Is there any difference between trading off PM Lee or the PAP? Yes. There is a big difference. If you don’t like Lee Hsien Loong, as what he had suggested choosing between work and life, you can trade him off with another PAP leader. However, if you are not happy with the PM and the PAP, you can choose to trade-off both.
Alternatively, if you still want the PAP to be in government and hesitate to trade off the PAP but are willing to trade off the PM, then, you may wait and see, and check out other Singaporeans whether they will go ahead to trade off the PAP government in the General Election 2016.
It is interesting to watch whether there will be a trade-off effect in Singapore politics. PM Lee suggests a trade-off in work-life balance. Singaporeans can also do the same trade-off between PM Lee and another person and/or an additional trade-off between political parties.
So, the PAP has to think very carefully. Which arrangement is preferred by the party? Does it want to go along with PM Lee to be a trade-off item?
What is work-life balance or harmony?
In PM Lee’s opinion, work and life can be easily traded off. There is a price to pay, especially our competitors will steal away our lunch. So, in his mathematical mind, it is a balancing act. You can’t have both and eat them all.
Before we discuss further, let take a look at Ministry of Manpower’s website for a clear explanation on work-life harmony:
[Providing work-life friendly workplaces will result in a win-win situation for both employers and employees. Work-life friendly workplaces enable employees to balance their personal and work commitments. Employers who proactively support a work-life friendly environment will stand to benefit from having a more engaged and productive workforce. This will also help in attracting and retaining talent, especially in light of the tight labour market.]http://mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/work-life-harmony/Pages/work-life-strategies.aspx
PM Lee seems to suggest there is no win-win situation. Of course, as Prime Minister, he can overwrite the MOM statement and give each of the three parties (employers, union and government) #1 a slap by promoting work-life balance without deep consideration of lunch box issues.
Is the PAP government serious about work-life harmony?
Has the PM’s position on work-life balance indicated the future work-life direction in Singapore? How come the Tripartite has not voiced out their concerns? Or, it is just like the Chinese saying: talking and doing moving into different direction. （讲一套做一套）The PM sees the stealing of lunch and MOM sees the win-win outcome.
Perhaps, these are all usual practices and public policies of the PAP. You can apply the same logic to many other policies, e.g. housing (affordable flats), education (no tuition), transport (COE, ERP), etc.
New business model of inclusiveness – stockholders rather than shareholders
Work-life balance is not a winners-take-all arrangement. In fact, work-life harmony is a better explanation. All parties involved acting like stockholders in a harmony environment. This is a new business model promoting social responsibility, inclusive society and community.
However, PM Lee looks only at the shareholders’ point of views, or even worst, from the investors’ view point. It is not surprised he is so concerned about the ‘stealing of lunch’. He sees work-life as a cost factor rather than a social value creation.
Is there any empathy? He claims that he spent 20 years to learn how to be a PM. After 20 years of learning and tuition he still cannot think out of the lunch box, should we trade him off?
Instead of stealing away your lunch, you can get a free pair of shoes! A new business model?