A local resident expressed his displeasure over the retirement scheme and low wages of Singaporeans to the members of Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) during their walkabout at Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC on Sunday morning (21 June).
SDP member Bryan Lim Boon Heng, who was present alongside Damanhuri Bin Abas and James Gomez at the walkabout, took to his Facebook yesterday to reveal what the resident shared, which has “left a very deep impression” on him.
According to Mr Lim, the man, an engineer by profession, was unhappy with the disbursement of Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings after the age of 55.
“I do not need cash payout. Just give me the option of transferring the money in my special account to my 5 children so that I can help them with marriage expenses, start a family or pay that first instalment for a house.
“Don’t expect my children to answer the nation’s call for more babies when you don’t help me to help them.”
Mr Lim then explained to the resident about the SDP’s campaign message of “returning CPF savings in full to retirees”, in which the Party calls for abolishing the Retirement Sum Scheme and allowing the CPF funds to be returned in instalments at the age of 55.
The man went on to express his displeasure that foreigners are taking jobs away from the locals, while dismissing the claim that Singaporeans are avoiding blue-collared jobs.
He continued to lament about the low wages offered to the locals as compared to the foreigners, given that Singaporeans have to fulfil financial commitments in Singapore.
“If you pay them well, they will not end up as Grab drivers. If you give them adequate training & don’t charge them exorbitant course fees, there will be no shortage of Singaporeans who want to take up these jobs. Hence, I don’t understand why we can’t employ more Singaporeans in sectors like hospitality & healthcare.
“You can suppress the pay of foreigners because their families are overseas & they don’t have house mortgages or financial commitments to fulfill here. But Singaporeans are different. You can’t expect them to accept the same pay as these foreigners. Hence, wages for our locals must go up.”
The man also mentioned that the income of Singaporeans will mostly be spent in the country – which will help boost the country’s economy – while most the foreign workers would typically remit a large sum of their income back to their homeland.
“Besides, these foreign workers remit a large part of their pay home. Money flows out of the country. However, if you raise the wages of Singaporeans, most of their additional income will be spent here.
“The money stays here. Isn’t this better for our economy?”
Mr Lim concluded his post by stating that the Party shares the similar sentiments with the disgruntled resident.
In fact, the SDP chief Chee Soon Juan made a similar call to increase the wages of local workers in March. He pointed out that having low wages while living in a high-cost city will make people’s lives “intolerable”.