Happening today: Alternative Budget Forum 2018


Singapore has zero external debt and our approach to a balanced budget with each term of government is one of the hallmarks of our national budget. But that was in the past. Will the government keep to its original philosophy or will it run a more populist budget for current fiscal year?

Will the government be inclined to shift further left of centre? With healthy investment returns and surpluses from last year the government is able to give out more or will the government keep priming the economic pump to have growth at all costs?

The job market is languishing and attempts to get the workforce retrained and equipped has been met with some challenges and funds allocated through SkillsFuture has been misused. Which is better – skills upgrading or unemployment insurance?

Will the government push for higher personal tax or GST? Or will it resort to other forms of indirect taxes to replenish its coffers?

The Independent has suggested in the past that the government should focus on High Value economy and with the advent of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, the government should have a laser focus on manufacturing. But more investments in this sector may not translated to job creation. What are the other sectors?

A growing unemployment number is not good politics. So, where does this leave us? To answer some of these questions and to provide a critical analysis of the budget, we have invited three speakers at our Budget Forum 2018.

Moderator: Mr. Kumaran M Pillai, Editor-in-chief of The Independent Singapore


Mr. Tan Kin Lian, Ex CEO of NTUC Income

Mr. Leong Sze Hian, President of Maruah

Mr. Paul Tambyah, Chairman of Singapore Democratic Party


Date: 10th of February 2018


7.00 pm Arrival of Guests
7.30 pm Opening remarks by Kumaran Pillai
7.40 pm Tan Kin Lian
7.55 pm Leong Sze Hean
8.10 pm Prof Paul Tambyah
8.25 pm Q&A
9.30 pm End


Time: 7pm – 10pm

Venue:  231 Bain Street, #04-41 Bras Basah Complex, Singapore 180231

Jointly Organised by: TISG and Murah