$46k for French cooking course

A top civil servant reportedly spent $46k for himself, wife and son to study fine French cooking. He took 5 weeks of annual leave, flew to France to learn this exquisite skill. Normally this is a thing that the rich and famous will do and will not raise an eyebrow. In this case, cyberspace is riled by such flaunting of wealth. Should it be? Why can't a man who earns an honest living spend his money the way he wants it? Put it in the proper Singaporean context, here is a case of someone that is overpaid, paid too well, that he could spend big money on niceties. The best part is that he is a public servant and his money is paid from the taxpayers' money. It is a good example of a very well paid civil service and that the people is ired by it and any flaunting of wealth by this group of public servants will definitely invite criticism. The top civil servants and politicians are increasingly being viewed as being overpaid, and not ending. More pay rises will be on the way as there is now no cap to how much they should be paid given an unique formula that could literally pay them hundreds of millions when the condition is right. This case proves that they have more money than they need and are finding creative ways to spend them. Any justification for more pay rise at the top level is going to get rotten tomatoes and rotten eggs. It is difficult to be frugal when you have too much money.


Anonymous said...

He was using his own money, so no one should fault him for that. However, his timing may be a little inappropriate. During this financial crisis when there are people out there who are in fear of losing their jobs, there may be those who have already lost their jobs, there are those who are finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet due to escalating costs of essentials, the general public might find his flaunting of wealth a little hard to swallow. Furthermore because it was from a top civil servant it was a little insensitive.

Kaffein said...

Bah... humbug.

I don't see any wrong in what the civil servant does. What if the civil servant was just a clerk but had saved up to splurge on such a trip? Would we say anything?

It's his money. If you feel he is being paid too much, then it's the government job. It's not as if he had taken the money illegally.

If you see a $5 and a $50 note on the ground, which would you pick?

Pick both, of course!

Likewise if the government is throwing money at him, why feel guilty? If the ministers don't feel guilty, why should he? Maybe he's worth every single penny paid to him? I'm not sure about some others though.


Anonymous said...

everyone shud have a fall back plan, trust me when the party is over you will see authentic french restaurants sprouting up all over the singapore river.

Anonymous said...

Pure anger...

Anonymous said...

Well,they are just over paid.

Where is the sense of proportion?

S$46K would be what an average household has to work for 2.6 years,OMG!

redbean said...

this guy is as innocent as a 2 yr old virgin. he didn't know that his happy story could ended up as the talk of the town.

Anonymous said...


i love the Word You used.

Flaunting, yes flaunting

at the wrong time.

He can go and spend $460K and enjoy

his spending anywhere. No one will
say anything.


no flaunting, no boasting

now, bad time.


Anonymous said...

Bad times are the right time to prepare for the worse. Whoever this bloke is he must be pretty hardworking to be attending course during annual leave. If this are not good example of life long learning and leading by example what is?

redbean said...

bad timing. when the people are angry and this article came out to generate more heat.

Anonymous said...

To hell with the poor people who are jealous.

Cant you aee that he earns his million LEGALLY,so he has the liberty to spend it whatever,where ever he wants.


redbean said...

quite true. the people are just being mean to pick on him.

Anonymous said...

In this world if you can afford to spend that kind of money which others cannot even dream of, you are considered in touch with the times and lifestyles of the rich and famous. His message is loud and clear and that is 'he has arrived'. Let some people enjoy their second childhood, like the 50plus old lady learning pole-dancing.

Matilah_Singapura said...

If you've made your money by your own toil, enterprise and innovation then power to you — you have earned the money to spend on whatever you desire (without killing or physically harming others).

However Silly Serpents do not 'make' nor do they 'earn' the money they have. They essentially steal it or extract it by extortion from the citizenry and private market activity by legitimising such criminal activity as "taxes".

These vile, slimy creatures take as much money the possibly can from the disarmed and conquered private citizens who earn their money by ADDING and CREATING VALUE to customers lives.

Silly Serpents do not add value at all. Never. Not in a single case. Silly Serpents TAKE value out of the effort of others who have added and created value.

So this particular Silly Serpent and his clan of slithery reptiles should be named, then all concerned RIDICULED PUBLICLY, the bloody unconscionable greedy, souless, dishonest, money-grabbing and unempathetic sub-humans that they are.

redbean said...

humility and empathy are virtues that the rich and powerful tend to treat them lightly. some will even tell you to get out of their elite uncaring face. they have no time for the masses.

Matilah_Singapura said...

"Show me a student today who aspires to join the civil service, and I will show you a FAILURE" — Lew Rockwell lecture

I agree. The "elites: have no time for the masses. Because the masses have no choice but to part with their property under the threat of force to feed the greedy, insatiable, lying lazy bums who "work" for the state.

None of them add any value. The businessman — big and small has alot of time for the masses, because they earn their money by working, risking, battling competition — all to provide the masses will VALUE — the myriad of goods and services we all need to enjoy a wealthy existence.

What the market produces, the govt takes away. To re-state your position: they don't give a shit about the masses.

redbean said...

why is there a need to add value when printing a piece of paper called coe can fetch tens of thousands of bucks? how about erecting a few barriers to collect tolls, or give silly reasons to raise fees and taxes. or more silly reasons to keep the people's hard earned savings from them?

or how about pricing goods and services as high as the so called market is willing to pay and insist that the people pays for it. if not, put them on a mean machine to check how much they have in their bank accounts.

got to go chum.

you don't need to add value to earn easy money.

Anonymous said...

Easy money, easy money........

Feel like it's sinful money,

Don't know why, it's just an instinctive feeling.......


Matilah_Singapura said...

> you don't need to add value to earn easy money. <

Quite true.

However in my life, I prefer to. I suppose we all live our lives a different way, and conduct our business according to our own standards of morality.

This is why I don't mix with the criminals who work for government. I don't want to catch their 'disease'.

Anonymous said...

i agree that there is absolutely nothing wrong with him using his own money on whatever gives him happiness.

however the fact that he can take 5 months leave shows that our so called world-class civil service is full of dead wood & our world-class millionaire minister have not done a good job saving tax payers money.

Anonymous said...

While this joker is spending $45,000 to learn how to bake tarts and other french delights, his men in the environment ministry are not doing very much to enforce the smoking ban in nightclubs, pubs and other entertainment places. No one gives a hoot about the no smoking signs plastered all over. One club manager even encouraged me to smoke as he says the NEA boys are never around! And he says he can afford to take extended leave because he has a good team in place?

Matilah_Singapura said...

No, it is actually THEFT of citizens private property (money)