Singapore — A few netizens are discussing if Singapore will be able to reduce its reliance on cheap manual labour.
A Facebook group known as “Wake Up, Singapore” brought up the question in one of its recent posts.
The post included a screenshot of an article on CNA written by Gabrielle Andres, titled “Main contractors for 5 BTO projects unable to continue due to financial difficulties; further delays expected: HDB”.
The article listed the five Build-to-Order (BTO) residential projects that would be delayed: Senja Ridges, Senja Heights, Sky Vista @ Bukit Batok, Marsiling Grove, and West Coast Parkview.
In the caption, Wake Up, Singapore asked if netizens were of the impression that Singapore would be able to stop relying so heavily on cheap manual labour in the future.
It also stated that other countries manage to keep housing prices affordable while construction workers, a majority of which local, are paid competitive wages. This essentially translates to lower profits for construction firms and employers on average.
“Can Singapore follow suit?” the Facebook group questioned.
In response to the question, a netizen remarked that it would be difficult to hire citizens to take up jobs in the construction sector, even with higher wages. However, a few others commented that for the right price, much more people would actually be willing to enter the industry.
Another netizen remarked that land constraints led to hefty price tags for land, leaving contractors smaller profits. He theorized that it led to contractors skimping on materials, which resulted in lower quality of residences in the more recent years.
Wake Up, Singapore was formed in Sept 2013 and aims to bring about changes to the political scene in Singapore. Those involved in the group label themselves as a group of young activists who want to highlight major issues in Singapore and around the globe.
In addition, it calls for social reform and justice and often covers controversial topics that the mainstream media is afraid to broach. It aims to increase awareness of social issues among those in Singapore, especially among youths.
You Zi Xuan is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISG
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