Feb 13, 2013

MRT Breakdowns and a Quick Thought on National Productivity

I was more than an hour late for work today, because the MRT train broke down. I boarded the train at Bishan, it was supposed to take me to Raffles Place, but instead it stopped at Toa Payoh and an announcement was made and all the passengers had to get off. This was right during the morning rush hour too.

Apparently, there had been a fire at the Newton MRT station, so they stopped the train services along the red line. Fire seems to be a new reason for train breakdown - I don't quite recall that they specifically had fires before, but they do regularly come up with new sorts of reasons for trains to break down. So the experience is not that new. It's certainly not the first time I've experienced an MRT breakdown in the past three years or so.

Catching a taxi at Toa Payoh right then was impossible. There were hundreds of stranded train passengers milling out from underground, getting to the main road, and all of them were trying to queue and call for a cab at the same time.

I gave up and tried to catch a bus. It took me a while, because I am not familiar with the bus services in Toa Payoh (I hardly ever stop there, except when the train breaks down). Finally, I figured out what bus number I wanted to take, but when it came, I couldn't get on it, because it was too crowded.

In the end, I took another bus (SBS No. 105) to Scotts Road. That was not where I wanted to go, but I needed to get out of that crowded area at Toa Payoh. I had to stand all the way on the very crowded 105, but hey, at least I was on a bus that could actually move and it wasn't on fire.

Upon reaching Scotts Road, I tried to queue for a cab at the Far East Plaza taxi stand. But the first five or six of the cabs I couldn't board, as they were changing shifts and not headed to the area where I wanted to go. Finally I managed to get a cab.

I chatted with the driver and I mentioned that the train had broken down. Coincidentally he had just come from the Newton MRT area. He told me that he had seen some police cars and fire engines there, and there were lots of people getting out of the train station and trying to get a bus or cab.

The driver said that at the Newton MRT area, he had wanted to stop to pick up a passenger, but he didn't dare to. The reason was that there were lots of policemen and he was afraid he would get a summons for picking up a passenger at the Newton taxi stop. He explained to me the difference between a "taxi stop" and a "taxi stand". Even if there are 50 passengers queueing at a taxi stop, only three taxis can be there at any given time. If yours is the 4th or 5th taxi, you have to drive on. You can't stop even if it's for a few seconds.

When I finally reached work, I found that several of my colleagues were also late for work, thanks to the train breakdown. One of them had been stuck at Dhoby Ghaut MRT. He had actually managed to get onto the train, but it wouldn't move and for a long time, there were no announcements as to whether it would move or not. So he just stood there waiting and waiting and waiting, and wondering whether he should continue to wait.

Then I remembered this article which I had read on on Channel News Asia:
S'pore's productivity well below most developed countries: DPM Tharman 
SINGAPORE: Singapore's productivity is well below that of the most developed countries, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. 
In a Facebook post on Sunday, he noted that restaurants here are experiencing difficulties finding employees. Mr Tharman said some restaurants have raised pay to attract part-timers during the peak Lunar New Year season. 
But most still have difficulty finding people, because the overall labour market is close to full employment. Mr Tharman said these are real problems for businesses, but the solution is not to ease up on foreign worker policies. 
He said the solution has to be more fundamental.
"Fundamental", phui. "Basic" would be a better word.

Dude, don't get too complex. If 100,000 people in Singapore were one hour late for work this morning because the trains broke down, that's 100,000 man-hours lost.

How do you expect Singaporeans to raise their productivity, when your public transport infrastructure can't even get them to work on time?


Anonymous said...

clap clap, well said Mister Wang.

Anonymous said...

well, i was there when the fire took place.. well.. its real not fake..

Xmen said...

Comparing Singapore's train breakdowns to the other big cities, you are paying far too much for a mediocre city government.

"...some restaurants have raised pay to attract part-timers during the peak Lunar New Year season."

Tharman knows very well that Chinese workers are returning home to celebrate LNY, and is using this temporary shortage to justify more foreign workers. He has zero credibility. What's wrong with raising basic pay for the poorest Singapore workers who can't even make ends meet?

Anonymous said...

Nobody said that it was fake, learn to read before posting. Too bad that there are to many Singaporeans who can't read for shite before making strawman arguments.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Raising pay to attract part-timers for a temporary peak season sounds completely normal to me. It's just Chinese New Year, for goodness sakes. Yes, people will celebrate, eat out and dine extra well at the restaurants ... but for about 3 days or 2 weeks max.

It is a very stupid reason to justify a permanent, mass import of foreigners.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Yes, I quite believe that the fire is real. I just want to know why it occurred. Eg if it is some reason such as poor-quality electrical wires short-circuiting due to lack of maintenance checks, then again the LTA and SMRT and our Transport Minister should be taken to task. In fact, if that was the kind of reason which caused the fire, I hope the Singapore Civil Defence Force will prosecute them for some offence relating to endangering the lives of the public.

Anonymous said...

When their mind is made up about something, they will find all sorts of reasons to justify their actions. And in the process, they will even go to great lengths to dig out justifications by gettting certain groups of businessmen to propagate their views on the shortage of manpower to make their arguments stronger.

Expect more of such reports as they try to mindwash Singaproean
s' resistance to the white paper on population increase.

Anonymous said...

LOL, it's Valentine's Day and the price of roses has shot up 80%. The PAP will say that we need to import more foreign florists.

Anonymous said...

Not enough restaurant workers? Why not do a COE system for foreign workers?

Sgcynic said...

It's not just about productivity. When newly built train lines develop faults so readily and water leaks into newly built stations, it is a quality issue. Even if we raise quality, unlikely under the present government, we better look into quality to compete with other economies.

Anonymous said...

We are now facing not only falling productivity, which is the result of the mass import of foreign workers, but falling quality of work as well.

No where is this more apparent than the MRT lines that were constructed lately. It shows very clearly if we compare the first MRT lines robustmess and those built recently. Quality is obviously lacking in the latter.

Anonymous said...

agreed with Mr Wang. someone shld be taken to task.. smoke inhalation in an undergraound exclosed area is no joke.. lung problems are serious and very hard to shake off and very hard to prove... who then pays for these medical bills? who suffers??

Lolololipop said...

My cousin got stuck in the train too. But she said that there were free shuttle buses.

Anonymous said...

With years of rapid growth and peace in the 80s & 90s mainly through lower end foreign investments, few S’porean, would had imagine, it got to face many issues and difficult challenges of overcrowding and overpopulation now?

Singapore faced many challenges in the past with a small populations, through its enterprise, hardworking and well educated people, that brought Singapore to success.

Chinese are usually the catalyst and successful in many countries, in the world, they are enterprising, resourceful and hardworking?

But through the opening of China, which previously they are socialist, with it cheaper, well educated and billion of populations?

Singapore manufacturing was hollowing out, after 2000, Singapore faced more then 3 recessions?

Singapore could face serious problems, if they highly talented & educated population left for less congested countries and their parents behind? New citizen could leave their children behind their former countries too, making the old age woes more acute?

More new citizens could affect the fertility rate as stress and psychological health issues, brought by overcrowding as studies had shown?

With foreign workers reduce the productivity? New citizens could replace, especially the older workers, to widen the income gaps further? Which had been quite stagnant for many years?

And the whole hosts of environment issues like contagious disease like SARS & bird flu etc.

Singapore don’t produce much food, it will in a critical condition,if there is shortage of food, what happen if there is severe drought, flood would be more serious, with more greenery taken away for the water to follow out, to be used for infrastructures etc.?

Heavy demand for infrastructures and facilties, could S’pore cope with it?

To boost the lower age workers, massive deployment and investment in RD, heavy encouragement and used of new inventions of technogies to transform the whole workplace to rely less of foreign cheaper worker?

Massive encouragement and incentive to be introduce to encourage innovation and inventions, creativities etc, to restructure the economy to from a low cost investment dependent, to a higher value investment, innovation base to grow the lower wage workers wage, not so much in import more people as there is finite space in this little island and almost no resources?

Many small populations advance countries had done it, could we modify the models and learn from them?

Anonymous said...

Companies, big and small, get lots of foreign talents at cheaper wages to do all kinds of work, including maintenance work.

But quality of foreign talents at cheaper wages is controlled by God what, not PAP govt, right?

PAP can set the quantity and wages but God decides the quality. No?

So cannot blame PAP, or rather the management of these companies what. It is beyond their control.

By the way, can voters control the quality of PAP govt? Cannot also what. Because it's controlled by God also what.

Anonymous said...

We need to identify more SME that had chance to transform to successful multi-national companies and develop them, like some small advanced nations which produce many of its own innovative successful multi-national companies?

We need to move away from the cheap foreign labour investments base economy? More programs and suggestions is need to rejuvenate and restructure our own economy to bring out the creative juice of our population, to be highly innovative and productive?

Anonymous said...

The PAP has been practicing selective hearing all these years.

When employers complain the PAP usually can hear it loud and clear and is widely reported. When citizens complain they call that 'whinning' and are mostly brushed aside as 'noise'.

The result is that they miss all the important and geniune feedbacks. National Conversation is an attempt to try to compensate for that. But sadly, citizens have resigned themselves to thinking that talking is of little use.

They are beginning to realise that the only effective way to talk to the PAP is through the ballot boz, which is what they are now doing whenever oppotunities arise. Singaporeans are getting smart and learning fast.

Anonymous said...

Singapore at one time restricted the population birthrate at 2, the populations were around 2 millions. At that time, sometimes water were rations as there is not enough water, and foods supply sometime shortage.

And needed to find jobs to feed the populations. So Singapore draw in cheap foreign labour intensive industries and Singapore grow rapidly, when China with its cheap, educated billion of population not yet open.

Base on the assumptions the old age getting worse. But the cause could be due to their children move oversea to more attractive lest crowded destinations. And the new citizens leaving behind their children in their previous countries due to raising them is cheaper there. Making problems more serious?

Advancement of technology had driven the birthrate replacement/dependency ratio to 1.7 from the assumptions of 2.1, it could drive the dependency ratio down further with further advancement of technology to the replacement rate of 1.5.

Advanced small countries with high standard of living and low income gap. Are technology advancement driven, they continue to innovate and upgrade their economy through technology in making better product and services, so that there is little low wage workers and their old populations are well taken care of. Their birthrate is 1.9 through various babies friendly enviroments and incentives.

Singapore can't continue to depend on old technology and labour intensive industries to drive the economy due to the rising COE, Rentals, Levies GRP & GST etc?

Keep on making better products through innovations,creativity, efficiency, inventions & prodivities etc is the way?
Home grown SME got to develop to venture oversea and keep making better product? More of our home grown SME need to be groom to be multi national companies?

The said...

I think what is more serious is the lack of ventilation. Even with the ventilator on and a small localised fire, the smoke is still hanging at the MRT station. What if someone decides to release some toxic or nerve gases?

Anonymous said...

Base on assumptions the right figure could be around 5.6m ? Previous assumptions had been mistakes? So it is better to be more conservative and err and can't revert it back?

To use technology base economy to transform orginal citizen jobs and pays?

With the advancement in technology the birthrate dependency ratio from replacement rate 2.1 to 1.7 and drop to 1.5?

More intensify research and development to upgrade singapore capability form a cheap labour industries country to a highly developed low income gap country,through massive incentives scheme and program and high living standard country?

More Singapore multi national industries to be groomed, were to produces and improve the service through encourage feedbacks and ideas around the world , from the old citizens that had left the country, raising the Singapore low wages workers to higher wage workers?

Vigorous and intensive training and ideas input form the workers on how best to streamline raise the companies productivities and efficiency were highly encouraged, to identify how to make best seller and improve the service feedback?

More ideas and feedback is need to develop our homegrown industries and upgrade our low wages worker to high wages workers in innovations, productivities, incentive schemes and programs,inventions & efficiency etc

Anonymous said...

Assuming tourist arrivals, from normally had grown from 8m without the IRs($16
Billions} to recently 13m, to be at 18m in 2015 by 2020 the tourist arrivals could be 22m plus, so Singapore will be much more overcrowded by then?

Now our population is 5.3m, should we restrict it to 5.6m base on assumption we could intensify the use of technology and infrastucture development to attract more toursim and using less manpower?

We need to be more conservation in our estimate, if err, it is very difficult to revert back. Every effort need to seek views and ideas how to run the economy with less manpower so to raise income and $standard of living of the old and lower wages workers?

Base on more tourists arrival the lower wages older workers could be trained to cater for the surge in tourism and improve their wages and raise their standard of living?

So base on the less people easier to be develop, to high pay and less income gap different in population?

More suggestions on how to develop S’pore to a high value added countries are encourage from the young highly talented, brain drain overseas populations and successful small countries consultants?

Ghost said...

DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam is right when he said the the solution has to be more fundamental.
It is fundamental that the Singapore government change it's thinking that cheaper labor naturally equals more productivity!
It does not. Importing massive amount of foreign workers to do office jobs when they either can't speak english or can't speak it well lowers productivity, it does not increase it.

Xmen said...


You shouldn't be surprised when the government is the biggest employer in the country.

Anonymous said...

After 2000 Singapore suffer more then 3 recessions because of hollowing out of it manufacturing to China because of their cheaper cost, decided to bit the bullet agreed to built 2 IR at $16 billions?

Singapore can’t complete with china on cost, china had one billion well educated and cheaper workfore.

So the economy got a boost but the social cost is mounting?

we could have learn and send our people to some successful small developed countries,which produce successful industries through their own innovations and continue innovations, how to move away from low cost labour intensive foreign dependent base industries, to developing our own people, not replace by cheaper foreign labour, which is unsustainable in long run.

That left behind the lower end 20 percent workfore, which saw little improvement for years?

Now the challenge is how to raise the low wage worker and the older work force and retrain them to go into the tourism industries targeting projection at around $18M to the possible arrivals after 2020 of more then 23m? By then Singapore could be more very overcrowded?

Various input need to seek ideas from people around the work to rejuvenate our low end industries to high end industries?

The key inspiring words to go – Innovation, automations, creativity, productivity , effciency & inventions to upgrade Singapore lower wage workforce to close the income gap, not through kept importing people?

From 2009 to 2012, our tourist arrivals at 8m to 13m, projection at 2015 18m and 2020 to be 23m, so Singapore by then will be very overcrowded?

Anonymous said...

This small populations highly successful countries, with low income gaps, high standard of living, surprisingly produced many world class companies, Nobel prize winners & Olympic champions etc?

Because the put much of their effort nurture develop and train the local populations, limited foreign immigrations, high educations successful social program, no overcrowding of infrastructures?

Matured multi -parties systems, co operations which welcome good ideas and solutions, to bring up their local populations?

Anonymous said...

With 7m population more older workers will replaced by cheaper new citizens?

The demand for various facilities will go up and the price will go up?

Woodbridge hospital will need more beds, due to psychological effect on congestions and living in a dense and more tense environments?

More brain drain, young populations well educated will move oversea to less crowded area?

More need to prepare for foods and water shortage? Singapore hadn't experience foods shortage and water rationing for a long time?

More contigency plans to prepare for floods and drought?

More preparations for contagious dieseas?

Anonymous said...

Educating a child is one of the most important consideration for a couple to procreate if not the most important?

I think free education will encourage more couple to procreate, the main worry for couple is education which is costly in Singapore.

Some advanced countries has free education until they graduate? And their fertility rate is high at 1.8?

This could encourage lots of couple to procreate, even older one?

Importing people can’t solve low fertility problem, it will create a vicious cycle and need to import more and more people?

Singapore is an island and the land is finite? We can't continue importing people?

Anonymous said...

Should we boost the economy through increase in tourism rather then importing people to boost the economy, which if err, difficult to revert back with many negative aspects of overcrowding and overpopulations?

Before the 2 Integrated Resorts($16M) completed, tourists arrivals is 8m. Tourism growth in 2012 is around 14m, projection growth is around 18m in 2016 in 2020 projection growth to be 22m and population projection growth from 5.3m to 6m in 2020?

If we concentrate on the growth of tourism rather then importing people, at 2016 to 19m and 2020 25m, would it better getting better value from higher value tourists?

What do you think? About the overpopulation and overcrowding now 2013 and 2020?

Anonymous said...

What is the impact and repercussion in increasing the population of 100k per year, in every year from 2013 of 5.3m to 2020 to 6m in 7 years time?

The facilities and infrastructure for the 100,000 of import per year?

What is increase in cost? The job taken away of old citizens? The health issues and its facilities? The act of god issues? When they grow old what is the cost to take care of them? Will they depress the wages of lower workers?

Anonymous said...

Should we build another causeway at the east side of Singapore to help the old age to retire there, to lower their cost of living? For younger couple to procreate there, at lower cost?

Increase the co- operations between Singapore and Malaysia, Singaporean can go to a bigger area to relax during their free time, instead of crowding the city, which is very overcrowded during the peak hours, reduce traffic congestions etc.

As heavy influx of foreign workers make singapore very congested and overcrowded already?

With the increase in population there will be more extreme overcrowding?

For many older workers, jobs will be lost to the younger foreigners or new citizen, which could cost huge social problems later, and deepen the old age crisis and deepen the low birthrate crisis?

More people you need more more facilities and more difficult to manage, how to improve their living standard, with more demands in the same area and facilities?

Anonymous said...

Should we build another causeway at the east side of Singapore to help the old age to retire there, to lower their cost of living? For younger couple to procreate there, at lower cost?

Increase the co- operations between Singapore and Malaysia, Singaporean can go to a bigger area to relax during their free time, instead of crowding the city, which is very overcrowded during the peak hours, reduce traffic congestions etc.

As heavy influx of foreign workers make singapore very congested and overcrowded already?

With the increase in population there will be more extreme overcrowding?

For many older workers, jobs will be lost to the younger foreigners or new citizen, which could cost huge social problems later, and deepen the old age crisis and deepen the low birthrate crisis?

More people you need more more facilities and more difficult to manage, how to improve their living standard, with more demands in the same area and facilities?

Anonymous said...

To reward and honour the older generations in helping Singapore succes, massive plan of inviting world wide investors to submit their plan, on how to build a recreational, leisure place for singaporean older generation to retire near the causeway?

The two existing causeways to be enlarged and enhanced, and a third one to be build at the east, to reduce traffic congestion during the peak hour ,& shorten the time, fostering closer trade, co-operations and friendships between 2 countries and to reduce massive overcrowding and to build more leisure activites across the causeway for Singaporean, so that Singapore can reduce heavy congestions and overcrowding in the future?

The older generation of Singaporean can fish and farm there to spend their twilight years in a low cost and happy rewarding final years like some of the highly successful countries rewarding their older generations for constributing so much to the success of Singapore?

Massive team to be sent to this highly developed, high standard of living on how they develop the cultures of innovations and technology advancemnts. And how they take care of old people.

And how they develop an environment to take care of the child or new born, to encourage giving birth, ideas like adoption, artificial insemination or artificial give birth, reduce abortions, more of this with this type of skills to come to singapore etc?

Anonymous said...

By the time more and more people added to the tiny island, the standard living kept dropping further and further due to overcrowding?

The optimal population for Singapore, which lack of resources should be around 4.8m, which is more conducive for bring a child? Why people will want to bring up a child when the place getting more and more crowded and more and more difficult to access facilities and cost is getting higher and higher when more people is coming in that will drive up the price?

When people worry about new citizen taking their jobs, how they go to bring up more babies? More people come how to increase their pay?

We should learn from more develop countries, which had low Gini coefficient, how they harness the local populations to deal with this type of problems, with high birth rate?

The reason for people not borning babies is more and more people come in and their job possibly losing to the new comers? Why some countries, they have the confident to bring up the child, even they are not married and don’t abort it, because the are confident the child future?

It is highly unlikely, a couple will bear more babies generally, if they worry about their children educations and future which is not very secure and their job is not very secure due to competition from cheaper third world country?

A limited import of people is reasonable but a large import is unsustainable? A limited import is possible to solve the birthrate because this type of people their skills is limited and highly skilled and can bring up the low wage workers?

So the problem getting worst, going round and round and kept importing people, and don’t know the root causes of the problems, putting the cart before the horse?

Anonymous said...

Since adopting a policy of keep importing people is not a good option for Singapore, as Singapore is a small island. Land is finite and no resources?

As crisis like shortage of food, water, facilities, food & drought will have a serious repercussions for a larger and overcrowded population?

So Singapore to learn and adopt the policy of some highly successful countries with small populations. Sending a few teams there to learn from them and their immigration and policies? Encourage immigrants from this country to come, so that our country can learn from their culture of continue innovations and programs?

Foster our own SME and less dependent on foreign investments to raise the wages of the low wage workers and raise their standard of living?

Give generous incentives for companies to invent new and better products and services?

Improve the technolgies breakthrough to train our workers to be more effcient, and had multiple skills? Massive encouragement of ideas on high to improve work processes? Adopt better and more efficient methods to train our workers?

Adopt a babies friendly environment, honour those who adopt babies environment. A little high tax from the high income earners to help out with procreations?

Encourage industries and individuals that bring high value industries to come to Singapore? That reduce the income gap and increase the standard of living?

Free or heavily subsidies educations until graduate to encourage procreations?

Learn from some of the advanced nations on how to adopt immigration policies, and how their criteria to bring the right skills, that they need and don't have it, to their countries?

Anonymous said...

In the late 90s and after 2000s, Singapore manufacturing continued to hollowing out, and moved to cheaper China? In 2006 Singapore decided to agreed to 2 Integrated Resorts as Singapore faced many recessions in a short period? $16 billions of foreign funds were pumped in the economy and rejuvenate it?

So Singapore got face a difficult choice, to agreed to the $16 billions casino cum tourism attractions and restructured to transform it from a low cost manufacturing foreign investments dependent to a service industry?

Singapore needed to continue to find ways to reduce the negative impact of casinos?

Half of the cabinets were against the casinos, which we could pay a heavy social cost, but Singapore has not much choice at that time?

Singapore got to continue to seek ways to improve its service and tourism industries, to continue attract more tourists, higher value tourists and continue to reinvent itself, upgrade its infrastructures and train and upgrade its workers to multi-taskers and multi-skills worker to face future challenges?

To move its lower wage workers to higher wages and higher standards of living, lower the income gaps, Singapore needs to develops more patents, invention, best selling products and services.

Some of the small populations, highly successful, high living standards & high birthrate countries able to produce successful multi-national companies with its continues inventions and innovations? Many of its local heros are nobel award winners and Olympic champions. Due to its continue invest in its local populations?

Anonymous said...


Riniki said...

MRT issues are inevitable. Increase productivity by banning Facebook in work places!

Anonymous said...

Singapore aborted around 12k babies every year. Massive effort need to reduce it and keep the babies, more support more incentives the keep the babies and adoptions etc?

It would be a big waste, if these babies are aborted?

More effort and promotions, to help those who want to abort their babies to give to those, childless couples?

Anonymous said...

You don't need a enomorously high pay to govern successfully a country.

The Nordic countries proof it, in fact the the opposite is true. The Nordic ministers pay around $20k per month? The are highly successful, high standard of living, low inequality & high birth rate etc?

Anonymous said...

The eighties and early nineties are golden years of Singapore, our standard of living are rising, smaller population, lower costs of living. After that Singaporean got to complete with cheaper and lower cost countries for jobs? Every widening of income gaps, lower birthrates and standard of livings?

Now Singaporean got to be complete more for everything, with rising price, if more new citizens became old, more resources got to channel to take care of them and less resources channel to raise the standard of SME to help the grow?

Instead trying to lower the income rate, we aggravate the income gap and raise inequality further?

Not like in the eighties and early nighties where Singaporean are generally happy, now Singaporean are the unhappiest people in the world? With longer working hours and more stressful life, less energy to produce babies, more worries about job taken by cheaper foreigners?

The right kind of limited immigrants is important for Singapore like the innovators, inventors, patents creators, creative industries, contraions, designers, artists& industries automators etc,people that can make a different to lower the income gap, raise the standard of living of the lower end of populations?

Anonymous said...

They got to know their pay, which is around ten times the Nordic ministers pay is a heavy burden to Singapore which don't have any resources.

Nordic countries with around the same populations of Singapore, they are very well run, low inequality, high standard of living,low wage gaps, high birth rate etc? The pay the ministers less then $20K per months? And they are multi-parties systems that co-operate well?

With this excessive pay, will Singapore need to kept increasing the withdraw CPF last time you can withdraw a lump sums, now they kept changing the rules, increase it to possibly 68 year old, with many has little chances of seeing, possibly to finance the incredibly excessive pay?

It is difficult to comprehend CPF scheme change so much?

Anonymous said...

How multi-parties parliaments in Nordic countries brought to the huge success of the countries, include many world class companies, high standard of living, high birth rate, low inequality, low wage gap, Olympic champions, Nobel prize winners many world class inventions etc?


Anonymous said...

No nations in the world pays their ministers ten times of Nordic nations except Singapore, which is special?

This huge amount of pay, invariably drive up the cost of living through lots of indirect taxes?

Anonymous said...

Should they reduce their pay, 8 times, still reasonable if their pay higher then those highly successful countries like Scandinavia ministers, so that they don't need to import so many people to milk or earn from them? Or think of your CPF, they already said they earn 17 percents per year from the $200 billions of Singaporean assest they managed?

Importing people don't benefit the lower section of the populations much in fact it make worst, they lost their jobs to cheaper foreigners?

Many older workers got replaced as more cheap foreign workers or new citizens came in, got to live on their savings, depleting fast? Or find lower pay jobs?

They are paying the whole group of people 1000 percent more then that of the equivalents countries with similiar population, not 10, 20 or 50 percents more, so there is a limit they can milk or earn from the locals, they need foreigners to come in to milk or earn from them, why other countries don't use this method keep bring in new people, they has the same problems?

Even with the low birthrate you want to replace people the populations should be constant?

Those older workers who lost their jobs usually in their 40s, where they got a family and a few chidren to feed?

Anonymous said...

Hong Kong populations of 7m, has a china hinterland, and is unable to provide cheap housing to many of it poor citizens, can Singapore?

Many will divorce if their jobs lost to cheaper third world countries, more will want one room flats, Singapore now don't enough of rental flats, have a long waiting list? Many will remain unmarried fearing they will lost their jobs to foreigners?

How Singapore can complete with the lower cost, cheaper more of the 1.7 millions foreigners/new citizens, to come to take over their jobs? More who lost their jobs can prepare to sleep in the beach?

There children too can't complete with the foreign workers later got to sleep in the street too, as there is simply don't have enough resources to build a rental home for the poor who lost their home?

Cheaper foreign new citizens, come to work and send their pay back. At the continue to drive up costs?

Anonymous said...

The real reasons or excuses in importing new citizens?

Why they want the Singapore citizenships?

Singapore is a temporary place for them ,has better infrastructures, but they know that Singapore they lure them with some sweets, later they that back a few times? Because they need to pay them multi-millions salaries, so they got to get the money back from new citizens? It is not easy to pay the equivalent the few times of salaries, with the similar populations, and no natural resources, so they got to get from more and more new citizens?

Singapore is higher pay, then back homes, so they can sent money back to feed their family, they know Singapore costs is rising, Singapore is the six most expensive place in the world to live,and more and more people are coming so cost will keep rising? The strategy of keep, importing more and more people, will make the cost keep rising?

They come here temporary,to get the citizenships, because Singapore passport easy access to the world, then their third world countries?

They know now they are now new citizens, later they will become old citizens, and they jobs taken, by the new citizens coming and the cycle go on? Later they finish earning enough they will go back to their cheaper countries?

Like Hong Kong simply difficult to cope with building more cheap housing, with so many people overcrowding and people getting old?

Many old citizens lost their job, live on savings if they finish they savings, can't pay their housing, they got to sleep in the beach or street, this is no joke?

If they stay here with their children, later their children jobs will be taken away by cheaper foreigners too?

Another 30 percents of the new citizens and are going to take their jobs away?

Anonymous said...

Total seats contested equal 87 seats.

With GRC 92 percent seats = to 81 seats (60 percents of votes)?

40 percents seats equal 35 seats if SME

6 seats oppositions equal 8 percents of seats?

40 percents minus 8 percent seats equal 29 seats if no GRC only SMC?

Anonymous said...

So 29 seats is through GRC?

Anonymous said...

So through GRC system the ones with higher percentage of votes and give to the weaker percentages or pull down by the weaker percentage?

40 percents of the seats equal 35 seats, 6 or 8 percents of the seats go to oppositions, even oppositions has 40 percents of the votes, 29 seats or 32 percents of seats go to there ruling parties due to the GRC system?

Anonymous said...

Our population should never reach the Hong Kong type of populations level of 7 millions, Hong kong is way too overcrowded, their houses are tiny, dirty and unhygienic expecially,where the poorer populations live. 100k of them live in cages, due to overpopulations and less resources to take care of them?

Our target of 18 million tourist arrivals in 2016, now already extreme overcrowding our transport system compare to the 90s and our MRT frequently breakdown due to overstrain on the system, and put a heavy strain on our system and reduce our productivities,when the who trains of workers went to work late and overcrowding of facilities? We should not keep overstretch until breaking point.

Any severe flood like a tsunami will put our country in heavy crisis

By 2020 could be 22 millions of tourist arrivals. Don’t forget overcrowding is related to climate change? Polician might have their own agenda of keep bringing people here?

Numerous death recorded in Hong KOng 2003 SAR:

Wiki: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV).[1] Between November 2002 and July 2003, an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic[citation needed], with 8,273 cases and 775 deaths worldwide[2] (9.6% fatality)

Due to overcrowding, unhygienic living conditions.

Every effort should put in to improve our local populations standard of living, stop the importing of people strategy to grow our population, which had very negative side effects?

Hong KOng stock and properties market collapse billions were wipe out, many bankrupt in 2003 SAR crisis.

We should not take chances, the most long term should be restricted to only 5.6 or 300k more, only specific persons that can reduce our income gap then we bring them in, like inventors, innovators & designers, people from creative industries, artists etc.

Can we reduce our populations from 5.3m to 5m? What do you think?

With smaller populations, we can enjoy very high standard of living due to their larger space, not through they have lot of resources as in Nordic countries, many countries has lot of resources but failed to make use of it? Having lots of resources doesn’t means the countries rich and have a high standard of living? Some has mismanage their resources? With a large populations how can we have a higher standard of living, the reverse is true? The skills that develop it is more important, a designer from Japan buy the teak wood and sell to the S'pore hotel ten times its original price, that he designed?

Should we lower our ministers pay to 20 percent more then the Nordic ministers pays, so that they don’t need to think of kept importing people to justify their pay? An concentrate of improving the life of present populations, something wrong if you tell people you improve the standard of living by importing people?

We got to consider our children, they got difficulties to complete with the cheaper imports in the future, if both parents and children jobs were taken away, Singapore will be in trouble more poor people to take care?

Hong Kong poor people need more then 100k of low cost housing, but they are unable to provide in near term?

Do you want our Singaporean jobs to be taken away and sleep in the beach or street?

The Nordic countries spent much money in developing their locals, so that they can best contribute to the society and retired happily, without worrying about their children future.

They never use this method of importing people because of very high social cost? Many similar countries manage their countries and economies well with low population

Every effort should be put, to develop and grow our SME and train our locals to multi-tasking, improve work processes, develop better working methods, make new inventions & products, better services, automation, innovations, increase efficiency, lower costs, reduce wastage, reduce reliance on foreign companies which they usually look for the cheapest workers, and cheapest foreign workers?

Anonymous said...

While some countries has huge resources, but wastee and mismanaged its resources, Israel with a small populations, with no resources, rely on its on populations to developing new technologies, don’t gave excuses, is one of the more advanced and productive nations in the world, in Asia only other 2 countries is really consider advanced and develop its own technologies including South Korea and Japan too with little resources?

Anonymous said...

CPF should return back to withdraw methods of the previous system of 55 years old, many people thought they can invest their own money, but the rule change, now it is unlikely in their lifetime able to get back their own money? it is people hardearn money, people had the right to decided how to use it as they like, they are old enough to handle their money, many are thrifty know how to use their money, putting in the bank is better then putting in CPF which you had little chances of taking it out in your lifetime, which the will increase the retirement age raise until 68 years, even that every month you can only get few hundreds, how many of them can live until 68 years, it should given the person option to withdraw as they like or they want to put in the CPF to get higher interest then the bank, it should be up to individual to decide, some individual may have good investments skill and get much higher returns then putting their money in the CPF should be allow to withdraw their own money to invest on themselve and get higher returns?

If the person consistently can proven the can earn more then 10 percent on their own money, they should be allow to withdraw their money by 55 year old the previous system, rather put inside the CPF to earn around 3 percents, it fair to the person who need funds to invest, and to take out their own money from CPF to invest?

Why should it be kept in the CPF, it is good for the government that the person has the abilities to get better returns withdraw their money then putting in the CPF? And the government happy to let the person to manage his own money?

Anonymous said...

CPF used to be able to withdraw at the age of 55, as it originally set up, now changed to 62 then 65 and 68, only give monthly out a few hundred dollar allowances?

For certain types of people, that can't handle well their money, don't allow them to handle their money is reasonable?

But those who can manage well their, money should be allow to withdraw their money to manage it themselves, so that he or she don't need of thinking to emigrate, then to be able to withdraw their money?

CPF should reconsider to allow some people who has consistent good track record, of able to beat the market or much higher then their 3 percent returns interest in CPF , to allow the persons to withdraw, this is a fairer system?

To one size fit all is a brunt instrument, that curtail creativity?

How about some who excelled in investments need the money to invest?

Should gave back this type of persons the money on 55 years old as promised earlier, when they create the CPF originally, widen the options available, that allow people to withdraw the money not only through emigrating only?

The reasons to delay or alter the rules, is worry about people overspent or spend all their money and don't have sufficient money to spent later part in their life, this can apply to those persons, who don't know how to manage well their money?

If the person proven can manage well his own money,let him withdraw the money as originally the CPF was set up, it will create value for the economy and Singapore and later create jobs, self -sufficient and not burden to Singapore, but he must be proven to have a good track record of managing well his money for at least a few years? If a person excel in investment much better to let him invest it himself?

This fit well to Singapore goal of encouraging creativity, efficiency, innovations and entrepreneurships etc?

Anonymous said...

The ground sentiment seems shifting from the Presidential Election???

Tony Tan one of their very best, who has massive support and endorsement and incentives scheme from the ruling party got only 34 percent vote, he could be PM if he want, with the massive support from the MSM and massive endorsements from many clans and business assocciations? Can only get 2 percents vote ahead of his next rival Tan Cheng Bock, many MP were surprise why he want to put himself up for the post of President as he was not endorse by the ruling party?

Tan Cheng Bock said if he was elected want his office to be separated from the PM, leaning more and more towards the oppositions? He used to be one of the very best too?

Tan Jee Say who was relatively unknown new comer got 26 percent.

And Tan Kin Lian the outspoken one got 5 percent.

With the recent PE elections, seem like the support dwindling further and further, like kept dropping from a good margin of + 15 percents dropped to minus ten percent, the voters seem to know who to vote and the other 2 opposition got only 1+1 percents, previous 2 year ago in the GE SDA from 4 percent drop to one?

In 2011 election the ruling party, the performance improved in SMC which they got an extra SMC, this recent performonce is a heavy blow and performing worse in a GRC, lost a GRC which never before?

Could the kept importing of foreigners and importing new citizens kept reducing and reducing the support and other policies?

Could be due to the old supporters more and more died and new young supporter who are tech savvy able to vote?

The indication seem like certain policies are not right? With this massive dilutions of support?

Anonymous said...

Committee to be form, to develop ideas how to improvem, to find out better ways, ideas and incentive to motivate SME and their local workers, give massive incentives, awards & honours to workers who can give good and workable solutions, reduce wastage, improve productivity,innovations, improve workplace environment, babies friendly, design of premium products and services, older workers friendly environment.

And to synergies, transform, merge & restructure the SME ?

Encourage and give high incentives for people around the world to present their ideas on how to improve local SME and its workers?

Discard old concept that work in the past and don't in the present?

Anonymous said...

Learn, adapt & tweak policies of the Nordic countries to our country?

Anonymous said...

People feel that the Nordic system got higher taxes, but our system got indirect taxes like COE, ERP,GST & Levies and other taxes, importing more people drive up cost etc.

The Nordic system their government is 10 times less expen$ive to run, therefore those savings can be better allocate to fund, to reduce the birthrate and help the old age?

Their successful mature multi-parties parliament systems, diversify their talents and share the burden of government?

They don't need to use much foreign workers, as the jobs Singaporean shun, all done by their locals as all the jobs shun by Singaporean the pay is relative high, and they don't need to import new citizens, which is a heavy drawback for $Ingapore?

The taxes are higher, but their pay at the low end job like cleaners, construction workers & waiters are much higher a few thousands dollar a month. All those taxes are given back to the workers, when they are temporary out of jobs, health heavily subsidised, free education, retirement benefit etc.? Therefore their birthrate are high, don't to complete much with foreigners?

The has a high standard of living, low wages disparity, high birthrate, their workers are highly productive, highly innovative and their designers are work class?

Anonymous said...

The aim of Singapore is to improve the profits of companies, so that they can improve the wages of the bottom 20 percents of the workforces, reduce the wage gap,should the top earners pay more inderect taxes and donations to help the disadvaantage, to reduce inequalities in Singapore, like the Nordic countries, subsiding the wages is a temporary measures, the long term move is to improve the companies profit and growth so that they can pay local more? Reduce inefficient companies?

The various ways of doing it other then over reliances on cheap foreign labour, through incentivise the companies to automatitise, innovations, increase efficiency, better work process, continuous training for workers?

Engages foreign consultants to restructure overall, upgrade the SME bosses knowledge on lastest development and innovations, using robotics, continue to cut down wastage a key component in increase workers wages, regular feedback and ideas from workers, continues upgrade and make better design & premium product, the Swiss specialise in making (high end watches sold worldwide) and services etc? Concentrate finding ways to reduce the income gap?

Anonymous said...

Can Singapore (rise above its weight) like the Swiss produce premium watch, the korea produce Samsung or the Sweden produce the Ikeas?

Singapore is generally view as a low wages workers or foreign work centre?

3 countries in Asia are consider advanced that innovate its own products Israel - with no resources, South Korea with little resources, Japan with little resource, which depend their own cultures of innovations and inventions & patents?

Anonymous said...

After Singapore lost it cheap labour industries to China, Singapore rejuvenate itself through the $16 billions foreign investments in to Integrated Resorts?

What can Singapore do to increase the tourists arrivals, increase the tourists spending and length of stay, draw more premium tourists. (Rise above its weight) in its manufacturing industries?

Singapore target 18m tourists by 2016, use to have only 8 m tourists.
How about 22m tourist by 2020 by encouraging feedbacks, ideas and engaging foreign consultants?

What type of infrasturctures, facilities & training of locals to reach this standards?

Anonymous said...

How Singapore can (Build up it capacity, Go for the maximum, Poke above it weight):

1 Develop and help SME to sell and export more to oversea and worldwide. To rely on its own SME which employ which lots of locals to close the income gap?

2 Engage foreign consultants worldwide, to help SME to design better products and services , so that they can grow to global multi national companies, like the Swiss sell its premium watches around the world.

3 Swedish make many important inventions and discoveries and develop many giant companies around the world, with its small populations, through its huge incentive in rewarding discoveries and inventions, Samsung of South Korea and South Korea became the third advanced Asia countries after Japan and Israel?

4 Singapore now is in a much better position, with massive $200 billions foreign reserves and high returns from its reserves, COE, ERP, GST, Levis & rental etc, can be use to develop massive scheme to incentivise SME innovations, patents and inventions, so that they can grow, design better products to sell overseas, give massives incentives and honouring the SME bosses to growth, develop and sell its products and services oversea and train its local workforce to rise above the challenge?

5 Call for worldwide submissions of their projects, proposals,ideas inventions, innovations, design, breakthrough & discoveries to be financed and develop in SIngapore?

Singapore can’t be advanced if continue to depend on cheaper and cheaper foreign labour?

Anonymous said...

More expensive system, ten times the Danish, Swedish, Finnish minister pay need more money to maintain, to maintain the top lead, ten times the equivalents salaries of the Nordic ministers salaries, need more indirect taxes, more indirect taxes lead need more levies, more levies lead, need more cheaper foreigner workers, which lead to less jobs for locals, lesser lead to lesser birth rate, lead more using of the whip, lead to more meek MP, which lead to more and more excuses,which lead to more indirect taxes to pay the top, which lead to more casinos and broken families, which lead to overpopulations, which lead to less recreational facilities, with lead more stressful lifesty?

Anonymous said...

Why the Danish, Finnish, Swiss or the New Zealander don't pay 1000 percents of the ministers' pay of Singapore ministers, because it need lots of indirect taxes, and there is a limit you can tax the peopl, 1000 percent, not 10 or 20 percents of the equivalent pays, it is a staggering amount, imagine how much indirect taxes need to collect to pay this ten time at the amount of taxes? You need how much more cheaper foreigners or foreign workers to come in the pay this types of taxes to maintain their huge pay?

Anonymous said...


onlooker said...

Well Mr Wang the fact that the MRT broke down yet again should not had caused any surprise to ANYONE ANYMORE.
The fact has always been straight forward cram as many passenger into the overloaded system while using money meant for improve the infrastructure to build retail outlets to generate passive income for rich executives who by the way have a lot of connection to the party.
is it any surprise then that we are having so many breakdown while those who consider themselves elite are lining their pocket with monies meant for infrastructure?