National Wage Council and National Security, expanding Singapore’s defence industry (1959-1980)
Cheng, Jonathan Ee Ban
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The formation of the National Wages Council (NWC) has often been cited as one of the key reasons for Singapore’s economic success amidst the early-1970s global economic recession. Alongside the Economic Development Board (EDB), the NWC has been influential is driving the development of the Singaporean economy and the raising of wages while arbitrating between corporate interests and labour unions. By examining the nature of Singapore’s defence industry and its relation to Singapore’s economy, along with the rationale behind the various industrialization programs undertaken by the EDB, this essay seeks to highlight the NWC’s relation to the EDB and its contribution to Singapore’s national security and the defence industry. By examining Dr Goh Keng Swee and his policies surrounding Singapore’s defence industry from 1959 to 1980, the NWC can be understood as an additional economic tool for ensuring the needed socio-political and economic stability in the country from 1970s onwards. By feeding into Singapore’s defence industry through attracting FDI and ensuring domestic stability for the PAP, the NWC helped to facilitating continued economic growth within Singapore’s defence ecosystem, and building on its defence capabilities from the 1970s to 1980s.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University