Apr 12, 2007

The Price of One Lee Hsien Loong

"No, world leaders like me will NOT resign to join some silly little company
in the private sector, just because we earn less than the average new, inexperienced
PAP minister in Singapore." - Shinzo Abe, Japan's Prime Minister.

Did you know? For the price of one Lee Hsien Loong, we could afford to hire :

(1) one US President;
(2) one UK Prime Minister;
(3) one Japanese Prime Minister; AND
(4) one German Chancellor

AND have about half a million US dollars left over, to give away to charity.

From the
International Herald Tribune:

World leader salary comparison
April 9, 2007

According to a government announcement Monday, the prime minister of Singapore will draw an annual salary of slightly more than $2 million starting next year.

A look at how that stacks up:

President George W. Bush: $440,000
Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain: $370,000 (187,000£)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan: $360,000
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany: $350,000 (261,500 euros)

73 comments:

James said...

Mr Wang
Curious - where is the quote from S Abe taken from? A hyperlink, can?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Mr Wang, you're not comparing apples to apples. You see, the Singapore government is a "special government - carefully constructed..."

So it's not right to compare our ministers' salaries to those of other countries.

Ours are special, you know.

Special.

LOL.

Wolfgang said...

the international "backlash" to the pay hike is rather amazing.

Mr Wang Says So said...

The S Abe quote is a joke ... Guess you didn't get it. Obviously I'm not as good as Mr Brown in the humour thing.

S Abe said...

Hahahahahaha... Mr Wong you are funny!

Now S Abe will sue you!

vatsan said...

Mr Wang, you have reported official salaries. wat about the unofficial salaries of these prime ministers? US vice president for instance draws a salary from Haliburton, probably some monies from them to continue to get iraq contracts, wat about such incomes?

how much scope for this kind of income is there in singapore? and how much do the ministers draw? if u do know this you can make a better comparison.

Anonymous said...

LHL said he is unlikely to still be the PM at 70. But let's not forget that he will have two more careers ahead of him after that: SM, MM.

Julie said...

"about the unofficial salaries" - anybody wondered about the cost of the SOs assigned to the ministers, the construction and maintenance of the security post outside ministers' residences, the "buy back" mechanisms when ministers and/or wives are offered gifts while visiting overseas (Sultan of Brunei gives away whole rubies), the Christmas hampers and CNY goodies, the "official cars" during lavish gahment parties, the free club memeberships and tickets to Esplanade attractions, special deals to send autistic grandchildren to American School inspite of MOE restrictions, free access to any plane on SIA fleet, special VIP ward in GH, etc,etc Oops, almost forgot the first right to soft launches in choice properties. As for those who harp on Air Force One, a little birdie in the SAF said there's a special aircraft to evacuate the elites when the peasants finally wake up to the plunder.

just saying said...

I get that it's a joke... but putting it in direct quotes and attributing it to Abe is a little misleading. If you just leave it with a quote under his picture, it would appear more like a humourous comment/caption. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I was touched when PM Lee said he was against the pay rise, and MM Lee and SM Goh egged him on. I was touched when he said he will get a pay freeze for 5 years.

I was upset this morning to find out that SM Goh did the same thing years ago, in order to get the 'moral authority'. And now he is laughing all the way to the bank. And I was upset to find that SM Goh was the one who egged PM Lee on this recent pay rise, although he knows it is morally reprehensible.

I am really worked up by the spin put up by PM Lee, MM Lee and SM Goh on this money politics and their spin. So what happens after 5 years? Well - more GOOD YEARS!!

Free Willy said...

Mr Wang, you are brilliant.

Some cabinet appointments we can arrange for Singapore, following your model:

Defence: Donald Rumsfeld of USA
He showed the generals who was boss. Fired GEN Eric Shinseki, who said lots more troops needed to invade and hold Iraq.

Foreign Policy: George W. Bush / Tony Blair
They have made great strides towards making the large not-red not-dot that is America and Britain more loved around the world.

Health: Gordon Brown of UK
UK NHS is doing very well under his allocation of funding as UK Finance Minister (Chancellor of Exchequer). Hip replacement waitlist only 2 years now.

Community Development: Nicholas Sarkozy of France
Under his leadership, there have only been a handful of race riots in the past few years in France.

Education: Shinzo Abe of Japan
He can support the writing of history texts which say many Asian women were COMFORTable during WW2.

Home Affairs: Bill Clinton
He knows lots about affairs in the home.

:-p

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Mr Wang, you have reported official salaries. wat about the unofficial salaries of these prime ministers?"

I don't know. For example, I don't think Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Hsien Loong and Lim Hng Kiang are going to disclose to the public how much money each of them earns,

by being on the board of directors of Singapore's largest investment management company,

namely, GIC.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Free Willy:

You are very funny too. I'm sure you would enjoy these jokes and stories about our very own ministers too.

Anonymous said...

the current leegime has become a liability in our Singapore brand image. they make the rest of us appear materialistic and money-faced to the rest of the world.

pm, sm and mm: what a great way to lead!

Meng Chong said...

To Anon April 12, 2007 9:59 AM.

"I was upset this morning to find out that SM Goh did the same thing years ago, in order to get the 'moral authority'. And now he is laughing all the way to the bank."

Could you provide the URL or article which indicated that SM Goh did the same thing. Briefly searched the web but no hits.

Thanks!

Like to keep the fight clean, even if the opponents may not. :-)

J D TOH said...

Using their benchmark, their salaries will have to be increased again soon, since salaries of top earners will continue to rise in tandem with the world economy, or else we might see an exodus of ministers, and women overseas to work as maids...

Anonymous said...

SM Goh - it is reported in ST today - SM Goh did the same thing.

Anyway, must watch the one by Sylvia Lim – Page 2 - before it is taken down.


http://www.channelnewsasia.com/parliament/videoarchives.htm


She kicked ass in parliament.

fergus said...

The closest I can find regarding the previous 'talk' on ministers pay is a salary cut restoration in Jan 1 2000 and also mentioned in PM Goh's national day rally speech in year 2000 under 'Government' section. http://www.gov.sg/nd/ND00.htm

LuckySingaporean said...

Why must our leaders be paid the highest salaries in the world?

Why is it so difficult to find people? Small countries like Israel, Norway, Finland, etc have no problems finding people.

The Answer is ELITISM.

Straight from WIKIPEDIA :Elitism is the belief or attitude that those individuals who are considered members of the elite — a select group of people with outstanding personal abilities, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight; whose views and/or actions are mostly likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern.

In Singapore, the starting point this select group is scholarships. Once the scholarship is given to top scholars (SAF, not the run of the mill scholarship) the grooming begins. Among this group further selection for Harvard Business School management courses, running GLCs etc. Among the SAF scholars, further selections into those who can make Generals from those who stop at LTCs and COLs. The selection group gets smaller and smaller - instead of larger and larger. Instead of a dynamic open competition, we have a selection processes that narrowly select among fewer and fewer people. Those left out in the wayside can forget it because they missed out on the grooming - Harvard training, stints at GLCs etc. This process is helped by the enormity of the bureaucracy which is impossible to operate within without the grooming process.

We are see more and more generals/Rear Adm and former military men among our Ministers (Teo Chee Hean, George Yeo, Lee Hsien Loong, Lui Tuck Yew etc). pluck out of a handful of SAF scholars every year. This narrowing talent selection and a system that 'outsiders' will find hard to operate and run develops into a talent bottleneck. This is not meritocracy - a real meritocracy is one where competition is kept alive, vibrant and energetic where the play field is continuously leveled so more can come into competition.

By the time we reach elections, there is no point for elections, the new minister hides behind old ones in GRCs, we are told all these men are groomed and no one can do the job they do. PM Lee was groomed for 20 years coincidentally no one else was groomed when he was groomed, so he is the best man for the job.

The world has not see the likes of such a system for hundreds of years since emperors and their mandarinates until the PAP revived it. The world has since developed something called Democracy whose basic principles is widely agreed to be best to empower ordinary citizens and bring about justice and equality.

Our MM tells us his system is superior and deserve to be preserved. Strange things happen when you run a system like this : you pay the highest salaries in the world and can't attract enough talent to run a small island. Think hard about it - it is basically what we have been told this past few weeks. ....and we are told that Singapore will collapse and crumble, we are also told that our wives and daughters will become maids. This SYSTEM, this PAP system is so damn good - all of you have to pay for it.

Lun Tian said...

hey mr wang, your blog is really funny! i'm a reporter with a MSM, may i contact you for a quote on blogging scene? will explain fully to u if u call me at 98803024. much thanks!! with luvs, tian.

Anonymous said...

Can some wise guy start a blog to track what our dear President does to justify his pay of $3mil? What KPI does he have? There was a good photoshot of him in the Straits Times today. Anyway, I think there will be many takers for the next presidential election. Big Money.

Funny, when MM Lee talked about 'stepping down' and 'advising the cabinet' I did not know he was drawing such a pay. Wow!

Anonymous said...

Now that PM Lee has divulged that MM Lee and SM Goh were the ones egging him on and on about the ministerial pay (note - ministerial pay, not the AO issue which is a separate issue) I wonder if MM Lee is now a political liability to the PAP? Sad turn of events. It wasn't PM Lee's fault actually. We love him to bits.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

call me a cynic, but how do we know if PM really donates his increase to charities?

None has seen his income tax returns leh ...

and they don't have a record of keeping their promises.

I think all this is just talk and no action. I trust my dog more than this bunch of clowns.

Anonymous said...

scholar A : heng nvr kena arrowed to front an ministry..

scholar B : ya.. kena GLCs posting and earning at least 2 million+++ per yr is the best..

scholar A : yeah.. and dun need to be scolded by ppl on the street...

the truth is PAP produced scholar are grossly overpaid in monopoly GLCs.. and those who are unlucky enough to front the ministry are deemed to be a worst posting among all...

a bad move to try to narrow the gap..

scholar system is showing its flaw...

James said...

Mr Wang
It sure didn't look like a joke to me LOL. It made a lot of sense from a world leader ctty viewpoint.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The S Abe quote is a joke ... Guess you didn't get it. Obviously I'm not as good as Mr Brown in the humour thing.

Anonymous said...

When someone become the President & VP of USA they are required by law to disclose all of their financial holdings as a matter of public records. Any financial interest in businesses before they take the highest office in the USA would have to be put in a trust to avoid conflict of interest. Also the President & VP of the USA's income tax returns are public records & release to the media. President Bush's 2006 income tax return was published in the mass media a few days ago (albeit an abbreviated version). I cannot remembered exactly how much income he made during 2006, but remembered that he had to pay income tax in the neighborhood of US$180,000. Since all this is public record & not classified info, anyone with an interest in finding out how much the US House of Representatives & The US Senate's salary scale should be able to get more info by googling it.

Anonymous said...

scb would like to say to meng chong that it can appear clean if dirts are swept under the carpets and only the carpets' owners can look under them(carpets). As for describing Singapore as a democracy, may it be more appropriate to call it an OLIGARCHY.

recruit ong said...

The prince-ling seems to be saying if you dun pay ministers world record salaries they will collect $400m under the table... Wah like this means gahmen is as good as no gahmen, can easily take $400m one. Means the system is corrupt ah? What is he implying??? ;)

simplesandra said...

mr wang says so wrote: "The S Abe quote is a joke ... Guess you didn't get it. Obviously I'm not as good as Mr Brown in the humour thing."

Uh, right... *sweat*
Maybe try altering his name so we know it's tongue-in-cheek? I tend to take what he says quite seriously.... ;-)

Contrarian Investors' Journal said...

The fact that the government ministers require huge amount of remuneration to ‘attract’ them to become one in the first place shows their incompetence. For example, if they misrule and stuff up (or just merely under-perform), are their salaries cut as a consequence? No! They still eat and sleep comfortably and receive the same amount of money. All they need to do is to put some spin and blame ‘external’ factors for the bad things that happen.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs are of a different breed. They take risks to achieve wealth. If they merely under-perform (let alone stuff up big time), they bear the consequences of failure even if it may not be entirely their fault. Those are the ones I truly respect- their capabilities are truly tested and proven by the consequences of failures and success.

The logic of the government ministers is illogical and lopsided. They claim that to attract people that have the best capabilities to be masters, lavish reward must be provided. The point is, if I am a mediocre person, I will still be attracted to be a government minister. This is because the rewards are extremely high and the risks are extremely low. If I perform well, I get all the applause and accolade. But what if I under-perform? Well, I still get my money. What an excellent deal!

The PAP’s system of attracting people to be ministers only invites incompetents, parasites, frauds, charlatans, hypocrites and actors to join in the stage show. Those truly high calibre people will not even bother to be associated with such freak theatrics. They will want to be entrepreneurs and take greater risks because the reward is far much greater than the state-sponsored iron rice bowls.

Ludwig von Mises, in his book, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, said it well (square brackets my comments),

For society as a whole the squandering of capital invested in a definite project [entrepreneurs’ projects] means only the loss of a small part of its total funds [entrepreneurs’ losses only account for a part of the entire economy]; for the owner [the entrepreneur] it means much more, for the most part the loss of his total fortune [that is, if an entrepreneur fails, the loss is 100% of the invested capital]. But if a manager [e.g. government ministers on paid salary] is given a completely free hand, things are different. He speculates in risking other people’s money. He sees the prospects of an uncertain enterprise from another angle than that of the man who is answerable for the losses [are managers—government ministers—totally answerable to their mistakes and under-performance?]. It is precisely when he [the manager—government ministers] is rewarded by a share of the profits that he becomes foolhardy because he does not share in the losses too.

boon said...

mr wang, it didn't sound like a joke because it could so easily be true!

vatsan: how do you know that our dear leaders do not have unofficial sources of income, outside of their political office? It would be naive to think so.

Anonymous said...

But our so out of the this world talented genius actually want us to believe that those leaders and their govt are only mediocre in quality at best, so are not up to the high standard to compare with our best in the world and some said universe top talents.

This is why they can claim that Finn, Denmark and Switzerland govt are mediocre and that’s why they are so cheap. If we follow them we would become mediocre too and our women would had become maids in foreign land. But perhaps this is not a bad thing, I for one am looking forward to having those blonde hair green eye women from these mediocre nations to come working here in our so the 1st world world class nation as maids.

Anonymous said...

This fucking government wasted so much of parliamentary time to propose a pay increase and media resources to justify it and then trivialise the whole issue by donating the sums to charity.

Of course, in the process, also insulted 3 other mediocre countries and made Singaporeans look stupid in the international arena again.

We have more than our fair dose of incompetent government, I'll say.

Why can't a meteorite just bang into the parliament during the last few days!? Oh, sorry, too small a dot for the meteorite.

PeterH said...

Heard from a quitter that your ministers also receive a pension whilst they are drawing a salary as an minister.
When the proverbial hits the fan it will be interesting to see how many of your ministers end up living in Perth...

Anonymous said...

If the PAP Gahmen had this idea of increasing the Ministers' pay, why didn't the MIW had the balls to include this in the PAP's manifesto during the not too recent election. Afterall, SM had boasted on a number of occasions that his party does not rely on popular policies to win the election. Of course, he conveniently forgets to tell the whole world that each time the election was won by the PAP through unfair polls because of a completely non level playing directed on the opposition.

I do hope that we will not forget this episode of our PAP leaders paying lip service to the people's sentiment when we come to excercise our vote when the next election comes.

Anonymous said...

if the system is rigourous enough, a couple of corrupt ministers will not be able to simply collect $400m under the radar.

It is plainly an admission that the success of the system is solely dependant on the integrity and character of figures in the party.

There is NO CHECK AND BALANCES.

Anonymous said...

He he,

the success of Singapore will be solely dependant on a set of bogus figures too if we let them run the show any longer.

And we have the PM's wife donating to overseas charities every now and then.

What a generous couple! I wish they could donate away that old senile fool in their houselhold to some country more deserving of him. Nigeria is good. They are famous for scams. MM will fit like a glove.

Anonymous said...

Of course the other thing is why do our newspapers find it necessary to dedicate 10 + full pages advertising and justifying the pay increase on Ministers, and only 1 page to dismiss Lily Neo's request for more public assistance for our poor. This is a sad reflection of the 'growth' of our govt and our media. Our moral compass has all gone wrong and we need to thank our esteemed MM Lee for this.

moomooman said...

If we have George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Shinzo Abe, Angela Merkel in Singapore as ministers, we will have the following scenarios:

1.) We will send our men plus reservist to Iraq to fight a war.

2.) Orchard Road will be the most dangerous street, beating London as the most notorious location.

3.) Economy will not improved. Mafia rules.

4.) We will host the World Cup by 2010.

siu said...

Our leaders are all hypocrites but at the end of the day, we'll still vote for them. Period

Rowen said...

I suppose He is also getting money for standing in as Finance minister.

Therefore his official salary should be PM pay plus Finance minister's pay.

Anonymous said...

PeterH,

Lim Swee Say is already planning his exit in less than 10 years' time after receiving the fat paycheck.

Daniel said...

Regarding the quote from vatsan about US President Cheney's Halliburton pay, "probably some monies from them to continue to get iraq contracts", this is not the case. Both the US president and vice president (voluntarily) publicly release their tax returns so that Americans know exactly how much money their leaders are earning from ALL sources. Although Cheney receives a pension-like package from Halliburton, he has no role in the company. If you are from Singapore, perhaps such openness in government leader pay is new to you, so I understand if you suspect the same kind of behavior from US leaders as from Singapore leaders, or all the US leaders getting rich from Halliburton oil contracts and whatnot. It just doesn't work like that in the US. The media, and the Internal Revenue Service, would be all over the man if he had any unreported income.

Now, you guys aren't even sure how much PM Lee actually earns, are you? So does he get any extra pay for filling in for finance minister or not? How about from his private dealings? Does he release his tax return to the people of Singapore voluntarily so that people can see how uncorrupt and not wealthy he is?

If not, then maybe Dick Cheney is a better role model. Not that I like Dick Cheney, but I take issue if you are implying that he is corrupt in any single little way more than any Singaporean minister. With the FREE press breathing down Cheney's neck all the time, he has to be on his best behaviour. Now, who controls the press in Singapore again? Anyone?

Yeah. So there.

Anonymous said...

Economy doing extremely well eh?

Classic ST spin here:

http://meninwhite82.wordpress.com/2007/04/11/you-spin-right-round-babyright-roundround-round-round-round/

Also, there will be a public forum with delegation of European Parliamentarians to dispel the claims by the MM in his response to LTK's speech.

Anonymous said...

GREED is GOOD!

Anonymous said...

Jealousy n envy r even better!

Anonymous said...

With society being partitioned, creamed and segregated, it is inevitable that the division widen between those who live comfortably at the top and those who toil at the bottom. This disjoint is manifested in events such as IMF, PSA losing major shipping lines and now the pay increase where the political fallout of an action is totally miscalculated.

Regarding the PM, imagine if you are surrounded mostly by people who believe in their own eminence and superior genes. It is not an easy job and I believe that he is trying.

Many sacred cows have been kaputted and we should perhaps give him the benefit of doubt. After all, he is human.

Anonymous said...

y do we have pm --> sm --> mm and wa is next after mm? holy wise m?

Anonymous said...

Think about it:

- GST to help the poor;
- $290 for the helpless; never give 3 meals to them!
- $$$ $$$ increment for the ministers.

To do what they above, u need to sacrifice your soul, your 'old' value to a new value system, and your conscious...

Guys, u know how much our beloved spore had sacrificed for $PORE.

Anonymous said...

Every crocodile suffers split personalities, it sheds tears because it has an insatiable appetite!

Anonymous said...

Zahari 17 years, banned by Singapore Govt, is now available
here on Google Video
!

kitsura said...

Simpur:

pm --> sm --> mm --> god --> god of gods

Anonymous said...

You guys know about this free breakfast scheme to help school children from needy families? It's a joke, I tell you.

If the children are in the afternoon session, they have to go early to school (around 10, I think), to get the free breakfast.

They aren't given any money to buy the breakfast, just coupons or some such to exchange for the free breakfast.

And then the ST made a big deal out of it, as if it's some great charity or deed to help the needy children.

insens said...

The FREE press in the US and UK can question the pay of their ministers and presidents. If their govt were corrupt, their FREE press would be all too happy and willing to denounce it and let the public know.

Pity there is no such system in Singapore. 1st of all, there is no FREE press in singapore, second, even if there were, they'd be sued penniless if they even dared to hint of such a thing.

Legalized corruption indeed.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote: "They aren't given any money to buy the breakfast, just coupons or some such to exchange for the free breakfast."


I see nothing wrong with giving out coupons. Since it is not money, these kids can only use it to have breakfast.

If they were given money, then these kids might be pressured to bring the money home. Remember, the aim of this programme is just to make sure kids are not hungry.

Anonymous said...

Hearing Said Zahari in 17 Years sums up exactly what MM is all about. And one begins to see the thinking and illogic and how it shapes his behaviour until today.

Anonymous said...

"I see nothing wrong with giving out coupons. Since it is not money, these kids can only use it to have breakfast.

If they were given money, then these kids might be pressured to bring the money home. Remember, the aim of this programme is just to make sure kids are not hungry."

Yah, or use the money to buy tikam tikam......

Anonymous said...

このニュースは面白い

Anonymous said...

I see nothing wrong with giving out coupons. Since it is not money, these kids can only use it to have breakfast.

The point is, to qualify for the free breakfast, the poor kid has to be in school as early as 10 (because it's BREAKFAST). Assuming the meal takes 30 mins to consume, he or she is stucked in school for the next 2-3 hours.

And we aren't talking about some great nutritional meals. A typical bowl of porridge consists of, yes, you guessed it, the porridge and a few miserable shreds of fried eggs. A typical bowl of noodle consists of mostly noodle and 2 or 3 fish balls (the kind that are frozen and sold in packets).

I know of some parents who opted out even though their children qualified for the FREE breakfast.

redbean said...

Abe took a 30% pay cut voluntarily without any prompting and citing that it would be good to keep a lean govt.

i think abe is probably of unsound mind. or as vatsan said, he must have other incomes. politicians are not very trustworthy. it they don't take it openly, they take it under the table.

i also post at www.redbeanforum.com

Anonymous said...

The government should not have banned the Said Zahari interview. They should disprove his allegations instead. Otherwise, they are indirectly admitting that what Said Zahari said is all true. Also, if more ex-political prisoners spoke up, it will lend more credibility to claims about LKY's character and past misdeeds.

Anonymous said...

Offtopic: there're some really zealous PAP apologetics in sammyboy's forum... (maybe they're trolls). Have a read and a laugh. Hey Mr Wang, someone called you a whiner and a loser too!


-------------------------------



Coffee Shop Talk - You Losers Can Shut Up Now
Wentworth (chintulan) 03:35
To: ALL 1 of 3
137961.1

YOU HAD YOUR FUN WHINING AND BITCHING, THE MINISTERS SALARY ISSUE IS OVER, NOW MOVE ON....GET BACK TO YOUR JOBS (OH SORRY, MOST OF YOU ARE JOBLESS LOSERS !!), OKAY NEVERMIND, THEN JUST GO ONE CORNER AND MASTURBATE UNTIL YOU DIE. THE COUNTRY WILL MOVE ON WITH OR WITHOUT YOU USELESS FUCKS

MAJULLAH

-------------------


Coffee Shop Talk - Let me say this to u losers once and4all

From: Wentworth (chintulan) 04:32
To: ALL 1 of 1
137972.1
YOU ARE INSIGNIFICANT PEE SAIS UNDERSTAND?????? WHAT THE MINISTERS EARN IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, DONT BE JEALOUS LOSERS OKAY??????

Anonymous said...

alamak, they always do tis. during election, ask e grassroot leaders to load the buses with non-interested old folks to the rally, so dead there.

now, employing some fake 'supporters' to make some noise...

loupgarou said...

whatever..


try to remember this when its time to vote in 2011, they did this so fast so that your memories will forget, then they will give another progress package in 2011 and in 2012 TAKE IT ALL BACK AGAIN AND MORE..


66.6% of Singaporeans are IDIOTS who deserve this.

Anonymous said...

try to remember this when its time to vote in 2011, they did this so fast so that your memories will forget, then they will give another progress package in 2011 and in 2012 TAKE IT ALL BACK AGAIN AND MORE..

Totally agree!

Stupid people don't learn from their mistakes.

I once watched a documentary that showed an experiment on how rats learn. The rats are placed at the same starting point of a maze. The smart ones are able to quickly find a way out. The stupid ones keep going back and forth the same paths.

Anonymous said...

Abe took a pay cut to set an example. He can claim the moral high ground. Lee actually gains from donating his pay increase because this reduces his income tax due to the double tax deduction provision. His claim of the moral high ground isn't valid.

Anonymous said...

What the welfare and pay hike are seperate issues? aren't they from the same budget? if discussed different itme of a budget on different day means they are no link?

I seriously doubt their competency and ability to reason ....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous April 13, 2007 11:18 PM

No wonder they take 20 years to learn the ropes, and while being paid $million dollar salaries meant for extraordinarily competent ministers.

No wonder we cannot afford revolving door leadership.

Sigh, what other supposedly mediocre leaders of 1st world countries can do from day one, our brilliant corruptable millionaire ministers have to take 20 turtles years to learn. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Sigh, what other supposedly mediocre leaders of 1st world countries can do from day one, our brilliant corruptable millionaire ministers have to take 20 turtles years to learn. Sigh.

The difference clearly is political competition. With competition I wonder how many of the current PAP ministers and MPs will still go into politics. That hints and speaks volumes of the passion and kind of people PAP is attracting.

Anonymous said...

So given that turtles will likely have a tough time keeping up in a fast-paced competitive globalized arena, let's take another poll.

Who wants

A a paranoid government or
B an auto-pilot revolving door one?

Anonymous said...

We know we have a bunch of top bureaucrats and ministers chosen for us; we go to the polls to rubber stamp their existence.

We know what they are paid; but they have all sorts of perks - some worthy of third world countries ruled by tin pot dictators and "royalty". Such as first class travel, upgrading (SQ) while on personal jaunts, and being treated as VVIPS (some when not at that level) by our foreign ministry people abroad, etc.

And when they "retire" they are looked after - and they claim there is no iron ricebowl?

You'd have to have botched up like David Lim to even be given a light tap on the wrist!

Maybe the PAP wants to take their money and run, or be prepared to if their gambles don't work out in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think there is a person in the cabinet who would dare to convey the truth to MM or not agree with him on any point?

His wife must be the only person in Singapore who would dare to contradict him; I wonder what she thinks about his comments on making a mistake in educating Singapore women and about women as maids if he almost singlehandedly had not rescued Singapore and made it what is it today?

Mahesh said...

There you go again, Mr. Wang - finding faults once again.

Look - the logic is simple. If a public servant gets lesser money than what he could make outside - then corruption might creep in.

Ok, let us be honest in judgement - look around on the map : China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka - why do these countries top on the list of corrupt ( with Indonesia being at the top ) ???

The reason is simple - the public sector people get crap salaries.

In India, a public service officer with 10 years of experience makes 1/2 of what a fresh graduate engineer makes as a starting salary !!!!!!!!

Something tells me that you have not explored much of world, else you would not have created an article on this matter at all.

High salaries are perfectly justified. After all, even the politicians have a career. You would expect an yearly salary increase in you package or not ?

2-3 million $ is an average for an attorney in Singapore.

The number is perfectly justified.

Mahesh Nagar