1/05/2012

Ministerial Salary Recommendation – My take

We have heard it and everyone is talking about it. Great formulas and reasons given to support the recommendations, but it is still not right. The principles and concepts are all wrong, and as such the recommendations are still stuck in the mud, with basically the same old ideas with a little cosmetic changes here and there. There is nothing innovative or new about the recommendations.

The big mental trap is that everyone is still treating political appointments as an employment. So you have things like AWS, bonuses, performance evaluation, reward for good performance etc etc, and money, money and money.

In the first place we are dealing with responsible adults who stepped forward to serve the people and country in the highest office. There is no issue of performance. Every one of them is expected to be highly motivated and committed. And they cannot afford to slack or skive as they are under the spotlight 24/7. Absence and sleeping in parliament are all being watched. Hey, we are not dealing with 20 year old kids who applied and got employed but not really interested in what they are doing. Political office is a public commitment.

Politicians are elected by the people to serve for a fixed term of office. And the last thing that they should be concerned with is money, how much they could get as extras, how much bonuses to hope for if they work harder or the economy is doing better or worst. The money as a motivation factor should be removed from their thinking altogether. This will free them from the money halo that hangs over their heads, and allow them to do their jobs objectively, without having to weigh the odds of how it would affect their income.

A simple fixed sum should be paid to them annually for the duration of their office. The salary can input all the extra perks, AWS or bonuses etc just a simple package. Period. No complicating and confusing formulas, no worries of more variable bonuses, and no money thoughts in their minds. Remove the money equation and political leaders would not be burdened with the money fixation. It is so pathetic to imagine politicians nervously waiting to know how much they will be getting as bonuses at the end of the year. Stop that.

The remuneration system must build in dignity in public office. Pay them well and do not let them be embroiled like employees begging management for more year end bonuses. Political leaders must be above this and carry themselves with dignified confidence.

Forget about performance appraisal. The assessment of their performance must be by the people, the voters. And the reward and approval for a job well done is to be re elected, no extra money from performance related formulas. They are expected to perform, nothing less.

There is no need for the PM to appraise other ministers or MPs to reward them using public funds. It only introduces subjectivity and biases as there are ruling party MPs as well as opposition MPs. Who is to reward opposition MPs with public money? Without this appraisal by the PM, the ministers and MPs have no obsession to please him instead of pleasing the people by doing a good job.

The PM may want to assess his own ministers/MPs for his own reasons, but who cares? Corporations use appraisal for other purposes, promotion, training, career development, monetary rewards etc. These are irrelevant to political appointments which are elected by the people on a fixed term. After each term, if not elected, out he goes. What career development, training and development and more monetary perks? Now, did I hear some politicians are being trained in office and paid by public money?

Performance evaluation is a party matter, maybe to gauge whether to field the candidate again or to slot him into a minister post. Don’t drag public money into it as in principle it is difficult when OPM is involved. They can pay with their own party funds if they like, then no one will mind.

The idea of employment and terms of employment, of monetary rewards, must be erased totally and be replaced by a simple fixed income for simplicity, transparency and minimal complications. No one needs to double guess what the politicians are getting or what they are up to. The politicians should just do their jobs when elected to office, with dignity, and to seek re election and the people’s approval as their rewards, not more bonuses.

Politicians are elected by the people and accountable to the people for a fixed term of office. The people will evaluate them and decide to elect or drop them. Their evaluation comes once in 5 years, not annually like employees of an organisation.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Redbean,

You said:"The big mental trap is that everyone is still treating political appointments as an employment. "

I think Singapore is the only place where many ministers take their cabinet appointments as life-long careers.

Anonymous said...

"Forget about performance appraisal. The assessment of their performance must be by the people, the voters."

redbean should be commended for bringing up an important point.

Singaporeans must assess our politicians by the power of our vote

Make no mistake.
PAP is doing this salary review because of their loss of Aljunied GRC.
Because Singaporeans voted wisely in GE 2011.
Not because PAP has changed it's money-faced value system.

Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for.

You pay the highest salaries in the world to attract political talent.
You get political talent who are attracted by the money.

I prefer politicians who share my own values.
Who stand up and serve because they love Singapore and respect their fellow Singaporeans.

I would never vote for a politician who does not respect me.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Again redbean talks nonsense. Since when have politicians been "accountable"? In theory perhaps, but in practice? C'mon, get fucking real lah.

Also, most of the civil service/ government is UNELECTED. The elected political element is THE MINORITY. Granted, they do hold a significant amount of power. However consider some super-scale douche bag who is UNELECTED but yet drawing a fantastic salary -- at the people's expense, of course.

The People Get The Government They Deserve!

Anonymous said...

i think we should discuss the pay of a very important group of pple - the grassroots volunteers.

how can they be expected to do all that they are doing for free? the govt would be nothing without this hardworking group who give hours of their time to help at MPS etc etc etc. it's the least one can do.

also, by not paying them, we allow the fact that corruption may get into the picture! so we must pay them well too, to prevent them from taking kickbacks etc.

Anonymous said...

Any moment now, the banana is going to spill curry.

Anonymous said...

Male orifice nipping on MS kidney bean. Nice.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

One of the key considerations of the review committee is that the wage of minister must be a 'clean' wage. How clean can it be with so many things attached to it that are variable.

Just ask them how many months of bonuses they want, 3, 5 or 10 mths and build into the salary. Fix that amount, no half in or half out after that, not allow to sneak in any kinds of allowances, for the whole term of their appoint until the next election.

That is what I call a clean wage.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is... SIN, like in most places, has little faith in people. Whether it is deliberated or not, most had bought into the philosophy that if you want your dogs to perform tricks, you must motivate them with treats

Imagine, a society who live for treats. We become no money no honey.

Baby, all the honey or love you have been getting is full of fluff.

Even in hell, you can buy laughter, love and sex.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

What are all the variable components in the minister's package? The purpose of variable components is for companies to adjust their employees' wages when the economy is bad, especially on a long term basis. The politicians are there for one term. The next term is all starting from a new slate.

They really regard it as a long term career with annual increments, bonuses, variable components and pensions lagi best. They forgot about long service awards and annual D&D.

Anonymous said...

the problem is as much with the committee as with the leaders - since they feed off each other

Anonymous said...

Faith, hope and love - in that order. No faith, no hope and no love.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Redbean takes a fine tooth comb to ministers pay.

Perhaps he's jealous that there are other people benefitting from a better RACKET than he is ;-)

Anonymous said...

Is that your mother licking your yellow toe?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Actually no lah. When the salary was obscenely high I malu to think of stepping out to serve the people. Now with the salary more decent, can consider lah.

Maybe if they lower it by another 50%, I may want to stand. Then no one can call me greedy pig.

Serving the people is not about money. It is a calling.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Ssshhh, don't bring his virgin mother here lah. Must respect : )

Matilah_Singapura said...

@anon 434

You blind and dumb motherfucking cunt. That's a woman licking a peeled banana.

What the fuck is the matter with you? Bloody arsehole. Go fuck a dog or something

Anonymous said...

Ok, is your mudder licking your dog prick then

Anonymous said...

Sad that their values is now questionable because they can't resist sucking on golden banana

Anonymous said...

Virgin mother? He must be Jizzus.

Anonymous said...

oh,will jizzus shower us with curry?

Anonymous said...

Guys who are addicte to curry : string something more cogent together prease... most of us sinkies love curry so prease dun use it to insut other people. it's getting stale now...prease horrr

Anonymous said...

MS and you should be good buddies. He serves curry and you are a consummate curry swallower.

Anonymous said...

matilah banana so preased coconut milk also cum out.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey you baby-fisting, fart sucking, children of welfare junkies, were those examples of your best shot?

Jesus fucking christ your lack of mental development is going to lead to the demise of your cuntry.

Matilah Singapura! (your fault assholes)

Anonymous said...

See what happens when you lick your own banana Jizzus?

You Jizzed curry all over RB blog.

Anonymous said...

Matilah mental development is going to lead to the demise of his banana.