Cow Beh Cow Bu


The monthly entry-level pay for cleaners will soon be set at $1000.

That’s been mandated by the Singapore government, and companies have until September next year to comply with this new regulation.

This new salary amount is supposed to be 20% more than the median wage of today’s cleaners.

This sounds good for cleaners, but what does this mean for us?


(1) 20% increase in cost of living?


Probably an exaggeration, but surely this new trend would signal in living costs?

After all, companies in Singapore are known to pass on extra costs to us, the consumers.

Just try paying for a taxi ride with a NETS card — an extra 30cents per trip.

That’s a small sum, yes.

But why should we be paying for it, when that’s the job of taxi companies like Comfort and Prime?

It’s also unlawful for companies to make consumers bear the cost of using such facilities outright.

It’s likely that companies affected by the new cleaner salary-scheme will pass on the burden of costs to us yet again.


(2) Don’t Play Dirty, Lah


Isn’t it just like the government to plug a hole, and pat itself on the back, even when that causes a leak to spring elsewhere?

We’ve seen that happen time and again (and let’s not even ponder that recurring issue of “ponding”).

A salary increase is long overdue, and good for cleaners (although $1000 a month can barely be considered a living wage, it’s an improvement).

But what about the rest of us?

Certain political parties in Singapore have been calling for an across-the-board minimum wage.

Would that help ease the cost of living for most Singaporeans, especially the common man?

It hasn’t been put into practice, and we don’t know the repercussions for sure.

But consider state of affairs now and ask yourself — would anything be better than this?

Exorbitant housing prices, exorbitant car prices, exorbitant fuel prices, exorbitant cable TV prices, and perhaps soon… exorbitant food prices?


(3) In Sum


This isn’t a rant, it’s a plea.

To those helming this project dubbed the Labour Movement’s Progressive Wage Model, please don’t be short-sighted.

And, please don’t act with just the aim to wayang in mind.

If we’re expected to believe the rhetoric of the government that it cares for our long-term future, then please stop selling us short-term fixes.


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