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Ideas for Singapore
23-05-2011, 09:50 PM.
Post: #1
Ideas for Singapore
Now that the election is over and all the blowhards are quieter, there are some possible, and specific suggestions for the government.

1. Address the anxiety about foreign workers, encourage less productive businesses to move out and still be be relatively revenue neutral.

Raise the foreign work levy gradually. Implement a levy also for mid level white collar workers (the so-called PMET segment). At the same time, reduce corporate taxes.

2. Encourage more CPF/retirement savings and bring down housing prices. Put more funds (in a relative way) into lower income Singaporean retirement accounts, spending the money slowly over time.

Increase the amount set aside in CPF that cannot be used for housing gradually. This will increase CPF funds and at the same time reduce inflationary pressures for housing since we are in a vicious cycle of easy availability of CPF money for house purchases, inflating their prices. At age 50, put a lump sum into Singaporean retirement accounts (e.g. $5K). $5K is small for a higher income person but a good fraction of a lower income Singaporean's CPF.

3. Introduce inflation indexed Government bonds as an alternative investment choice, particularly for retirees.

4. Issue Temasek Holdings shares into Singaporean CPF accounts (or allow people to purchase at low prices). Make them non-tradable on SGX, but allow people to receive dividends. Continue to issue new shares to young Singaporeans who start working from a fixed equity portion (diluting existing shareholders dividends if necessary)

5. Increase tax incentives for people to start giving money to registered charities. e.g. from double tax deduction to even triple tax deduction. Encourage people to give directly instead of asking govt to provide.


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23-05-2011, 09:59 PM.
Post: #2
RE: Ideas for Singapore
clap. clap, clap.....good ideas from tanjm san.
indeed pro-citizen proposal, i up-hand 'kiu chiu' for yr ideas.

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23-05-2011, 10:04 PM.
Post: #3
RE: Ideas for Singapore
'kiu chiu' from me too. Big Grin
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23-05-2011, 10:23 PM.
Post: #4
RE: Ideas for Singapore
You two kiu Chiu, I kiu ka.

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23-05-2011, 10:30 PM.
Post: #5
RE: Ideas for Singapore
I like your proposals very much Tanjm! Especially with the 2 points below:

Point 3 - this way, conservative retirees can protect their retirement cash needs, and govt bears the pain if they let inflation get out of hand.

Point 5 - this I like the most! It encourages we take care of our own - like in the old days with the chinese clan assosiations. But we now extend it to all Singaporeans taking care of Singaporeans - irregardless of race, religion, or political leanings. At grass roots level, we can better decide who "deserves" support. Free-loaders and those who gambled away their retirement savings should not be treated the same as with genuine hardship cases who find themselves in a temporary bind due to circumstances beyond their control.

I've visited welfare countries (everything is free from cradle to grave - but at the price of 50% tax for those working) where some of my colleagues have expressed disgust at subsidising their lazy neighbours (same citizens - not immigrants) who prefers not to work but enjoy state unemployment benefits and drink all day.....

My biggest fear is when we have an entitlement attitude. Just because we are born a Singapore citizen we deserve.......

I am now working in Athens, Greece. We should never subject ourselves in a position where we go begging to other countries to bail us out. Some German megazines even suggested Greece sell some of their islands...... Once upon a time, we sold Christmas Island to Australia - short-sighted Lim Yee Hock government.

Small government fan.
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Just google singapore man of leisure

http://singaporemanofleisure.blogspot.com/
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23-05-2011, 10:41 PM.
Post: #6
RE: Ideas for Singapore
My proposal:

Introduce Open Bidding COE (Certificate of Employment):

1) COE renewable every 5 yrs.
2) All foreigners including PR need COE before employment. Note this applies to FW as well.
3) Opening bidding ensures only those REAL talent that is able to pay for COE will be allowed to come in SG for work.
4) All those labor intensive industries either buck up and improve their productivity or improve their way of work or THEY CAN PERISH !!!
5) Revenue from COE will be used to offset the ever escalating medical cost and top up workfare...
6) COE makes Singaporeans cheaper to hire and tilt the playing field in our favour...
7) Scrap the S-pass, or watever pass scheme as they have been abused ... COE is the next way to go..
8) With COE, GST can be revised back to 5%...

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24-05-2011, 07:42 AM. (This post was last modified: 24-05-2011, 07:43 AM by tanjm.)
Post: #7
RE: Ideas for Singapore
(23-05-2011, 10:41 PM)Zelphon Wrote: Introduce Open Bidding COE (Certificate of Employment):

A vibrant economy needs all kinds of skills or even not so high skills but pure drive. Most great cities or countries are welcoming to foreign workers.

Any kind of effort to limit foreign worker inflow with a blunt instrument would just lead to companies leaving Singapore wholesale - losing jobs for Singaporeans as well. For this point, I'm pretty much in agreement with the government.

My own suggestion on this point would not penalise the foreign labor directly, and would redistribute any levies back to corporations in general (revenue neutral).


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24-05-2011, 10:27 AM. (This post was last modified: 24-05-2011, 10:30 AM by Zelphon.)
Post: #8
RE: Ideas for Singapore
(24-05-2011, 07:42 AM)tanjm Wrote:
(23-05-2011, 10:41 PM)Zelphon Wrote: Introduce Open Bidding COE (Certificate of Employment):

A vibrant economy needs all kinds of skills or even not so high skills but pure drive. Most great cities or countries are welcoming to foreign workers.

Any kind of effort to limit foreign worker inflow with a blunt instrument would just lead to companies leaving Singapore wholesale - losing jobs for Singaporeans as well. For this point, I'm pretty much in agreement with the government.

My own suggestion on this point would not penalise the foreign labor directly, and would redistribute any levies back to corporations in general (revenue neutral).

The problem now is too much foreigners of dubious skills and talents...
And they are competing with local Singaporeans at PMET level and undercutting the salary level...

In additional, foreigners do not have NS liabilities ...

There have been reports of Master degrees holders from india coming here to get jobs in PMET level accepting salary at diploma holders level... And these people can't even communicate in proper English...

We do need foreign workers for jobs shunned by Singaporeans but the open door policy is driving median wage down amid high inflation and also stealing jobs from local PMET and especially fresh graduates..

If the employers still have easy access to foreign labor pool, who will want to employ locals especially aged PMET???

In current times, those who hit age 40 are in dangerous position to be retrenched amid downturn (even though they may be experienced and knowledgeable in their field)..

One such PMET (previously a manager in semicon industry) has to work as a dishwasher for $6/ hr after retrenchment... This was reported in Transitioning.org...

Look at how many aged has become taxi drivers...

Let's face it... Singaporeans CANNOT compete on COST in our own turf and most unscrupulous MNC and firms chose to hire foreigners rather than locals while enjoying the handsome tax benefits of operating in SG...

We are losing aged local talents to cheap foreign imports...
Yet PAP is promoting lifelong learning and work longer beyond age 68...
Problem is how many will be gainfully employed after age 40???

Even our public sector is being opened up to foreigners...HR of LTA and various govt agencies are flying to China and India to offer good PMET jobs to bright foreign talented graduates !!!! Even some MNCs are shamelessly advertising for PMET jobs overseas !!!

Look at the high cost of living in SG...
Can our local survive under such wage pressure, low job security and intense competition on COST ???

No wonder the no. of Singaporeans migrating overseas is on the rise over the years...

I agree with SDP's proposal of using 60 billion of our reserves to develop local brands and companies..

We used to be one of the 5 rising tigers of Asia !!!
We used to be well ahead of South Korea, and Taiwan...

Now South Korea has Samsung, Kia, LG, Hyndai, etc..
Taiwan has TSMC, UMC, etc..
What do Singapore have??

How come we failed to develop a massive global MNC after our lead in economy?

One of the key reasons is PAP placed too much emphasis in attracting foreign MNC and failed to give sufficient emphasis to local caompanies...
Foreign MNC wants labor.. PAP tweaked the laws to provide them cheap labors.. Foreign MNC wants low tax.. PAP gives generous tax incentives...

Now we have many MNCs setting up headquarters in SG..
They are here mainly because of the exposure to South East Asia (which will be the upcoming source of cheap labor after China).. Even Intel is going into Vietnam.. However, if PAP keep on pandering to these MNCs and undermine our local workforce and talent... Singaporeans will never be able to develop own brand and MNC and forever be relying on MNCs...
In the process, we are destroying ourselves slowly as our local talents get replaced..

PAP does not even dare to reveal the actual employment figures of Singaporeans vs PR, foreigners, etc...

We have to start the change now and use our reserves to fund the change and transformation before we are forever lost... All those bloody reserves has to go toward something... Why not spend on developing SG instead being used in loss making investments overseas???

I realised that I wrote a lot of ramblings.. I shall end this by giving this link to a 7 part youtube video of an analysis of Singapore by Taiwan Media... It is interesting to watch what Taiwan media thinks of SG..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC-dkoR0K...re=related






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24-05-2011, 10:38 AM. (This post was last modified: 24-05-2011, 10:43 AM by flinger.)
Post: #9
RE: Ideas for Singapore
(23-05-2011, 09:50 PM)tanjm Wrote: 3. Introduce inflation indexed Government bonds as an alternative investment choice, particularly for retirees.

4. Issue Temasek Holdings shares into Singaporean CPF accounts (or allow people to purchase at low prices). Make them non-tradable on SGX, but allow people to receive dividends. Continue to issue new shares to young Singaporeans who start working from a fixed equity portion (diluting existing shareholders dividends if necessary)

I am a fan of the above two suggestions.

For no 3 : I always wondered why we don't have inflation indexed bonds as we tend to suffer from inflation , especially imported inflation due to the open nature of our country. This would be real boon for those retirees as it would help protect their retirement savings from inflation which is one of the biggest worry for a retiree.

For no 4: I thought it was talked about previously by PM's wife previously, but after that no news. This is a great idea in which the citizens can fund the organization investments and the organization in return provides them decent dividends. As they have highlighted that they have great track record, this is one way the govt can help the citizen invest for their future and retirement.

my two cents.

Hi Zelphon,

I think the problem you talked about is acknowledged. But the solution you highlighted is not the right solution as subtly put by Tanjm.

Its not a single problem, its a multifaceted problem that needs to be looked at various angles and resolved.


(24-05-2011, 10:27 AM)Zelphon Wrote: The problem now is too much foreigners of dubious skills and talents...
And they are competing with local Singaporeans at PMET level and undercutting the salary level...

In additional, foreigners do not have NS liabilities ...

There have been reports of Master degrees holders from india coming here to get jobs in PMET level accepting salary at diploma holders level... And these people can't even communicate in proper English...

We do need foreign workers for jobs shunned by Singaporeans but the open door policy is driving median wage down amid high inflation and also stealing jobs from local PMET and especially fresh graduates..

If the employers still have easy access to foreign labor pool, who will want to employ locals especially aged PMET???

In current times, those who hit age 40 are in dangerous position to be retrenched amid downturn (even though they may be experienced and knowledgeable in their field)..

One such PMET (previously a manager in semicon industry) has to work as a dishwasher for $6/ hr after retrenchment... This was reported in Transitioning.org...

Look at how many aged has become taxi drivers...

Let's face it... Singaporeans CANNOT compete on COST in our own turf and most unscrupulous MNC and firms chose to hire foreigners rather than locals while enjoying the handsome tax benefits of operating in SG...

We are losing aged local talents to cheap foreign imports...
Yet PAP is promoting lifelong learning and work longer beyond age 68...
Problem is how many will be gainfully employed after age 40???

Even our public sector is being opened up to foreigners...HR of LTA and various govt agencies are flying to China and India to offer good PMET jobs to bright foreign talented graduates !!!! Even some MNCs are shamelessly advertising for PMET jobs overseas !!!

Look at the high cost of living in SG...
Can our local survive under such wage pressure, low job security and intense competition on COST ???

No wonder the no. of Singaporeans migrating overseas is on the rise over the years...

I agree with SDP's proposal of using 60 billion of our reserves to develop local brands and companies..

We used to be one of the 5 rising tigers of Asia !!!
We used to be well ahead of South Korea, and Taiwan...

Now South Korea has Samsung, Kia, LG, Hyndai, etc..
Taiwan has TSMC, UMC, etc..
What do Singapore have??

How come we failed to develop a massive global MNC after our lead in economy?

One of the key reasons is PAP placed too much emphasis in attracting foreign MNC and failed to give sufficient emphasis to local caompanies...
Foreign MNC wants labor.. PAP tweaked the laws to provide them cheap labors.. Foreign MNC wants low tax.. PAP gives generous tax incentives...

Now we have many MNCs setting up headquarters in SG..
They are here mainly because of the exposure to South East Asia (which will be the upcoming source of cheap labor after China).. Even Intel is going into Vietnam.. However, if PAP keep on pandering to these MNCs and undermine our local workforce and talent... Singaporeans will never be able to develop own brand and MNC and forever be relying on MNCs...
In the process, we are destroying ourselves slowly as our local talents get replaced..

PAP does not even dare to reveal the actual employment figures of Singaporeans vs PR, foreigners, etc...

We have to start the change now and use our reserves to fund the change and transformation before we are forever lost... All those bloody reserves has to go toward something... Why not spend on developing SG instead being used in loss making investments overseas???

I realised that I wrote a lot of ramblings.. I shall end this by giving this link to a 7 part youtube video of an analysis of Singapore by Taiwan Media... It is interesting to watch what Taiwan media thinks of SG..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC-dkoR0K...re=related


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24-05-2011, 11:05 AM. (This post was last modified: 24-05-2011, 11:43 AM by Zelphon.)
Post: #10
RE: Ideas for Singapore
Hi Flinger,

yes.. it is a multi-faceted problems created from poor short-sighted policies from PAP...

And most businessmen are pro-PAP and they benefit from these policies...

The root cause is still the overwhelming no. of foreigners currently in SG as PR ...
We have opened the floodgates and these people has exploited them...

Govt is trying to tighten the control but it is too late...
Dubious talents has came in and the easy access to foreign labor pool has brought about a mindset change in employers...
They are now heavily reliant on foreign labor akin to a drug addict..

Foreign levies do not work as PAP is still targeting FW which we do need and not at those PMET foreigners which we do not need...
We need a policy to bring about a mindset change and remind the employers that Singaporeans should come 1st in employment regardlessly...

I believe a blunt instrument like the COE will bring about the much required mindset change and ensure those that are heavily reliant on foreign labors to rethink their work process to bring about the change...

Revenue from COE can go into aiding them in the change...

But ultimately, the message must be clear that Singaporeans must come 1st in employment...

Meanwhile, we must start deeloping our own brands and ensure that local companies can florish and grow into giant MNC..

Govt should stop hoarding talents and the whole education system must change to stop the overwhelming emphasis on grades..

How many of our scholars can actually create a business from scratch??
Most of them are purely book-smart and yet placed in positions of importance.. and they just mold into the system instead of thinking of ways to change and improve it....

We need a transformation in the way Singapore work or we will all perish in times to come..




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