Lawrence Wong is Wrong for Saying Singaporeans Want to Work Longer

Yesterday, Lawrence Wong said that Singaporeans want to work longer as long as we are healthy. He thinks we choose to work since our lifespans are getting longer. He cannot be further from the truth.

It is a need, not a want

Reality is, Singaporeans continue working because we need the money. We need to support our families and keep up with rising costs of living. Without an income, how do we survive?

If the average Singaporean had enough to lead a comfortable life, he/she will not choose to work. We have been slogging for decades. Why would we choose to work longer? We only do it because we need to live, not because we want to do it.

Society leaves us with no choice

The government built our society into one of expensive housing, high cost of living and materialistic consumption. This year, they raised the GST. Next year, they are going to do it again. Living in Singapore is only going to get more expensive. There is no way we can stop working and still get to enjoy our later years.

While it may be true for some senior citizens who worked all their lives and equate work to their sense of identity, it is not the case for majority of Singaporeans. We do not have a choice.

Lawrence Wong is out of touch

Besides saying that Singaporeans want to work longer, Lawrence Wong also said work is more than a source of income. He thinks we work because it provides us with dignity and purpose.

Easy for him to say. How do you feel when someone who does not have to worry about his/her livelihood tells you that you want to work longer? PAP Ministers draw exponentially higher salaries. How much do they understand about the average Singaporean? How is this different from saying that senior citizens collect cardboards as a form of exercise? They are never more misunderstood, condescending and out of touch.