Friday, January 14, 2011

The Bane Of Intellectual Morons

Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong seems to think his party is smarter than the governments of Hong Kong and Taiwan, two countries which have adopted minimum wage policy to address the wage gap disparity. If they are so smart, how did the Singapore government's official estimate of a $3 billion deficit end up as a $6 billion surplus? They can't manage the influx of foreigners, they can't manage the influx of foreign funds, they can't manage the influx of income over outlays, what can they do right?

The budget surplus is in the main excess of taxation revenues collected from by the state over expenditures meant for the people's welfare, as in defence, health, education, housing, job creation, etc. It is quite obvious the guys in charge are not prepared to share the bumper crop with the peasants. Money which could have been utilised to help people in need - especially lower income earners - have been withheld. All the talk about funds set aside for relief packages are meaningless if the money is not dispensed efficiently. It's the NKF disease all over again, huge accumulations of reserves while profits are raked from "subsidized" social benefits.

All the hoo-hah about a "marathon 5-hour session" to deliberate the minimum wage subject may just have been scripted to give the impression of the parliamentarians' pseudo-angst for a downtrodden group. According to Manpower Ministry's survey, only 1 in 5 economically inactive women have upper secondary education or above, characteristic of the group requiring training in literacy or numeracy to upgrade their earning potential. If they couldn't learn to read or add after 6 years or more of formal education, can miracles be achieved from a few hours of part-time courses?

What is strange is the finality with which Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say draws his line in the sand - the labour movement has no intention to adopt a minimum wage scheme - and damned be the effete orchestration of a parliamentary debate. From whence does a dumb-deaf frog derive such arrogance (as in "Over my dead body") and pugnacity ("Go on, make my day")? One clue is the extract from another SPH publication (actually more door-stop than tome). Queried about the remote possibility of a more generous welfare policy, an irate Lee Kuan Yew is quoted as responding,
"You won't convince me. Whether I convince you or not is irrelevant to me because I know these are the real facts. You're are not going to shift me. And if the ministers believe like you would, then they are going to waste of a lot of time and money, that's all."

Given that this stubborn geriatric, by his own belated twilight-hour confession, was wrong about the learning of Mandarin, what's immutable about his misguided doctrine of welfarism? The title of Daniel Flynn's book, "Intellectual Moron: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas", provides better insight to the problem plaguing Singapore. When ideology is your religion and truth becomes just a matter of opinion, anything goes. "There is great danger when lies are institutionalized as truth."


  1. I am not surprised by the one-sided "debate." Why did they even bother with the deliberation in the first place?

    I'm sure the debates in Hong Kong and Taiwan were real and heated when both sides were represented.

    Why do they need 82 MPs when 1 is sufficient? Oh, they don't even need that 1 because of you know who.

    The system is pathetic.

  2. you are being very kind when you cite lee kuan yew being wrong on just mandarin teaching, though, yes, that is the only mistake he has admitted to. there is stop at two, graduate mothers, the emphasis on race...

    however, he was right on one thing - this island can really accomodate only about 3, 4 million people, the reason he gave when he flung the vietnamese boat people back to sea. pity that hasn't been adhered to.

    as for all those parl voices being against minimum wage, the reach of the Whip seems to have been extended to not just Voting on policies. and of course, there's that little matter of birds of the same feather flocking together.

    it's why if we want to see this country move forward, we need new blood and fresh thinking in the House.

  3. Minimal wage does more 'hum' than good. Or is it mee-siam mai 'harm'? Hum and harm are synonymous. They are dirty words which we cannot use. Else you might be garroted, erm, gazetted.


  4. They're wrong,
    You're right!
    what can your right do,
    when it cannot right
    the wrong?
    Despite you're many
    they're few.

  5. Can we be a bit more nimble here - in thinking about this issue. I think what is at issue is not a 'minimum' wage, per se. To my mind, minimum wage should not be defined as a certain minimum salary for a certain type or category of jobs, not at this point or moment, anyway.

    A minimum wage for our purpose should be a wage that is absolutely the lowest ANY employee should be paid in ANY job that takes up 8-9 hours (full time) daily, 5 days a week. And any part-time work or less than a full day's should be pro-rated on an hourly basis based on this.