Hi Mr Tan
I refer to your blog post “Higher wages will not lead to loss of jobs”. I am pretty sure many economists would agree that we need a radical “shock” solution to narrow the big income gap here (our Gini coefficient is the highest amongst developed countries).
However, it takes the stature of Prof Lim (he is a relative of LKY) to boldly speak the truth, whilst all the economists in our local universities cower in fear of the establishment. As I see it, Prof Lim has given a robust rebuttal of the criticisms levelled by our ministers.
I suspect a few ministers actually think Prof Lim’s suggestion may in fact work, but, sadly, the “loss of face” factor is hindering acceptance of the proposal. It would have been better (and refreshingly frank) for the ruling party to have openly said:
“Yes, the indiscriminate massive immigration and ultra-liberal work visa policy in place for the past several years is wrong. It has led local companies to be hooked on the heroin of almost unlimited cheap foreign labour. It has resulted in businesses that shouldn’t be here in the first place (because they rely on cheap labour) to be on artificial life support. We know we were wrong and we endeavour to right this wrong.”