I refer to the article "15 jobless citizen enlisted in the mozzie inspector brigade" (Today, 11 Oct 2005).
I congratulate the Holland Bukit Timah Town Council for this excellent initiative to provide jobs to our unemployed citizens and to get them to do useful work. They go round the housing estate to look for potential breeding places of mosquitoes and take the remedial action.
These inspectors are paid $100 a week for 25 hours of work. This works out to a hourly rate of $4.
I suggest that the town council should consider paying $6 an hour. For a person that works 8 hours a day, this will give an income of $1,000 a month. This is necessary to meet the high cost of living in Singapore.
By paying a more adequate rate, the workers can work with pride and treasure their job. They will not move to another employer that pays slightly more. They can build expertise.
I understand the reluctance of the government to impose a minimum wage, due to the need to keep business cost down in Singapore.
Perhaps, the publicly funded bodies can set an example to pay a more adequate wage, and this can set the benchmark for other employers?
Tan Kin Lian
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