"......you have to pay the market rate or the man will up stakes and join Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers or Goldman Sachs and you would have an incompetent man and you would have lost money by the billions" - MM Lee, April 2007 [Link].
Lehman Brothers has collapsed due to incompetence and greed of its higher management. Lehman paid its people well but it collapsed. Goldman is under investigation for committing fraud[Link] and various forms of unethical behavior.
There are many lessons learnt in the recent financial crisis but it can all be summed up in several words - transparency, accountability, check and balance. Paying vast sums of money to people cannot bring you the desired results if these ingredients are missing. You attract people with mony, you will only get the greediest people in management and the end result can only be disastrous. We do not have a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)....the PAP govt put in place a draconian Official Secrets Act (OSA) which is the reverse of the FOIA so that ordinary citizens will not have information needed to press for changes that can improve their lives and the country. The PAP govt engages in pork barrel politics (linking upgrading to votes) and repress the opposition so that there will be no check and balance in place - the PAP can do what it wants to preserve its own hegemony and serve its own interests ahead of those of ordinary citizens.
The PAP tells us that we need to pay more to get better leaders. It has been 3 years since those massive pay hikes for ministers ....are things better today than they were 10 years ago? Our lives will improve only when the system is changed and to change it we need to exercise our votes wisely in the coming elections....put in place the check and balance, demand the transparency that is missing and hold this govt accountable for what it has done.