Time to fact-check people who “never do homework!”


With the announcement of Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for Retail workers on 16 August, some opposition “politicians” have come out to attack the PWM – again, without doing their homework, but just riling up Singaporeans’ emotions for their personal agenda.

Screengrab from Lim Tean’s Facebook page.

Shit-stirrer 1: Lim Tean

Agitated Lim Tean says, “What’s the big deal?”

Please lah, so salty for what? It’s just regular news reporting. What is a “big deal?” – I think reporting EVERY SINGLE DAY and HOUR then it’s a big deal. It’s just news, but this Lim Tean is so salty that he takes every chance to play on Singaporeans’ emotions to attack the work of tripartite partners – the employers, NTUC and the government.

And no substance wor. No mention or analysis of the Retail workers’ PWM, but just simply saying that “it’s not good enough”. Nice lah, my Ah gong also can say “not good enough”. Think it’s not good? Point out what’s not good, and what YOU are proposing.

Soundbites always sound good – he says he advocates for a “living” wage – but if we force all employers across the board to give X amount of salary to their workers, can you imagine how many companies will contemplate and start to pull out operations from Singapore? If we have no jobs in Singapore, don’t even think about a living wage lah.

So, Lim Tean says $1,850 is too little. But this is the gross amount – retail workers often must put in some additional hours, and they would earn more as a result of those hours (1.5x pay!! And the hourly rate must align to PWM guidelines!)

Extract from the retail PWM report, retrieved from here (Page 6)

In the consumer point of view, a staggered increase is good because the costs will not be suddenly passed on to consumers, if not we will see higher retail prices. Honestly, now is not a great time to see prices increase more. But we must ensure the most vulnerable percentiles (bottom 20%) of retail workers in terms of wages earn higher and have better lives.

So, year-on-year, the increase will be 8.5%. According to the Ministry of Manpower’s statistics, the average, year-on-year median gross monthly income increase, from 2016 to 2021 is 2.9% (Statistics from MOM here, you’re welcome). What the PWM offers is almost 2.5 times greater than 2.9%!

For employers, an 8.5% increase is quite scary for the employer. If an employer has a large proportion of retail workers, it can mean quite an increase in their operating costs.

He then drops an example, or should I say fake news – a random comment from “Shevon Lim” saying that his/her starting pay was $1,800 ten years ago and after CPF it’s $1,200.

Huh? Simi sai? If your basic salary is $1,800 and assuming this “Shevon Lim” is a worker below 55 years old, then the CPF contribution should be $360. Shevon Lim’s take-home pay should be $1,440 then. I don’t know which country’s CPF rates this Shevon Lim is using leh.

Lim Tean says, “Don’t pull cotton over our eyes”. It’s “wool” and not “cotton”. LOL. Most importantly, who is really pulling wool over whose eyes?

Want to stir shit, do your homework lah.

Screengrab from Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s Facebook page.

Shit-stirrer 2: Kenneth Jeyaratnam

Remember those kinds of bullies in primary school who name-call people? That’s right, when one has no substance, they resort to name-calling.

Jeyaratnam says that NTUC is trying to fool Singaporeans with fake news – I say, bullshit. If Jeyaratnam even bothered to read the report, it says that the retail PWM starts in September this year, and the increases come in 2023 and 2024. The model will be reviewed in 2024 to see what kind of wage increase will be sustainable in the long run. Come on, NOBODY said that increases are only for two years.

Extract from the retail PWM report, retrieved from here (Page 6)

Another sign that Jeyaratnam DID NOT BOTHER to read the report: He accuses that the report is silent on whether “this will apply to part time employees”.

The report literally said it will apply to BOTH full-time and part-time employees. I got do homework – so I’ll show you the extract from the report:

Extract from the retail PWM report, retrieved from here (Page 3)

He also said, “(retail) companies can choose to substitute foreign workers for Singaporeans who will probably be cheaper”. Simi sai?

The retail PWM targets employers who employ foreign labour. Ultimately, the beneficiaries are Singaporean workers. Should employers refuse to pay Singaporean retail workers PWM wages, the Ministry of Manpower will REJECT all work pass applications from this particular company.

Did you know? Companies cannot suka-suka hire foreign workers. For example, for every 100 Singaporean/PR workers company X employs, it can hire 10 S-pass workers. Singaporean workers are protected!

Government even give chance – 6 months for employers to fully understand the retail PWM before they “kena” from government if they don’t follow PWM guidelines.

Want to stir shit, do your homework lah.

Still reading this? Props to you – really angry when this kind of armchair critic keeps trying to stir shit for no good reason. It’s literally a scheme that will benefit our lowest earning workers while ensuring that our economy is stable through negotiations with employers while looking at ways to improve wages of our most vulnerable workers.



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