Roundtable on wages in an age of disruption

Will a minimum wage erode competitiveness?

Over the last few years, there has been a real substantial adjustment that's been made to the four sectors (covered by the Progressive Wage Model - cleaning, landscape, security and lift technicians), said Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of
Over the last few years, there has been a real substantial adjustment that's been made to the four sectors (covered by the Progressive Wage Model - cleaning, landscape, security and lift technicians), said Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.PHOTO: ST FILE

This is an edited transcript of a roundtable discussion on wages on Friday organised by The Sunday Times. The participants were Mr Lim Boon Heng, former labour chief; Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large; Mr Zainal Sapari, NTUC assistant secretary-general; Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises; and Mr Daniel Thong, co-founder of cleaning start-up Nimbus. The moderator was The Straits Times' Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong.

Tommy Koh: When we moved from a 5½-day week to a five-day week, it had no negative impact on the competitiveness of the Singapore economy, and I dare predict that if we have a minimum wage, it would also have no negative impact on our economy.

Kurt Wee: Over the last few years, there has been a real substantial adjustment that's been made to the four sectors (covered by the Progressive Wage Model - cleaning, landscape, security and lift technicians).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 02, 2018, with the headline 'Will a minimum wage erode competitiveness?'. Print Edition | Subscribe