The argument offered by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Lim Boon Heng, for not having a minimum wage for low income workers is that it could push up the price tag on Singaporean workers, and in turn make it harder for them to find jobs. In order words, the bottom feeders should continue to subsist on peanuts (think President Carter, not Mrs Goh Chok Tong), forever dependent on the crumbs like the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) handouts hamstrung by loads of qualifying conditions. Don't forget to read the fine print.
The reality is that minimum wage exists in Singapore. The minimum starting pay for a cabinet minister is $1.5 million, regardless of not being backed by a single ballot cast in his name, not possessing prior track record in political office, or inexperience in managing a budget for a national mega project. The minimum for a senior minister is $3 million. You know what the top dog pays himself. And there are the minimum wage levels for permanent secretaries, superscale officers and a whole catalogue of fat cat civil servants. The only number applicable to a low wage earner is the foreign worker levy, which is strictly enforceable by law.
The last time Liim did a great disfavour for Singaporeans was to cut the CPF contribution rate, based on his expert understanding from a PERC (Political and Economic Risk Consultancy) report that Singaporean workers are paid more than Americans or Australians. PERC's managing director Robert Broadfoot justified its findings in that it was based on the peception of business leaders it surveyed. Colored, no doubt, by the likes of compensation heavyweights like Lim himself.
Meanwhile, paltry GST Credits and Senior Citizens Bonus payments are the only indications of a pumping heart in the cold machinery of governance. Apparently the last largesse for the senior citizens was posted to their Medisave Account, so that that grandpa can't even use it to buy moon cakes for the grandchildren, or heaven forbid, pay for the entrance fee to Resort World Sentosa.