On Wednesday, 17 June, the government announced that all civil servants will received a special one-off SG50 bonus of S$500. This is to mark the nation’s 50th jubilee year as an independent state.
This is in addition to the previously announced 0.5 month mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) payment the civil servants will receive in July.
The Public Service Division (PSD) said that the one-off SG50 bonus is “in recognition of their contribution towards nation-building”.
There are an estimated 82,000 civil servants in the Public Service, out of about 140,000 public servants.
The bonus, while welcome by those who will benefit from it, nonetheless was questioned by some who asked why only civil servants were given this special recognition.
Why, they ask, are public servants not similarly rewarded?
Some, like Mr Sim Ghee Choon, asks for such a bonus to be extended to all Singaporeans through their CPF accounts.
“[It] is disheartening that Singaporeans who work in the private sector will miss out on this jubilee celebration,” Mr Sim wrote in his letter to the Straits Times forum page on Friday.
“Stay-at-home mothers who are taking care of the next generation and retirees will also not be similarly rewarded,” he added.
He asks if the Government would consider giving this bonus to all citizens in their Central Provident Fund accounts instead.
Others, more skeptical, wonder if the sudden bonus is geared towards “softening” the ground ahead of an expected general election in the months ahead. (See here.)