Ballot box answer to minister’s salary

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 12 Jan 2012 letter by Mr Marcel J Misquith.

Mr Misquith claims that the politician’s job is more complex than that of the CEO’s because the minister’s task is multi-dimensional comprising wealth creation, job creation, infrastructure and security compared to the CEO’s task which he claims is just profit maximisation by axing jobs if necessary.

The multi-dimension Mr Misquith refers to is more applicable to the prime minister than to his ministers because most ministers take up one, two portfolios only at any one time. Furthermore, the minister is not a one man show and his task is not his alone. Even as all eyes are focused on him, let us not forget that the minister stands atop a mountain of support from the civil service.

Mr Misquith advises Singaporeans to vote out non-performing ministers. But even in the last election when many things did go wrong, the majority of Singaporeans did not vote out non-performing ministers. Perhaps the GRC system makes it more difficult for Singaporeans to vote out non-performing ministers when bundled together with more likeable fellow candidates unless opposition candidates are far superior.

Mr Misquith sees a clear distinction with which Singapore has been steered by its ministers compared to India where he came from and he encourages Singaporeans to feel proud of our ministers and to reward them well.

Mr Misquith should not mistake the work of Singaporeans for that of our ministers. The Singapore success is not forged by a handful of ministers but contributed to by Singaporeans from all walks of life. Also, much of what Mr Misquith sees today was already there before the current crop of ministers took over. Why should Singaporeans reward ministers for inheriting what previous generations built? If Mr Misquith were to go to Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and some Chinese cities, he too would see a clear distinction in those places. Yet these places of distinction never saw the need to indulge in politicians’ greed for million dollar salaries.


One Response to “Ballot box answer to minister’s salary”

  1. Saycheese Says:

    Who is Marcel J Misquith? Why bother?

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