10 things we can buy with $71m from SG50 civil service bonus

The Public Service Division, under Prime Minister’s Office, announced recently that there will be a SG50 bonus for all civil servants, amounting to $500 per officer, “in recognition of their contribution towards nation building”.

The bonus was to be paid with the mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.5 month, in July 2015.

There is an estimated 143,000 public officers in government service, which means the SG50 bonus would amount to about $71.5 million.

That’s a lot of dough. So we decided to see what else the SG50 bonus could have actually been spent on, and came up with our favs…

#1 — 7,150,000 plates of Peach Garden XO sauce chai tow kway

Chan Chun Sing chai tow kway InSing
Image credit – InSing

Openly endorsed by NTUC chief, Minister Chan Chun Sing, $10 for a plate of this prestigious adaptation of the delicious hawker centre favorite is not to be scoffed at. Confirm quite shiok, right? Civil servants and citizens who agree, kee chiu!

#2 — 8,937,500 heart bypass surgeries

Image - The Straits Times
Image – The Straits Times

If National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan can get it at the bargain price of $8, any civil servant and citizen should be able to! And let’s face it, after all that XO chai tow kway, it is better to be safe than sorry, as you can’t really depend on Medishield to cover you for everything!

#3 — 31,630 Kate Spade bags

Image - justonebyte.com
Image – justonebyte.com

Nothing but the best to tote around with in swanky Singapore, forking out $1,900 for a piece of this will seem like a breeze with that much bonus. Civil servants can now emulate their favorite politician or celebrity. Good for both the guys and gals!

#4 — 1,430 HDB flat subsidies for single-parent families


It’s SG50, so lets not fuss too much about all this and share a little! And with about 500 single parent births registered in a year, $50,000 per family is surely not too much to ask, just to level things up a bit for everyone.

#5 — 35,750,000 neighbourhood kopi tiam kaya toast sets

Image - TripAdvisor.com
Image – TripAdvisor.com

We are not letting this go without gunning for the bread and butter issues (literally)! Another local favorite, something enjoyed by uncles, aunties and children alike, the sweet aroma of a $2 kaya toast set is just irresistible. A great perk for the civil servant rushing to work, and the best gift of appreciation for your Minister boss!

#6 — A year’s worth of pocket money for 99,305 needy primary school students under the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Joseph Schooling (image - The Straits Times)
Joseph Schooling (image – The Straits Times)

If Joseph Schooling can do it, so can our government! Needy primary school students receive $60 a month from the Fund, so why not help bolster it so that The Straits Times can spend the money somewhere else, like hire better journalists?

#7 — Palliative care for 2,958 elderly people a year


Our silver generation, unfortunately, does not come with the silver dollars. Annual fees for a patient staying at a non-profit palliative care home chalks up about $24,000. If we can give billions for the Pioneer Generation Package, this should not be too much to ask!

#8 — 14,300 collumbarium slots

chinese temple fernvale

Fortunately, we do not have to contend with the potentially sky-high prices at the now defunct Fernvale Columbarium. But a regular slot at any columbarium hovers around $5,000 a niche. So let’s not skirt around the death issue and face it with a bit of realism. In cash.

#9 — 143 units of dignity for our Ministers

Lim Wee Kiak meme dignity

Surely our civil servants would think nothing of sacrificing their SG50 bonus for their bosses! $500,000 for a bit of dignity, what a steal!

#10 — 2.1 years of good government for all Singaporeans

Lee Kuan Yew Goh Chok Tong

Ok, so we were wrong, this one surely beats the XO chai tow kway.

“The price of good government is $34 million a year – just $11 per Singaporean a year – or the cost of five plates of char kway teow per citizen. And the price of bad government? It could have been $3,166 per Singaporean, said Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.”

The man has spoken, ’nuff said.

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