Chan Chun Sing’s 1074 word essay has one message: the downturn is looming


When the Labour Chief spends his time to pen down all these words to warn you of a downturn, perhaps it might be good to pay some notice. You can read the article in full here.

In case you haven’t noticed, there is economic slowdown in Singapore. Retrenchments have been announced and the country is bracing itself for poorer results.

In short, this means:

  • Fewer jobs
  • Bonuses are in danger
  • Less business for companies
  • Tighter pay packages


The Secretary-General of the NTUC has a few questions of his own:

– Is the slowdown “cyclical” or “structural”?
Which really asks, if the slowdown is a temporary effect because of a weak economy, or have consumer habits and demands changed?

– How will the nation help older workers?
There exist older workers who cannot acquire new skills for a changing industry. Can the nation create jobs to help them earn a decent salary?

– Will investments continue to bolster Singapore’s economy?
We’ve got a skilled workforce, we keep costs low and we have harmonious industrial relations. But will foreign MNCs pass us over because they want to put jobs elsewhere for non-economic considerations?

– The competition isn’t from within the country. It is from outside
If our businesses, employees and government fight with one another all day long, we will be ignoring the obvious fact about how other countries want to cannibalise our economy.

– Skills: That’s the magic word that’s going to raise salaries and business profits
Qualifications alone are not enough. Be it qualifications or skills, they must have market currency and relevant to tomorrow’s jobs.

– We’re doing well so far…but never be complacent
We have always to question and ask ourselves how we can be more competitive, keep costs low, equip students and workers with skills that the market needs, keep regulations competitive and allocate resources to growth sectors.

And he ends with a nice quote,

“By the laws of the market, only the fittest and fastest will survive”.

But surely Singaporeans don’t just want to survive eh Mr. Chan?




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