The PAP has staked its electoral legitimacy all these years on “delivering the economic goods” (i.e., growing the economy and providing good jobs for all). Now we clearly have a segment of PMETs who find themselves made redundant or at risk of being made redundant in their jobs. Quite a few have been sacked or forced to resign in what are, in fact, retrenchment exercises. Many have no choice but to take on jobs that are below their qualifications (which they worked so hard for).
Now the Prime Minister expects us to lower our expectations for future economic growth. Frankly I’m not confident that we can even achieve 2-3% growth with this government’s economic policies. Productivity, which is the main driver of quality growth, has been flat or negative for the last 4 years. The main thing that’s propping up growth these days is labour inputs, largely from the (still) growing foreign labour force.
The fact that last year’s anaemic economic growth of 1.8% — which is lower than all our neighbours and the other erstwhile “Asian economic tigers” (South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) — coincides with the smaller inflow of foreign workers, is an indication that our economy has been overly dependant on foreign labour force growth. Successive PAP governments did not invest enough in our citizens by equipping them with the necessary skills, especially technology skills, to thrive in this technological age. Instead they took the shortcut to growth by importing cheap labour. Now the chickens have come home to roost, and hardworking Singaporeans are paying the price.
Do Singaporeans realise that their “investments” in the PAP (through their votes at the polls) are producing diminishing returns?