A number of academics and research economists,
including establishment figures,
have recently criticised the PAP,
mostly in modest language but sometimes rather strongly.
Their main criticism is
the continuing mass intake of “cheap” foreign workers
and the adverse impact it has on Singaporeans.
Another area they seek to speak up on is
the public accusation of unequal job treatment in favour of the newcomers.
Some of these academics may feel compelled to take a stand now
for fear that the problem will become even more serious.
Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh
is the latest to add his voice
to speak up for the little guys, the poor and the needy.
Several months ago,
the former state economic adviser, Prof Lim Chong Yah,
had a dramatic proposal to narrow the economic gap.
Prof Tan Khee Giap of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
hit out at the state’s foreign recruitment policies
and called for better protection of locals.
Another surprising critic was Yeoh Lam Keong,
former chief economist at the GIC headed by Lee Kuan Yew.
Prominent commentator Chua Chin Leng
praised these elites for speaking up.
“It must be a matter of conscience, of a sense of justice.”