Chan Chun Sing said companies that create more jobs, better jobs and higher pay should get more of the government’s budget.
Speaking at a PAP’s closed-door meeting on 9 Jan 2019 to 60 attendees in the northwest division in Bukit Panjang, Mr Chan was deconstructing how finances would be allocated to companies in the upcoming Budget 2019 one month later.
He alluded micro companies to “dying patients” that the government needs to apply CPR to.
But he explained that this CPR had no intention of truly reviving “those who are dying”, but to “buy time”.
“Me buying time is not exactly wrong, because I have to (ensure) the (displaced) workers can go somewhere,” he said. And in the situation that the workers cannot find another job, the government would pump just enough funds to “buy more time” again.
These micro enterprises support 25 per cent of Singapore’s total workforce. 25 per cent work in multinational corporations (MNCs) and large enterprises, 25 per cent work in small and medium-sized enterprises, and the last 25 per cent are employed in small enterprises.
Mr Chan then broke down the percentages of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that each of these four segments contribute. The MNCs tier contributes more than 50 per cent to the GDP, while the micro enterprises only contribute 4 per cent.
In Budget 2019, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that “a combination of new initiatives and expansion of existing schemes worth S$1 billion” will be allocated to help local companies. That would mean 75 per cent of the total number of companies in Singapore.
“(When it comes to the Budget) which of the four do we give and where should I put my dollar? Definitely I must give to the ones that create more jobs, better jobs and pays better right?” Mr Chan challenged his audience.
But the ones doing well do not seek funds from the government, he added. “The ones that make the most noise (are those that are) going to die.”
“The extra dollar that we collect from taxes – do we help the one that does better, or the other one? Do we give them (Singaporeans’) money?” Mr Chan asked.
However, even if this was the case in the government, it was not politically prudent or correct to have an election strategy that shouted “Let them die!”
“Will you still put up your hand to support (PAP)? (Let’s) see whether (we’ll) get 50.1% of the votes”, he assured.