People’s Voice Party founder Lim Tean: Minimum wage increases prosperity and reduces inequality

Former chief of National Solidarity Party and founder of People’s Voice Party Lim Tean has responded to Manpower Minister Josephine Teo’s claim that a minimum wage will lead to unemployment, stating that such claims are “ridiculously outmoded and fallacious.”

In a Facebook post on Friday (3 Nov), Mr Lim referred to studies cited by the Malaysian Ministry of Finance – in light of the Malaysian Government’s recent announcement regarding increasing the minimum wage nationwide – stating that minimum wage “improves productivity” and could act as the catalyst for “economic growth.”

He added that last year, “South Korea increased the minimum wage by 16.4%,” and that “studies into the British Minimum Wage have shown” that minimum wage has done more than simply increasing the incomes of low-wage earners, but that it has also “boosted earnings further up the income scale – and thus reduced wage inequality”.

Mr Lim argued that “all of us know that productivity is the engine which drives wage growth,” and that “Singapore’s productivity for the past decade has been dismal and has hovered around 0” due to “the PAP’s blinkered approach”.

“A low-wage economy which forces businesses to compete with our low-cost neighbours in a race to the bottom … It is not an economy for our age and certainly not for an advanced nation. It stymies innovation which is the factor which propels real economic growth.

“Perhaps if there is a decent living wage introduced in Singapore, and we have a government which takes real steps to reduce business costs such as the ridiculous rents which are now prevailing in Singapore, we will not need to engage expensive foreign consultants to advise on how to revive an ailing Orchard Road!” concluded Mr Lim.