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.