Friday, December 14, 2007

My thoughts on Ministerial Pay Hike

I was utterly wrong. I have been harbouring this thought that the PAP government will not announce a 2nd ministerial pay hike but they did as “promised” in the end.

In my previous post “Glory for Nation or Money”, I mentioned many people are unhappy with the rising cost of living and the few unpopular policies (Annuity Scheme, GST Hike etc) that were announced some time ago and the ruling elites are running a risk of losing that delicate “bond” with Singaporeans. So I wonder, why would they even think of pushing through with the 2nd wave of ministerial pay hike now?

To be frank, I cannot accept the government’s repeated justification that it must pay high to match the average salary of the top 8 professions’ earners to attract and retain talents in the government. As many bloggers have pointed out, if there is a need to entice potential candidates of ministerial quality with huge monetary rewards to join the government, it might as well be better for these people to remain where they are in the private sector as serving the nation is ultimately different from “serving” shareholders.

But why is the government unable to attract and retain talents? I think the main reason is not because good people are put off by the “low ministerial salaries”. Neither is it because good people dislike PAP. It is a problem with Singaporeans who are generally politically apathetic, unpatriotic and greedy. Imagine if we have the entire population who is truly concerned about the running of the country, theoretically there would be more elites who are willing to serve the nation whether or not the government provides huge monetary rewards.

What we need to do now is not to continue increasing ministerial salaries to obscene levels but to make more Singaporeans engage in discussions on social issues. When more people care about what’s going on in Singapore, surely some of them would feel the urge to come forward to do something about the problems that the country faces. An active citizenry is important for the survival of Singapore in the competitive world of the 21st century.

The new ministerial pay structure can be found on The Straits Times "Ministers, top civil servants to get 4% to 21% pay rise in Jan"


Anonymous said...

You are right about people being more detached from the political scene.

To add further to that, the guys working below them, not the MR4 or Superscale, but the working level civil servants. What pay are they getting? Honour and glory goes to the top, money goes to the top, respect and power goes to the top. Just wondering if our working level civil servants realise what is going on here.

Xtrocious said...

I think they have lost the moral authority with their incessant pay hikes...

Isn't it a joke that they put money ahead of duty for their country?

And if I didn't remember wrongly, a minister recently laboured (pun intended) on how we must show more job loyalty but their actions tell us that if we don't pay them enough, they will leave...

Anonymous said...

When greed eclipses shame, humility and propriety, we are face with a very serious problem that will ail the hearts no end.

Are there no others who want to administer this tiny red dot? The answer is a thousand yes, otherwise what are the oppositions for? However and sadly, they are no match for the huge machinery of the incumbent rulers.

Others who are capable just do not want to tarnish their own integrities by integrating themselves with the infamous party. So prepare to struggle on and I join you; from saintmoron.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it a minister who taught us to save money by looking for cheaper alternatives. Hmm.. maybe we should start looking for a cheaper government.

Xizor2000 said...

当我年薪是 200万 - 300万时,我会非常'爱'我的国家 加坡... 爱得有如滔滔江水连绵不绝,爱到有如黄河泛滥一发不可收拾。

但我只有加'辛'... 要加薪就早点睡吧。

朱门酒肉臭 路有冻四骨... 象牙塔里的行动党高官们又哪会知道我们的辛苦?

Alan Wong said...

The MIW are indeed very shrewd and cunning.

What they have failed to emphasize to Singaporeans is that their argument to link their remunerations the highest paid 8 professions is extremely skewed in their favour.

First of all, those in the highest paid 8 professions would probably have achieved their success through their own sheer talent, dedication and sacrifices over a long period of time, probably over a 20-30 year dedicated career.

Now to jump onto the carriage of this 8 groups of high-calibre professionals is liken to a new entree actor/actress telling the world that his/her pay should be tagged along those as famous as Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, etc.

Is there any sense of logic when their own achievements as capable leaders has yet to be proven ?

Aren't they shameless in the first place to even ask to be pegged to the highest 8 professions ?

So afterall, it's all for the money! There is nothing more for our leaders to sacrifice themselves for the good of the nation.

James Chia said...

重赏之下,必有勇夫。但是何谓 "勇"?