Chua Mui Hoong,
Just what is there to celebrate about Singapore's tripartism?
From one vantage point, a lot. The resident employment rate is at a record high of 72.3 per cent. Unemployment is low. Young people leaving school have good jobs. Companies feel secure enough to sink in billions in investment for the long term. Strikes are alien.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered a suitably rallying speech at the May Day Rally on Friday, when he said of the National Trades Union Congress: "No trade union congress anywhere else in the world has been as effective as NTUC in improving workers' lives."
Even without raw data to substantiate that, I guess many will appreciate the sentiment behind that statement, which is that the harmonious state of industrial relations here is due to the hard work of unions, employer groups and the Government, and something valuable to be safeguarded.
But consider the challenges workers face today, and you might say tripartism still has a long way to go.