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Dr Chee meets 65-year-old cleaner earning $6/hour, calls for minimum wage to be implemented

The SDP is proposing a S$7 per hour minimum wage across the board

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Following a breakfast meeting at Bukit Batok Single-Member Constituency (SMC), the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Dr Chee Soon Juan called for a minimum wage scheme to be implemented in Singapore.

The party’s Secretary-general spoke to a number of residents who were worried about the job market as well as the low wages.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (Nov 11), Dr Chee shared that a resident said, “I’m not surprised at the intense reactions. People are fed up with the unfair treatment of our own people”. While their anger may be sparked by misconceptions about Singapore’s Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India, the underlying message of job security and wages stands out.

A 65-year-old cleaner at a food court shared that he worked 8-hour days, with only 3 days of leave in a month. His monthly wage comes up to only S$1,350. “That works out to be about S$6/hr. And the PAP still refuses to implement a minimum wage”, Dr Chee added.

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Similarly, another resident he spoke to during the breakfast meeting, said that he was shocked at the number of younger people resorting to food delivery jobs, or driving private-hire vehicles. “Where is our country heading?” the man questioned.

The SDP proposes a S$7 per hour minimum wage across the board.

Singapore does not have a minimum wage scheme. However, the current scheme in place is the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme, implemented in 2008 as a form of wage subsidy for Singaporean workers above 35 earning less than S$2,000 a month.

The Workfare Training Support Scheme also provides funding support for workers to go for training to improve their skills.

Dr Chee’s walkabouts at Bukit Batok occur with increasing frequency, and the party has revealed in August that they plan to field a candidate for the single-seat ward. Bukit Batok SMC is currently helmed by People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate Mr Murali Pillai. /TISG

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