As POFMA Bites, Josephine Teo Takes Advantage to Talk Cock
Now that she hopes domestic critics have been silenced with the PAP’s new weapon, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (POFMA) law, Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, is taking advantage of this with the PAP’s usual tricks of fake statistics to bamboozle Singaporeans and gullible or venal foreign media.
She claims that 63,000 jobs were created in 2019 but fails to differentiate between resident workers and foreign workers. Looking at MOM’s numbers it appears that while the resident labour force grew by 36,000 employed residents only grew by 27,000, which is far short of the 63,000 jobs created. Clearly over 50% of the jobs created went to foreign workers. Ms Teo also failed to provide any breakdown between Singaporeans and PRs in the total. PRs are deliberately advantaged by the PAP compared to Singaporeans as male PRs do not have to do NS and seem to be able to keep their children out of NS, despite the PAP’s claims, especially if the PRs are from Europe, Australia, the UK or North America.
Rather than boasting that the Government created 63,000 jobs Ms Teo should be made to explain why resident unemployment rose to 3.1% in 2019 from 2.9% the previous year. This number again fails to distinguish between Singaporean citizens and PRs. Given the greater advantages PRs enjoy, the unemployment rate is likely to be significantly higher for citizens. The unemployment rate is also artificially low because all male Singaporeans doing NS are counted as employed and the Government subsidizes courses of dubious value through the SkillsFuture Credit which keeps people out of the unemployment figures. Given these factors the unemployment rate for Singaporeans is probably significantly higher than in the US or the UK, certainly compared with cities like London or New York.
It is also curious that total employment apparently only grew by some 19,000 between December 2018 and December 2019, which is at odds with Ms Teo’s claim that 63,000 jobs were created. So was she using a net or gross figure, which did not take account of jobs lost, or is it because she deliberately used a time period which suited her case, just as SDP were accused of doing when they were hit with a POFMA.
Lee Hsien Loong has yet to explain how he managed to spend $3.5 billion allocated to the Productivity Fund over several Budgets and administered by his office. It is interesting that his Government keeps very quiet about productivity these days after having made a song and dance about their productivity initiatives. In the latest Manpower Ministry release, value added per worker is shown as declining by 0.8% in 2019 over 2018, a decline that will only accelerate as output falls sharply this year and with the Government’s Jobs Support Scheme and Wage Credit Scheme. Much of this money may be wasted as the workers would not have been let go anyway. The money would be better spent if it was placed directly in the hands of Singaporeans so that it could be spent on boosting the economy and directly improving their welfare.
Given the fear that POFMA has instilled, the PAP feel very free to put out their own fake news to convince Singaporeans to blindly trust them for another five years. It is time to call them out.