Singapore — People’s Voice Lim Tean has started a new daily series since June 24, titled “Lim Tean: After Work”. This series, held on Facebook Live, will be a platform for Lim to address issues and concerns of the public in the lead up to the elections.
In the first session, Lim stated that many people in society “have been left behind”. One reason for this is because of globalisation. Globalisation, according to Lim, has perpetuated the widening gap between the rich and poor in Singapore and is a major reason for the lack of employment opportunities for locals.
Globalisation and Income Gap
Globalisation, with its unequal effects on society, has also perpetuated greater differences between the haves and have-nots. Lim expressed his disagreement with the Ministry for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing’s rhetoric surrounding the benefits of globalisation.
He said: “Every speech Chan Chun Sing makes its about how we must remain open and how wonderful globalisation has been for Singaporeans. But if you examine the evidence, In the last 20 years, not only have we not attained the Swiss standard of living, wages for the middle income have stagnated. Our lower income has done even worse.”
Lim continued later in the session: “I have no time for all this talk about globalisation. This globalisation talk has been going on for 20, 30 years now. I don’t see the evidence of it benefiting the working class [and] the middle class. It benefits the top few percentile in society, it makes them very rich. But, at the end of the day, I don’t see them putting in their contribution back into society.”
This is problematic to Lim, as those benefiting from globalisation “would not be where they are today, if not for the collective whole of society. They would not be where they are today, earning the types of money they are earning, if not for the whole citizenry”.
Globalisation and Employment
Lim stated that the country has “very well trained, very well qualified Singaporeans who have been retrenched, who have been laid off. And who today, have to take up jobs way below their qualifications and expectations to make a living.”
The younger generation today, may have greater access to higher quality education. However, Lim said that while they may attain their bachelors degree, masters degree or even PhD, there are no jobs available for them today. These individuals are part of the “graduate poor” according to Lim.
Lim questioned: “Yet, we have a foreign labour force that is disgraceful by any standards…We certainly have about 400,000 of PMETs and S-pass holders who are foreign workers. Why are those jobs not going to Singaporeans?”
He compared Singapore to other countries, such as Australia and Japan, lamenting: “In no other country in the world, will you find citizens being deprived of good paying jobs and foreigners being allowed to work in those good paying jobs”.
People’s Voices Promise
To deal with such issues, Lim emphasised the stance of People’s Voices. He promised that under People’s Voices leadership, Singaporeans would “never be shortchanged to foreigners.”
Ultimately, he reinforced the goal of the People’s Voices: “we[they] are going to put people first. And that means we are going to put Singaporeans first. Because only if we put Singaporeans first, can we make Singapore our real home again. And I think, it is time, it is time for us when we must regain our dignity, our country and our future.”
This is the first of Lim’s sessions, members of the public will be able to catch subsequent sessions on Lim’s Facebook page daily at 5pm. /TISG