Skills – Access – Singapore is ranked 25 out of the 30.
Fiscal Transfers: 22 out of 30 countries
For Fiscal Transfers – Singapore is ranked at 22.