Thursday, April 05, 2007

Minister Pay : MM Lee explains!

"......your apartment will be worth a fraction of what it is, your
jobs will be in peril
, your security will be at risk and our
women will become maids in other people's countries
" - MM Lee
"....thanks to the PAP, many are struggling with high housing cost, worried
about job security and declining wages as they open the floodgates to imported
labor drowning Singaporeans in the process. Maid? Singaporeans will never be
maids considering how some of us treat maids....we rather die than go there..."
---Coffeeshop chatter...

As I read the arguments on various blogs and forums, all I can say is I'm totally disappointed with Singaporeans. Not only have the failed to appreciate the good work and sacrifice of our Ministers, they have failed completely to understand the context of pay hikes. Our MM himself has to step up to explain his system which has evolved into something uniquely Singapore from what the British left us. Once you understand the system, you will understand the pay hike..

How do we find our ministers?
MM Lee explained yesterday that they were 'reluctant' to enter politics, he had to select them, persuade them and convince them that everything will be okay to get them to enter politics. It is no wonder we always see that strained look on the face of Dr. Ng Eng Hen & Dr. Vivian on TV. Since they well sort of 'pulled out' from their previous professions, it is only fair we pay them the opportunity costs. Although they were reluctant at first, after they join the PAP they somehow acquired this burning desire to serve the people of Singapore, this sense of selflessness and passion and this intense determination to safeguard the interests of ordinary Singaporeans.
The way we find our ministers is totally different from how Western democracies find their leaders. People like Arnold the 'governator' popped out spontaneously to volunteer to serve the people of California. He had to go through the baptism of fire - learning what the people want and to convince them he is the right man. After a rocky start, he is now one of the most popular governors around. I'm sure if he wasn't good, California won't collapse but they would have thrown him out and a better person would volunteer for the job.
Now you see the difference? Since our ministers were persuaded to enter politics, they need to ensure that everything is alright and comfortable. It is so unpleasant to subject them to harsh criticisms so we have to get rid of people like Chee. It is so unpleasant for them to lose out to their peers in the private sector so we need to compensate them well. During elections it will be horrendous if they lose, because they were persuaded to leave their jobs to join politics ....for the sake of job security, they have to win so our elections is meant to show support for upgrading programmes.
Remember many years ago when Chiam defeated Mah Bow Tan. It must have been terrible for Mah, he had to be in limbo for 4 years after that unexpected defeat. He was all along groomed to be minister and voters in Potong Pasir must be blind not to see his quality. Singaporeans get to appreciate this quality in the coming years he became minister later on e.g. he made us pay for defective HDB windows from our own pocket when he was in charge of HDB. As for Chiam, there were alot of tears that flowed when got re-elected in the last elections and many residents gathered outside his office chanting his name - I can't imagine this ever happening to a PAP MP. ....I guess the tears in their eyes was due the pain of foregoing HDB upgrading yet again. We have many Mah Bow Tan-type MPs/Ministers...and only a handful of Chiam See Tong type MPs in parliament today.
It is useless to argue that our Ministers can be paid the same type of pay as their counterparts in Australia, Taiwan or US. They entered parliament in a different manner. Their motivation is different from that of politicians elsewhere. I urge all of you to appreciate the way they were selected and groomed for office without much participation from ordinary Singaporeans, so Singaporeans should not begrudge their high pay as they have put in no effort in the selection.
Our beloved MM added another angle to say that $20M more pay is negligible compared with our GDP of $210B. Should anything go wrong our GDP will plunge by billions. Based on this I would like to suggest that we pay our security personnel at the Changi Airport more, we need the best and most alert people to look out for bombs and terrorists. If anything goes off at the airport and on our planes we stand to lose billions in investments and human lives.


Anonymous said...

good news today.light finally broke through. we shouldn't argue over the peanuts because it is only a fraction of the size of a coconut.if the people refuse to be enlightened, the civil threat will be a dose of sabotage. your cubicles will become smaller; your sisters, mothers and wives will be domesticated by others. please do not commit the absurd by thinking they are not working for monies instead of for the people. if they don't see the monies; if the people don't give them the money; they will disintegrate in 5 seconds aka mission impossible!

Anonymous said...

This is all bull shite! The fundamental flaw in the whole argument is based on the assumption that humans are greedy. They will want the highest pay or they will be corrupt or take a more finantially benefiting route. I disagree with this assumption; and therefore, I disagree the fact that pay for ministers and top civil servants have to be pegged closely with the private sector.

Anonymous said...

i don"t wnat to be a maid in other countries!!!!! help!!!!pay them what they want!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you seriously think it was a great financial sacrifice on the part of the former high flying surgeon to have given up practice for politics? Please lah. There are things money cannot buy and worth much more beyond monetary rewards. Take our richest man, a property tycoon, for example. You think he will get the kind of adulation showered by the masses with his self interest wealth? You think he will get to have his name carved in history books for affecting policies and lives? You think he will get to rub shoulder's with luminaries, dignitaries, royalities, world political extraordinaires etc for making that kind of monies? You think he will live such an exciting life traveling first class, at the people's expense, dinning and wining and visiting palaces, mansions, monumental buildings with limited restriction or access to high security areas/ power houses here and in foreign land? Oh please, these politicians, and in particular the former surgeon, will never get " paid" that well or ever will be if he will to remain in his former boring profession. So his is not a financial sacrifice but a CALCULATED GAIN beyond monetary rewards few will have the privilege in a life time to enjoy for serving the people and yet, they still want to hanker for more HELL MONEY they already have in abundance?tsk tsk screwed up have we become huh? What kind of spirit are we transmitting to our screwed up people huh?

Anonymous said...

As expected, the inevitable happened. Let them have what they wanted - after all it's only a dozen peanuts.

For that, we can have job security, our homes will not drop in value {except Hougang & Potong Pasir of course), our reserves will be protected and our wives and daughters will not have to work as maids overseas.

Even if there is a worldwide recession, we will still be unaffected. Of course, if we are affected and jobs are lost, home values drop and our wives become maids, it will not be the fault of our ministers . It's the Global
Economy's fault stupid.

Anonymous said...

See who is actually in charge! Who is defending this legalized corruption practice? The pay rise will definitely come once he speaks. Those in 66.6% should not complain, hor. Long live, our king!

Anonymous said...

coming out to show off again....whether he speak or not....the pay rise will still go is just for our information....u think they seeking our approval....

rise what they want lah....when they die, bring those money into their coffin lah.....

LuckySingaporean said...

I think MM is very enlightening when he speaks - he is now saying that if we don't pay our ministers enough our wives and daughters will become maids in other countries. I used to think that if you don't get an education than you become a maid....but after listening to LKY, I now learn that maids are linked to ministers' pay.

He is indeed enlightening.

Anonymous said...

Please lor, don't have to wait for the financial bigwig to go before Singapore will lose billions. We have already lost billions.

MM hinting that he will take the billions along with him if forced to go issit?

Anonymous said...

let's be reminded for the last ten years...the value of our homes..both hdb and private...did drop drastically and this is when they are running the what talk lah...and today...prices are still below 30 to 40% for many homes despite report of slight movement upwards. but of course, the wealthier homes are enjoying surging profits ...probably referring to some ministers home located in those areas lah

will our women be maids if they do a grand exit today leh? unlikely lah. all of us will move on with our current wealth unless sabo lah.worse scenerio...a dip but with resolve....singaporeans boleh mah....we all will manage lah because...we got good people mah...hehe

but..the scare will work with silliporeans as

Anonymous said...

igeAs usual something new is needed to make it more convincing. Remember, when they were contesting Hougang some years back they tried to psycho the Hougang oppostion voters that if they vote the opposition in, nobody will be capable of running the town council and rubbish will pile up to the third floor. Today, Hougang is still alright despite getting 'a good dose of fixing' year after year.

Anonymous said...

It's the 66% of stupid sporean who brought this upon us.

Anonymous said...

Yes Finally, the man in that place high and mighty has spoken. His words have moved the ground that it is earth shattering.

I really love the rationale.

1) GST to help the poor.
2) Ministers raise to prevent corruption and encourage them to stay on.

All this is starting to make Cents now!

Oh by the way, does anyone know the meaning of poor ?

Last but not least, we do not need to worry.

We got a backup plan. In Information Technology, they call it Grandfather, Father , Son plan.

If either one leaves, we always got a backup.

Example, MM leaves, we still got SM and PM to lead.

Anonymous said...

gst is to help our 'poor' ministers who had made unreasonable financial sacrifice..

Anonymous said...

OOOOhhh! I am so scare that my mother , my wife, my sisters and my niece will become maids in other countries. Please vote to pay them million or better, billion.

Anonymous said...

Pardon my impolite interjection on this community of fine cackles. The proliferation of domesticable may not be as acute however, the equivalent, menial workers such as cleaners we have in abundance.

Anonymous said...

do you realise it only takes two or three years for the current relatively new ministers to fit their job portfolio like a glove? the new MPs even faster so....any time these UNGRATEFUL 'talents' exit, we have enough 'talents' to continue the billion dollar broke BUSTING movie

Anonymous said...

From parliamentary secretaries to ministers, the top level in the civil service is paid a total of S$46 million annually.

Imagine that! The top level is only paid 46 million. That does not include the middle and bottom layer.

Of course, fifty something peanuts is ok. No amount of financial sacrifice is big enough for us, so that we can pay our ministers.

Anonymous said...

Competition is a good ruse. It sounds so right when he puts it that way. But stop and think. Do you know the flip side to competition? It raises the game and it is big bucks for a few but it also produces freaks. I know it sounds offensive to put it that way but there is a strong rationale to that and it should be set right.

Anonymous said...


If we do not pay these multi-million dollar ministers more money, we gonna be poor people, working as maids and construction workers in other countries!


Anonymous said...

put in perspective? ok! how many pple actually get 50% pay raise over x years???

if you ask me, i think they know their lee-gime can't last much longer. after so many fiascos, there is not much left in the pay-and-pay brand to milk in the next erection, and so the raise now and the "run road" four years later.

in the meantime, we have the 66.6% idiots/cowards/bootlickers to thank for!

Anonymous said...

Please pay them and move on as it is above the board.

we should all chip in to this charity event as it is uniquely Singaporean and we have the best of the best .

We hear it, because they said it !
We dont see it, but they see it.
We need it, and they must have it.

3 cheers for our Govt!
Oh by the way, I told my boss that if he dont pay me well, I am going to move on to other companies who are willing to pay me higher. So I just up the stakes!

Like the saying goes.
Mecenaries never die.
They just got to hell to regroup

MOney Talks and Bullshit Walks~

Mr Mad-dog said...

It is not a question of proportion at all. We are talking about financial prudence. If it is worth spending, we must spend. If not, we should not give away even a single cent.

So what if it is only 0.xxxx%? It is still taxpayers'money and can be put to better us elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

LKY is one of those disgusting cronies getting high pay increment and of course, he can start talking cock and crap to justify it.
Talking about conflict of interest. Why not send the China president to talk about why our gahmen need such high pay instead ? Whose know, China might just send some missiles to congratulate our ministers , hahahaa

Anonymous said...

"We have the best government that money can buy" - Mark Twain

SG "You $pin Me Round" MTV @

Anonymous said...

I really can't comprehend.

Our local women study to polytechnic and degree...and if we don't agree the minister's pay..

They will ended up becoming maids in overseas???

Is MM telling me that these women qualifications are not good enough to become talents in overseas???

Die die must be maids meh?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Yar Lor, I've just found out the mayor of New York City (pop. 8.2 million), Michael Bloomberg, is paid only $1.00 annually, he must be very lousy. Can you imagine his pay so much lower than even the cleaners, NYC must be 3rd world, no, 4th world, 5th world standards.
Talking about running S'pore like a corporation, there is a growing list of socially-responsible companies which cap their top management pay at 19 times the salary of the lowest paid employee. These companies include Whole Foods Market (ranked no.5 best company to work for by Money Magazine in 2007). Just what were their shareholders/management thinking? It must be disastrous to the company in retaining top management!

Anonymous said...

"Ministerial pay hike to be debated in Parliament"!

How noble! Debating whether I should increase my own pay.

And don't forget the advise given: Put it in 'right' perspective.

Anonymous said...

What debate? Singaporeans already know more or less the outcome.
if MM say one', who in Parliament would dare to say 'no, it's two'. These are the talents Morgan Stanley etc are trying to recruit from Singapore you know. People who can think 'out of the box'.

Anonymous said...

Did you notice the frontpage news today. It was reported that Wee Cho Yaw received S$9.25m last year with a few others receiving even more. So, in perspective, our minister and top civil servants are indeed grossly underpaid.

The timing of the news release was perfect.

Anonymous said...

huh, they want to compare themselves to Wee Cho Yaw? He earn his money, builds the bank. Compare him with LSL, Mah Bow Tan, Ng Eng Hien and the rest ...? INSULT to Wee Cho Yaw.

Comparing a cat to a tiger? Yah, some similarity but capabilities very different.

PS: not that i like bankers.

Anonymous said...

All things are justifiable if you can afford it.

Anonymous said...

That's to improve the arguments for the salary 'peg'. The debate in Parliament is on Monday, so just the right time.

Anonymous said...

Better not pay these people too much, all think like fat cats. Even people in the administrative service are goons. Some of them are scholars but have an ivory tower thinking mentality. Look good on paper but screwed up and cannot do practical on the ground work. The slightest bit of problem showing up and they can distance themselves from the fall out or even get a scape goat. These are the type of people our tax is paying for. All this because the LKY old man thinks he is damn smart. bred and inbred arrogant and inflexible group of people in power.

Anonymous said...

MM Lee is indispensable. His theory that Singapore cannot afford a revolving government is ingenious. Many democracies are foolish to change the leadership every two terms. Before they can contribute to the nation, they are out. Since our uniquely Singapore system has serve us well, we cannot afford to let Lee go. He deserve to be our Grand Mentor when GCT becomes Minister Mentor. Election should be held once in 10 years to cut the crab of the like of Chee Soon Juan...and we all know... there will be walkovers. Die...die.. Singapore need these talented leadership. Ask yourself... do you want your women to become maids. If your answer is no.. pay them.

Anonymous said...

WTF. If the administrative people don't get pay raise they will be corrupt. WTF. Like other than these people, all the rest of singaporeans are corrupt Mother F***kers. So other than the 0.02% top talents who are clean and deserve so much money, the rest of the 99.98% singaporeans are corrupt MF***kers and deserve to see their real wage shrink. Should just take them to firing squad

Anonymous said...

one thing that i noticed in this post - from MM Lee to all the commentors here - NOT A SINGLE ONE of you actually noted the arrogance in MM Lee's comment that we might become maids in other people's countries. you guys disagree with the idea - but none of you were distrubed by the arrogance behind that comment.

So are we saying that maids are low-class, low educated people? how rude and condescending. they are people too.

and we still ask why other Asians simply detest us. sigh...

Anonymous said...

Not to be personal,
I wonder the issue of increasing salary is because MM LEE suggest it as Minister Mentor or as MadMan Lee ?

It is mad to increase salary and compare to highest earner without qualifying that we cannot survive with useless ministers ! They not leading but going through motion.

With doctor, we cure sickness.
With lawyer, we settle dispute.
With politican, we eat carrot and PaidAndPaid !!!

We don't need ministers and definitely not the one who love mee siam mai hum ! Mai hum, mai hum.

Anonymous said...

Well, you don't have to be maid if you are born pretty. If you are beautiful, you can be a mermaid to the elite and the wealthy instead !

Anonymous said...

Heck we all know that LKY is arrogant. So is philip yeo. heck all the government people are arrogant. the way they think is very arrogant although they try to hide their contempt for the rest of the world. even the justices are political. what's not to like.. they all get fat pay checks by bullying the non-elite

Anonymous said...

Wee Cho Yaw's pay is not comparable to govt minister (machiam compare cat to tiger, as someone else said above). He has to follow the law (he doesn't make them), he sick his ass out in the global banking market and cannot happy-happy give himself a pay raise. The other group can change laws, have no pther group to compare to in the whoel world.
I went attended overseas univ with so-called scholars, who may one day be minister. If they cannot score A in a difficult subject (such as French language), they drop it so it won't lower their GPA (effect of you know who's policy). So you have a group of people whose credentials look spectacular on paper and as such claim their entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Chia boey pak? FatherLee and Sonnylee still not happy with so much money. Talk about being greedy? Die, btteer, no?

Anonymous said...

Ooooh a Singaporean maid! I wonder if she knows how to clean the outside of my windows here on the 9th floor? I wonder where she and all her Singaporean sisters will hang out on Sundays here in KL? Maybe Starhill or the Westin ...

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.25am

Well, Mahathir did say that Malaysians will become 'slaves' if...

So, Malaysia can export 'slaves' to Singapore and then Singapore can send 'maids' to work in Malaysia. After all we are good neighbours and think alike.

sieteocho said...

You may not believe it, but I like to touch myself.

Anonymous said...

Let's have a sense of proportion here.

Instead of reading these sort of ungrateful remarks I think I will read Chua Mui Hoong's and Andy Ho's columns. They explain things so well.

Anonymous said...

what's the point of saying all these when end of the day, votes go to them due to no competitors in some area?

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