Singaporeans' INABILITY to understand the need to pay our ministers million dollar salaries is worrying. While some say that ministers must be pa$$ionate about their jobs and have a sense of dedication expected of top leaders, we cannot equate the demand for the HIGHEST salaries in the world for politicians to GREED. It is the FAULT of ordinary Singaporeans that the PAP has lost moral authority over this issue because they cannot get pass their small mindedness - just because you are paid an average $3000 a month doesn't mean that a few million dollars is alot of money to our ministers. Please understand that the Singapore has changed, our income gap is now the highest among developed Asian countries. With such a big income gap, you naturally don't expect our ministers to live on just 500 times the income of the bottom 20%....it has to be 2000 times or 3000 times.
"....current pay practices for CEOs are irrational and excessive" - Warren Buffett, 2007 Lletter.
"It's interesting that when someone gets a $2 million bonus, they're wonderfully happy, until they find out the next person got $2.1 million" - Warren Buffett.
Which gap will destroy us?
The income gap has risen sharply in Singapore. The PAP seems unconcerned saying that this is all part of "globalisation" something they have chosen to embrace enthusiastically. The PAP has never said that the income gap which causes society to become divided will destroy us..... but if there is a gap between PAP ministers and top earners, it will cause the crumbling and collapse of Singapore. That 30% of the populace that saw decline in their standard of living and income for 1 decade is not a big problem that needs to be addressed immediately but if you continue to pay the PAP minister less, Singapore will collapse. Understand?
Critical for Singaporeans to UNDERSTAND
Many Singaporeans just simply can't get past the fact that paying our ministers the HIGHEST salaries in the world is simply a REASONABLE thing to do. To help you understand the LOGIC and overcome your irrational emotions, the Straits Times has assembled pages and pages of LOGIC to help you. But if don't have the time, let me help you with a summary:
1. Our system and circumstance is different from other countries. While they can have mediocre govt, we must have the best otherwise we will crumble and collapse. The PAP is the best.
2. Define best people? Other countries consider passionate people who see public service as a duty and go through democratic elections, open debates to get elected, the Singapore system is somewhat different. The best people are whom the PAP says are the best people or more specifically whom MM Lee says are the best people. These best people are a little reluctant because some of them were surgeons, others were lawyers or top military personnel who were making tons of money. They are invited to tea sessions with the MM & PM, asked difficult questions, and if it is determined they no element of "Chee Soon Juan type" personality, won't cause any problems and sound competent and intelligent, they are asked to join the PAP. People stepping forward is a big no-no. If they do, they cause trouble like Andrew Kuan, some effort has to be expended to eliminate them.
3. Because these people are 'invited' to join the PAP, they have to make sure that his concerns are addressed - loss of income, abusive citizens, losing elections etc. That is why "punch MP get maximum 7 years jail", $16K MP allowance and elections for upgrading.
4. Why can't we just employ our leaders? If you examine our system, we might as well just employ our leaders instead of conducting elections. Singapore Inc should be like any other corporation - recruit & pay the top people well give them the perks and the rest of the citizens work as employees in Singapore Inc. Well there are a few problems with that we need to go through the trouble of changing our pledge and constitutions. So they have to do this wayang thingy once every 5 years to avoid changing the laws. ...plus it will be a bit embarassing if we don't have elections because we are still called Republic of Singapore.
I urge our leaders to take the pay hikes. While our ordinary citizens who are merely employees in Singapore Inc can whine and whine about the pay hikes, they are powerless to do anything so why fear them? It is only right that Singapore Inc pay the highest salaries to our top managers (ministers). Straits Time can help most of the ordinary citizens understand the need for pay hikes. It is afterall the practical thing to do because recruitment of good people is difficult. We don't want do gooders stepping forward who will incessantly worry about the poor and ordinary folks instead of focussing on how to increase GDP and profits of companies. These naive idealistic people who think Singapore is better off with greater freedom, justice and equality can join the Workers Party or SDP and can be separately fixed by our corporate security services - they too are hired under good salary schemes to do their job.