20131207 Securtiy agencies must follow NTUC’s way?

I refer to CNA article “Security agencies, stakeholders must join hands to improve sector: Heng Chee How”. link

(when the government says “join hands”, it means allow yourself to be controlled)

Heng Chee How, NTUC Sec-Gen has urged the security agencies and industry stakeholders to join hands to transform and improve. On his Facebook posting, link he revealed that security agencies have performed badly this year according to grading by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Heng seems to have suddenly recapped Economics 101 when he says “Normally, when something is in short supply, the price goes up. But the typical basic wages of security officers (S$700 to S$800) have not gone up for years…”. Stagnant wages of low income Singaporeans have been highlighted and paid lip service to by the government for years. Why does he need to show his ‘concern’ on Facebook?

Has Heng forgotten his colleague Lim Swee Say’s mantra “cheaper, better, faster”? Does the government not ALWAYS look only at the bottom line and squeeze as much as possible from low wage Singaporeans? Is he implying that Lim Swee Say did not understand demand and supply?

In an article I wrote last month, TRS article I attributed the failure to raise the income of staff in the security industry to the NTUC. NTUC then tried to deflect the issue of its incompetence and force the Security Association of Singapore (SAS) to adopt its progressive wage model. This elicited an unexpected reply from its president who said “it is for them to support our idea, not for us to agree to their way of doing things”.

I speculated that the statement from SAS president had caused the government to lose face in a big way. Is the negative grading merely a coincidence?

Heng now suggests that “the industry union and the regulator must join hands”. In other words, the NTUC will be controlling the situation from now on.

If Heng really understands supply and demand, he should advice the government not to keep interfering in the private sector. Policies which have benefitted government linked companies have been at the expense of low wage Singaporeans. As the only ‘union’ in Singapore, NTUC has to accept full responsibility for stagnant wages and the huge income disparity.

Forcing through more regulations can never improve a system which is inherently flawed.

Phillip Ang

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