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Government’s Project SUCCESS a Way to Push Singaporeans into Low-Wage Jobs?

Beware, residents of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. Or at least, be aware. Project SUCCESS is coming to a Community Club near you – Sengkang CC. It’s supposed to help those living in the estate find jobs. And for the first time, the programme will integrate its processes with a new Social Service Office which will open at the CC this June.


Tempting as this might sound, most of the jobs tend to be low-wage jobs – those that hardly allow a person to earn enough to survive in this country. To celebrate the collaboration, a recruitment drive was held with some 1000 job positions available. And which are the companies which had the most jobs on offer? Resorts World Sentosa, MacDonald’s restaurants, and NTUC FairPrice.


Commemorating the occasion, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said, “We find that quite a number of residents, they have quite a range of issues which they need help in. Finding a job is one of the basic things because it helps with their income and support for their family.”


So, one of our top government leaders believes that it’s enough to raise a family on $5 an hour wages as a counter staff at a burger joint, or perhaps slightly more as a croupier or cocktail server in an environment of gambling and temptation? For singles, that could be possible. But for breadwinners?Hardly.


Let’s do a simple and modest checklist to see why:

Food: three $3 meals a day at a hawker centre = $270 a month

Travel: going to and from, at a minimum $1.10 per trip = $66 a month

Housing: paying off home loan on 3-rm flat bought at $300,000 = $667 a month

Household &Misc Bills: $100


Total Monthly Expenses: $1103.

Earnings from working a 9-hour day, every bloody day, at $5 an hour: $1350 a month.


Why a 9-hour day? Because I want to see my wife, my parents, and my children too if I have them. But looking at the amount of savings I have left at the end of the month, I should probably hope not to have kids, a wife, or parents. How can I take care of them with $247 leftover? (Ed: that’st not even counting beer money!)


Our opposition figures such as the Worker’s Party push for minimum wages, and better jobs for Singaporeans. Our government tries to push more of us into low-end menial jobs. It’s probably time for the government, and the NTUC to reflect on whether they want to continue molly-coddling so-called foreign talent and deprive Singaporeans of a means to survive in this country which is supposed to be our home.


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