• Pritam Singh

Minimum Wage: WP-Lite?

Almost a year to the date, at his Fullerton rally during GE2020, PM Lee accused the opposition of coming up with nothing but old recycled manifestos, “prattling on” about proposals such as a minimum wage which would just add to employers’ cost and pressure them to drop even more workers. Voters were warned not to be taken for a ride and that their future was at stake.

The day after, at a doorstop with Team Sengkang GRC and Party Chair Sylvia Lim, I was asked about PM’s comments on the minimum wage. I replied, “I make no apologies for this…(the minimum wage) is something the WP has believed in for many years, across many manifestoes and it is something that we will continue to press.” In Parliament after the GE, my WP colleagues, including Gerald Giam 严燕松, Jamus Lim and Leon Perera continued to make the same point engaging with PAP political office holders on the minimum wage, and arguing that is complementary to the Government’s Progressive Wage Model (PWM). WP MP @Chua Kheng Wee made the same point at an Institute of Policy Studies event last year.

The last few days has witnessed the birth-pangs of change in the air with some very senior individuals in Government taking a more conciliatory tone on the minimum wage and its potential applicability. Yesterday, the Straits Times reported the Senior Minister of State for Manpower saying that the Government was looking at the option of complementing the progressive wage model with a universal minimum wage. It is still early days and we are not quite there yet, with more work and discussion ahead.

In The Workers' Party, our beliefs extend beyond the political horizon, beyond hustling with our parliamentary opponents. Team WP is in politics for the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans. We envisage a better and kinder Singapore. And a successful one too. Many a time, that means challenging the ruling party, taking the punches, and rolling with them at other times. But there is no question of surrender.

There are other issues and policies that the Workers’ Party must play its part in changing or moving the needle on. For Singaporeans and a better Singapore.

Walk with us. Join us. It is challenging, and the path is fraught with uncertainty. But it is worth it. A hundred times over.

Useful links


Consider minimum wage as a complement to progressive wage model: MAS chief -

Tripartite work group looking at all options in improving support for lower-wage workers -

Parliament: NTUC deputy chief Koh Poh Koon spars with Workers' Party MPs on minimum wage -

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