Thursday, January 19, 2012

The root of the problem had spoken

Lee Kuan Yew defends competitive ministerial salaries
18 January 2012

SINGAPORE: Singapore's former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has defended the need for a competitive ministerial pay to attract committed and capable people who will serve the country.

In a letter sent to the media on Wednesday after a parliamentary debate on political pay, Mr Lee, who had fought strongly for competitive political pay when he was in the Cabinet, noted how with a different generation, political attitudes change.

But he said unless Singapore has a steady stream of people to serve as ministers, Singapore as a little red dot will become a little black spot.

He pointed out that Singapore did not get from Third World to First by "head-hunting ministers willing to sacrifice their children's future when undertaking a public service duty."

He said the leadership took a "pragmatic course that does not require people of calibre to give up too much for the public good."

Mr Lee added that Singapore must not be reduced to another ordinary country in the Third World by dodging the issue of competitive ministerial remuneration.

Mr Lee said Singapore cannot underpay ministers and argues that their sole reward should be their contribution to public good.

"Every family wants to provide the best for their children, to go to a good university. We were pragmatic and also paid competitive salaries in order to have a continuous stream of high calibre people to become MPs, and then ministers. They put their careers at risk and undergo an uncertain and unpredictable election process," he said.

He pointed to the heavy responsibilities of ministers in making Singapore a success.

"A PM and his ministers carry heavy responsibilities for the nation. If they make a serious mistake, the damage to Singapore will be incalculable and permanent. Their macroeconomic policies will decide the GDP of the country, which was more than S$300 billion in 2010, with per capita GDP of S$59,000."

The MP for Tanjong Pagar had spoken.

MP Lee again rubbished that if Singapore don’t pay high salary to Ministers we will be reduced to another ordinary county in the third world….. HUH?

Yes I agreed that every man has to take care of his family and Ministers as well, they should be paid well so they can send their children to good university and get themselves a big houses and a few big cars.

But there is something not right if they are over paid!

With the current salaries, these jokers can send their next 5 generations to good universities and get each and every of their grand children a car and a house, all with tax payer money.

If each and every Minister is so important then they should stand for election on their own and not in GRCs. So if they screwed up we can removed them in the next elections.

Look at the standard of passed DPM Wong Kang Seng and Minister Mah.

They are hopeless but still got away with it.

PAP is made up of Elites for the Elites, they has lost connection with ordinary Singaporean long ago.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There is no excuse for Greed.

Drawbacks on pegging ministers' pay to that of foreign leaders
Mr Teo pointed out the differences between Singapore and other countries in terms of size, make-up of population and philosophy of governance
Tue, Jan 17, 2012
my paper

There are drawbacks with the suggestion that ministers' salaries here should be benchmarked to those of foreign leaders, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.

Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, said: "Political pay levels and structures based on domestic political considerations in one country may not correlate with the conditions in another."

It is thus more apt to benchmark and structure political salaries here to local economic and social conditions, such as employment level.

Mr Teo was putting forth the motion to endorse the recommendations of the Committee to Review Ministerial Salaries set up by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last year.

Beyond political factors, Mr Teo pointed out the differences between Singapore and other countries in terms of size, make-up of population and philosophy of governance.

He went on to explain how Singapore has to assemble the Cabinet from a smaller pool of able people, as compared to places with larger populations such as Britain and Japan.

Reiterating the importance of Singapore's leadership selection "more so than in other countries", he said: "We are a small, multi-ethnic country, set in a volatile region and facing the full force of global competition; our challenges are complex and many."

He added: "We are a city-state which is critically dependent on good governance to survive, sustain ourselves and achieve success."

The key recommendations of the committee include pegging the ministerial pay to the median income of the top 1,000 Singaporean earners, with a discount of 40 per cent.

With the proposed changes, which the Government intends to accept, Mr Lee's pay will be equivalent to that of the 382nd Singapore Citizen income earner - with a total annual salary package of $2.2 million.

Mr Lee had stood at the 175th position in 2010 with a salary of $3.1 million.

Mr Teo also revealed that the top 1,000 earners here earn $1.3 million or more, based on data from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

The data also showed that 48 per cent of them held senior- management positions across industries such as retail and health care.

During the debate which followed, Workers' Party Member of Parliament (MP) Chen Show Mao proposed pegging ministerial salaries as multiples of an MP's allowance as they "are first and foremost elected as MPs to serve and represent the people".

With ministerial pay pegged to that of the top earners here, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Inderjit Singh called for high standards of accountability.

He said: "If a minister consistently performs poorly and less than satisfactorily, the Prime Minister should be quick to replace him, as is done in the private sector."

Actually it is interesting to see what kind of lame excuse PAP give for having the most expensive cabinet in the world.

The fact is it is totally wrong and no matter what excuse they give is ridiculous.

Look at Teo’s explanations, it only makes him look like an idiot or maybe they think Singaporeans are just plain stupid.

Teo explain we need higher pay because we have a smaller pool of people to get into politic.

Huh? But are these people qualified? Isn’t it easier to run a smaller country? Isn’t it more difficult to run the United States, United Kingdom and China?

And I am pretty sure we are not the only "small, multi-ethnic country, set in a volatile region and facing the full force of global competition; our challenges are complex and many." in the whole word.

I don’t care about Hsien Loong pay position in the country has dropped. The fact is he is being paid by tax payers and his salary is way above what an average Singaporean get.

This is morally wrong.

In fact if he or any of the cabinet think they want to be rich then they should jolly well join a private sector which they claims they can easily get in to and then they can be the number 1 paid Singaporean in this country.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The real thoughts of our millionaires

President, MPs react to pay cut
04 January 2012 1847 hrs (SST)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam has welcomed the recommendations of the Ministerial Salaries Review Committee announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Office of the President said Dr Tony Tan has informed the prime minister he will adopt the president's salary as recommended by the committee, backdated 1 September last year, the day he was sworn into office.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament (MP) for Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC) David Ong said: "Personally, for me, with the reduction of the MP allowance and removal of the GDP Bonus, it won't affect my performance at all, as an MP.

"I'm elected to serve the people of Singapore, my residents in Jurong GRC, and I'll continue to do that.

Mr Ong added he believes there are Singaporeans who will be prepared to step forward and serve the country despite significant cuts to political salaries.

Mr Ong told MediaCorp it is important that the financial sacrifice, however, not be too steep as this will affect the government's ability to attract top-calibre leaders.

"There will be some challenges, but hopefully with this adjustment of the pay package we can attract people with the heart to want to serve and give a little bit more discount in terms of their material gains, and step forward to serve the country," he said.

The president, who only gathered 30% of the nation votes, and Ministers must be feeling quite bad now due to the pay cut but they have no choice as PAP has the worst election result last year.

Well can’t believe one who suffered pay cut can still say nice things but again its on national media.

Therefore I try to think what some their real thoughts may be(with disclaimer):

Tony Tan: Lucky Nathan, I should have stayed at GIC and SPH. ##$@!%#

Lee Hsien Loong: I am still the best paid politician in the world.

Teo Chee Hean: So many portfolio still kenna pay cut. Wah lau still have to explain to the other guys since I am in charge of Civil Service pay.

Tharman: Sian… the other ex-DPM got some much over the years and now I first year kenna pay cut liao… should have gone to work for the world bank.

Lim Swee Say: Evertime I look at my CPF I wonder why I feel poorer.

Yaacob: Huh? What pay cut?

Khaw Boon Wan: Guess has to look for HDB flats now.

Vivian: Please don’t rain again! Else no bonus this year.

Shanmugan: Lucky George

Lui Tuck Yew: Shit! Look like really have to take public transport now.

Heng Swee Keat: Wah lan! Kenna con into politic.

Chan Chun Sing: Wah Wah Lan!!! Kenna con into politic and now no one call me Sir anymore.

Mah Bow Tan: Heng Hah. Now only take MP pay can really relax.

Wong Kang Seng: Si Bei Heng man! Must call Bow Tan out and gossip.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pay cut of Minister

Wage cuts between 36 and 53% recommended for political appointments
04 January 2012 1208 hrs

SINGAPORE: The Review Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister to look at Ministerial salaries, has recommended cuts of between 36 and 53 per cent.

This was disclosed by Committee Chairman, Gerard Ee, on Wednesday at a news conference.

The Committee was appointed after the general election in May last year, and had submitted its report to the Prime Minister on December 30.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced the review at the swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet in May last year.

Among the recommendations made are the Prime Minister's annual salary to be cut by 36 per cent, to S$2.2 million.

The annual salary of ministers will be cut by 37 per cent, to S$1.1 million.

The President's annual salary is reduced by 51 per cent, to S$1.54 million.

The Speaker of Parliament will see the biggest percentage cut of 53 per cent, to S$550,000.

Previously, salaries were pegged to the median income of the top 48 earners in Singapore, with a one-third discount.

Now, they will be pegged to the median income of the top 1,000 earners who are Singapore citizens.

A 40 per cent discount will then be applied.

Based on 2010 figures, the proposed salary for entry-level ministers works out to S$1.1 million.

The committee also recommended changes to bonus payments, pensions and benefits under the new pay structure.

The committee has recommended that the GDP bonus be removed, and replaced by a National Bonus.

The National Bonus comprises four elements - including the unemployment rate, real median income growth, GDP growth and the real income growth of the bottom 20 per cent of wage earners.

Chairman Gerard Ee said the salary must be a "clean wage" with no hidden perks.

He said: "Our recommendations, while it is a severe cut, should be able to attract not all, but some of the talents to come forward.

"But preserving the message that you're coming forward to serve in a political capacity, and there is some sacrifice to be made.

"The 1,000, basically is, first take note that it's based on Singaporeans only, and eliminate the PRs and everybody.

"So we say if the talent pool from which we want to tap, if we were to hunt for them, we believe if they were to be functioning outside of politics, that's where we're going to locate them."

The new salary will be backdated to 21 May last year, when the new government took office.

MPs will debate the report when Parliament sits for a second session 16 January.

Parliament's first sitting for this year will be on 9 January. It's expected to focus on several questions tabled on the recent flooding and the spate of MRT disruptions.

We are know there will be a pay cut as this is PAP means of pacifying people what had shown their unhappiness during the election in 2011.

But is it enough?

I still think the PM salary is still high, a comfortable $1Million should be enough for him note all his medical are already covered for and not forgetting he still sit on a few Boards.

For Minister I think they should be pay about $500K a year. This is already a whopping $40K a month, much more then an average Singaporean.

It is good that there will be no more pensions for Minister as they already are millionaire.

The new National Bonus is more fair but they should also include the birth rates in there or national happiness index.

I also think the salaries of Perm-Sect should be review as well. They useless people are commanding salaries equivalent to Ministers and they are not doing a fantastic job too.

Another thing… I am wondering what new minister like Chan Chun Sing is thinking now. Got conned by Men In white?

Also Mah Bow Tan must be thinking Heng Man.... I still get my MP pay but no more doing Minister Job liao!

But again this is just a proposal, Hsien Loong may not agreed to everything. Lets wait and see.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Goodbye to a turbulance 2011 and Hello 2012

A good think about keeping a blog is like a diary. Reading back the post on my new year resolution for 2011 and the summary of 2010 let me keep a check on myself on what I have achieved in 2011 and did I fulfilled my resolution? This also help me setting goals for myself in 2011.

Gosh it also reminded me the prices for electricity fee went up a year ago on the exact same day this year on 1 Jan 2012!

Looking back 2011:

I travelled to Tokyo in Feb, Seoul in March and Taipei in May and Aug.

I have fulfilled my National Duty and officially MRed in Feb.

I also got to vote for the first time in my life not once but twice! Sadly the outcome remained the same.

I got my Shodan in Aikido in May and still going strong in my八卦掌and I also took up形意拳.

Mobile phone contract expired and I renewed with an I-Phone 4S. Yes I have joined the dark side.

I think I also achieved my goal of living a healthier life as I do feel healthier in 2011 compare to 2010.

I will continue to live a healthy life, work less, play more and spending more time with friends and family in 2012.

I think this year will be a difficult year for Singapore. The world is facing recession and inflation and we still got the same clowns in the cabinets. Half year had gone but nothing significant has change for Singapore, we still getting the floods.

Finally I like to share this article. It reminded me the priority in life and I hope it will for you too.

Happy new Year!