US riots stress need to ensure social mobility: Tharman

The protesters who stormed the US Capitol building were part of a broad middle class that has, in many advanced economies, seen its standard of living stagnate, said Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

"When people are stuck in the same place for a long time, they get very anxious about relative positions - how they stand relative to those who are catching up from below, as well as how they stand relative to those who are further up the ladder from them," he said yesterday at the Institute of Policy Studies' Singapore Perspectives conference.

In Singapore, it is therefore important to ensure that the "moving escalator" takes everyone up and allows for an exchange of places, he added.

For the Singapore Government, ongoing efforts to encourage entrepreneurship, match job seekers with the right jobs, and push Singaporeans to upgrade their skills are aimed at ensuring the broad middle of society does well, he said.

"We've got to ensure that the broad middle in society is doing well, feels at ease, and is willing to support policies and strategies that strengthen solidarity, including doing more to help those who are at the bottom." - THE STRAITS TIMES

Singapore Politics