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12/31/2011

Fallen myths and discredited policies

When the concept of super talents in politics was first proclaimed in an edict, the people quietly accepted it as there was nothing to dispute the fact that the country has been very well managed, from the Third World to the First World. Albeit a little flaws here and there, overall the country was in the pink of health and the people were rich and happy.

With this edict out of the way, it was easy to put meat onto this claim. The country needed the best talents to keep it going from prosperity to prosperity. And the best talents needed to be paid the best. The best talents would not want to sacrifice their careers and money making opportunities to serve the country and people if they were to be under paid. It made sense. So they went piling on the plate.

Till sometime last year, this year is not over yet, there were strong indications of more pay hikes for the political leaders. Something like how much you want, $3m, $5m or $10m? No one knows exactly how much the politicians were taking home except the basic pay.

The year 2011 proved to be a turning point of sort, a watershed in many ways. Hot on the heels of the Mas Selamat Escape in 2008, a series of bloops continued to fall on the faces of ministers in charge. Transportation, floods, Youth Olympics, Housing, cost of living, foreign talents and unemployments of local PMETs, all added to become a big pool of grievances.

The ground shift was felt in the May General Election. George Yeo was shaken even before the voters went to cast their votes. Hsien Loong made a quick public apology in his election speech. And the ruling party lost a GRC, an unsinkable contraptions that was not meant to sink, but sank it did, taking with it two ministers and a couple of top talents in the govt. It was only one GRC, but the psychological and emotional impact of this event was like saying more to come.

The appearance of Chen Show Mao, a truly super talent with international standing and a super income to boot, stood for the opposition and willing to accept a paltry $13,000 as an MP allowance. Small relative to what he could get but huge in many ways to what many MPs could get relative to their incomes. He could earn many times more. This act alone shattered the myth that super talents would only be enticed by money to serve the country and people.

Against this backdrop, the ruling party added to their wound with more questionable and doubtful super talents in their teams and hilarious accounts flooded the media. It was like the strike of a thunderbolt. The super talent myth was gone. There was disbelief as well as affirmation that it was all a myth.

With the fallen myth and the discredited policies that affected the lives of citizens adversely, the super salaries of politicians became a big issue. Suddenly it was seen as unjustifiable, grossly overpaid, leading to Hsien Loong calling for a Salary Review Committee to relook into the whole formula of out of this world salary for the ministers. And the first comment from Gerard Ee, who was tasked to do the review, was that the ‘final answer must include a substantial discount on comparable salaries in the private sector.’ A discount or a substantial salary cut is what the people are expecting. No body in his right mind would think that paying the ministers so much is right. And no ministers were in the right mind to stand up to defend their salaries as deserving and appropriate.

The report by the Committee has been submitted to Hsien Loong and all eyes and ears are waiting eagerly to see what the Committee has recommended. The year 2011 marks the end of the super talent concept and salaries in politics.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ministers' Pension versus Sinkie's CPF , equivalent or not equivalent ? If Ministers are civil servants , should all civil servants also be on a pension scheme? Why only ministers get pensions in addition to CPF ?

Anonymous said...

"Hot on the heels of the Mas Selamat Escape in 2008, a series of bloops continued to fall on the faces of ministers in charge."

Was this a once in 50 years mother-of-all-screw-ups ... peculiar to year 2011?

Or is this just the start of more screw-ups to come?

If only we had a strong Opposition in Parliament to slap the sleepy driver 10 years ago. Many of these screw ups could have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

Sorry , dunno why double post, blog site owner has my permission to remove the extra one. Prease horr... dun say kenna censored by RB, okay ? kekekek

Anonymous said...

Hahaha....

doubt any of the Man-in-white will pay any attention to this fact laden Post by Redbean nor will any feels underserving of their remunerations.
If anything, they will feel the pain of suffering pay cut.

In any case, it is absurd to pay RULING POLITICIANS CPF and PENSION. Me am not against nor envious of the RIDICULOUS REMUNERATIONS of our RULERS. In fact, me feels they can pay themselves crazy, no problem. BUT, they have TO WORK AND ENSURE THAT THEIR SUBJECTS ARE WELL TAKEN CARE OF.

If we see housewives having to neglect their children in order to make ends meet and oldies having to work till they drop, a 250K per annum salary to Cabinet Member is way too SINFUL to me.

As mentioned by Redbean; the frequent lapses, negligence and failure were just too GLARING for the World to see. If the Rulers do not feel repentant themselves and yet have the cheeks to chide and sneer at their subjects, me feels ashame of their incompetency and audacity as a citizen.

patriot

Matilah_Singapura said...

I used to be against sky high pay for these super talents. Note: governments don't produce anything. All they do is aquire resources (regulate and tax) and redistribute or reallocate those resources to achieve some "policy" conjured up by an employee.

Not anymore. Singaporeans national pastime has always been to be kaypoh chee about how much money people make.

So everyone knows EXACTLY how much their super talents make.. or more precisely TAKE. And being Singaporeans, they constantly bitch about it. This is an excellent dynamic.

This is the one constant WHIP the people have to thrash their ministers with -- in the media and on the internet. The super talent has to CONSTANTLY justify his/ her exorbidant TAKING of taxpayers money.

So pay these fuckers. Pay them well, and continue to whip them mercilessly like good citizen masters

Matilah_Singapura said...

"Substantial discount? " My guess is that even after review the TAKE is still going to be quite "attractive "

Anonymous said...

Example of Anti People Policies - Maid Levy
-------------------

There are laws in Singapore that will punish you if you don't look after your elderly parents.

But you & wife both need to work to pay off your high priced "subsidized" HDB flat.

So hire maid to help look after your elderly parents.

Surprise! Surprise!
Government wants to tax your act of filial piety by making you pay a maid's levy.

See how sneaky & sly the Party Against People can be.

Anonymous said...

Do Singaporeans really know how much they take?

Anonymous said...

and whip some curry to add more spices prease

Anonymous said...

P_arty A_gainst P_eople
P_ay A_ugmented P_ooches
P_appies A_re P_oodles

Anonymous said...

If the Salary Review Committee recommends only a token deduction in ministers and president's salary then Singaporeans must get rid of the PAP in the next General Election in 2016.

The President, Prime Minister and Senior Ministers should not get more than Five hundred thousand dollars per annum and all other ministers should not get more than one hundred fifty to two hundred thousand dollars per annum depending on their port folios and the quality of their work. If they are not happy they should just resign for nobody ask them or forces them to enter politics . If they think they are worth more they should go into the private sector employment.

The PAP propaganda machine is too entrenched all over the island and 60 per cent of Singaporeans are too gullible and tend to swallow hook, sinker and line of whatever the PAP say and claim. It is the duty of the opposition parties to debunk the PAP propaganda. Of course the opposition parties are handicapped because they don't have all the offices in every Housing Board estate that the PAP has and the facilities of the mass media which the PAP use to great effect. The opposition parties must debunk PAP propaganda not just only during the election campaign days but they should do it every day, every week and every month of the year for the next five years, failing which the PAP will still win by default. And if the PAP wins again in the next General Election they will feel vindicated that their self serving and self satisfying policies are not wrong and they can continue to take whatever high salaries they want without fear of the people.

The PAP must realise that a large majority of Singaporeans are suffering in silence. Many are sick and cannot afford medical care. Many cannot even afford two meals a day. Many are worried when will the roof over their head be taken away and when will their electric and water connections be cut.

Unless the PAP ministers and politicians really walk the ground and find out the reality of the large sections of disadvantaged Singaporeans who are suffering they will continue to be self serving and take whatever high salaries they think they deserve. Hopefully they will wake up or otherwise Singaporeans have to pack them off in the nexgt General Election.

SG

Anonymous said...

Pump Ass Preaase

Anonymous said...

Prease Accept PAP

Anonymous said...

People Aren't Puppets

Anonymous said...

Pro Alien Party

Anonymous said...

Proud Arrogant People

Anonymous said...

High salary is one of the primary source of inflation, high fees, high rentals, high housing prices, high cost of living. The people have to pay. No kidding. Don't be foolish.

Anonymous said...

Read at Getting at the truth(Blogsite), this Article 'Singapore President Tony Tan lost nearly $42 billion dollars of Singapore’s soverign wealths'.

Do visit the Blogsite to read.

Anonymous said...

Beware of Politicians bearing gifts

Chen Show Mao
Chen graduated from Harvard University in 1986 and from Corpus Christi College,Oxford University in 1988, where he was a

(Rhodes Scholar)

Carroll Quigley and Tragedy and Hope
A History of the World in Our Time

have written extensively of organizations such as The Rhodes Scholarship program at Oxford University. Bill Clinton, of course, was a Rhodes Scholar and the Council on Foreign Relations CFR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iwiy3KzKTk

http://www.cfr.org/asia/can-americans-think-strategically-video/p23213


Members - Kishore Mahbubani Dean and Professor Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

MR LKY
http://www.cfr.org/iraq/united-states-iraq-war-terror/p12359

Foreign Affairs Article
The United States, Iraq, and the War on Terror
By Lee Kuan Yew
January 1, 2007

Bengster

Anonymous said...

Quote:
'Ministers' Pension versus Sinkie's CPF , equivalent or not equivalent ? If Ministers are civil servants , should all civil servants also be on a pension scheme? Why only ministers get pensions in addition to CPF ?'
Unquote

This is explained in the Animal farm. The Pigs took over the power and soon '2 legs is bad and 4 legs is better' and eventually the Pigs looked and behaved more like the 'man'. Who write the laws who will have the say. he elites wrote these laws so this explained it.

Anonymous said...

To: Beware of Politicians bearing gifts... Bengster
December 31, 2011 7:06 PM

Diversity is key to survival. Such Rhodes Scholar club on doubt provides elites but at the end the elite club quality will suffer from lack of diversity. The nature evolves due to diversity. Even if you have a group of only the smartest people to work on a single project, initially this may work well with brilliant ideas but when times go by and if no diversity by absorbing people from different background, the performance of the group on the same project will deteriorate. This is a biological theorem.

Anonymous said...

I agree fully , Animal Farm exactly describes our situation at present. It is a must read. Some are "more equal" than the others.
P_APPY A_re P_igs

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon @ 7:06 PM

I totally agree with you, what i m trying to put across is not everything is what it seems...

Pls read Prof Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope.

The Rhodes Scholarship is a feeder club for CFR ... which our MR LKY and Kishore Mahbubani is a member off.

sometimes what is happening in SG, is not what the people wants?

Are we controlled by policies set up half the world away?

makes you wonder? whose sides are these guys on?

Bengster

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