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1/14/2012

The inconvenient truth

Monday is a big battle day in Parliament. 25 MPs will take to the floor to discuss the recommendations of the Ministerial Salary Review Committee headed by Gerard Ee.

The agenda has been set. They will be discussing about the recommendations for future salary for primarily political appointment holders. The salary for MPs is more or less accepted as reasonable and may at most received a cursory mention.

How meaningful and relevant will the discussion be will be affected by the presumptions that the MPs have in their mindset. Many are still clinging to the notion that political office is an employment and must come along with the whole gist of annual increments, bonuses, performance evaluation, etc as normal. There is also the assumption that political appointment is a great sacrifice, tangible and intangible, with monetary loss as the main factor. And the compensation package is always a discount from what the politicians are getting if they were to remain in the private sector.

The dichotomy between a political appointment and employment need no further discussion. They are completely two different animals. Not many countries can politicians take for granted that they will be elected elections after elections and can see it as a job with a big amount of certainty. Thus career development, and annual increment and bonuses become very important. When being elected is no longer a guarantee, all these factors may become superfluous and may not even be discussed, and they will turn to a different compensation package that is more relevant towards the uncertainties of political office.

The great sacrifice of monetary loss is only meaningful maybe to a handful of professionals. Maybe 80-90% of the politicians will not see any sacrifice at all. Many could be laughing all the way to the bank with their new political appointments with income they cannot even dream off in their whole life. So far there is no serious attempt to provide the statistics to show how many really took a pay cut and how many were quietly congratulating themselves with the windfall from entering politics.

And the subsidy or getting a discount from their peers in the private sector is another bull or myth that has been perpetuated for too long and will continue to be if no one stands up to challenge this myth. Where on earth can anyone earn $5m or $10m to shake hands with strangers, posed for photographs and looking good and wearing a perpetual smile? The latter is probably the most stressful of all the job requirements. Where on earth would one be paid a million bucks just to be a time keeper in Parliament which probably sits for less than 30 days in a year? There are many very well endowed positions that are paid handsomely that would not be tolerated in the private sector without the shareholders screaming foul.

Unless these assumptions are challenged, they will be taken for granted as truth and real, and will form the basis for the recommendation on how much the politicians shall be paid. And when that happens, the final results will be just as misleading and hazy as before.

While the agenda has been set to discuss about the future package, would the inconvenient truth of what and how much the political appointees really were paid under the existing package see the light?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

They handpicked someone to write their paycheck. Now they are going to argue and defend their paycheck.

Sgcynic said...

Ask the MPs and ministers in Parliament, those are experiencing lower income compared to their previous/current private/public sector jobs to keechiu. How many can do so?

market2garden said...

Let PAP's EMP "enjoy" every moment of parliament seatings (especially 2012.01.16 / 17 / 18? for a matter of policy), Most of them are not guaranteed a tomorrow (next parliament). Nearly none of them has got it right - at least from historical angle / perspective - one last chance to nurse back the vital energy (genki) of the city-state. Instead, they most likey hurt further.

Anonymous said...

The logic of politicians’ remuneration:

You propose a formula for your own salary and present the proposal to the parliament for approval. You and your cronies have total control of the parliament. You know your proposal is definitely passed without meaningful debate.

You propose salary formula for you and your cronies to base on a group of top earners who are mostly from GLCs and your cronies' companies. You also know that your controlled parliament will pass your proposed formula. Next thing you do is to get GLCs and your cronies' companies to pay the chief very very well. As such, your and your cronies' salary will be increased accordingly.

After the people object to your proposal, you appoint one of your cronies to review the proposal and he recommend a revised proposal that you and your cronies (not the people) are happy about it. Then you present the revised proposal to the parliament again for approval. You know that all your cronies in the parliament will support the revised proposal because the revised proposal is for their own good. The parliament is still dominant by your cronies and the revised proposal will be approved without any question. 


After the revised salary proposal is done, one of your cronies can say she suffer pay cut by joining politics. She claimed she could earn much more in 'private' sector. Look at what 'private' sector she has worked before joining politics. She has worked for few GLCs before invited to join politics. Are GLCs really 'private' sector? If she is right, those GLCs must have paid her very very high salary. This proves that if you have raised the GLCs chief salary this will actually effect higher salary for you and your cronies. 



By controlling the corruption at lower levels, foreigners who do not know the details of this system will believe that a pro-business governance system is free of corruption. Is the system really corruption-free?

Based on the logic, it proves that the current system is very very clever to ‘legalize’ corruption at the highest level. If not, what is it?

You may look at the logics of GRC, NCMP and NMP. It is not difficult to understand the ultimate motive behind a fake democratic ‘feudal dynasty’ politics in action in a modern world.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Ai pi, ai chi, ai tua liap ni. That describes Singaporeans in a nutshell.

Foreigners, the translation : You want her to be gorgeous with big tits, and you want her to be cheap.

For Singapore : THAT'S the FUNDAMENTAL inconvenient truth.

market2garden said...

~Ai pi, ai chi, ai tua liap ni. That describes Singaporeans in a nutshell.~
Not me, and perhaps not Redbean. I'm actually the one suggested "double" the existing salary even before Redbean start to "promote" you-name-the-price-we-give-you simple package.
Of course, my blog entry includes rather-not-so-high political salaries.
In my opinion, there's no way to be "in-between".

Matilah_Singapura said...

Occasionally you have to pay certain people, sometimes lots of money, so that they'll "allow" you the freedom to do what the fuck you like. Call it out and out bribery, legalised corruption or "protection " money.

This is how I view the high super scale pay in Hotel Singapore. I call it a Freedom Tax.

Pay, kow peh a bit, then move on to get your slice of the pie in opportunistic Singapore.

I see Porche just launched their new 911 series last Thursday. Packed out apparently. So much opportunity folks. At least be a little grateful

Matilah_Singapura said...

I have no problem with bribery or corruption. To me it's simply a "market price" on the conscience / morality of someone in authority

Anonymous said...

bribery, call it bribery. corruption call it corruption. no call god's given grace to pay his righteous angels anything they want and wear a false halo over the head.

Anonymous said...

How to see the lightness of being when it is covered in fabric? Remove the whiten fabric and the naked truth shall be evident to all.

Anonymous said...

Oh Goody!
We get to see more Asian Assholes debate about their starvation wages.

Anonymous said...

Will Matilah uncovered the mother of truth he often play with?

Matilah_Singapura said...

When you need a taxi, you essentially have 2 choices:

1. Wait your turn, whether in a queue or "street fight" other cheapskates

2. Call for a cab

Calling for a cab incurs an extra cost. You want something of "higher value" than the ordinary, there is usually a PREMIUM to be paid.

Similarly, a bribe to authority is a form or "arbitrage".

Everyone has "their price". If you like INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, it is up to you to discover what their price (aka self interest) is and appeal to it, perhaps assuage or meet it.

For e.g. you have to "make nice" in many Asian cuntrees with immigration, customs, business regulators, if you want to be left alone to mind your own damn business, and make a buck or two, or several million. ;-)

Then you can party hearty and have a damn good time at your extended Asian Vacation.

Matilah_Singapura said...

PS People who speak of "righteousness" or "truth" all the time are usually the ones most easily bribed and corrupted.

At times these are the True Asian Assholes. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Supposing a general in the Singapore Armed Forces is getting a monthly salary of 25ks. And say he always performs well and get maximun bonuses of six months, that would be about 450ks in total for a year.
When a general is co-opted into the Cabinet to be a minister, he will get a starting pay of about 1.1 millions.
Is it correct then to say such a person is now getting over two times his last drawn pay as an army general?

Anonymous said...

Would last drawn pay for new ministers be more acceptable? Each minister will be paid accordingly perhaps that would be least contentious?

Anonymous said...

Bailing Out Wall Street Won’t Save Main Street

http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/09/26/bailing-out-wall-street-won-t-save-main-street/

Or Paying PAP well wont Save Majority of Singaporeans

Just replace Wall St to PAP and Main ST to Sinkies.

The rich will continue to have their million dollar pay and their bonuses and the working poor will continue to struggle to go to the doctor and to find housing. Heads, the rich win. Tails? Let’s toss again.

Trickle Down Economics is a lie , force upon us by the Chicago School of Randian ideologues ....

While elites and their ideologues fight over the FAT Meat of progress, we will only see the scraps and bones of Trickle Down Economics .... we live in a Oligarchy (Organized Crime) and that's the sad truth

Bengster

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous @ January 14, 2012 3:39 PM,

You wrote, "Oh Goody! We get to see more Asian Assholes debate about their starvation wages."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So what is it to a lowlife non-Asian ass-wipe scum like you, huh?

Mind your own f.u.c.king business, you trailer park trash!!!

Anonymous said...

Why are sinkies so daft that they didn't even question if it is right for politicians to be discussing and voting for their own salaries?

Following Westminister or Washington or Timbuktu? Which country is our role model on this?

The said...

/// Anonymous said...
Supposing a general in the Singapore Armed Forces is getting a monthly salary of 25ks. And say he always performs well and get maximun bonuses of six months, that would be about 450ks in total for a year. ///

I don't think a general gets anything near $25k a month.

Anonymous said...

Some people in Forums about Army even speculated that Army General could be having remuneration of up to 30Ks per month.

Anonymous said...

plus how many months of bonuses?

Anonymous said...

Some soldier boys in Sin are enjoying windfalls without even having to enter any war zone. When parachuted into the Cabinet at b4 40 years old, they become multi-millionaires within a year.
Damn easy money boy!