The debate on the world’s highest ministerial salary continues. What is unfortunate is that all the nitwits are stretching their discussions to both ends of the extremes, that we should not pay our ministers out of this world salary or pay them to be paupers. When one starts to argue on the premises of extremes, the argument becomes silly and so do the nitwits. None is trying to ask the simple question of what is enough and decent for the ministers.
After reading all the comments I have come to the conclusion that the ministerial salary is fair and not out of this world. It cannot be as it is a reality within this world.
The favourite comparison is the President of the US and his pittance salary. But his overall income is unclean, a lot of hidden perks especially a White House to stay. Never mind if he would to be booted out in the next election. Then his Air Force One. Never mind if America is a continent. Never mind if Air Force One is a command post and not a Ferrari to drive around to eat wind over the weekend. And yes, we are a piece of rock. That is exactly the reason why we should pay our politicians that kind of not out of this world salary. It is so difficult to govern a small piece of rock. And Obama has an army of staff to help him to make his job so much easier. He can be a dummy, but the music will be just as good.
In our case, the poor ministers have something like 20 or 30 portfolios to be responsible for. I am exaggerating of course. Nothing of the sort. Now many of you did not know that right? He needed 29.5 hours a day to do those jobs. It is inhuman to subject them to this kind of workload.
There are many things we did not know, even the clean wage. We did not know that they are paid Special Allowance Bonus. And only for a miserable one month bonus for being so special. And how could the Salary Review Committee removed this allowance? This is definitely unfair. The Special Allowance Bonus should be at least 6 months to be special and deserving.
Then there were also 2 months of Leadership Allowance Bonus which none of us know until now. But as ignorant masses, how could we know if we don’t read the Hansard or the media. They must have been reported somewhere as these are official and legally paid. And what is there for the people to know? All ministers are leaders and paying them Leadership Allowance Bonus is as natural as durians on a durian tree. And how could the Review Committee removed this too?
Now whoever put these bonuses into the salary must take it up with the Review Committee and demand that they should be reinstated, including the Special Allowance. And both should be raised to 6 months each. Unless the Review Committee can convince everyone that they are not special and have no leadership. Then it would be fair to remove them.
I could go on with the Performance Bonuses, the GDP Bonuses and whatever bonuses that I did not know. The point is that these are legitimate rewards and all transparent and clean. Why should they be removed? Anything wrong with them? The Review Committee must explain to the people’s satisfaction that they are wrong before they can remove them. They are uniquely Singaporean and a creative and innovative way to pay our ministers. Countries of the world can learn from us. Now they could only be envious of our Guinness Book of Record, not only of paying the top salary in the world but also the best run and corruption free country, with clean salary.
Are we saying that the existing salary is not clean and need to be replaced by a cleaner one? I protest. We have the cleanest salary package for our ministers at a discount, and the poor ministers would now have to suffer the indignity of their salary being questioned and arbitrarily slashed by an average of 36%. This is simply outrageous.
What needs to be cut are the perks of those political leaders that are unclean and hidden, like Air Force One. I think the Americans are starting on this, maybe from 3 Air Force One to only one. And the American President will henceforth travel on roads instead of flying around for fun.
The Ministerial Salary Review Committee has overdone their cuts and embarrassed our ministers. Our minister’s salary is fair, decent and above all clean and transparent. Everyone knows how much they are getting as reported in the media. No hidden or unknown perks.