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Jamus Lim speaks up about CECA: It must balanced by inclusivity and social harmony

His assessment of CECA based on economics, not race

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Singapore — MP Jamus Lim clarified on Facebook that his assessment of CECA had been based primarily on economics and not race.

A few days ago, when I shared about the potential costs of the CECA agreement, I was focused on the economics of the…

Posted by Jamus Lim on Monday, 22 March 2021

This was in response to his previous post regarding CECA which he posted on March 19, analysing the economic impact of the agreement.

CECA stands for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which is an agreement between India and Singapore to strengthen bilateral trade.

In his original post, he wrote that “the extent of gains would depend on the specific conditions faced by both parties to any agreement.” and that “there is no assurance that the net benefits of trade are to be more equally distributed.”

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He suggests that “CECA certainly brings a number of unique circumstances that make gains from the deal less unambiguously positive”, such as India’s’ large population resulting in a larger number of migrants as compared to Singapore. In addition, “their lower costs could displace local, higher-cost Singaporeans doing the same job, and perhaps even decimate the entire local industry, due to their sheer size.”

However, on Monday (Mar 22) the MP took to Facebook to clarify that his analysis of the agreement was concentrated on the economic aspect.

“I do not assess the economics of the CECA agreement, by any stretch of the imagination, through the lens of ethnic or national differences.” he writes, sharing that he ‘does not, and would never endorse any hijacking of this conversation that traffics in bigotry, intolerance, parochialism, or xenophobia.’

“We should understand the benefits as well as costs of any policy, to better mitigate the consequences of the latter.” he elaborates, explaining that his analysis of CECA could have been applied to any other situation (both Western and Eastern countries) with similar conditions. His assessment of CECA was not based on any racial prejudice, instead it was purely economical analysis.

The Workers Party believes that engagement with globalisation must be balanced by inclusivity and social harmony. “While we must do much better for Singaporean workers, I do not see this coming at the expense of the cohesiveness of our society as a whole. And that includes, without doubt, the immigrants who live, work, and play among us,” he concludes.

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media

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