Ministerial Salary Review – Look at both sides now(Shen Guan Fa Cai means getting rich on promotion as court official)
One of the key factors of the Review Committee’s recommendation is to peg minister’s salary to the top 1000 income earners, using the median with a 40% discount. Depending on the actual income, the salary could be near to the 501 of 1000 top income earners. Could it be above the 501 if the bonuses are added up? It should be rare for it to fall out of the top 1000 income earners. And this is the group of people that the PAP is targeting the future political leaders. They are probably looking at people who are able to earn this kind of income to be of ministerial material. The pool is going to be very small. But nonetheless it is a good area to look at and a good aspiration.
Turn it around and look at it from another angle. By pegging the salary to the top 1000 income earners and the 40% discount, it is very likely that the ministers will all be among the top 1000 income earners. Not bad at all. The only thing that is bad is that the PM may not be at the top of the 1000 income earners though holding the top job in the country. Then again I am being presumptious. As to whether the PM’s salary would be at the top it would depend on the actual income of the top 500 earners and if the PM is paid anything else from his other appointments. Hypothetically, if the 500 incomes were marginally higher than the median income earner, then the PM’s salary could go right to the top of the 1000. This should look more proper.
This new salary will be a good incentive for those aspiring for political office. If they can make it to become ministers, they could be among the top 1000 income earners in the country. There is a Chinese saying, I translated, ‘Beneath one man but above a million’ to describe the Prime Ministers of the dynastic era. Here our ministers can be thankful that their income is beneath 500 and above 5 million. Not bad at all I shall say. As for the PM’s salary, could it be near to the top or at the top of the heap? This is like returning to the imperial dynastic days when ‘shen guan fa cai’ was the aspiration of the elite and the poor scholars.
‘Shen guan fa cai’ is a good new year greetings for all Singaporeans.