Ministeria​l salary 2012

Dear MPs,

I refer to 17 Jan 2012 Straits Times articles:
– MPs favour clean wage system
– WP plans differ little from recommendations: PAP MPs
– Corporate peg to pay draws lively debate
– Speech of the day: Temper idealism with realism

Dear Mr Arthur Fong,

Why compare ourselves with China, a developing nation low on the Corruptions Index? You might as well compare us with Zimbabwe. It adds nothing to our appreciation of the issue. You should compare us with First World nations instead.

Dear Ms Lee Bee Wah,

I have heard stories of British politicians misusing expense claims. But isn’t it cheaper to lose small change over miscellaneous expense claims than to lose millions to political salaries outright? Also, it’s just Britain. There hasn’t been anything of that sort from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark or Hong Kong. While your Malaysian friends wish for Singaporean politicians, have they lived in Switzerland, the Netherlands and so on?

Dear Dr Lam Pin Min,

The new ministers were already being paid very well before they joined politics. Even if we pay them what they were getting before they joined politics, they would still be earning a lot more than the apple tree gardener to be tempted to steal apples. If we have to pay them so much more just so they won’t steal apples, wouldn’t it show that they are very greedy to begin with? Why do we even consider employing such people? Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hong Kong do not pay clean wages? We cannot compare with them?

You said it is wrong to peg to bottom 10% or 20% because ministers should be concerned with the wellbeing of all. By the same logic, wouldn’t you also think it is wrong to peg to the top 1,000?

Dear Dr Amy Khor,

You said political service is more than public service. Civil servants work five days a week. MPs carry the ground five days a week? How many meet-the-people sessions do you conduct per week?

Dear Mrs Josephine Teo,

Please get real, pegging to the top 1,000 earners is elitist. You said pegging to top 10,000 or top 100,000 means we are drawing from those levels. In other words, pegging to top 1,000 is because we want to draw from top 1,000. But the current crop of new ministers did not come from the top 1,000. So we are indeed not drawing from the top 1,000 but are in fact drawing from the top 10,000 or top 100,000 depending on which group the new ministers came from. Why are we paying top 1,000 salaries to top 10,000 or 100,000 talent?

Dear Mr Alvin Yeo,

You said that the salary committee was trying to draw from Singapore’s top talent pool when it benchmarked ministerial salary to the top 1,000 Singaporean earners. But the current crop of new ministers did not come from the top 1,000 earners. So they are not our top talent? If the idea of setting top 1,000 salaries is to get top 1,000 talents, then aren’t we being short changed when we pay top 1,000 salary but get only top 10,000 or top 100,000 talent? Once their salaries become auto-pegged, the new ministers will never be able to show that they are capable of making it to the top 1,000 by themselves. How then would we know that they are truly top 1,000 material to begin with?

You said if we multiply median income by 5, 10, 20 times, we lose that identification with median income. Isn’t it the same with the 40% discount? Wouldn’t we lose identification too with the top 1,000 earners?

You said the most significant figure was Mercer’s $2.29 million average CEO pay considered by Mercer to be the closest approximation to a minister’s pay. If Mercer recommended 2.29 million ruppiah you think it will get more business in future?

You said ministry budget is billions of dollars and number of employees is tens of thousands, therefore command high ministerial pay. What about United States ministry budget which is hundreds of billions of dollars and many more thousands of employees? They deserve even more pay? Our defence minister should be paid more than our minister for information and the arts because of bigger budget?

You said ministers are answerable for MRT breakdowns and floods. But the MRT CEO resigned while the minister of transport is still the minister of transport. What’s so difficult with flood answers? Once every 50 million years.

You ask isn’t 50% discount on $2.29 million a sacrifice? In the first place, who says $2.29 million is fair? Who should decide what a fair price is? Mercer or Singaporeans?

You said we want everything from our leaders with no regard to whether they can sufficiently provide for their family. Please lah, even for the junior ministers, their former pay before they joined politics was already more than enough to provide for their family. We are talking about people from the top 10,000 or 100,000. If these guys can’t sufficiently provide for their family, 2.9 million Singaporeans must be starving now.

You point to the excessively rich politicians in the US and the UK. There are so many First World nations, why choose that one or two to suit your argument? Why not choose Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong?

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4 Responses to “Ministeria​l salary 2012”

  1. oute Says:

    First of all, they are just trying to confuse everyone lah.

  2. hika6ru Says:

    Ah,
    just a bit curious.
    Anything about MP Sam Tan Chin Siong.
    Thanks in advance.

    • trulysingapore Says:

      He said these:
      ‘Pay should not be the reason for entering politics, but neither should it be the reason for losing talent,’ said Mr Tan (Radin Mas) in Mandarin.
      He noted that talent is important to any successful government, but it is even more important for government to have a heart. Lacking either would spell disaster.

  3. georgia tong Says:

    Well said and argued. Thanks. Yeah – PAP so call justification is plain lame excuses. We can see through it. Yeah they are trying to fool us. It does not work and now they are forcing it down our throat. Shameless leaders we have.

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