Dismissing talk that his call for a partial Central Provident Fund restoration was linked to a general election ploy, which must be held by February 2012, Minister without portfolio and Labour Chief Lim Swee Say had this to say:
"When we help...workers, it must not be because an election is coming. If we do that, we lose credibility - (that) before an election we push for something, then after the election our workplan changes.
People are not stupid, workers are not stupid, union leaders are not stupid."
In August 2003, then DPM Dr Tony Tan, addressing Sembawang Shipyard workers, cautioned them about the need to cut CPF and wages to make Singapore competitive. He quoted the independent research unit PERC in its report that claimed Singapore workers are more highly paid than those in USA and Australia. When challenged about the veracity of his findings, PERC's CEO Robert Broadfoot said it was based on the perception of business leaders, not hard statistics. Perc's methodology in the survey was to ask expatriates what they thought of labour costs in different countries, which resulted in the more laughable finding that labour costs in Vietnam are higher than in Thailand. Minister Tony Tan went ahead to slash the CPF contribution anyway, either because he was too stupid to discern the truth, or that he assumed the people would be too stupid to understand it.