Elderly CPF; Roy Ngerng

Consecutively for the 15th year on record, the Singapore workforce clocked the most working hours in the world. According to the latest employment statistics from the Ministry of Manpower yesterday (Jan 31), Singaporeans clocked an average of 43 hours a week, or 2,236 hours in the year of 2018.

Singaporeans are working at least 20% higher than Japan’s 1,710 hours and South Korea’s 2,024 hours – both markets notorious for excessive working hours and work-related suicides.

In Singapore, it is common to be clocking over 72 hours a week, with overtime hours unpaid. Due to weak employment policies, exploitation of workers is rampant in the world’s second most unequal society (the first being Mexico with a slightly higher GINI coefficients).

Despite clocking the most working hours in the world, Singapore workforce is also one of the least productive when compared with OECD nations.

MOM covered up the income statistics in terms of percentile, but it was shown that cleaners and other low-skilled jobs are drawing on average S$1,521 a month before CPF tax deductions.

An estimate from the official figures revealed that about 30% of the population is taking home less than S$1,000 a month after CPF tax, with elderly Singaporeans above the age of 55 and foreign workers on work permits taking 95% of the figure.

Maids and Singaporean conscripts are excluded from the labour statistics to cover up the modern slave labour practice in Singapore.