Home News Featured News WP politician says Singaporeans "see themselves" in overworked hawkers and postmen

WP politician says Singaporeans “see themselves” in overworked hawkers and postmen

Yee Jenn Jong said that the divide between the working class and the wealthy is growing wider with business entities trying to "squeeze every drop out of those down the line to deliver a better bottom line"

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Workers’ Party (WP) politician Yee Jenn Jong said last week that the recent stories of overworked hawkers and postmen evoke so much sympathy among Singaporeans is because Singaporeans “see themselves in these hawkers and postmen.”

Taking to Facebook on Friday (22 Feb), the former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) spoke about how high emotions run when the plight of overworked hawkers and postmen is covered in the news. He recalled an encounter with a postman he recently met:

“Just 3 days ago, I was at the car park of a building and I saw the exact same thing at 330pm. A postman on his bike munching away furiously at a sandwich. I asked him, “Lunch?” and he nodded. I gave him the thumbs up and said “Thank you for working so hard.””

Urging the authorities to examine how to better help overworked postmen, just as they helped alleviate the burdens many hawkers faced, Mr Yee reflected: “Why have these evoked such immediate and widespread sympathy? My hypothesis is that it is in a way reflective of how Singapore has evolved. Many see themselves in these hawkers and postmen.”

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Noting the rising cost of living many ordinary Singaporeans are grappling with, Mr Yee continued: “They sometimes have to work real hard for a living, holding down multiple jobs. Our income may be higher than in our neighbouring countries but our costs are much higher too.”

“And in Singapore Inc., the business entities (whether corporations, ‘social enterprises’ made to run public goods or sometimes even government services) often try to squeeze every drop out of those down the line to deliver better bottom line. The divide between the ordinary working class and the top executives have grown wider.”

Read Mr Yee’s post in full here:

“Just 3 days ago, I was at the car park of a building and I saw the exact same thing at 330pm. A postman on his bike munching away furiously at a sandwich. I asked him, “Lunch?” and he nodded. I gave him the thumbs up and said “Thank you for working so hard.”
“Recently, we had an online storm over overcharged hawkers made to work real hard. Now, it is overworked postmen. These have evoked much sympathy from the public. In the case of the hawkers, the outcry led to a re-examination by NEA on how the ‘social enterprises’ manage and charge hawkers, and the cancellation of certain terms on onerous work conditions on them. I hope something can be done for the postmen too.
“Why have these evoked such immediate and widespread sympathy? My hypothesis is that it is in a way reflective of how Singapore has evolved. Many see themselves in these hawkers and postmen. They sometimes have to work real hard for a living, holding down multiple jobs. Our income may be higher than in our neighbouring countries but our costs are much higher too. And in Singapore Inc., the business entities (whether corporations, ‘social enterprises’ made to run public goods or sometimes even government services) often try to squeeze every drop out of those down the line to deliver better bottom line. The divide between the ordinary working class and the top executives have grown wider.
“Here’s a song for those working real hard…
“She works hard for the money 
So hard for it, honey 
She works hard for the money 
So you better treat her right””

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