Wednesday, March 3, 2010

MP Ong, Shut Up Already!

A good salesman knows when to to stop talking after he has delivered his pitch. Trust labour MP Ong Ah Heng to dig himself a ditch .

Supposedly having fought for the welfare of his bus drivers for nearly 30 years, Ong claimed that "even with a pay of $1,800", very few locals want the job. So what does Ong, who is paid the $14,000 MP allowance on top of his day job, do for the SBS Transit's 5,500 drivers - of which only 38% are citizens? He brings in foreigners, but did not disclose how much they are paid to drive the buses. As guidance, Ong did reveal that local contract cleaners are paid $1,000, but only $600 for foreign workers. More disturbing, he confessed his own personal bias against Singaporeans: "They (his example) don't want local workers who are old, they want young foreign workers.  To satisfy the demand, I changed the local workers to foreign workers."  So is he sincere about ensuring Singapore commuters wait only 5 minutes for a bus, or obssesed about padding the bottom line? Already he's wielding the typical PAP sword for productivity - if wages for drivers go up, will people be willing to pay higher fares? The answer, Mr Ong, is that people were never willing to compensate MPs with obscene payouts in the first place, especially for MPs who don't have the electorate's interest at heart.

Listen to the truth in the words of the feedback he received from the populace: "In my constituency, many low-wage workers are hostile to foreign workers because they think foreign workers depress their wages." To paraphase fellow PAP MP Wee Siew Kim, and father of the elitist icon Wee Shu Min, "Some people just can't handle the bitter truth."

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