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4/06/2007

The artificiality of an Aquarium

The artificiality of an Aquarium Nobody begrudges anyone earning too much money. Even the ministers are not begrudging other high earners from earning too much money. But they only said that they deserved to be earning as much as other top earners by virtue of the assumption that they are the top talents and holding the top jobs in the country. It is even suggested that all of them would be offered more by top foreign companies, a proposition that has not been proven. Maybe a couple of them could receive that kind of offers. I doubt more than one will have such a rare privilege. What were thrown out in all the debates recently re nothing but a green eye syndrome. What other's have I must also have. Like the 'eye' which they called it the 'flyer.' Other countries have the ferris wheel so must we. This is hardly a rational justification for being paid the same as the private sector. A business concern is totally different from a public service. One is money and profit oriented, the other is people oriented, a lot of nobility, passion and mission towards a country and the people's well being. The rewards are different. The political structure or system that we have is an artificiality that cannot be replicated nor continue to exist forever anywhere in the world. Up to a point it will look ridiculous and will self destruct. It will be dismantled or become a joke in times to come as all things artificial must go the same way. Our system is built by a one party dominance system that has entrenched itself and thinks that this is it and will be institutionalised for perpetuity. A political system is a political system. It is never meant to be an occupation where people can built a lifelong career, as an employee. The conditions, prerequisites, mentality and expectations are totally different. In the first place the political appointees do not need any objective qualifications. Anyone, a barber, taxi driver, or even a comedian without any skills in govt, or the discipline of higher education, can stand for election and get elected by the people. The supertalent concept is only a system applied by the ruling party. No other party is doing the same. And given the unpredictability of the electorate, the party of supertalents may be voted out and replaced by a party of average talents. When it happens, the whole pay system will become incongruent to the reality. It is no laughing matter paying millions to a wayward group or pretenders. And whose millions are being used to pay the politicians? It is the people's money. The billions of the nation's money are the people's money and cannot be used to pay politicians to serve the interest of any political party. Everyone receiving public money must be accountable to the huge sums he is being paid. If he is redundant or not doing a job worthy of that kind of money, then it is a misuse of public fund. The value of the job must justify the money paid and not for any other reasons. In a commercial enterprise, especially a family owned business, the grandfather and grandmother can continue to draw exorbitant salaries for doing nothing, maybe given a big title as chairman or director. That is private business and private money. One can do whatever one is happy with his own private money. The govt must look at the bigger picture and understand that the current aquarium set up is a temporary condition, an artificiality that may not hold in the longer run. Sooner or later, the longkang fish, the tadpoles, and the worms are going to infest the aquarium and it will not look so perfect on the window display. And a country cannot be held at ransom for fear that the elite will become corrupt or be offered a higher pay by the private sector and leave the people in the lurch. There will be a few not so clever individuals who will step forward to serve the country for more noble and altruistic reasons. Unless this money culture has already set roots in the minds of all Singaporeans. Then we will be doomed for sure. And I can assure everyone that it is a matter of time before the nation will be sold to the highest bidder.

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