Tonight, I went from staring at Jamus Lim with hearts in my eyes to shooting daggers at my screen

How did he go from sounding fresh and fab to making empty promises like some greasy politician?

I was happily having my dinner last night when my friends started to Whatsapp me.

Oh, it’s Sengkang GRC’s turn for the Political Broadcasts that have been going on every night. The People’s Action Party (PAP) against The Workers Party (WP).

I’m going to give the PAP’s Min Ng Chee Meng more “airtime” since soooooo many media outlets have covered the WP’s Dr Jamus Lim.

Don’t believe me? Check this, this, this, this and this! Going by how much we already know of this man and his 11-page CV, I feel like we’re almost friends already, LOL!

About PAP’s Min Ng Chee Meng

The PAP team is led by the NTUC’s secretary-general Ng Chee Meng who is also a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. This means he sits right there in Cabinet as an equal when the ministers discuss policies and other matters, ensuring that the workers’ voices are heard.

In his past (work) life, Min Ng Chee Meng was Chief of Air Force and Chief of Defence Force. He joined politics in 2015. It’s clear to see that whether in his previous air force career or his current role as the labour chief, this is a man who has spent years working alongside men from all backgrounds and interacting with union leaders and workers from all walks of life.

Widely and deeply connected to the ground, Min Ng understands the everyday Singaporeans’ lives, their struggles and aspirations.

The recently launched Job Security Council (JSC) is also Ng’s brainchild.

NTUC’s Job Security Council (JSC) was first introduced by Min Ng Chee Meng in his Budget 2020 Debate speech in February.

“NTUC will be piloting the NTUC Job Security Council (JSC) to improve the matching of workers and professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), before they are retrenched or displaced, into jobs to minimise the duration of unemployment.”

“JSC, operationalised by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), will help place these workers into new jobs ahead of displacement; and if there are any skill gaps between the existing and new job, JSC will work with training partners to provide them with the relevant training.”

As at July 4, the JSC has already successfully matched 12,000 jobseekers to jobs.

You can watch the PAP’s Sengkang GRC team’s political broadcast here,

As for WP, it’s led by He Ting Ru, although most of the time, the spotlight’s on Dr Jamus Lim and for the past few days, Raeesah Khan.

And this is the WP’s Sengkang GRC team’s Political Broadcast,

The issue I want to address is what Dr Jamus Lim said about jobs. Here’s what he said, word for word.

Second, I wish to express how important it is that our government doesn’t just promise us jobs, but good jobs. Jobs that Singaporeans actually want to take on. Jobs that pay enough, so that the cost of living does not outrun our paychecks.

Too many of the promised jobs fail to meet up to our expectations, either because they require us to compete in a race to the bottom, or because they call for us to have skills that the educational system did not provide to us.

As members of the sandwiched generation, we face the same pressure to take care of ageing parents, while raising kids of our own. We understand how it feels like to have jobs that are not only insufficient to meet our needs, but insecure at the same time.

If elected, we will call for  re-examination of our nation’s economic model, to finally raise the productivity of our workers that has so far eluded us, and finally enable us to work not just hard, but also smart.

Let me remind you of what we offer. We don’t just want more of the same, more covered walkways, more lift upgrades. We also want to tackle issues that truly matter to the people in Sengkang, relieving bottlenecks in childcare centres, dedicated paths for bicycles and PMDs, and more neighbourhood spaces. We will do so with a new town council, and this system will draw on the experience of our history in Punggol East, and our management other Workers Party wards, which are just as good, if not better, than those run by the PAP.

We need a new vision to present alternatives that the current government cannot even imagine is even possible, We ask you to make it possible. We ask you to make your vote, and vote The Workers’ Party.


Wait.

Did Dr Jamus Lim say about how the government has to promise us jobs, but good jobs? And did he imply also we should all get good jobs that pay quite well and also don’t require us to have the necessary skills??

Second, I wish to express how important it is that our government doesn’t just promise us jobs, but good jobs. Jobs that Singaporeans actually want to take on. Jobs that pay enough, so that the cost of living does not outrun our paychecks.

Too many of the promised jobs fail to meet up to our expectations, either because they require us to compete in a race to the bottom, or because they call for us to have skills that the educational system did not provide to us.

The PAP has always been obsessed with training and upgrading. We all know that.

Why?

So that we can do the good jobs, the higher-value jobs.

So that we can attract the more high-tech foreign companies with cutting-edge technologies or ground-breaking products to set up shop in Singapore because we have a more skilled workforce than others. And then we can have the good jobs.

Just go Google, and you will see that the PAP has always premised the country’s development on ensuring there are good jobs for Singaporeans. The PAP team is forever talking about how a job is the best welfare a worker can have.

Why?

So that we can pursue better lives and provide better for our families.

So what Dr Jamus Lim is saying is not rocket science. But I think during a time like this, it’s irresponsible to suggest that the Government should promise Singaporeans good jobs. And to even say these good jobs can be filled by Singaporeans even if they’re not trained or schooled for it.

HOW??

If he’s referring to the 100,000 jobs that the Government has promised through the #SGUnited initiative, and how some of these jobs are temporary jobs or even traineeships, then he was not clear.

But let’s assume he was indeed referring to this, since I’ve heard of some people complaining about how the positions of Safety Distance Ambassadors are not “real” jobs, and are of a temporary nature. And also how traineeships do not guarantee a sparkling bright future, since it’s just, well, traineeship.

Can I just wake everyone up?

Helloooo, we’re in the middle of a crisis of a generation.

Let me repeat, CRISIS OF A GENERATION.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic and we’re still not out of the woods. Many businesses cannot even open or operate even as of now. Many borders are still closed to us, so international and air travel is still out of the question. So the entire tourism and hospitality business is nearly gone. Disruption of global supply chains is also causing havoc everywhere.

Haven’t you heard or noticed? Sales is very very slow for most businesses.

Plus the pandemic hits many, many countries, so many, many countries are in trouble. Both in terms of lives and livelihoods, since both lives and jobs are lost. What this means is that people are just not shopping and buying as much.

So what do we do?

We can all starve to death. Or we can do whatever jobs we can do now, learn new things, be it from these new jobs or through attending training courses.

Or if the industry you’re in is dead, join a new and learn on the job. Go enquire about Adapt and Grow programme. Go check out #SGUnited jobs. Or for Sengkang residents, the PAP team has plans to set up a Sengkang Career Centre for you.

This is no time to be picky about our jobs, mind you.

Did Dr Jamus Lim think that the PAP is stupid? That they wouldn’t want to promise good jobs to the electorate too? But they won’t cos this is a party that actually wants to deliver what it promises.

You can accuse the PAP of poor PR or stupid comms, but you cannot deny that they always (almost foolishly) tell you the truth.

Even if it hurts.

Have you watched SM Tharman’s Straight Talk programme? He gives me the confidence that they know of the challenges, for both global and local, and they have plans in place to bring us through the crisis and emerge ready to recover, more quickly and stronger, than others.

But he never said it’s gonna be easy or that good jobs will just miraculously land in our laps.

So I’m actually mildly shocked at Dr Jamus Lim’s near flippant suggestion. On national TV to boot too.

I thought it was irresponsible.

So if I’m not too educated, not very skilled, but I want a good job that i enjoy doing and with good pay, he can help me? And not just me, but everyone. Really?

And how is Dr Jamus Lim or the WP’s planning to do this if, say, the improbable really happens, that opposition candidates win more seats collectively than the PAP candidates?

What would he or the WP do if they end up forming (coalition) government after Friday? Or is he gonna say what Dr M up north said when the Pakatan Harapan could not deliver the 10 promises? That they never thought they’d win?

  1. Singapore is a third world nation because it is flooded with third world nationals claiming to be Singaporeans overnight.
    This kind of article shows bias.
    Why would Singaporeans not want better jobs, unless they are not Singaporeans, like you guys claiming to be Singaporeans.

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