"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

NDP message by Prime Minister:

When you don't know what to do with your hands, don't do anything with them (maybe that's why the camera is slowly zooming in on him).

I see the haze in the background, hoho.

Our nation has faced many challenges, like "major recession in the 80s" - Yes, and whose fault was that?

"Taiwan and Singapore chose a different adjustment path, aimed at export-led growth with standardized product cycle goods (e.g., radios, color televisions) and selected heavy engineering goods... The Singapore government chose to intervene in the labor market. Legal wages were raised in several successive increments by a total of about 80 percent in 197941. At the same time, measures were taken to upgrade the skills of the labor force. The wage increases were meant to induce a shift from unskilled to skilled labor-intensive activities, in which higher labor productivity would permit higher wages without conferring any advantage to capital-intensive industries. Many workers have little education; therefore, making such a transition is very difficult in a short period of time.

The government of Singapore continued to pursue a high-wages policy into the mid-1980s. Between 1981 and 1984, hourly wages of production workers were raised by 61 percent. This increase made wages in Singapore in 1984 almost 70 percent higher than those in Hong Kong and Korea and 25 percent higher than those in Taiwan. In 1981, Singapore wage rates were about the same as those in Hong Kong, and a third higher than those in Korea. The higher wages led to the contraction of traditional labor-intensive export manufacturing in Singapore, a change causing resources to shift to capital-intensive industries—shipbuilding, machinery, petroleum refining, chemicals, and the like. Singapore’s industrial export base narrowed; its share of traditional manufactured exports in total manufactured exports fell below the shares of the other NICs. The mistaken wage policies contributed to the drop in economic growth rates in the mid-1980s. Negative growth occurred for the first time in over two decades. Singapore’s mid-1980s economic crisis forced the government to revise its strategy. New policies aimed at reducing labor costs and other costs of production were quickly adopted."

--- Asian development: economic success and policy lessons / William E. James, Seiji Naya, Gerald M. Meier

His speechwriter's head will roll! As well as the head of the one who approved the speech!

[Addendum: "downturning the upturn"]

I love the mention of H1N1 as a crisis for this country. This is why Singaporeans are still so hysterical.

Respecting each other's religious beliefs - what would Colonel Darius Lim say about that?!
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