SINGAPORE - If you ask me whether Singaporean workers deserve a median monthly wage of $3,000, given the value of the work they put in, I would say "no". Our wages are being pushed up artificially, mostly by the seniority-based wage system and a predetermined pay structure depending on one's basic qualifications, experience and age.
A fresh graduate entering the workforce would expect to be promoted every two to three years, and be a manager within five years.
With so much prestige placed on managerial posts, many have missed out on the opportunity to master skills and become an expert in their respective fields.
Singapore's work culture does not accord equal status and respect to every job. Maybe this is impossible to achieve in a society where the segregation between the haves and have-nots is too great to be resolved.
- Francis Seah
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