I will explain to you why the above train of thought is wrong .....I'll gather my thoughts and post about this tomorrow. In the meantime, I leave with an article from Seah Chiang Nee.....a man who literally had a change of heart.
I'm back..... I'll tell why it is not the pay that is the issue.
Over the years the PAP pursued its opponents with vigor - some were detained for decades for what they said were wrongful thoughts, others were bankrupted for just uttering wrongful things. They pursued these people with great persistence - lives were destroyed and many humiliated without a chance to preserve their dignity. But if you look at the sum total of what these people were supposed to have done to Singapore it is nowhere near the damage caused by the escape of a dangerous terrorist who is now still running loose.....Here is the extraordinary govt now saying they are not to be blamed, they will not "appease the public" by asking one of its own to step down.
I urge Singaporeans especially opposition members and supporters to find it in their heart to let this matter rest and move on for you should not show the same vindictiveness as men you do not like. If Mas Selamat does nothing, all this will be forgotten in a few months. As the price of rice rises by 50% in 2 months, the combination of transport hikes, utilities hikes, kindergarden fee hikes (yes, you would know if you have kids), ERP hikes and taxi fare hikes will leave Singaporeans with pain in their pocketbooks and that is the type of pain they will remember for a long time. SM Goh is right to say it is time to move on to other issues...issues that mean something the ordinary folks.
Electoral tidal wave forming
INSIGHT: DOWN SOUTH WITH SEAH CHIANG NEE
The saga of Mas Selamat Kastari’s escape from detention has moved beyond security concerns to doubts on accountability.
It has given Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong his worst political headache since he took office nearly four years ago.
The saga of the Jemaah Islamiah leader’s escape from the Whitley Detention Centre has moved beyond security concerns and the negative international image.
It has raised doubts on government accountability in Singapore and revisited the unpopular issue of high Cabinet pay by raising questions like:
> How damaging to the nation must a government mistake be before a Cabinet minister – who is paid more than the US president – is held responsible?
> Must punishment, however serious the mistake, be applicable only to the civil servants or the foot soldiers, but not to the political leader who is responsible for overall planning?
This dilemma began with a government-appointed committee report revealing a list of incredible bungles and neglect by the Home Affairs Ministry, which is in overall charge of the centre.
A “confluence of factors” or “lapses” is how the report calls the mistakes that allowed Mas Selamat to climb out of a toilet window and flee in his underwear. Two months later, he’s still at large.
Mas Selamat is no ordinary criminal, but leader of a terror network who was trained in Afghanistan. He had plotted to crash a commercial plane into Changi Airport as well as blow up foreign embassies.
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said that if Mas Kastari succeeds in fleeing to Indonesia, he may return to carry out his bombing threats.
And the Whitley Detention Centre is a tiny version of America’s Guantanamo, which houses all the terrorist suspects in Singapore.
His escape presented Prime Minister Lee with a tough choice: either ditch the minister responsible, as widely demanded by the public, or defend him.
He chose to support a party colleague, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, and go against public opinion.
Lee stated that ministers should not be automatically removed for lapses down the line. This came as a surprise to a generation of Singaporeans raised under his father’s strict governance.
He said his government would not encourage a culture where ministers resign whenever things go wrong on their watch, whether or not they are actually to blame.
By downgrading ministerial responsibility, he may have established a new principle of governance for Singapore that differs from other countries.
Many nations in Europe and Asia (from Britain to Japan and South Korea) hold their leaders or Cabinet ministers liable for a major blunder, either by sacking or allowing them to resign.
The response of Singaporeans over the Internet has predictably been very negative, with some accusing him of double standards – one rule for ministers and another for the civil service.
An online poll on whether Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng should be sacked showed a 94% “yes” vote, with only 6% disagreeing.
But Lee was adamant. “That would be the easy way out. It may temporarily appease an angry public, but it will not fundamentally solve the problem,” he said.
The result has been a transfer of some of the political heat from the Home Affairs Minister to the Prime Minister.
The critics complain that since ministers are paid super-high wages pegged to the top private sector, Lee should also hold them to the same standards of accountability.
Said Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang: “In the corporate world, when something goes wrong, heads that roll would include the CEO’s. Here, when something goes wrong, we talk about honest mistakes.”
Even government backbencher Inderjit Singh (Ang Mo Kio) drew the same conclusion.
“We have adopted a reward system that matches that of the private sector, that we pay everyone as high as possible,” he said. “Therefore, people expect that when you make a mistake, you will be appropriately punished.”
The pressure for accountability is so strong and widespread that some observers believe that Lee’s defence of Wong will not stand beyond the next election in three years’ time.
“In a one-man-one-vote system, no prime minister is silly enough to stand in front of a tidal electoral wave,” said a newspaper reporter. “Wong is a big political liability and will have to go.”
Some observers believe this will happen after a decent interval, with Wong being transferred out of Home Affairs before 2011.
In a Cabinet reshuffle on March 29, a month after Mas Selamat’s escape, Lee appointed K. Shanmugam as Law Minister – as well as Second Minister for Home Affairs.
This is seen as preparation for Wong’s eventual replacement in case Lee decides to make the change.
While public criticism rages on over the websites, newspapers’ letters pages remain largely silent.
“Singaporeans with half a brain will know it is less about being different from other countries, but more about protecting their own kind – the tight-knit network of elites who run this country,” Gerald Giam wrote in his blog.
Kelvin Tong added: “In my view, PM Lee failed to see one point: Singapore ministers are the highest paid in the world. Logically speaking, the echelon of accountability has to be higher in tandem, no?”
Robert Teh wrote: “This is truly the world’s best leadership – just watch the charisma of a leader explaining all the faults in his prison windows as caused by other junior officers, not his own ministry.”