The Online Citizen

Ministerial salary review – what's missing?

January 04
22:28 2012

~by: Leong Sze Hian~

I refer to the report of the Ministerial pay review committee (Review Committee’s full report HERE).

Whose pay grew more?

Since the new benchmark is the median income of the top 1,000 earners who are Singapore citizens with a 40% discount, why is there no data as to what this figure was, on a yearly basis, over the last 10 years?

Without this data, how do we tell what was the annualised growth rate for the last 10 years?

Who had a higher annualised growth rate? – Ministers or the “top 1,000”?

Given that we took seven months to conduct the review, I am rather surprised that this is missing, as some may say isn’t this rather obvious to enable a thorough review?

Actual versus benchmark data?

Actually, citing the MR4 benchmark data for the last 10 years, may be somewhat meaningless, because I believe it does not include the bonuses paid, and thus not the actual total Ministerial pay received.

What we need to know is the actual average Ministerial pay versus the new “top 1,000” benchmark including the new National Bonus average, to determine another dimension into whose annualised growth rate was higher?

For example, if the “top 1,000”’s annualised growth rate was say higher than Ministerial pay, then the current reduction may be restored in just a few years’ time.

It may even be much higher after that, relative to the current formula.

Perhaps what we also need to know is the actual total pay of each Minister, without disclosing their names.

Even after this extensive review, Singaporeans may still don’t know exactly how much each Minister or band of Ministers were paid.

Easy bonus targets?

With regard to the National Bonus Matrix, achieving a Real Median/Lowest 20th Percentile Income Growth Rate for Singapore Citizens of just 0.5 per cent, will qualify for a 50 per cent Payout level.

This may arguably be one of the lowest targets that I have seen, to get a bonus.

Since the unemployment rate of Singaporeans is now at 3 per cent, by giving the maximum 200 per cent Payout level on just 3.5 per cent or lower, may arguably be the easiest target to get a maximum bonus.

With GDP growth expected to slow to one to three per cent next year, and which may be sluggish for the next two years, will the new formula result in a higher bonus, since no GDP bonus would be paid for GDP growth of 2 per cent or less under the current formula?

Also, since the unemployment rate for Singaporeans was only available recently this year, as in the past it was always lumped together with permanent residents (PRs) under the resident unemployment rate, was the committee privy to the past years’ Singaporean rate which Singaporeans still do not have access to now?

Pension to CPF?

With the change from pension to CPF, has the additional employer’s CPF contribution, tax deduction on the employee’s CPF contribution and accrued interest, been accounted for in the inputed pension pay reduction under the new formula?

Deterring real talents?

What the new formula may fail to address, may be the fundamental issues that we may be attracting some people with the wrong motivation, such as those that may quit if they suffer their first loss in a general election.

Or the high pay may deter talented, successful, wealthy and high income Singaporeans from serving, as long as their relatives, friends and the general public may chide them as being in it more for the money.

The respect for and pride of public service which were arguably universally accepted in the past may have been diminished by the high Ministerial pay.

So, are we paying so much that we may be deterring some real talents from serving our nation?

By the way, how many of those who became Ministers earned more than the “top 1,000” benchmark, before they became Ministers?

  • Saw is still AT LARGE !!!

    Please be focussed that saw is still the ceo with multi directorships from last year all the way into this year!!!

  • tiredsingaporean

    why these MPs and ministers no need to declare how many directorships they hold and how much director fees they collected from all those GLC while we commoners earning some miserable salaries must report by law each and every cents we made to the IRAS???? why are these immortels exempted for fear of being caught for corruption?

  • connie

    Are we not concerned with possible corruption if the minister’s pay is deducted? Singapore has done so well for a young nation. We have grown to become a world class country but the attitude of Singaporeans has either speed past to become multi-complainers or cannot catch up with the growth of Singapore, thus pushing issues so irritatingly small.

  • Jimson

    “Barack Obama, president of a country of 312 million people that also has the world’s most powerful military and the top economy, earns £256,000″. The Guardian: http://bit.ly/yPDagq

  • Lee Hsien Tow

    Thanks Mr. Leong for such an insightful article.

    I really wish that Mr. Leong is an NMP so that he can voice these concerns during parliament.

  • how to know if guan yin is real or not

    connie 4 January 2012

    Are we not concerned with possible corruption if the minister’s pay is deducted? Singapore has done so well for a young nation. We have grown to become a world class country but the attitude of Singaporeans has either speed past to become multi-complainers or cannot catch up with the growth of Singapore, thus pushing issues so irritatingly small.

    —-

    if they are millionaires still not satisfied then they are not fit to become our mps and ministers and pm and mm and sm… they are pure greed… then

  • Leopard lampard skin

    Do not forget!

    We should ask why they never cut salary this little until now after enjoying for years and years so many i lost count!

    We should think what is on their mastermind now.

    Why before the next parl session?

    Is this year gonna be that bad?

  • HIHI guan yin pu sha

    奸臣们当道,百姓极受苦!!!!!!

    legal corrupted officials in league, commoners in extreme pains

  • Robert Teh

    There are several critical omissions in Gerald Ee’s review of ministerial salaries:

    (1) It omitted totally to provide a list of preceding salaries of ministers before they are appointed ministers.

    (2) It fails to explain why it limited the comparison to the top 1,000 earners. Why not 10,000?

    (3) Conflicts of interest.

    (4) Possible abuse of political majority for pursuit of own self-interests.

    (5) No. of multiples of ministerial salaries to the median of lower 20% earners.

    (6) Impact on attracting of true talent to the government over the last 10 years.

    (7) impact on standard of living of the lower and middle income group due to rising costs of living and housing.

  • http://www.singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com The Pariah

    The devil is in the details. DON’T BE “SMOKED”.

    1. Read Attachment 3 – PM’s National Bonus can shoot up to 12 months!

    2. Look at the National Bonus Matrix in the detailed report – NOT that difficult to hit more than 100% when back-tested against past decade stats!

    3. 36% PM cut is Sheer Spin from Gerard Ee’s Committee as that INCLUDES imputed Pay And Pension (PAP) upon age 55. Only 28% PM cut EXCLUDING imputed Pension. Given low bar in Natl Bonus Matrix, effective cut is likely 20% if NB is 100% for most years going forward.

    4. Why exclude top civil servants’ pay? Same issues of scale and scope when their perf in this Little Red Dot of 712.4 sq km with 3.78 mn Singaporeans. Will Perm Sec earn more than Parl Sec?

  • Jim

    In GE2011, the PAP eneded up recruiting from within the civil service and the SAF. These people parachuted in and some got appointed to higher office. Really, do these ‘tier 2′ , ‘tier 3′ people deserve to have their pay pegged to the top 1,000 earners?
    I have worked in companies with ex-SAF personnel – none are performers. Some behaved badly, speak in rather uncouth manners – they should remain in the SAF.

  • Jimmy

    connie
    4 January 2012

    Are we not concerned with possible corruption if the minister’s pay is deducted?

    ————

    Going by your line of questioning & with the acceptance of the Review Committee’s recommendations, do you think they have unwittingly set up for corruption to take place.

    If the issues are so irritatingly small, why it needed seven months to conduct the review. And if the issues are small, whatever recommended cut should be inconsequential.

  • Dear Mr Gerard Ee

    Dear Mr. Gerard Ee,

    Thank you for your sacrifice and full compliments to you and your team for the work done. It is never an easy task given that there are always multiple perspectives involved. Below are comments for considerations:

    What I like about the recommendations?
    1) Removal of pension after 2 terms of service. This will put it in line with the rest of the population and also avoid the incentive for poor performance after two terms. This is the part that is most important for me and which I find most unjustifiable in the past.
    2) Peg to top 1000 Singaporean earners. This makes more sense then before but I would have preferred that it be pegged to 50-75 percentile of remuneration of the top 5% or 10% of Singaporean private work force for ministers and adopting a 60/40 fixed variable composition. The use of just 1000 persons are just too narrow and its choice without an objective basis. My suggestion is based on the logic that the ministers will likely come from the top 5% – 10% of the population and therefore should command the earning power of this group albeit at a lower percentile.

    What I think can be better improved upon in the Recommendations?
    1) Pay of President (deemed as largely ceremonial role) should have been reduced to no more then $500k basic (60%) with the balance 40% paid in line with the average variable for the ministerial staff. There is no reason for the President to command a basic pay higher then any ministerial staff given his expected function. $500k base pay should be more then dignified enough especially after adding all the perks.
    2) Clear definition / demarcation of the roles and responsibilities of elected political office holders versus the employed civil servants. Are elected political office holders to be treated as super grade state employees or are they to be perceived as political appointment holders seeking election for altruistic reasons? A clear definition would perhaps provide a proper foundation for remuneration considerations without which we will always be gravitating between paying them as professional managers and treating them as people taking up political office for altruistic reasons. If the latter, then paying an allowance as a token of appreciation for public service and other intangible ways of recognition would suffice. On the other hand, if they are deemed paid professionals, then transparent market benchmarking will be appropriate for both rewards and poor performance penalty. Such clarity will allow subsequent remuneration committees to make more rational and objective decisions. As it stands, no one will be please no matter how the formula is twitted since there is no agreed basis for which the public can judge the numbers being presented. Clarity of roles will also make it easier for the population to relate to the political office holders – as paid employees or elected public servants with an altruistic intent and therefore given due honor and respect as the office entitles?
    Just my 2 cents worth!

  • Na-Ero-Pag-Ins

    I have a question about whether there is overlap of minister and MP pay.

    As we now know, ministers get upwards of 1.1mil annually. But almost all our ministers are elected MPs (only kee chiu Chan Chun Seng walkover in TP GRC), and MPs get annual pay of 192,500 (almost 200K).

    Does that mean that our ministers are paid upwards of 1.1mil + 200K = 1.3mil ? If so, that is a loophole that should be closed, i.e. a minister, speaker of the house, mayor etc. should not get any MP pay because they are already highly remunerated.

  • impossible to be fair

    37% cut, 36% cut, 51% cut! Still not happy? How many of you mind your pay be cut by 20%? SIA pilots deadlock with mgt when their pay are not raise! Pay raise, not pay cut!

    We shd actually worry is the pay cut on ministers too much? Because Singapore can’t afford save few million $ and lose talented ministers & high flier civil servants! This is for sure!

    State leaders shd look far & not play politics of satisfying public emotions. Like what a outstanding civil servant once told me, a company can hire a fool with low salary & go bankrupt, but Singapore can’t afford save 10 millions tax payers’ money and the citizens become refugees. His advice is actually food for Singaporeans to think long & hard.

    No doubt our ministers pay are quite high by world standard, but look at our country’s wealth, GDP, tax revenue, jobs created, social safety, public infrastructure, lifts run 24 hrs, turn the tap & water flow out, press the switch & your home lighted, it is money well spent!

    Want more evidence & proof? Out of 87 parliament seat vacancies, Singaporeans employed 81 from PAP. This is resounding support of ministers’ policies. Why change something already working well & prefer by Singaporeans? There is danger the government not careful & get into soft politics, this will destroy the core pillars of Singapore’s miracle success for past 20 yrs.

    It is meaningless to bench mark to pay of other countries’ politicians and civil servants. Those countries are now in rotten stage and brink of bankrupt, they will soon send their refugees to Singapore, so more we shd pay higher salary to our ministers & civil servants to keep refugees away from our shoreline!

    I hope Singapore will not go mad with this first start of cutting ministers & civil servants salary. Once start, standard will start rotting & high calibre people will not join politics & civil service. In end is Singapore themselves suffer & diminish!

  • Tin Peiling

    So sad! I lost a Louis Vuitton bag for nothing!

  • Robert Teh

    Assumptions made in the past have proven false. Look at what assumptions that high pays will attract talent. Have they worked for the benefits of improving people’s lives at the bottom 70%. What are the causes of all the problems people are facing like the rising costs of living and housing, influx of foreign labor, the deterioration of public services as seen in the SMRT fiasco and Orchard Flooding. So assumptions again have proven terribly wrong and dangerous. The seven omissions in the Gerald Ee Ministerial salary review are clearly not accidentally missed out? Let’s be transparent and accountable for a change on such an important national matter as this one and not ram the whole proposal down people’s throat like before. Time has changed. Hope governing system will also change to reflect the wishes of majority of Singaporeans who are now suffering from rising costs due to such a policy with hardly any benefits except those for the elites themselves the rich and the foreign interests.

  • Robert Teh

    Dear Mr. Ee

    Thank you for your hardwork in trying to do a thankless job. You mentioned that you have considered all my views and suggestions. However, there are several critical omissions in your review of ministerial salaries namely:

    (1) It omitted totally to provide a list of preceding salaries of ministers before they are appointed ministers.
    (2) It fails to explain why it limited the comparison to the top 1,000 earners. Why not 10,000?
    (3) Conflicts of interest.
    (4) Possible abuse of political majority for pursuit of own self-interests.
    (5) No. of multiples of ministerial salaries to the median of lower 20% earners.
    (6) Impact on attracting of true talent to the government over the last 10 years.
    (7) impact on standard of living of the lower and middle income group due to rising costs of living and housing.

    I hope it is not too late to modify your reports to cover such critical omissions for a thorough debate in parliament. I hope you will make the report more comprehensive to address concerns of citizens.

    Robert Teh

  • from bad to worse candidates

    money makes the world go round. even though i welcome the paycut, i expect the quality of the candidates to sink even more.

  • we own you!

    36%-37% is a good start even though we all want more cut. think about it this way… if not for the poor GE results in 2011, do u think the elites can feel the tremors of discontent way up in their ivory towers? the answer is no. this pay review is the result of the clear message shown by Singaporeans that we have had enough and since we pay your salary, technically, we OWN you.

  • Ministerial and civil pension and pay reviews

    Missing? Great compassion like guan shi yin pu sha and great wisdom like Buddha and great donation like bodhisavattas

    http://Www.thoesophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/asia/as-elo.htm

  • Ministerial and civil pension and pay reviews
  • Richard Loh

    I know that the makers of Apple product in china not only reward their managers but will also punish them if they make a mistake . I think that the minister should be rewarded if they do a good job and be punished if their department failed. For instance,if Liat tower is flooded because the PUB did not foresee that the Stamford Canal will overflow, the PUB and the minister in charge will have to bear 10% of the loss incurred by the flood which means if the flood loss is 5 million ,then $500000 will be deducted on the overall bonuses of the ministry top down. In that case , everyone including the Minister will feel the pain and work hard to prevent such cases for happening. They cannot be let off by a simple apology. In this case,they will be rewarded if they do a good job and punished if they don’t,

  • not three not four

    hahaha!! dangerous assumption = high pay will attract talent. so what now? low pay will attract? i say pay reasonably la..last time is too high but now is lower liao ma…good change imho..

    i tell u what is dangerous…blidnly crossing the zebra crossing thinking cars will stop for u..

  • leehsientow

    There were, among others, three main public dissatisfactions re Singapore’s ministerial pay. The salaries were just too huge and were, in fact, giving the impression that they were spinning out of control. They needed to be kept under control. Secondly, why were they not benchmarked against the moderate salaries of ministers in countries in the developed world? And, finally, are our ministers really that outstanding?

    So were the recommendations of Gerard Ee ‘s team anywhere near meeting these dissatisfactions? I can only say this: It’s a small start but it is a long long way from being politically acceptable to Singaporeans.

    The cuts were, to be sure, fairly substantial – the numbers 31% (ministers), 28% (PM) and 51% (President) say so. The doing away with pensions and using a national bonus instead of just the GDP for the AVC are not bad moves.

    But the Ee team has done absolutely nothing to address the question of why our Cabinet ministers are paid such still huge salaries compared to what other ministers get in the developed world. It should have suggested more realistic salaries – just how complex a task can running a small country like Singapore be? And if it feels there is justification in paying them these sums, then, it should openly state its reasons and back them with facts and data. One way or the other. Don’t ignore the public concern.

    Are our ministers outstanding? Apart from Lee Hsien Loong and Tarman S., the less said about the rest the better. It is quite a torture to even listen to some of them speaking in public. World class performers? Only if you think people who are running a country which has put men on the moon, given us the Internet and has nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are substandard.

  • mars

    The fairest way is a multiple of the median income after accounting for inflation. If the general population’s real pay increases, the ministers’ pay increases. If the real pay decreases, the ministers’ pay decreases. Ministers will than feel the pain of Singaporeans when times are bad.

    Pegging to top 1,000 earners can be easily manupilated when a few high earners become Singapore Citizens. Also, the pay of the top 1,000 earners are not transparent, up to the ministers to say whatever amount they wish.

    I am sure that PM is relieved that Gerrad Ee only recommended a cut of 36% and super quick to accept his recommendations.

  • David

    Let’s hope Leong’s queries be brought to the attention of the committee and PM. I smell fish because everything by Gerald is just words, no data, no transparency, no concrete basis to prove his methodlogy of calculations. I thought this is supposed to be open and transparent? How come the comittee members all look so stone.

  • Test

    not three not four5 January 2012
    hahaha!! dangerous assumption = high pay will attract talent. so what now? low pay will attract? i say pay reasonably la..last time is too high but now is lower liao ma…good change imho..

    i tell u what is dangerous…blidnly crossing the zebra crossing thinking cars will stop for u..

    —-

    Agreed partially, big big big problem is they make their huge huge
    huge gains our misery by cabs increase, monopolies, holding and losing huge portion of our reserves, taxing, gst, erp. Etc wtf…. And furthermore naive and never perform well like transport and housing and still want to hide facts and manipulate figures. Treat us as great idiots. Knocking bell and still cover their own ears and thot people never hear. Therefore the citizens local true blues ones and those righteous new citizens not happy at all.

    So the problems are relative… They can revert back their pays this year end by 12months bonuses and also 30 percent increase…

    Got the problem?

  • cannon

    if ministers want so much BONUSES,it would be better they resign and join the private sector.

    go be a hedge fund manager,a top broker or set up your own companies.

    minister is one who serves and aim to serve not for monetary rewards but for other higher from of rewards.
    if our ministers want more money,MINISTERING is surely not their calling?

  • son of singapore

    The PAP and their cohorts have brains that shift quickly according to how it will affect their salaries. On the one hand they assert that in a globalized world competition for talent is globalized. So simple reasoning would ensure that the correct pay for officeholders should be at least half of what officeholders in Government in the US, Uk, Australia etc are paid.

    On the other hand, they say that Singapore is special when it comes to their remuneration, meaning that their salaries should not be driven by a globalized market, meaning that they are so special as to inhabit a different planet.

    Anyone knows that office holders in the superpower countries have to deal with more than merely the municipal issues that Singapore office holders have to contend with. Just switch on the world news on TV and you can see that the actors there are not Lee Hsien Loong and his cabinet who struts and frets upon the world stage, deciding the fates of nations.

    The Singapore cabinet at most decides on which hole to dig and which to raise up in an island not much bigger than a volcanic rock formation.

    The cheek and the audacity and the thuggish greed that force the hapless taxpayer such extraordinary, extra-planetary salaries for their municipal services for 17 years is really what it is all about. Even now, the Review Committee insists that they are in the million dollar league. No million dollar, they will not come forward to serve? How many of them can earn millions of dollars on their own steam. Check what they earn before they come into office and the myth of exceptionality explodes.

  • mice is nice

    What’s missing?

    moral compass & heart.

    PAP got no heart to reduce own pay, tasked someone else to do the job, but pay increase own self justify, own self approve.

    people with no heart to work, pay $1 also is a waste of money.

  • What is WRONG

    what is WRONG is how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place.

    The previous pay was said to be LESS TRANSPARENT and LESS SINGAPORE-CENTRIC.

    How did we let them put a LESS transparent and LESS Singapore-centric ministerial pay system into law?

    If the suggested new pay is reasonable, they have finally admitted the previous pay was LESS THAN reasonable by 56.25% excess (for ministers) to 104.08% excess (for President). I agree that an excess of 56 to 104% is indeed very UNREASONABLE.

    What we need to reflect is, why do we need an ELECTION RESULT, or even TWO ELECTION RESULTS, for this system of well-selected worthy talented Government Administrators to give us something REASONABLE, TRANSPARENT and SINGAPORE-CENTRIC?

    Finally, we will be able to rid ourselves of people who lack the “how strong is your calling to want to come and serve the nation” with sacrifices.

    Hell, we can’t even get an MP to do proper NS before he starts work as MP. What a government.

  • The Biggest Pay Cut

    The first prize for the Biggest Pay Cut goes to none other than Mr Chen Show Mao of Davis Polk, who took far more than a 51% pay cut to come help us wake up the ideas of our MPs who have not done NS, to help us knock them down until they recognize we do not Yes Sir them, but they Yes Singapore us.

  • ex-SAF cadres

    the main benefit of having ex-SAF people around is for extreme Party Loyalty. Their entire life was bestowed to them by the Party. And they know that the Commander-in-Chief can take it away from them.

    there is a reason why ex-SAF people are not particularly capable after so many years of trying them out in government and civil service giving them second careers. Can you imagine if you were an ex-SAF person, trying to compete in the real world with real world people, do you feel disadvantaged in terms of talent & knowledge?

    That is why they can only get in with the help of the Party that fed them.

  • Damn

    The high pay had not attracted real talent but help breed a bunch of greedy monkeys which have become more arrogant by the day. They think too highly of themselves to peg their pay against the 1000 highest earners! I don’t see any sincerity about the whole wayang review.

  • whatu1

    Agree that there is still no accountability to the Minister’s portfolio. If another Mas Selamat incident happens, will the Minister for Home Affairs take responsibility and give up part of his or her pay? If not, resign from their post?

    Take a look at the recent cases of ex-MP involved in corruption cases, namely the President of Singapore Table Tennis Association. Did he not receive a good substantial sum of pay, given it was under the old pay scale? Why is there still corruption for Mr Wee? Don’t kid ourselves to say if a MP or Minister gets adequate pay, he or she won’t be tempted to corrupt. It is the individual person’s make up. It is also the PAP’s recruitment policy is flawed as they are unable to weed out such corrupted people. Don’t blame the pay available.

  • selfdestruct

    The PAP Govt has got themselves into a mess of explaining why the salary review is to “strike a new balance” when the reality is that they have been overpaying themselves.

    This fiasco says it all – that we don’t have proper accountability from the govt ministers – they decide what they want.

    Only a watershed election will force accountability. Welcome 2016!

  • Vote For Change

    We now have a Legally-Corrupted Singapore under one party.

  • Corrupted

    PAP has lost it “moral compass”

  • Anti Corruption

    Looks like the PM or some Ministers might start to practice corruption. CPIB officers job should be a bit more challenging now. Go and catch them pls.

  • kf

    After 7 months, this salary review is a disappointment in terms of robustness, and I even hear foreigners joke about it. Surely, a million, or even a multi-million dollar club cannot have such low standards for salary review ?

    What is also missing is an accountability clause too. While the top-notch private sector gives each and every employee an explicit clause to be fired for poor performance, this is not even implicit when it comes to the public sector. A GREAT man omce said, all you need is a dose of incompetency in politics, and what he said came to pass with many doses, and we still have not woken up to reality ?

    Of course, policy makers can still get away with all these and show they delivered by setting not only easy targets, but as little as possible for their own ministries, a standard that the private sector has long abandoned to eke out a living.

    I have nothing against a million dollar paycheck, why not declare what the top level indicators and targets of each specific ministry are, and get some public feedback and audit if true engagement is meant to come ?
    Is this why the statement ‘you cannot please everyone’ was made ? What happened to the declared statement ‘no man left behind’ made years ago ? Fashion statement or not ?

    Salary review, like population issues MUST be discussed in a comprehensive way and different factors be really accounted for. Why allow arguably the highest public office in the land to go through such a crappy review and accept the salaries ?

    There are politicians around the world competent, and getting the respect of the people, and they don’t even earn this kind of money. We can get a few of them just with 1.1 million, the salary of just one minister, not multiple ministers.

    So many loopholes and the committee has been telling us they have been engaging people around. Who exactly have they engaged to churn out such standards ?

    What the education minister needs to have to bring back moral education to the fore, is not only social and community support, but leadership by example.

  • Good citizen

    Easy to say Ministers will prefer to join private, in reality pte sector can be very scary for some of the Ministers esp the ex-army ones. If the company cannot please customers and cannot generate profit by providing quality service or product, they would be finished, no sitting around for one term (5 yrs).

  • Saw C B

    Singaporeans must be a bunch of BELIEVERS.

    No crazily highest salary talents may be deterred?

    So, its clear most singaporeans BELIEVED that. When there is no country in the world doing that!

    Very naive people!

    Ask your midbrain, which talent as talented as Clinton or Obama or Hilary or Thatcher or Churchill or any top 1st worlds?

    You better ffffking wake up your ideas!!

    Regards
    Pui!

  • Greatest Sacrifice

    The person who made the greatest sacrifice to join politics in Singapore CSM! LHL, are you listening!

  • ayam

    What talented Ministers we have? Have they solved the problems of the people or continue to suck us dry. If they r so honourable, work for the passion to serve and the salary should not be an issue.

  • Jo Teo Gan

    I very talent wan. I better than omama.

    With the green movement, our talents learnt an english word called SUSTAINABILITY.

    All the Harvard, stanford, ivy league unis would not even consider that crazy level of unimaginable wealth for politicians but unique citizens BELIEVED them.

    A very immature citizenry.

    Regards
    Pui x 2!!

  • Private Sector Pay

    I think good performance deserves bonuses. Just make sure you do your jobs, know what I mean? And in that case, I want to know who does the appraisals? Do like what the private sector does! 360 degree appraisals from subordinates, peers and superiors. (appraisals season – commenters remain anonymous but are all staff of the corporation) If they can stand up to appraisals from all levels, yeah – then I say it’s transparent and fair!!!!!

  • see the financial world
  • Debate

    Opposition MPs – please ask this in Parliament

    4. Why exclude top civil servants’ pay? Same issues of scale and scope when their perf in this Little Red Dot of 712.4 sq km with 3.78 mn Singaporeans. Will Perm Sec earn more than Parl Sec?

    They are said to be paid very high salaries too.

  • See the financial world
  • Vincent Tan

    Their salary part should add in their real profession, whether they are Doctor, Lawyer, Army General, etc. Look into their last drawn Private Salary and compare the “sacrifices” they had made. Add in another component “Heart” if they really want to do the job or being “Forced” into it? There is no one else so you do it!

  • Public Eyes

    High salaries to justify keeping corruption at bay. Say whatever you want.

    But how about disallowing directorships for MPs, official office bearers, to ward off cronyism. That’s a direct relationship.

    Debate this in Parliament!!!!!

    I so want to hear Parliament LIVE!

  • splendide mendax

    IMO, I think the current ministry of people are not lousy nor are they talents. They are just mediocre like many of us. They might have realised the imminent problems, they might not have, but they definitely chose the easy way out to solve the problem which any mediocre can think of. Do we need to pay millions to mediocre to think of solutions that most people on the streets can think of? If you ask yourself truthfully, without betraying your conscience, have at any one point in time when a policy or decision is made by the ministry, you shouted out “What a good idea!” or “Why didn’t I think of that?”.

    The reason why Singapore are running reasonably well is because they are riding on the foundations previously set by more capable leaders. Anybody can see that problems are arising and not rectify. The good credits the current ministry of people are riding on are slowly using up and more and more infrastructure, social and welfare problems surfacing. People voices are the voices of the problems. The request of the people are not unreasonable. Anybody in the right state of mind would understand that a politician should not hold more than 1 position, be paid more than one salary in political or non political office during his time of service because of conflict of interest. Having a salary equivalent to the international standard will not result in corruption easier if the choice of candidates is carefully selected based on capabilities and moral values of the person instead of ‘yes man’ ability.

    The CPIB should be independent and given more authority doing constant checks on the ministry of people. Reviews and auditing to be done yearly. Review and auditing committee must be independent international panel.

    The ruling party has been labelled as “legally corrupted”, “ruling with an iron fist”, data manipulators and many more. With such thinking in at least 40% of the population, do you still think the ruling party has done a good job? It is still not too late to rectify the problem.

  • Public Eyes

    “Their salary part should add in their real profession, whether they are Doctor, Lawyer, Army General, etc. Look into their last drawn Private Salary and compare the “sacrifices” they had made.”

    Sacrifices? I doubt it. At most, privacy levels, loss of family time and attracting endless criticisms. Which are sacrifices for taking up public office.

    Their families appear to have benefitted from handsome materialistic gains. Bigger cars, more holidays, more bling, more investments. So thick-skinned these days. I think Singaporeans would not be this upset if they had been discreet and humble.

  • Grace Fu

    I read the papers and recoil when Grace Fu talk about sacrifices. Ask her how much she is earning in PSA and how much she is earning now even after the review?? You will be shock by the pay increase! Is Grace Fu a talent??? Come on, there are a tens of thousands of singaporeans more qualified than her. She is just a ordinary commerce student in JC, my god!!!

  • Robert Teh

    Let’s us take a look at what Deng Xiao Peng has accomplished for China with leadership by example. During the 1970s, while our leaders kept boasting of their leadership and talent making all the attempts to be paid more monies, Deng has demonstrated that though he has all the political power for himself, he has nevertheless declined to cling to power or gains for himself but instead gone ahead to build a dedicated team of leaders which succeeded in achieving leaps and bounds making China an economic power while we become a divided and morally weak nation. So, all the assumptions made about leadership are false. We have attracted only fake leaders. The earlier all these assumptions are thrown overboard the better for us as a nation.

  • Yamasam

    I think the matrix for the National Bonus is a joke. While the principle to correlate the bonus with income growth of the median and bottom 20%, etc is in the right direction, the quantum guidelines is out-of-this-world disproportionate.

    Assuming a 2% real income growth for the bottom 20%, they get 100% payout for that component of the matrix, which 25% of 3-months, that is 0.75 months. This is equivalent to an additional of 6.25% of bonuses (0.75 months over 12 months fixed salary).

    6.25% bonuses for real income growth of the bottom 20% by a mere 2% ??

  • Not So Graceful

    @Grace Fu, if you are miles better than the real Grace Fu, please do us all a favour. Join politics and kick her out.

  • Post-PAP-Era

    Government serves the nation and its people.
    It just doesn’t make sense with these astronomical salary for reasons to fight against corruption in government and to attract talents.
    Learn from the pioneers! If they (the bunch of MIWs) are really so PATRIOTIC, make sacrifices and serve with a minimum salary! MIWs, JUST DON’T BE SO IDIOTIC!
    DO NOT JUST SACRIFICE THE COUNTRY AND ITS CITIZENS IN FAVOUR OF MIW YOURSELF!
    MERDEKA, SINGAPURA!
    MERDEKA, SINGAPURA!
    MERDEKA, SINGAPURA!

  • Eugene

    Dear Singaporeans,

    For the last 20 years we have been swindled by PAP through their self proclalimed Ministerial salaries and hoodwinked to believe that if these rewards were not paid we will have less calibre ministers.
    If these Papies had been sincere we would not have the mass exodus of FTs, Housing, Transport, Education and hospitalisation cost increases.
    Since the 80s when they implented ERP, all the Papies implemented was to snatch our precious salaries from us.
    It started with ERP, followed by late payment charges for all bills, and reminder fees of 0.50cts. Now in 2012 these charges has not stopped. Even POSB deducts from the poor $2/- if you don’t have a minimum sum of $500/-.
    All these earnings by the various Ministries have been spend on themselves. Self Gratification of the Ministers and Ministries to the highest degree.
    Just visit MOM and you will realise the loos of 5 star hotel standards.
    Enough is enough the Papies had cheated us for the last 20 years by self gratification, greed and grandoisemnents.

  • Peter

    Why is Grace Fu making such a post on her Facebook page? As an MP, she should not be making such statements.

    “When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office.”

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  • Core Problem

    The core problem we are having with ministerial pay even after the review is that we cannot have a monetary reward system that is attracting the wrong type of people like Grace Fu, TSL etc

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  • Exaggerated

    The ruling party sense of self entitlement is disgusting.

  • Michael

    Mr Leong,

    The top 1000 Singapore citizens earners have a lower annualised growth rate because the old ministers’ benchmark was based on the top 8 earners in 6 professions including citizens, PRs and others. Overall, ministers are getting a pay cut. Question is enough or not?

    It’s clear in the report that review committee took into account all bonuses and cpf in both the old salaries and new proposed salaries.

    Bonus targets should be debated by the parliament in a transparent manner.

    More people might step up to serve as few hundreds of thousands is really not much difference for someone who is really willing and able.

  • rockabyebaby

    Toplendide mendax 5 January 2012,

    I am tickled pink by your “IMO, …” reference. We all know who you are referring to I trust. A bungling mind who bungled big time especially after Dr. Goh Keng Swee step out of the PAP shoes in 1984 and his followers too in succession. And the bungler didn’t stop at one because GCT proclaimed as PM that “The less you have the more they have” too!

    So what’s the moral of the story from this bungler’s bungling? Well, simply put it worked out “prophetically” and more importantly for the bungler is that for the majority of Singaporeans “The we have the more they have”! True?

  • rockabyebaby

    Sorry typo corrtn… It should be “TO plendide mendax 5 January 2012,”

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  • Chris Lim

    Its a pity Gerald Ee refuses to answer any further question besides from those specifically invited to the forum. And the Q&A session was not available for viewing.

    And it is a greater disservice to his work that a more enquiring mind like that of Mr. Leong was not invited to the forum, I presume.

  • BillyMa

    PM Lee should conduct a survey amoung the current batch of office-holders with this question – Did you join the government for $$$$?

    To help these PAP people to be honest, leave out the names.

    I’m sure most, if not all, will said $$$ is not the 1st factor (understandable since most are quite rich as it is).

    But I’m also quite sure that most are like Grace Foo, $$$ is not important initially since they’ll enjoy swimming in the limelight of being a cabinet minister, then when the novelty wears off, $$$$ become more & more important.

    PAP ministers forget that there is life after steping down from the government. The ever-ready tailor-made positions avaliable at temesak are waiting for them even before they leave office.

    There is nothing to lose joining PAP government, but so much to gain.

    Of course, PAP ministers must sound pitiful & bitter so as hide their glee from singaporeans.

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  • son of singapore

    The very fact that such a deep cut of 30 to 50 percent still leave their salaries well above and many times more than the salaries of officeholders in major superpowers, shows something significant and indeed sinister about the characters of these lot of men and women in Parliament.

    They are greedy and are not adverse to use the Rule of Law, State Institutions and the secret police to keep them in power and extract such eye popping largesse. They have pocketed King’s ransom for 17 years and now have the temerity to erect a sycophantic committee to redress their salaries ostensibly to more descent level!

    No one would have predicted that this home grown political party which rescued us from Britain and Malaysia can turn on us with such singleminded ferocity, demanding blood sucking salaries which might become the 8th wonder of the World. Historians would record their hegemony as the Age of Inordinate Greed.Don’t forget, the PAP did not do all this by themselves. They harnessed State Institutions, the Judiciary, world opinion and kept a stable of secret police to thrash those in the populace who voice up. Indeed those who suffered under their hands are still with us, most thoroughly destroyed.

    Now after the bogus Review of their salaries by their slaves, we have still to pay them the millions, which is still several fold the remuneration of anuy officeholder in the countries in the forefront of this world. Singaporeans are a long suffering people.

  • OldSingaporean

    I’ve not read the report as yet but based on the news I read so far, it raises a number of questions in my head:
    (1) what is the composition of the 1000? Does in include top civil servants and top executives in stat boards and GLCs?
    (2) was CPF payments factored in? (as you have mentioned in your article)
    (3) transparency of the data to be used to generate the statistics for national bonus payments
    (4) will the actual annual total compensation of the ministers be disclosed to ensure that there is no “gaming” of the bonus system?

  • Madoffs of Singapore

    Why should the PM of a tiny nation be paid 6x the salary of the President of US, a country with over 60x the population of Singapore and with problems a thousand times more complex to handle. This is a Madoff-styled ponzi scheme developed by the LHL and his rapacious Merrymen…..be it but more money = less votes. We want altruistic leaders not mercenaries and we shall show you the door in 2016…Lee, just you wait and see….its too little too late!!!

  • 0.5% for the POOR WORKERS

    “just 0.5 per cent, will qualify for a 50 per cent Payout level.”

    The POOREST worker, perhaps those cleaning table earning $650 gets $3.25 increment PER MONTH and the MILLIONASS PAP BASTARDS GET BONUS TOTALING 100s of THOUSANDS.

    THAT’s THE ABSURDITY of THE EEEEEE FORMULA. SET A STANDARD THAT IS SO MEANINGLESS THAT IS LUDICROUS IF NOT DISGUSTING.

    EEEE IS JUST ANOTHER CRONY OF THE PAP. THE ENTIRE PANEL IS BEING CALLED INTO QUESTION WITH THEIR RIDICULOUS FORMULA.

    BENCHMARK was ARBITRARILY SET THEN 17 years ago. IT IS EVEN MORE SO NOW WITH THE EEEEEEEEE FORMULA.

    JUST HYPOCRITES PAYING THEMSELVES ANd Sucking blood from Singaporeans.

  • Bo Bian

    The committee says there is no hidden cost in the salary structure. When it proposes the political holders get CPF, that would be a hidden cost. When they get such high salaries, I think the CPF contributions would be large. For such high salaries, would they need their employer to help them to save for their retirement?

    Their medical benefit is a joke. Why is it included?

  • son of singapore

    Based on the remuneration of Lee Hsien Loong and his cabinet, at their level of monetary resolution debated and confirmed by the Review Committee yesterday, they are really capable people and should try their hands at the wide world of commerce. They look like the caliber of Bill Gates one and all, and should not waste their talents on us, mere daft citizens of a small island at the tip of the Asiatic continental mass.

    These talented men and women should not waste their precious life on us but should venture out into the wide wide world to make ther fortune and their mark, if not to the level of Bill Gates at least to the level of Madoff perhaps?

    Its a shame to open their palms and beg publicly.

  • georgia tong

    PM responsibility is way below US president. His workload is even lighter as he has so so ..many helpers. They have increase their salary over the years to such an obscene level, this pay cut is really peanuts. If they remove the variable components of the package which is so excessive, then the amount is acceptable. If not it is still overly excessive.

  • son of singapore

    Its a shame to have to negotiate with us daft citzens of Singapore, how many millions for this man, for that esteemed fellow, for that exceptional personage who mans the Istana and that fellow who moderates speeches in Parliament and those wet behind the ears budding politicians. Just leave us to our devices and punch your way high into the business world for which judging by the remuneration you get and still demand you will all soar above this island state’s GDP. You with your superb abilities can have a salary the size of the GDP itself and not just a slither of it as predicated by LKY.

  • lob0

    You know… I don’t think CSM lost too much privacy. He goes about his daily stuff like a normal person. Cuts hair at $10 barber shop, etc.

    It’s only pple like Grace Fu, who suddenly thinks herself to be impt because she is MP, and cannot associate with common folk anymore, that resulted in her ‘loss of privacy’.

  • achtung

    Did they include ministers MP allowances?

  • son of singapore

    @georgia tong,

    Your question has been answered by Lee Hsien Loong,PM himself on TV in 2011. He said that the Ministerial salaries must be at such a high level to compensate those personages for not having lucrative speaking assignments and book royalties once they leave office, unlike their western counterparts! Holy Cow! Must we the citizenry compensate them for their lack of stature on the world stage, for their mediocrity such that no one wants to hear of them or from them?

    The PM is a Cambridge Mathematical scholar, in a University famed for the likes of Newtion , Dirac, Turing. I wonder what happened to his mind when he pleads so stupidly for his own salary and that of his cohorts. Filthy lucre does corrupt the best of minds.

  • iVOTEsiaoBENG

    oic…so to be a minister/mp..privacy is lost? so? even billgates also anyow smoked ganjas..do you see him complaint the lack of privacy?
    wah singapoor minister/mp think they are billy idol har?
    do you see simwonghoo bein a private man hide behind his jurong buildin?
    he also go to funan creative office to serve ANY customer…

  • Exaggerated

    “When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office.”

    ———————————————————————

    It is shocking to hear that from a MP (Grace Foo). She doesn’t even have the basics to serve the people. So is this the kind of talent the ruling party enlist and attract with high salary?

    More and more shocking discovery. Best is yet to come.

  • First World

    If one has a high and mighty mindset. It is impossible to serve. To be a great leader is to be a great servant to all. Even the people on the streets knows this. The spotlight, title and obscene salary has gotten too much into her head. How can we has such a MP to be in the ministry.

  • Boycott BreadTalk

    I saw George Quek in the committee. I am boycotting breadtalk!

  • Dear PM

    Dear Prime Minister,

    I truly believe that you and your team aspire to do your best for Singapore and its future. Unfortunately, I think in this period of transition from old guard to new, the ground (electorate & the world) has changed and in the process the PAP has lost touch with people you are trying so hard to serve.

    You see, Mr. Prime Minister, the citizens of this country have somehow lost touch with you and your team and no longer identify themselves with you. On the one hand, you wish to be servants of the people but on the other hand by demanding a salary pegged to the top 0.03% of the Singapore population you have by action alienated yourself from the other 99.97% of the electorate. The percentage discount from the median salary of this group no longer matter because you have made it clear to us that you do not belong with us, the 99.97%, period! So your salary cut may be noble but futile at the same time. Your citizens see your interest as aligned to the top 0.03% of the population so how can you be a servant of the people? What would have been wiser in my view is for your team to adopt a formula that is a multiple of a larger segment of the population that is seen as not too distant that the population cannot associate with. So even if you have to peg it to say the top 5-10% of the median salary, it would have been something closer to the ground.

    Please understand that most of your poor citizens do not quite know what the top 0.03% of private sector employees are like and why they earn such astronomical amount of monies that you have pegged yourself to. All they can see is that if their CEOs make a blunder, they (CEOs) will vanish the next morning and they themselves are subjected to such harsh employment practices. However in the case of your team, failures in public policies in recent years ranging from security breaches, flooding, transportation, public housing, overcrowding etc. are accepted and tolerated. To your citizens mistakes are meant for fallible people like themselves but not for the wisest and brightest whom you and your team are projecting yourself to be when you identify yourself with the top 0.03%!

    You lament the lack of talented people willing to serve and fear that lowering the salaries may reduce this pool further. Prime Minister, I observe that we have developed a national disease of trying to solve every ills and problems with monetary incentives or disincentives. For instance, using ERP / COE to remove road congestion, money for more babies, higher surcharges to encourage more taxis on the road, fines for not flushing toilets, more monies for more ministers etc. Perhaps I suggest that you undertake a paradigm shift and look beyond monies to resolve national problems but instead focus perhaps on opening up the country and easing the political environment so that more free spirited and talented people are willing to step forward. I believe there are many capable people out there but unfortunately not falling within your limited circle of elites that you feel comfortable with.

    Thank you.

  • W(C)P

    In GE2011, PAP won 60% vote.
    After that GE, with so many happenings, like Ministers’ salary review, MRT breakdown, orchard flood again, foreign matters influx and etc…, PAP is predicted to win about 50% only.
    Remember my word.
    I say ABOUT, that is less than or at most equal to 50%.

  • Disgusted

    @BillyMa

    You are absolutely right! All these ministers after stepping down from their respective posts or port-folios were all well looked after and I am sure there is no difficulty for them in landing up with a cushy position in the private sector in view of their experience in cabinet.

    Unless I am wrong, I cannot possibly recall a single instance of a minister (save for the old PAP guard like Toh Chin Chye, Ong Pang Boon) after leaving his/her post was not able to secure a good position in the private sector.

    That is really is besides the point. The more important point is the mindset of the committee which equated the running of a country to be synonymous with a company tagged to the top 1000 earners in the private sector. The comparison and benchmark adopted is egregiously flawed whether you use the top 8 or 1000 or 5000 earners is used as the yardstick for determining the appropriate remuneration. The yardstick that should be used or ought to have been used is to compare the remuneration packages of the respective prime ministers/presidents of the top 20 industrialized nations. Suffice to say, even after the reductions, which were within the contemplation of all after the outrage of ministers’ pays raised in the elections, the current salary packages for the cabinet are still grossly and astronomically out of this world in comparison to the sacrifices they have to make. For those who claim loss of privacy, salary packages if they would to join the government – if that the motivation it would be better that they remain in the private sector and contribute accordingly to the country in that way.

  • Bay_song

    I’m an ordinary guy with no political affiliation/preference. But I read/listen with an open mind arguments put forth from both sides of the political divide, to have a clearer picture of the issue.

    There are a lot of posters who expressed their stand that the proposed cut(%) is still not sufficient. I’m curious as to what that cut(%) shld be b4 it is sufficient. And MOST importantly, the reason(s) WHY such cut(%) is preferred. And list out clearly the fundamental and underlying PRINCIPLES that are being used for such a proposed political salary benchmark. I am interested to know.

  • passerby

    Actually, the citizen unemployment rate since 2001 is publicly available here:
    http://www.mom.gov.sg/Publications/mrsd_singaporeans_in_the_workforce.pdf

  • humble

    The people give the mandate . So the duties of the politicians are to serve the people fairly for all levels, not only the elites. They can claim that the country is first world country but in reality most of the people are living with third world standard quality of living. The people should be getting first world income and quality of living. All Singaporeans deserve these not only the elites minority. Thats why we have the uproar and discontents.

  • son of singapore

    @Bay Song,

    Don’t try to be innocent. Look around the world and see whether any government office holder has more than 1/6 of the present salaries of these Singapore ministers. Even after the review, do your arithmetic and see whether the cut is meaningful.

    Why should Singapore Ministers and other Singapore office holders earn so much more ( 5 times more after the pay cut recommended )than those countries who lead the world, like US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Russia, China, Japan. Do you not suspect that a massive overwhelming robbery of the citizenry ar gunpoint is taking place right here and now by Lee Hsien Loong and his father. It was his father who started this collossal pay scheme for himself and his cohorts after he was sure that his Judges and ISD are in place to support him.

    Don’t tell me that LKY or LHS is hagving more responsibility than these leaders of Superpowers.

    Do not let the Review Committee smoke you. They may look normal but actually they are out to curry favor with the Ruling Elite and gain even more assignments and wealth at the table of the PAP.

    Once you let pass this review, and cowaedly make no protest, there is no more barrier for the PAP to pay themselves what they like, when they like.

  • Restrict the Many Directorships

    We should not just focus on Salary reviews.

    I agree with some Posters here.

    What about all the “so many” Directorship in so many Companies ?

    I am sure quite a substantial degree of Cronyism or Nepotism has been happening ?

    Shouldn’t we be aslo be “wary” of all these “Many Directorships” ?

    I don’t think they are “Superman”,

    Stop “kidding or assuming that we are Dafts ” !!!!

  • FO George Quek

    George Quek ? Another Bootlicker lah !

    How to “trust” his judgement ? He is Pro Business and of course Pro Pappies.

  • what change

    Answers to many of the questions raised here and elsewhere can only be answered in Parliament. I still maintain that we must have a sizable number of opposition members in the supreme body of our Democratic society to question the ruling party. You can cry and shout all you want outside Parliament and the government can ignore you as you have agreed to abide by the majority who have voted them in. It is within their power to ignore you. Accountability and changes can only come about at parliamentary level. Maybe the consolation that we have now is that at least some of our fellow men are now beginning to see the reality of the situation .So I hope my fellow singaporeans will now be more vigilant and be more discerning in giving the mandate to the ruling party.

  • manage

    I see so many jobless Singaporeans. Yet, I see lots of shake legs civil servants.
    Worst, these ppl do not have goals in life but great at burning budget.
    I am getting sick and tired of Singapore system.
    SICK.

  • Robert Teh

    Ms Grace Fu, Your remark that you have sacrificed with a drop of pay in entering politics cannot be confirmed because Mr. Gerald Ee has not provided critical information on ministers’ pre-existing pays prior to taking up ministers’ posts. Also he has not provided relevant information showing how much were the ex-ministers paid by private sector after leaving office. So the whole rationale of Lee Kuan Yew that ministerial pays should be pegged to top earners in the private sector to attract talent to government is not proven. On the contrary the bottom 70% seem to have suffered during past ten years or so drop in their standards of living as can be verified from the Comcare statistics due to overtaxing and land sale and privatization profiteering schemes by the government. As the rationale has not been proven by the review committee it should be rejected and not be allowed with recommending of the world’s highest iron ricebowl pays for the ministers.

  • War and Peace

    The Ministerial Review Report is just crap proposed by a Committee of boot-lickers for the benefit of their masters!

    The Report is full of errors according to Kenneth Jeyaretnam is his Reinventing The Rice Bowl Blog.

  • Jeremiah

    What’s missing in our current Ministers is the passion to serve ordinary Singaporeans. For this, at least Gerard Ee had the good sense to cut off their ridiculous pension scheme. I hope LHL will take on this recommendation.

  • pusinderen

    First and foremost they raised their salary sky high and now they say is much reduced.

    Same goes to hdb flats’prices and other costs of living.
    First they jack up the hdb price by pegging to resale market and then they say they subsidise by giving hefty grants.

    First they jack up utilities bills and then they say they help the citizens by giving utlities save.

    Conclusion is: these obscene pay had made them fail to see the suffering and the struggling of the ordinary citizens. With heads above the clouds they will never be able to empathise with people on the ground. And the ground keeps swelling each passing day only to be sighted in full reality in 2016.

  • Hypocrites

    You know, we are not fools. Sacrifices … they are all relative. The high-ranking private sector individuals have their sacrifices and the lack of family time is perhaps far worse because of a lot of business travels.

    Standard of living … again is relative. USD2,000 a night hotel accommodation overseas? Business or First class travel? $500 a pop degustation dining per person? $2,000 for a pair of shoes? Not one but 2 or 3 maids? Not one but 2 or 3 cars?

    Who has joined politics and remained humble and thrifty? Who became showy? It’s tax payers’ money. We have unemployment, starving families, people who can’t afford to buy their HDBs … How do you expect Singaporeans to accept that you are high up there, and the poor families at the bottom are suffering. You don’t fix this right, there will be social unrest. And I don’t want that for our Singapore.

  • Making Remuneration Transparent

    MAKE REMUNERATION TRANSPARENT

    ‘The committee has chosen not to incorporate any long-term performance bonus, which is increasingly being used in the private sector to encourage executives to consider long-term implications of their decisions. As the impact of government policies may only be known after some time, the same argument can be made for some kind of long-term performance bonus, by reducing the annual bonus components.

    However, the committee may understandably feel that this is too difficult to implement. In place of this, the Government will need to have better systems in place to monitor the effects of policies. There have been some policies where problems have been apparent for some time, but little action was taken to review these policies in a timely manner.

    In order to build trust in the system, there should be adequate disclosure and transparency. The Government should publish an annual remuneration report with a detailed breakdown of salary and other remuneration components for each minister. If pay is fair, there is really nothing to hide.’

    This artile by Mr Mak Yuen Teen sums it all what the Singaporeans consensus would be.

  • Life and universe truths here

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism

    Go verify before believing

    Must know and realize what is our 8th consciousness(original nature of mind which is Buddha nature,阿赖耶识,也称藏识 或者 如来藏). Zen is about finding and realizing Buddha nature the 8th consciousness and perfection of 8consciousness(eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, 6th sense[意识] which is differentiating ability mind, 7th sense[意根)which is our attachment and 6th sense is based on 7th sense which is the root differentiation sense,

    No 9th consciousness。subconscious known as 7th and 8th consciousness combined. Subconscious is general term, 7 and 8th conscious can be very complex and detailed and how it is linked to our 6 senses is very vast and deep knowledge.

    Go verify and practice before believing. Eight consciousness are more complex and complicated and complex than psychology and Psychiatric studies.

    Yogacara and zen are very detailed and complex Buddhism studies, it is complete practice for life. They involve physics and technology and mind completeness

  • Life and universe truths here

    Must know above so that we dont keep on reincarnating lives after life. Pm, sm, mm, president and ministers and mp and civil servants also not spared

    Ahmitaba and guan yin pu sha

  • son of singapore

    Even if the Terms of reference set by the PM does not mention the fact that the world has many nations and each one is governed by people. These officeholders obviously are paid. The natural thing for the Review Committee to do is to question the Terms of Reference which will cause the investigation to be incomplete and dishonest.

    My fellow citizens, we are barking up the wrong tree to be let into debating the quantum of this and that and percentages of this and that. The fact is that the whole review exercise is based on irrelevancies, if the relevant facts about how other countries pay their ministers is covered up and ignored. The true colors of this Government is clearly shown by the way it lies and cheats in order to get at the money.

  • blacktryst

    You got to give credit where it is due now that the Pay review was conducted and this revision does seem more in line. But yes the commisssion did ignore comparing Ministerial pay with other countries public sectors. Also, the 35% pay variable that is tied to work performance and not GDP growth is a good step but will it be enforced?
    More importantly, who is to enforce or monitor that performance for Ministers? Thirdly, Performance reviews are even in Public sector is confidential, so who can truly say who did well or did not do well? The only way therefore is for public accountability and for the citizens to be as informed about their own ministers and what they have did in their jobs.

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  • Chris Lim

    A politically acceptable solution is to peg politician’s salary heavily to the lower income group by a multiple whilst at the same time capped to the higher income group with some discount, to signify the value and ethos of public service.

    The variation in pay structure should be wide enough for the politician to share the plight when things are not going well and the fruits when things are better.

    The cap is a safeguard against a formula going wrong which the review committee failed to incorporate except to call for another review in 5 long years!

  • iron man

    it is so hard to be a minister. first, you need to learn to articulate well in public to not be misunderstood by the whole nation, you have to take responsibility for your ministry’s failing(s), your entire family will come under scrutiny and now that the pay is reduced, your standard of living will drop. GASPS!

  • Name (required)

    sidewinder This is a perceptive commentary. The TOR appears to support the view that this all a PR exercise to have a ‘Committee’ take the responsibility for the unjustifable and really shameful gouging by the government.
    Now they can say, someone else said it not them.
    The resolution to this issue to get rid of such self-serving leaders and replace them with true blue blooded Singaporeans.

  • sidewidner

    This is a perceptive commentary. The TOR appears to support the view that this all a PR exercise to have a ‘Committee’ take the responsibility for the unjustifable and really shameful gouging by the government.
    Now they can say, someone else said it not them.
    The resolution to this issue to get rid of such self-serving leaders and replace them with true blue blooded Singaporeans.

  • Happy?

    iron man6 January 2012
    it is so hard to be a minister. first, you need to learn to articulate well in public to not be misunderstood by the whole nation, you have to take responsibility for your ministry’s failing(s), your entire family will come under scrutiny and now that the pay is reduced, your standard of living will drop. GASPS!

    —-
    It is not easy if think one thing, say another thing, and do another thing. It is all about conscience

  • It’shoon

    We need people who are willing and can perform. Reward system plays an important role to ensure we pay for performance. The proposed structure does not support this. If I am so comfortable with my base and the variable incentive given be achieved easily, it defeats the objective of paying for performance.

  • Who gave the Orders how much to cut?

    I could not understand who gave the orders how much to cut.

    Is G pap?

  • cw

    Just a thought on the flaw in the benchmarking. If it is 60% of the 500th highest earner and the PM has 2*multiple of the benchmark, does that not mean the PM (and some of the senior ministers) would be in the top 500 earners and hence impact the benchmark. A bit of a circular arguement!

  • owa

    token reductions in salaries with no real impact on citizens

  • imike

    benchmarking minister pay

    service with the heart not the purse.

    1.politicians are public servants-why bench mark salary to private sector??

    a slimy scheme by Lky-cos he could not attract candidates to PAP-
    not good people to serve the country.Lky is very sly,he hoodwinked t
    whole nation to agree/think along his line of argument.

    no need to vote & pass the bill.
    40 years absolute power = abuse of power.

    2.why not bench mark to top civil servants?? and adjusted up accordingly
    like the chief of SAF,police commissioner,deans of university.

    how much was hsien loong,chee hean,hng khiang,george yeo
    earning as SAF generals??

    3.NO to performance bonuses etc.

    PM running a nation or business corporation??
    it is his job.no need to get incentive.

    if he perform well.he get reelected.that is his reward.

    4.politics is giving back to the nation.

    just like charity,giving back to society.
    do people like bill gates,george soros get paid for charity work??

    5.bench mark ministers salary to top civil servants.
    lets see how many puppies will resign.

    bcos they are mentally,spiritually,emotionally NOT ready to serve,
    if NOT for the million $$ salary.

    6.so what should be the PM salary??

    my 2 cents..

    thk q in anticipation..

  • son of singapore

    It is no coincidence that many countries are sacking their rulers at the same time today. Even as I write, there is civil unrest in many nations in the Arab world agitating to get rid of their overlords. Some Arab nations have already gotten rid of their bloodsucking, aging dictators, namely Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. But many more are trying to do so. Why so many nations are doing this at almost the same time?

    It is the ease of communication brought about by the Internet. The uprisings in Egypt, which started it all, are famously coordinated by an Egyptian Google employee.The Internet bypassed the traditional media which as usual in these countries are heavily controlled.

    But the coincidence which strikes me deeply is the one happening right here in Singapore. For the first time, in the year 2011 we found that we have no need to read the Straits Times for the news or watch ChannelNewsAsia. Coincidentally or not, it was in 2011 that an opposition party, the WP captured 6 seats in Aljunied. Coincidences mount up. The citizenry became aware and troubled by officeholders paying themselves millions of dollars, to the extent that the Singapore PM earns 6 times what Obama earns. Even wet behind the ears PAP parliamentarians earn twice the Obama wage. The clamour on the Internet forced the PM to commission a ministerial salaries review panel.

    The PM was coincidentally also heard to promise the citizenry CHANGE, mimicking Obama I presume. Whether things will change is left to be seen but now half a year later nothing has changed. The mindbending salaries would be cut on the recommendation of the Review Committee but still remain mindblowing million dollar payouts. The favorite economic tool of importing shiploads of foreign workers and making one million of them citizens within 5 years seems set to continue. The secret political police, the ISD, is still in place. Not a single thing has been changed by the PAP.

    But looking at the coincidences created by the Internet, I anticipate that the CHANGE will be forced on the PAP, sooner or later. CHANGE is the Spirit of the Age of the Internet.

  • Eugene

    Christian Science Monitor made a point that is valid here:
    Dignity it said means worthiness, and “a government can’t move a country forward if leaders don’t value the people, don’t find them worthy.”
    The PAP government seems to value its people mainly as workers, consumers and entities used to increase the GDP.
    The decadelong boom has led to vast inequalities of income.Under this repressive government Citizens are made complicit.

  • What IS actually MBT Compensation?

    What is actually a Minister total yearly renumeration?
    Example in 2010.
    1. Basic Pay $2.4m
    2. GDP bonus..12 mths..$2.4m GDP very strong from FT influx, etc.
    3. Performance bonus…12mths..$2.4m
    4. Pension…$1m?
    5. Allowances 13th month, MP….$400K
    TOTAL RENUMERATION 2010…$8.6M?????

    MPs pls ask in Parliament…Citizens want to know.

  • Detailed Window Dressing

    Salary Window Dressing:
    1. Before candidancy….promoted, transferred to GLCs or TH as CEO or MD
    2. Gave big pay increase & bonuses
    3. Compared new Total renumeration with basic Ministerial Pay….looks like nice DISCOUNT.
    4. End of year as new “minister”…got GDP bonus, Performance bonus, Allowances 13th month, MP, etc.
    5. All in All a fantastic jump in TOTAL RENUMERATION as Minister?????

    Its a great run….doing public service….half truths as TRUTHS.
    Most talents somehow from GLCs, TH, Army, Civil Service…all GAHMEN….birds of feather flock together.

  • son of s

    Remuneration is the standard bearer of the nature of the relationship between servant and master.If the servant grabs home a King’s ransom, then to all intents & purposes the servant is the real King and overlord. In our context, the servant is supposed to be the Government and the master, the citizenry. When the Government officeholder takes home millions as salary, can you tell me who is boss? Why should the boss please his servants, the citizenry? All the talk about serving the citizenry better in a changed governance is just eyewash in the face of the wash of millions of dollars for each officeholder.

    The knuckleduster is the real arbiter in our intercourse with the PAP. Do not be lulled by promise of a “new normal.” This phrase has been minted in the furnace of the Arab uprisings and is paradoxical when applied to the hegemony of the PAP. The Ruling Party is dealing in phantasmagoria to lull the population into political sleep, while it continues to rob the till.Which it has been doing for 17 years, when the idea of salary as proportional reward for GDP arose in the minds of the founding fathers of the PAP.

    From here it was a small step to go to the next big idea. Why not increase the population? Thus we have now to endure shiploads of foreign workers and new citizens.

    The extra-ordinary salaries of office holders is the curse of this Nation, for it leads to the destruction of our very identity as a nation.The astounding influx of foreigners change the demographics of this country irretrievably and like indigenous people everywhere we are reduced in every department of life.

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  • Happy?

    Conscience missing… Compassion missing…

    Fairheadedness missing

    That’s all

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  • John Kim

    Did I read somewhere that some outfit (probably some white trash) was paid something like S$800,000/- to assist the panel in determining the salary "reductions"?

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