Friday, March 23, 2007

Singapore Ministers' PAINFUL Sacrifice : Unfair and Unjust System Part 2.

I was stunned and shocked that our esteemed ministers have sacrificed more than a million a year as they serve the people of Singapore. Such sacrifice is unheard of anywhere in the world. They are truly driven by a sense of duty and dedication to work for the interest of ordinary Singaporeans. I'm so touched by this tremendous sacrifice. The system is so unfair and unjust to our ministers - this has to be quickly addressed.
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"A minister should be drawing $2.2 million a year or more....But their actual salaries have fallen to 55 per cent of the benchmark, that is $1.2 million, and we have to close this gap."

"While public officers must serve from a sense of idealism and duty and not be motivated mainly by financial reward, they should not be expected to make 'unreasonable financial sacrifices' to be in public service, he added." - PM Lee


"How come our ministers' pay is not benchmarked against other countries minister's pay?"
--Disquiet at the cofffee shop

Although our ministers are paid the highest pay to run one of the smallest nations in the world, there is a pay gap between them and the benchmarks. One of my coffeeshop friends said shouldn't the benchmark for our ministers pay be OTHER COUNTRIES' MINISTERS' pay? If you go by that our ministers' pay should be cut by more than half. What rubbish!!! ....The correct benchmarks for our ministers is not OTHER MINISTERS but that of the highest earning professionals. Why? Because Singapore is not a normal country operating on outdated principles like a "Western Style Democracy" where leaders are put through rigorous elections, we are Singapore Inc ...a place where leaders are hired and selected the same way accountants, lawyers and engineers are SELECTED. Our election is conducted to show support for estate upgrading. Hence, it is only logical for our ministers pay NOT to be peg to other countries' minister pay but to top professionals.

PM Lee also said, "Unless there is 1st class political leadership and judiciary, the Civil Service, however capable and dedicated will not be able to function properly". We are so lucky to live in a country where everything function "properly". I'm glad not to be living in other countries where everything is a mess. Although a number of people under PA cannot have enough money for 3 meals a day, we cannot affort to give the extra $110....they should be given a chance too to sacrifice $110 given our ministers are sacrificing $1M per year.
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We as a country cannot continue to make our ministers sacrifice so much. They have done alot for us like motivate us to work harder and enhance our work ethics we should be more grateful to them. In a recent parliament sitting Dr. Vivian said that giving people under PA enough for 3 meals a day will undermine their work ethics. It seems that the work ethics of our ministers will be undermined if they continue to be paid only $1.2M a year. Poverty motivates the poor and money motivates our ministers. It is only right that everyone in Singapore should receive the appropriate motivation to help them to work harder.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is very true. The ministers have sacrificed so much that they have become poor. Now I understand that the 2% GST hike is to help the poor, which means the ministers.

Anonymous said...

I think they have already compromised much by only comparing themselves with the professionals in Singapore. I would recommend that they should benchmark with the top earners in the WORLD like buffet and Bill Gate.

This is very critical as they would be headhunted. I wonder when will our MRS PM be headhunted since she is so capable!

Anonymous said...

I feel so pity for our ministers.
They deserved a pat for making such huge sacrifice all these years.

Well Done!

Anonymous said...

it will be interesting to see if any of the PAP guys find this pay increase revolting in the next parliament meeting, or are they herded in by the whip. Personally, if at $300,000, the pay is not enough, we should wise up to the fact that these young 30 year olds should serve the private sector - (if they have the guts in the first place - those who want to go, would have gone and broken their bond). What a self serving excuse for PM Lee and the ministers to increase their own pay.

Served_NS_Love_Singapore said...

The greed disgusts me as an citizen of Singapore. As low income families see their incomes falling in recent years, it is unconscionable for the PAP to say that $1.2M is not enough and stand up in to tell poor families that $290 per month is enough.

I've lost all respect for the PAP. If they have stood up and said they simply want the money because they are greedy as greedy as anyone else I would have more respect for them. But they tell us crab like they are compassionate, they are sacrificing, they are socialist hearted....its a whole lot of lies and bull. Lies and more lies. What we really need are honest men, who do an honest day's job for an honest pay.

money talks said...

that few words gave them away. the next time, they will be cleverer with their words unlike us peasants.lol.

Anonymous said...

It is a beautiful state prison( world class) we should all learn to enjoy, appreciate and dutifully contribute(really).

We should help make it as painless for those who have sacrificed for our good.

After all, money is a means to an end and the end is your ultimate sanity.

uniquely singapore said...

We must pay our ministers more so that they can help us make Changhi Airport top againt apparently those underpaid KL Airport Managers got lucky and beat us to 3rd place. So malu (shameful)...we must pay our civil servants more and ministers even more to fix all this.

sam said...

When I read the news, I cried for two hours. Nowhere in the world can you find such selfless ministers who are willing to forego so much money for so long. But God is great as at last they realise the stupidity of their sacrifices.

YoungPAP said...

Thank you for being such a strong support of PAP.

We are delighted that you understand the real significance of your vote.

Come join us at http://youngpapblog.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

i hope the country up north would not follow little rich brother footsteps but instead, retain its natural charm eventhough it's "outdated" or "backwater" in today's standard.however, they should learn from our PAINFUL experiences and moderate development. they should embark on a completely different journey, break new grounds to better their society as a people and nation.

you certainly don't want to end up being legalistic,arrogant, cowardice, dishonest, shallow and machine like yes people with fat sensitive egos.

fucked by PAP said...

please join young pap?
Ah Ah Ah, errrr don't you get it morons?
This is a SATIRICAL site, the best in singapore. Get it? This blog makes fun at you, get it?
Duh!

Young-PAP said...

Thank you for being such a strong support of Pay-And-Pay.

We are delighted that you understand the importance of apple-polishing and ass-licking.

Come join us at http://young-pap.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

We are definitely world NUMBER 1 in paying our politicians. In fact, we are ahead by a million miles and will never be caught. I think we should submit this achievement to be included in the Guinness Book of World Record.

The American, British and Australian citizens should be ashamed of themselves for paying their presidents, prime ministers and politicians such pathetic salary.

YoungPAP said...

I can’t see why some forumers in our local chatrooms are questioning Ministerial pay rises and pegging our Minister’s pay to those in other countries.

http://youngpapblog.blogspot.com/2007/03/bill-gatesgeorge-sorosmother-theresa.html

24 March 2007
Bill Gates+George Soros+Mother Theresa - How Much $$
Posted by elaina olivia chong at 4:56 PM

Money is the proverbial carrot. No matter how many people put themselves on the moral high ground, Money still talks for most others. If you want to get a job done you can’t do well yourself, pay some one well to do it well. If you want to get a job superbly well done, pay superbly more. Similarly, if we want Singapore to stay on the “Best Of” world list for a lot of things, we jolly well got to pay top dollar for the best people who can keep us right up there.

I can’t see why some forumers in our local chatrooms are questioning Ministerial pay rises and pegging our Minister’s pay to those in other countries. Spore isn’t like many other economies like the States, Britain or even Hong Kong where their economies can still remain alive even if their politicians are not making the best decisions. Not only are these economies self sufficient, they have people resources - to the extent where Supply far Exceeds Demand for geniuses at the top.

In many of these first world nations (whose Ministers’ pays have been “pegged” to ours), their economic engines are matured and almost self-piloting. These governments have inherited the fruits of their political forefathers and are now able to concentrate on improving the social and non-economic welfares of its peoples and say, spend time to build international relations with countries like us.

This government put Singapore, a country with no resources, with no historical ties or allies to begin with, on the world map in less than half a century. But will this last forever?

It takes more than a few good men to make a tiny red dot like Singapore a shining star it is today. Not an easy feat, and is not a task that every man on the street can do. Only the very best in the 4-5million we have, can.

Everyday is a new challenge for Singapore to stay competitive and ahead of economies thousands of times our size. If Ministers at the top stop what their doing; or aren’t clever enough to devise policies to keep us ahead of the global league, our economy will crumble. There’s no two ways about it. Some one has got to do it and able to do it very well.

Today, we have the PAP with a number of good men. Will we have the same people tomorrow and always? I’m not sure. I find it rather myopic and sadly presumptuous for so many of these forumers to assume that Singapore is forever going to be where it is, and that we will forever have exceptional geniuses willing to throw their lives to keep Singapore on its feet.

How many of our capable Singaporeans are willing to turn away high paying expatriate positions overseas? And choose instead, to stay home in Singapore, hold arms to protect and ensure the economic comforts for our families and posterity?

One of the ways and I'm not saying it is the only way, is to pay for them and pay them very well . To help keep them in Singapore, attract them into civil service or the PAP where they will join the “economic militia” and keep the Singapore flag flying high for a very long time


The life of a Minister is not attractive. How many are willing to sacrifice every evening either at Meet the People Sessions, chairing Review Committees and carrying another baby in a HDB kopitiam even on precious weekends?

A platoon with the acumen of Bill Gates, risk appetite of George Soros and the heart of Mother Theresa, I would think. And the compensation? Priceless. Haven’t we all heard this all too often, “Pay Peanuts Get Monkeys".

All that matters to me is for Singapore to stay ahead of the game becuase I choose to stay here. We sorely need more than a few Good Men to continue serving at the top so that our economy will continue its bull run. With a flourishing economy, Ministerial pay increments will pale in comparison to the prosperities and fortunes Singapore will be able to bring to its people. Because then, the man on their street will get his pay raise too.

Anonymous said...

Youngpap:

How do we gauge the performance of the civil servants? During the recession, the government was essentially giving out the message: "Take whatever job you can get. It's better than nothing."

Foreign talents are being wooed into Singapore. That's not really a problem, but are they taking jobs that Singaporeans can do as well as them?

NS is a liability to the average male Singaporean. This problem coupled with the previous one (where there is almost a free influx of foreigners into Singapore) makes it hard for singaporean guys to remain competitive (since foreigners essentially have no liabilities and employers will not have to pay CPF).

Has the government solved these problems? I'm all for raising the salaries of capable people. However, when the average person is worrying about job security and pay , as well as the problem of rising costs (due to rising GST), does it make sense to pay policy makers 2 million a year? When there are still serious problems in Singapore? When the average Singaporean is at risk of having his rice bowl replaced by someone who is not a native, due to state imposed liabilities?

When there is no minimum wage laws, and the waiter in McDonalds is paid 3.50/hour? Granted, (s)he is considered without "talent", but does it make sense for the huge wage differential between the top and the bottom?

Please answer these questions. I hope to see a reply.

LuckySingaporean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LuckySingaporean said...

Daar Anonymous & YoungPAP:

As you know my blog exists for people to understand the govt stand and to explain it further. Some people say my blog is full satire - satire is the equivalent of "proof by contradiction" in mathematics, you assume something is true and agreeable, extrapolate that to show it leads to contradictions. As the PAP govt is a pragmatic.... operating on superior logic of our highest elites, satire would almost be impossible....you don't see satire on our world class newspaper Straits Times do you?

Before I reply further to YPAP who pasted his enligthened blog post as comments. It is interesting that from the PAP we hear they are a compassionate govt working for the interest of people driven by passion and vision...not money. This is the starting point when we embark on the ministers' pay debate. No nation needs to exists if it exists purely for making money...such an entity is a corporation, a business entity.

My posting on Singapore Ministers' sacrifice is in total agreement with the one in YPAP, but it has to be extrapolated further so that there is more UNDERSTANDING:

1. Our ministers' pay should not be peg with other countries' ministers pay because we are not like any other country...we will collapse if our leaders make mistakes. Other countries won't collapse if their leaders make mistakes, their leaders will collapse instead but the country carries on. We should thank the people who made our country like that especially our esteemed MM Lee. Of course the PAP doesn't make many mistakes, only honest ones - in the 1970s they honestly asked couples to sterilsed themselves because they were worried Singapore will be overcrowded....now it is believed we need 6.5M people. See without such leaders to steer us in the right direction we would have collpsed long time ago.

2. I also agree with YPAP argument that we pay top dollar for top people to get us to the top 1st world status. I would like to add to that. Many countries do in fact pay top dollar for their top politician post that is in terms pay as a politician not some other professional. A political leaders' role is to understand the peoples'(majority) needs and to make decisions in their interest. To do this he is put through a rigorous election process, go through a baptism for fire to be the people's representative. The people know this man is driven primarily by his desire to serve them and a natural part of this is that he don't need to be paid an outlandish pay and it is also absurd for anyone to apply the argument he will be drawn away by better paying opportunities because he is a professional politician and has to go through elections where got "other opportunities"? - because we are talking about a man who is driven by just causes, driven by a burning desire to serve the people ....his BIGGEST PAY day is the day when his people are better off especially the poor, sick and disabled....he loves the people, therefore his pay is not money but the fact that he knows that everyone under his care has 3 meals a day, a roof over their head and access to good medical care....why do people expect Durai to run NKF for less than $260K a year - because he was suppose to be driven by a compassionate mission of helping kidney patients ....But what I was talking about are politicians in other countries....and Singapore is not like other countries. Our politicians are pegged to top professionals because they are selected to the job like other professionals through interviews (tea sessions)...our elections is to show support for upgrading. In other countries the primary role of the politician is to represent the people, he uses top prefessionals who don't have to go through an election for the actual execution ..he watches them to make the decisions in the interest of the people. Understand that Singapore is different from other countries, our leaders emerge differetly and are hence paid differently.

3. YPAP : "All that matters is the end result of a flourishing economy". Although economies don't flourish forever simply because of demographics, our great PAP men have found an ingenious scheme importing citizens to have an every increasing input to the system thereby keeping it 'flourishing'. While other countries grapple with "how to flourish" social impact of immigration, balance in wealth distribution. ..the PAP use GDP growth as the single most important performance indicator. GDP grows, time to increase minister pay, increase GST...etc.

Remember this : Corporations come and go because they are built to make money, once there is no profits to be had, they are dissolved and the employees go elsewhere. Nations are built on intangibles - love, rootedness, memories, friendships, loyalty, shared values....never money. Poor nations don't disappear and because they don't disappear they always have a chance to come back, like Ireland once the sick man of Europe is now the paragon of success. Our fathers stood in the Padang as we kicked out the British to clap and cheer this young 35 year old man and gave him the powers to go forth and build a nation....make a nation out of a group of immigrants...if we had only wanted to make money, it didn't matter if the British or someone else ran this place as long as they did it professionally....Hong Kong did not get poorer under the British.

at82 said...

Dear Lucky Tan,

U shd lend your support to the YPAP at their forum. Judging from the comments i saw, they are not doing a very gd job at convincing the public.

LuckySingaporean said...

at82,

Don't worry, I noticed the Straits Times has already started to explain the issue to the public in a way they can understand. In a few weeks when Chua Mui Hoong put the final touches to the explanation, they will all be convinced and life goes on in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

GST Hike for S'poreans, Pay Hike for Millionaires Ministers.

Anonymous said...

a society that pays people to care is simply sick. the message is> no money no care. less money less care. more money more care.no money no compassion. no money no love. no money no honey. therefore we need the services of pimps?

Anonymous said...

Judging from what i had read, white garmen seems to be working towards the "intangibles" now. But i think it's a futile effort to mix "iron with clay".

The other point i would like to make is that they are quilty of harboring extremist's views(whilst condemning others) but would not admit to it of course.

And one extremity is in the area of opportunitic rewards.

As for the rests, i suppose it will be easily picked up by the others.

I love PAP said...

Hey Elaina Olivia Chong is the Vice Chairperson of Young PAP Women committee ok!

U all dun play play.

http://www.youngpap.org.sg/abt_ypw2.shtml

Anonymous said...

ever why 'no' corruption in singapore? simple, just 'legalised' whatever amount desired. And choose your own 'independent' party to do the justification.....Basically, no much difference from day-light robbing the poor...

at82 said...

Dear Anonymous, at 1:00 AM,

U should post your qns at the YPAP blogs instead.

she had answered me... somewhat~

Anonymous said...

you dont have to be a millionaire talent to deduce the game plan. it is all about subscribing to the money game. here the leaders are saying that's the way to go; it's your salvation. now if you agree or enough people believe them... these few exceptional talents will set the direction of your life. but surely you know that it entails for you to go all the way? not half way. certainly not three quarter of a way but all the way. once you are into this quest for the golden tap, you are force to play by its rules and begin to import the good as well as the bad that comes with it. and you cant say, ok, let's only have the good and filter out the bad. so you have to deal with the associated poison as prescribed. that i find it hard to assimilate. once agreed, casinos and lucre-thiefs programs will seamlessly filter into the system as witness. the city then enter into new challenges such as record breaking divorces; diminishing birthrates; families too busy or occupied with technological development/ toys to form meaningful relationships; cultural dissolution; integral confusion;widening divide; talent bleed and ageism; continuation of a super superficial breed; there will be no rest for many as life will be hard;insanely crowded; youth problems and social disseases will be a main stay too. apart from all that, goodness, the lists go on and on and on pertaining to an unstable economy, global whoring and mauling. some simply call it the curse - for grasping the wind.
and if the people say well, i still want that expensive downtown studio apartment. oh i cant do without that posh two doors car and i want this nice thing and that branded coffin..... PAY THE MINISTERS to satisfy their want because, they will, in their worshipful dedication to wealth, will bring in the bacon by creating the kind of environment suited to potentially grant your every whims and fancies. however, and the hard truth is this, some will get to taste the juicy bacon whilst many will only get to smell it, salivate, gamble for it or live like a rat hankering after it and maybe, fortunate enough to get rolled over by it. well, that's the raw deal. you need to live with the above consequences and its fruits thats all. probably,the "ministers of light" will carry on their ingenious money making programs without much resistance and like the LOT of this generation, leave them to their vices until the "end of the age" catches up?

anyway,who knows....

Desmond Lim said...

Do any of you think our current ministers (don't include Tony Tan) and top civil "servants" can earn the this amount in the private sector?

PM Lee has never worked in the private sector before. Do you seriously believe that he'll get this type of salary in the corporate world?

Good News said...

Today ST lesson is on the power of one. I wonder whether it was written to justify top dollars for the power of one in view of the review of self importance? Perhaps it is a timely reminder that the man who cleans your table should receive scraps that fall off your table because you are so gloriously brilliant for promoting scarcity?

For to deny the laws of the harvest is to entrench the power of the laws of scarcity?

Anonymous said...

i tend to believe that there are many bill gates out there but only one microsoft(the good heavens once in a while drop a piece of sh*t to amuse humanity). and microsoft is just an over glorified peanut!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, let see the top 'talents' we have:

1) Ho Chin who is 'able' to loose billions of dollar under her watch.
2) Philip Yeo, not loosing out to her, distributed billion of sporean tax payer's money freely to 'top' biomedical company, with little returns.
3) Our beloved talented pm lee who needs to spend his precious time formulating how to 'buying votes' (in his words) if more than 2/3 oppositioi in parliament.
4) TT Durai ....

Any of our other talents around is as high profile and talented as the above? Few, I guess...

Without these 'talents', spore will 'sink'. We need to pay them more so that they show the world how much more spore can afford to loose, unlike hong kong, malaysia,... They just don't have the 'spending' power like us.

Can somebody tell others to stop eyeing on our talents? We only import foreign talent, we don't export. They can forget about it, we are increasing their pay to keep them.....

Anonymous said...

well, as i've said before - singapore is run like a business. 80% of our economy is linked to the Govt. so it thinks like a business. I will sell my soul for $2.2m per annum salary, taxfree with other perks as well.

think about it, given a chance to move into private sector and out of the limelight, i bet many actually want to LEAVE public service. they dont have to dance hiphop at national day parades, say yes to everything and just execute, appear at some Community Centre thingy on a Sunday, meet people 2-3 times a week to hear their problems etc etc.

Alexis de Tocqueville said...

in the private sectors, it is true that CEOs get a high salary and also stocks and shares. But these are linked to performance. In the private sector you get fired if you do not perform well.
So how will you judge the performance of the ministers?
There are no checks and balances here; there is one party that has ruled for 30 years, and keeps a tight control on the press, broadcast, and is desperately trying to control the internet too.
Will the ministers be fired if they do not perform weel? Unlikely....

Anonymous said...

Hasn't anyone realised that the the PAP government is fully exploiting the political cycle in Singapore?

Get the most unpopular measures like GST increase and ministerial pay increase quickly approved by parliament in the first year after the elections. The Singapore electorate can whinge all they want but come election time 5 years later in 2011, the majority (the 60%) would have forgotten about the ministerial pay increase in 2007. Selective amnesia as always can be induced with one or two well-timed electoral goodies during election year.

In the meantime, the minister who got his pay increased to 2.2 million in 2007 would have collected at least 8.8 million when the next elections arrive. At that time, the minister could decide whether the 8.8 million has been enough and whether he should continue to stand for election or quit and join the cut-throat world of the private sector.

We guess the answer is most likely to stay on as a minister.

Anonymous said...

could i rant for one second here? :P

we are bitching about things that we cannot control (apparently). they are screwing us over and what the f**k are we going to do about it? anyone? any ideas? stage a protest and get shot or arrested?

Anonymous said...

if they are worth the money, why is more than half of our youths interviewed wanna seek greener pastures elsewhere?
given the opportunity, it is sayora for most and that is enough testimony that they have failed to build a cohesive nation.
to exploit the ignorant and stupitidy of the masses; take advantage of their weaknesses and disadvantaged position is an undignify way of making a living.

but who cares...i am riding their golden pee!lol

Anonymous said...

wait a minute..i just realised.

the big pay for govt people is because the current ones all want to migrate (enough of kissing babies on weekends and hearing other peoples' problems), and we are aiming to attract foreign talent to join the govt!

after all - the govt is judged by how many #1s Singapore can achieve, or GDP, or reserves etc.

its not about caring for the people etc. and to think that the PAP came up from a socialist mindset back in the 50s-60s.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. So far all have spoken but God himself. In next few weeks expect GOD himself to speak and inform his people on the great sacrifices that God, the Holy Family and all his disciples had done to help the poor ungrateful peasants. Expect a few tears to be shed as well. Once GOD has spoken the increase will be passed and made into law.

Anonymous said...

ah i can now imagine and fully appreciate why the 108 outlaws of the marsh in that famous chinese classics, are so admirable in during that turbulent times.

Young-PAP said...

I am sad that apart from Lucky Tan, none of you understand how serious things will become if we do not increase ministerial salary.

I have written a draft speech on my blog to help explain things to you peasants.

I invite the apple-polishers and ass-lickers amongst you peasants, to help polish my speech and lick it clean!

Here: http://young-pap.blogspot.com

i love papilons said...

i chanced upon this read....///This leads me to suspect that maybe the PAP has already asked several individuals to drink tea and they have all replied "I am flattered but I would rather remain a lawyer/CEO/doctor, because I get better pay and perks"///

i suspect it is not easy to deal with the darker side of politics and thus, it has to be a rising offer tempting enough to wear the white apparels with ....comfort.

i am lucky to have served by exceptional talents with exceptional salary and exceptional sacrifices.

Anonymous said...

strangely, value system seems to apply to sporean who receive scholarship from the government and not to the ministers and top civil servants. Have they in any way receive 'less' from spore compare to those scholars?

Nevertheless, i agree with Philip Yeo that spore has no future if the nation is full of people without 'value' system. Or rather the correct 'value' system ....

hmmm, is he thinking of someone else when he made this comment, i wonder?

Anonymous said...

no same.mr yeo is referring to a different kind of 'value' system.the bullying kind you know....

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day they will take what they set out to do, despite the criticisms. No need to guess the outcome of the debate in Parliament. Next time round, they can make it to S$4.4m and they will still justify their increase with the same old arguments. Who is there to stop them?

Anonymous said...

"
I am sad that apart from Lucky Tan, none of you understand how serious things will become if we do not increase ministerial salary."

We really understand why we need to increase minister's pay.
HI, Singapore, we must be supportive of that hike.
Why ? For a sacrifice of $1 million++ salary every year for every minister, we probably save few millions.

If $1 million is given,
Singapore lost 1 million per minister at least.
If not given $1 million increment,
the minister will untransparently makan $5millions. (Maybe they already did, and so their pay need to increase so as not to lose this talented cronies).

No wonder they say they need to pay high salary to prevent corruption.

But corruption already happen in their thought and in their past action.


So why wayang now to show that salary increment need the public to debate before increase ?? It is not as though increment has not been done in the past !

Anonymous said...

There was a clever argument that claimed Singapore shall not depend on emergence of competent leaders whether political careers are unrewarding or otherwise.

If one aspires to a political career in pre-Independent Singapore, he is asking for trouble. There are big business interests, there are thugs, communist militants, racist goons and a whole beehive of opportunists. Incidentally the same person who assume political power at the dawn of Independence presently concludes good leaders emergence is not a given.

Opportunists know political office is a gold mine for wealth, power and patronage regardless of pay.

There are those who believe they have the mission to lead. Realists take a look at their families and assets, they decided they must thwart the opportunists.

The clueless lot happen to be in the right time, at the right place and are tolerated by warring factions. They are offered leadership as a matter of convenience till the next series of in-fighting.

One may speculate which group(s) assume high political office in 1965 ago.

Immediately after independence, civil service and ministerial pay while never heavenly, was stable and decent. What cleaned up the civil service was the understanding and new reality that corruption, big or small, will not be tolerated. This applies to competency. This is the key point. Pay scales were never an issue because those who disagreed usually pack their bags to seek greener pasture. When the British Colonial Government was forced to expend political power to tackle the issue of rampant corruption in the Royal Hong Kong Police, the corruption intolerance ICAC was the most effective answer.

Incompetent governments inevitably emerge. History has many examples. Some took advantage of democracy means, others choose armed revolutions. Some nations have the luxury to use democratic means to topple horrible governments, for others, it necessitates disastrous wars.

Social institutions and citizens should have civil liberties to limit and curtail the ruling government. Furthermore, citizens must be able to hold governments accountable to their actions and decisions. This system of checks and balances may be doscounted as complex and inefficient, it however tolerates periods of incompetent governance and provides means to remove inept governments in the much of modern world today.

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