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5/25/2011

Different views on the ministers’ salaries

Even when Hsien Loong appointed a review committee to look at the ministers’ salaries, an indirect admission that something is not right, there are still some quarters willing to accept what it is. A letter in the ST forum talks about provisions of KPIs and measuring performance to justify the loony salaries. Really, if you let the loonies do what they want, they will pay themselves not just a few millions, but tens or hundreds of millions. I called them robbers. They are found mainly in New York where the top executives of the financial industries are exactly doing that. Even the CEO of the stock exchange was grabbing hundreds of millions at one time. There are no jobs, I mean as an employee drawing a salary, that should be paid hundreds of thousands a month except in gambling or maybe in sales. Leave aside the specialized skills, especially those involving life and death, when the practitioner can demand anything under the sky if there is a willing customer to pay for it. How could a CEO whose tasks are mainly administrative and decision making justify a $500k or $1m salary a month? Oh, his decision involves millions and billions. So by saying yes or no to billions, he must be paid a percentage of it? This has been a key justification so far. There will be different views on this. Fair enough, if the decision is right, he gets his percentage cut. What if it is wrong, is he willing to cough out a percentage of the mistake? The other justification is always the market. Let the market forces decide. Shouldn’t that be the case? In the case of political offices, there is an international market that could be used to give a reference point, at least on the upper limits and lower limits. Why is this not used? No matter how exceptional, how unique, no one in his right mind will think it is not loony to pay the head of govt in a little piece of rock more than the head of the US or any major developed country. Our talents are super talents, world best? I have no delusion about that. Our problems are exceptional and demanded extraordinary human feats. I too have no delusion about that. While the two camps are throwing out their views in the media, new media versus old media, we will have to wait for the Review Committee for their recommendations. In the meantime the supporters of loony salaries will get their views heard. The detractors too will know where they can get their views published and heard.

7 comments:

The said...

/// Oh, his decision involves millions and billions. So by saying yes or no to billions, he must be paid a percentage of it? ///

China's reserves of foreign exchange and gold is US$2,622 billion, compared to Singapore's US$226 billion.

Therefore, if Singapore's President is paid $S4 million, then President Hu Jintao should be paid S$46.4 million a year. And Premier Wen Jiabo should be paid around S$40 million a year. Huat Ah!!!!

Anonymous said...

I support high salaries for ministers. This country very difficult to manage. We need the best super talents we can find for only one A Team. Hard to find more talents in this place.

And we need to pay them market rate to attract them to this thankless job. They make big sacrifices like loss of big income if they join. And also must keep them from becoming corrupt. The more they are tempted, the more we should pay them, until they are free from corruption.

Anonymous said...

More interesting view from a foreigner who knows little about Singapore:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/24/leekuanyewistan_forever?page=0,0

You can see the perception will always over-shadow the hard truths. Should those countries emulate exactly what Singapore did in those ill aspects, the government may not last long.

Can you imagine this foreigner sees that Singapore has an accountable and corruption-free government?

Just take the ministers' pay issue. PAP has applied gerrymandering and other skewed tactics to obtain majority seats in parliament which was empowered to pass bills to increase ministers' pay even though most Singaporeans objected or displeased with such ridiculous pay. Do you think this is not corruption?

Legalized corruption is still corruption. Also, abuse of power is a form, a highest form of corruption which eventually leads to illegal transaction in money or a form of money.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

In our case, once it is approved by Parliament, you cannot prove that it is corruption.

Remember the NKF case, no case because approved by the board.

Anonymous said...

Nothing SINful to be paid EXCESSIVELY if others in the Land live comfortably due to the outstanding abilities of the State managers/manageresses.
However,
many oldies, both man and woman folks are struggling for their meals and shelters.
Much of the youngs are struggling in their studies and job huntings. Many more are having difficulties to afford homes, marriages and babies.
AND
yet those talents and elites are blind in sights and consciences with reality right under their very noses! Are they human?

Anonymous said...

This is meritocracy. You cannot earn enough, young or old, its your business that you do not have the talent. Make yourself more talent and the PM can even let you run Temasek or make you his deputy and you no more worry about afford buy HDB or have to collect paper boxes or drink cans. Its your fault so don't envy others who worked hard to get where they are. See, those who cannot make it like MBT, RL and WKS are dropped and maybe pensioned off!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

And don't blame those who are having a great time because of someone else and not their own merit: )