ESM Goh needs a reality check

“Ministers are not paid enough!”, protested Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, apparently at a public forum in his constituency earlier this week.

“And down the road, we’re going to have a problem getting people to join the Government,” he added. “Because civil servants now earn more than ministers.”

ESM Goh was responding to a suggestion from an audience member that the government introduced an “elderly pension fund”, which the member said can be funded by cutting the Defence budget, or shaving off ministers’ salaries.

ESM Goh, who was Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1992 to 2004, said to cut ministers’ pay would make it hard for the government to recruit talents to become ministers.

He said that he had difficulty getting people to join government when he was PM because the salary being offered to them was way below what these potential ministers were earning in the private sector.

He said that he still faced the same problem when he tried to recruit these talents in the last election.

“I tried for the last election,” Mr Goh said. “Two of them – one earning $5 million and one earning $10 million a month. To be minister for $1 million?”

Then he asked:

“So where do you want to get your ministers from? From people who earn only $500,000 a year? You’re going to end up with very mediocre people who can’t even earn a million dollars outside. Is it good for you or is it worse for us?”

The issue of ministers’ salary has been a thorn in not only the government’s side but that of Singaporeans since the scheme to peg civil servants’ salaries to the private sector was first raised in 1994.

In 2003, Mr Goh defended the salaries, which is still the highest in the world. The PM’s salary, he said, was equal to about $11 per person, equivalent to “about five plates of char kway teow [fried noodles with cockles] per Singaporean.”

The Prime Minister was paid as much as $3.7m at one point, and ministers gave themselves a 60% pay rise in 2007.

Later, in 2012 – following the PAP’s loss of parliamentary seats to the opposition and a dip in its vote share to the lowest post-Independence – the government reduced civil servants salaries to its current level.

The PM now receives S$2.2m per year which, as many have observed, is still the highest salary compared to all other government leaders in the world.

It is thus mindboggling, really, to hear ESM Goh reportedly say that “ministers are not paid enough”, and to hear him say this at a time when Singaporeans are having concerns about the costs of living, retirement, healthcare and such.

ESM Goh also reportedly said civil servants are paid more than ministers, but he did not provide details of this.

It is unclear who these civil servants that ESM Goh referred to are, but let’s take an example of how much a top civil servant is potentially worth in the private sector.

Mr Philip Yeo, popularly known as Mr EDB, and former chairman of A*star and special economic adviser to the late Lee Kuan Yew, was reported to have been approached by Mr Richard Li of Hong Kong. Mr Li is the son of billionaire, Li Kashing.

The younger Li wanted Mr Yeo to to be the executive chairman of his Singapore-based fund management vehicle Pacific Century.

What was he offering Mr Yeo?

A S$28m deal which included a $10 million sign-on bonus, $10 million as salary for three years and $8 million in shares and options.

It was an attractive offer to entice Mr Yeo away from his public service work. In the end, Mr Yeo declined the offer – because of Mr Lee.

Mr Yeo explained to the Straits Times in 2016:

“[LKY] called me up and said, ‘We depend on you.’ The old man kacau’d,” he says, using the Malay word for “interfere”. “He put psychological pressure on me to stay. LKY was very persuasive.”

Mr Yeo stayed and his contribution to Singapore is immeasurable.

But should we pay ministers such extreme salaries?

Mr Goh’s remarks risk giving the impression that our ministers are spoilt brats who want more money despite already being paid what some describe as obscene amounts.

But Mr Goh’s protestations, it is to be noted, is actually correct – if you go by the benchmark which the ministers’ salaries are based on.

Credit: ST

Earlier this year, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, the minister-in-charge of the Civil Service then, told the House that ministers’ salaries lagged those in the private sector by about 9%.

The benchmark, approved by Parliament in 2012, pegs ministerial salaries to the median income of the top 1,000 earners who are Singaporean citizens, with a 40 per cent discount to reflect a measure of sacrifice in political service.

Salaries are reviewed every 5 years.

The review committee was appointed last year, chaired by Gerard Ee.

It eventually recommended to the government that salaries at the MR4 level be increased by 9%, to keep pace with that in the private sector.

MR4 is the lowest, entry level mark for ministers; and it is used to also determine salaries for all the other levels up to MR1.

The PM, for example, has his salary pegged to the MR4 level, and receives twice that amount.

Based on the committee’s recommendations, the MR4 salary, currently at S$1.1m, would be raised to $1.2m, at a compound growth rate of 1.5% per year.

DPM Teo, however, said the government would not follow the committee’s suggestion, as “the benchmark salary has gone up in general since 2011… [and] the benchmark salary last year was lower than that for 2016.”

“Hence, the Government has decided to maintain salaries at the current level and watch salary trends further,” he said.

A review will be carried out in 5 years, or sooner if necessary.

Credit: MUSTSHARENEWS

Will high salaries attract those with a heart to serve the community, as ESM Goh and the government has argued for almost 25 years?

Evidence does not seem to support such a claim.

For one, since the salary benchmark was introduced, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has been lamenting at every election that it was still finding it hard to attract top talents.

What does that tell you?

Indeed, ESM Goh himself has now revealed that even prior to the 2015 elections, he had difficulty recruiting such people – despite the high salary on offer.

But even if we accept ESM Goh’s argument, the question would then be: how much is high enough? How much would potential recruits expect, in the name of public service?

Should we return to the time when the PM was paid S$3.7m, and the president S$4m? (The president now gets less than half of that, after the 2012 revision, at S$1.5m.)

Should we offer new ministers packages like the one Mr Li offered Mr Yeo?

Would new recruits settle for nothing less than $28m?

In short, ESM Goh should answer this question: how much is enough?

Should we follow what PAP MP Lim Wee Kiak once said: that for ministers to have “a bit of dignity” when talking to chief executive officers, their salaries must be commensurate with these top executives in the private sector?

Here was what ESM Goh’s PAP colleague Lim said:

“If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals. Hence, a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity.”

Or should we heed the words of former head of the Civil Service, Ngiam Tong Dow, who said in 2011:

“In the early days, Lim Kim San and Goh Keng Swee worked night and day, and they were truly dedicated. I don’t know whether Lee Kuan Yew will agree but it started going downhill when we started to raise ministers’ salaries, not even pegging them to the national salary but aligning them with the top 10….When you raise ministers’ salaries to the point that they’re earning millions of dollar, every minister — no matter how much he wants to turn up and tell Hsien Loong off or whatever — will hesitate when he thinks of his million-dollar salary. Even if he wants to do it, his wife will stop him.”

The advice one would give is this: don’t go overboard. Money is important and indeed most people would not argue otherwise. There is nothing wrong being rich. Most rich people work really hard for their keep.

But do realise that there is a difference between being a private individual and being a public servant.

ESM Goh, having been in political service since 1976, a long career indeed, should understand this more than anyone.

After all, he too stepped forward to serve the public, 42 years ago, at a time when ministers’ salaries were nothing to crow about, and were never a controversial issue, until the government made it one.

Since then, the issue has been a wedge between the government and the people.

So, instead of lamenting that “ministers are not paid enough”, perhaps it is time to, in fact, further cut ministers’ salaries, in light of how the government itself is warning that we may not have enough to fund necessary schemes for an ageing population.

This goes to the very heart of what being in government mean, what being a leader means – having the moral authority to lead from the front.

When everyone else is concerned and worried about his or her future, the last thing you want your leader to do is to ingratiate himself or herself with what you pay them through taxes.

If we pay such high salaries but can only attract mediocre ministers, we risk the danger of perpetuating a broken system which costs taxpayers millions of dollars for below-par leadership.

This, indeed, will bring the country downhill, as Mr Ngiam warned.

ESM Goh needs a reality check.
Andrew Loh

* The author blogs at https://andrewlohhp.wordpress.com/

 

 

Sponsored Content

46 Responses to “ESM Goh needs a reality check”

  • Harder Truths:

    Requires the $8 Brain Transplant (pay by CPF also can).

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • More - better ?:

    Vivian – SG being Chairman of Asean for 2018,
    proposed “Asean Smart Cities Network”. . .
    -
    If scanning from Laos, to Thailand to Indonesia –
    What do many think is the need and priority?

    -
    Smart City???
    -
    None of the journalists covering the event look excited about it.
    -
    Vivian – Hi Minister Salary – Money not enuff???
    -
    Gd Vision – Not enuff !!! :(

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • the Best - Always ???:

    Hi Minister Salaries . . .
    -
    CherianGeorge has gd comment on this –
    “A league table of top salaries in fields like banking and corporate management would show very high figures year after year,
    but those salaries were not going to the same people every year.
    { Survivor of the fittest; Winner Bias }

    Firms and individuals would enter and leave the list;
    they were in risky, competitive markets.

    Like boy bands, they might be at the pinnacle for only a few years.

    In contrast, the government’s stars would continue to get top dollar for a couple of decades,
    their pay being pegged to the private sector’s equivalent of
    Westlife in the 1990s,
    the Jonas Brothers in the 2000s, and
    One Direction in the 2010s.

    This just didn’t smell right. ” :( :(

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • MarBowling:

    Think this ESM(Extra Senile Minister)Wooden Goh not only needs a reality check, he definitely NEEDS a kick up his ASSHOLE!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • patriot of Temesak:

    No CURE lah!!! half the Cabinet filled with CRONIES left over from a Bastard are SENILE!!!… Just like him before he died in Parliament collecting millions while our elderly picked cardBOARDS for exercise

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • FakePeople:

    If the love of money is the root of all evil, then these men must be concluded as pure evil.
    Wealth is deceptive and the entire nation, poor to rich, is drunk by the spirits of these men in…white.

    The poor and rich deserve each other because they exploit each other. Meanwhile, those caught inbetween are also raking in for whatever it’s worth.

    Power,money and religion is the name of the game in Sin City

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Goh Go 2019:

    (SG) Ministers are not paid enough!

    I’m scratching my head, wondering what would big countries’ Presidents like Trump, Xi, Putin or May react to this comment.

    Our tiny island’s MINISTERS are already overpaid many times more than those PRESIDENTS, yet a senior minister still has the cheek to make such a remark.

    Really, PAPies skin are so thick, and their greed has no limit!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Selfish Sinkie Syndrome:

    This Lau Goh KIASU mentality shown now in full frontal nudity for everyone to see. Ha!

    Long time ago, I remember this Lau Goh said Singaporeans are Kiasu, Kaisi (scared to die) and Kiaboh (scared of wife), but now he exposed himself to be even more KIASU, by constantly comparing his own salary with super high-earners in private sector?

    It takes a kindred mind to notice the flaws in others being reflected in himself.

    So if that being the case, I suppose Lau Goh would also be very Kiasi and Kiaboh too, especially his 600k-’peanut-wife’.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Bochap:

    The only way to make some sense to GCT is for PAP to be voted out. I am sure the new govt will not ask for millions of the people’s monies. Then we can see who will hire GCT for millions of dollars.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Bobo:

    At that age and overpaid remuneration packages still got the cheek to KPKB for more increment? 7th month coming. Can burn more hell money or not.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • lky puppet GCT:

    Why PAP hard to get good people to join the party? Not because of the salary, it’s because PAP has a bad reputation, we have useless PM, hopeless lazy’yes men’ ministers and mps. Good men with calibre will not join greedy corrupt party. That’s the reason why they couldn’t attract real talent.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • clown declines to 3rd world:

    Bochap:
    The only way to make some sense to GCT is for PAP to be voted out. I am sure the new govt will not ask for millions of the people’s monies. Then we can see who will hire GCT for millions of dollars.

    well said, bro. agree.

    we say this in public. which current clown pap and S$m gang have done a single good for 70% sheep? the real single good. not the BS good.

    NONE. none of them.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Perf - what Perf ???:

    Goh – Money not enuff !!!
    -
    Remember, Goh was the one who brought NOL to “new heights” !. . .
    -

    When PM, Goh aimed for “Swiss Standard of Living” !
    -

    Oops, mistaken.
    Years later, NOL, poor performance, sold on the cheap.
    -
    Still waiting for the “Swiss Standard of Living’. :(

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Samuel S:

    So is Lau Goh saying Singapore going downhill is because of ministers are not drawing high pays hence unable to perform. Why when a country becomes rich demands exceed expectations? If Singapore is run by these 4G ministers in the early years of independence, I honestly believe we wont be in today – perhaps being swallowed by other countries. So blame only PAP no others.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Marching Order:

    Give GCT the marching order like GY this coming erection.

    Let him prove in outside commercial he can get more.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    REDUNDANT PAST DOES NOT NEED A REALITY CHECK – he is hallucinating in his own fantasy island of his sole ownership in a different orbit from us.

    If ever earnings is valid measure of ability, assessed stature and potential or actuality for political leadership, REDUNDANT PAST has NO EXPLANATION of why Salleh Marican, Second Chance CEO, didn’t meet the rainbow fictional qualities demand to be eligible to contest the last Presidential election. Instead an Indian suddenly transmogrify overnight into a Malays with MUCH LOWER INCOME HISTORY got the race stitched up WITHOUT A CONTEST.

    It is the ironic windy happy contradiction – PAPpys usual – to fake moral preaching of DO GOOD DO TOGETHER – this mantra apparently has no application WHEN SALLEH MARICAN was seeking to offer his solidly-credentialed candidature. Instead Salleh Marican was excluded by artificial construction. For someone like Salleh Marican, coming from a minority group, without a network of support in the business to come this far of his achievement – IN MY EYES and DEEP THOUGHTS – is a Mt.Everest mean feat of proven ability and achievement who wants to contribute IGNORING HIS LOSS OF PERSONAL INCOME SACRIFICE.

    This is true patriotism OF AN ABANG – rejected and stepped on by the power of the throne.

    PAPpys are shameless lot still PAY bitching with peasants about their OWNSELF-CHEQUE-OWNSELF over-payment of welfare from the public purse – they COULD NOT AND UNWILLING – to pay full market rates for car parking that all other peasants pay AFTER THIS FACT.

    Their behavior degrades the office they occupy and demand to be paid humongously for occupying that degraded office.

    THIS IS NOT FOR YOU, WITH YOU AND FOR SINGAPORE – most definitely.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Kick PAP Out:

    So dafts waking up from their Dreamland yet, after getting a money lecture from an incorrigible greed?

    To all those dafts, like the simpleton SJI VP suggesting driving change from within, such lofty ideals will never happen.

    Crooks are crooks, they will never repent without jailtime. So PAP will never change unless kick out from government.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Bapak:

    If they are not paid enough why are they still around? Please resign.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • PG Cabinet:

    Loser Looney Cabinet is now made up of many PG–Paper Generals.
    If Ministers are not paid enough, these paper Generals will be snapped up by Google, Microsoft, Facebook who will pay them 10 times Ministers salary.
    Either that or they become security guards in our many new condos; commensurate with their skill level.
    WE know the answer.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • another:

    You would look like a holy Goh if you said NS men are not paid enough!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Blur sotong we are:

    Can we once in a while train the spotlight on the low median wages of Singaporean workers? Explain the link between highest paid ministers in the world and the poor wages of the economy they presume to be managing. Why are the ministers benchmarked to MNC ceos while the workforce is not pegged to a national minimum wage – as in all developed countries?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Merobok:

    Wooden is deranged when he says those who are earning $500,000 per year are only mediocres?
    So,almost all our counterparts across the Causeway are dudes and mediocres except Najib?
    By the same argument, almost all 1st world countries are having their Ministers earning less than $500,000 per year are mediocres!
    But if they pay S’pores Ministers so high, why are they not performing above average? Does it also tell that with the high salary, they are only attracting average people and not the brightest or talented ones?
    Why are the brightest not attracted?…obviously they do not want to be associated with the PAP?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • On the road to a messy end?:

    The overly emphasis and focus on economic gains and high salaries develop greed and selfish self preservation that twisted the wires in the brains thus creating moronic robots who easily got trapped in the pleasures of the senses probably being the only good reasons for existing and spending time on planet earth.
    You can engage very few these days to sit and talk in seriousness and depth about the purpose of life and existence.
    And they are still cocksure of their wizened belief in luring and attracting people to “serve” their fellow man by dangling the super high salary bait.
    When will they ever admit or realize the sheer insensibility and incorrect dopey muddled thinking that have clouded them.
    How long can you sustain such an equation that big money makes good leaders?
    How do you then get good sincere genuine people to participate and get a slot to serve their fellow man when they have to compete or are being edged out by those “pretenders” who use their academic or career qualifications to better themselves by getting ushered into political positions. And the follow up later to cushy GLV positions as they well know.
    It is like one big gang activity!
    And loyalty is obviously to the gang leader.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    ANGELA MERKEL FAMOUSLY SAID THESE WORDS – Whoever decides to dedicate their life to politics knows that earning money isn’t the top priority.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/angela_merkel_325779

    I would say to HER ONLY this – Greed knows no sanity and stupidity knows no limit.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Bystander:

    Real talented dun join PAP cause they dun want be puppets and parrots in Parliament. With money carrots, PAP can only attract mediocre people who perform below par in Govt, like ass licker Chan Chun Seng.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    JACK MA OF ALIBABA WON’T HIRE TOP ACADEMIC SCHOLARS from Ivy League business school. He is privately contemptuous of them. Here are his compelling reasons

    https://nextshark.com/jack-ma-doesnt-hire-best-candidate-job/

    Outstanding scholastic achiever demonstrate only knowledge harvesting – useless – because knowledge can be acquired through hard work and experience.

    And worst still scholars got this deadly diseases affliction – no wisdom. The result is that…”They won’t be able to see the sunshine the day after tomorrow,”

    IF JACK MA IS CORRECT OF HIS PROGNOSIS AND HE IS PROVEN RIGHT OF HIS OWN ACHIEVEMENT in Alibaba, it means LEE-jiapore got it all wrong. We hired dumbfarked scholars from Ivy League institution & PUT THEM INTO KEY POLITICS AND GOVT BUSINESSES – MOSTLY MORONS in Jack Ma’s observations – PAY THEM A THIEF’S RANSOM for ROLE disregarding performance that is zero or negative. All that is required is OBEDIENCE TO POO YI AND ESTABLISHMENT, AND KEEP SILENT WHEN THINGS GONE BADLY WRONG because all that matters is the end of month IS THAT KNOWINGLY UNDESERVING PAYCHECK.

    THAT IS WHY I THINK MERKEL IS RIGHT.When country pay for ROLE/POSITION instead of performance, it simply disintegrates from FIRST WORLD TO THIRD WORLD SO QUICKLY. LEE-jiapore is pretending first world economy paying third world wages and even that cannot succeed BY THIS CHEAPER, FASTER BUT NOT BETTER ROUTE.

    WE GOT OUR FORMULA ALL WRONG, paying humongously to political leadership which needs to demonstrate performance which private sector won’t pay before they step into politics or if they went out self-employed in financial market, they will be bankrupt even before the next sunrise. Jack Ma thinks scholars will NOT WAKE UP to see sunshine after tomorrow.

    There are ample evidences of this discrepit performance everywhere in LEE-jiapore (where $500K per annum is counted as “mediocre” paycheck)

    - WE CAN’T BUILD ASSET OF GLOBAL ENTITIES LIKE JACK MA DID

    - WE CAN’T EVEN TRADE ASSETS (our SWFs can barely pay our CPF members a return greater than 2.5% over a life-time)

    JACK MA WON’T HIRE AND PAY SALIVATING PAVLOV DOGS who are mere scholars slotted into roles they can’t achieves but only demonstrate no wisdom or performance.

    WHO HAS PROVEN JACK MA WRONG???

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    WHEN WE CONTINUOUSLY PAY THE PALACE HUMONGUOUSLY for no or worst still negative performances for decades, there are an UNLIMITED SUPPLY of scholarly monkeys queuing up to ass-lick to join its LUCRATIVE apprenticeship scheme where there is NO EVEN ONE PRECEDENT OF SACKING FOR NO OR NEGATIVE PERFORMANCE.

    Useless and unwanted elsewhere, such apprenticeship can starts at forties or even in their sixties in that FORBIDDEN CITY establishment and its adjunct offices. Just sings and dances the right political tunes will be sufficient.

    Even politically-sponsored Institute of Mental Health has VERY STIFF COMPETITION to find scholarly politically-correct monkeys looking for a protected shelter in one of the bunkers therein. All that is needed there is to come out in HIGH PROFILE and fart at the right moment of politically-correct gas explosion for public mind indoctrination.

    THE ENDURING DAMAGING CONSEQUENCES FOR LEE-jiapore is that ALL THE RIGHT SLOTS ARE MOSTLY FILLED BY THE WRONG SCHOLARLY MONKEYS of no wisdom, performance and limited to whatever meagre knowledge they harvested in Ivy League institutions of past tense relevance and TOTALLY IRRELEVANT AND OUT OF TOUCH WITH CURRENT TURBULENCE AND REALITIES.

    As long as there is no pay cut for THE IMPERIAL PALACES, these consequences will follow

    - pay for for role/position not performance will remain entrenched in our political hierarchy and GLCs/public institutions

    - resulting from above, is that the ROTTING to DISINTEGRATION CONTINUES

    - the chance to turn around is DENIED OF OPPORTUNITY to engineer change and recovery hope

    - AND THE COUNTRY SINKS DEEPER INTO THE ABYSMAL OF RISKS OF SUDDEN DEATH COLLAPSE from cancer affliction of MONEY-DRIVEN POLITICS.

    THERE GOT TO BE A BIG PAY CUT TO SIGNAL TO PEASANTS THAT THERE IS POLITICAL WILL AT THE TOP TO EFFECT CHANGE AND THAT CHANGE IS ONLY REWARDED OF FUTURE PAY RESTORATION SOLELY PAID FOR PERFORMANCE ONLY.

    Right now, they are even unwilling to pay market rate for car parking that all peasants must pay.

    NOBODY IN THIS WORLD IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID AND FED WITH A GOLDEN SPOON OUT OF PUBLICLY-FUNDED TAX MONEY.

    LEE-GAL-LICED CORRUPTION IS STILL CORRUPTION just like a monkey on the stage dressed up in a tuxedo is STILL A MONKEY even if scholarly of wit of equivocation for public entertainment.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Don't Talk Big Lau Goh:

    Lets look at your performance.

    1) Spore will be in the World Cup by 2010. You failed in your objective.

    2) Asset Enhancement-Keep your HDB cos you can sell later at higher price and retire. Again you failed as flats nearing 40 years old will have difficulties to be sold as banks will not give out loans to purchase flats that are reaching 40 years old. CPF also cannot be used to purchase flats over 60 years old. How can buyers have enough cash to purchase ?

    3) Gearing Spore to reach for Swiss Standard Of Living. Instead we have achieved Swiss Cost Of Living by being the most expensive city in the world. Again you have farking failed in your objective.

    4) Import More Indians to boost our GDP by signing the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Now the government wants to stop or reduce the import of Indians but they cannot do it. The Indian Government had complained to the WTO that Singapore has breached the terms and conditions of the CECA Agreement. You again failed cos you have now created another big mess.

    5) You intended to use taxpayer money to bribe and threaten Hougang resident by promising to spend 300 million dollars for upgrading. You underestimated the intelligence of Hougang residents. You failed miserably as they did not vote for PAP.

    With so many failures in Your life, tell me do you deserve the million dollar salaries ?

    The other Ministers also do not deserve their million dollar salaries becos they can only react unlike LKY Ministers who can think out of the box and anticipate future problems. These people have high IQ but very low EQ.

    For Example ?

    1) MRT – After blaming software disappearance, rubber melting on the track, water flooding in the tunnel and God for hitting the train with lightning at Tanah Merah station, still the train cannot run smoothly. Do you deserve the million dollar salaries ? Actually its not God but PAP striking the train with its lightning party logo.

    2) Deposits of OBike Users Being Swindled. There were many instances where SPAs and Fitness Gyms closed halfway and ran with the customers money. Yet they allow Obike to collect deposits from users.

    3) Import of millions of foreigners but were not able to anticipate their Medical needs. Instead resort to building tents as wards in the open air car parks to serve as wards. They think Singapore is Africa where suka suka can set up tents all over the place.

    In fact there are very very few Ministers in the current batch that can be considered good and can anticipate future problems. Yet they have the cheeks to ask for more money.

    Please lah don.t try to swindle the public or God will go after you. God has already given the Law Minister a second chance at Lombok. No more chances for the rest.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ oxygen:
    Lau Goh is obviously a prolific wanker specialising in self-gratification for his own insatiable needs. The S’pore Economy is obviously caught on a vicious downdraft created through tumultuous global events incited by the Trumpster himself (Donald Trump) & through increasing hostilities. Politicians everywhere are being whipsawed by sudden US policy changes & through economic events spiralling out-of-control in the marketplace. Here he is, still enamoured talking about his need for high pay for him & his cohorts in an increasingly volatile political eco-system. What a jerk!
    The PAP priorities were all out of place in today’s global economy. Less talk about pay & more focus on the economic issues is the order for the day. Otherwise, we’ll have a Titanic event!
    P.s. He is so out-of-touch with the world! Still talking about food court clearing (jobs for the elderly) when in Japan, everyone does their civic duty, return their food trays & plates, clean up after their mess & there’s no need for clearing in food courts & hawker centres in Japan. Everything so hygienic & proper in a civilized country. Instead of showing wisdom, he shows his utter stupidity of a mountain tortoise to those who have far better insights of the world.

    oxygen: There are ample evidences of this discrepit performance everywhere in LEE-jiapore (where $500K per annum is counted as “mediocre” paycheck)
    - WE CAN’T BUILD ASSET OF GLOBAL ENTITIES LIKE JACK MA DID
    - WE CAN’T EVEN TRADE ASSETS (our SWFs can barely pay our CPF members a return greater than 2.5% over a life-time)

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • TUCK WAN:

    Hello my dear Ex-PM. 5M & another 10M a month. Sure or not.. Then 60M
    and 120M a year ? Surely the government will not lose out as their personal income tax will benefit the GDP.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    @ Tabble-rouser

    REDUNDANT PAST HAS NO POLITICAL CAPITAL on the table to speak of Ministerial pay question.

    Rabble-rouser: @ oxygen:
    Lau Goh is obviously a prolific wanker specialising in self-gratification for his own insatiable needs.

    @ Don’t Talk Big Lau Goh’s observations are compelling of truth revelations.

    Don't Talk Big Lau Goh: Lets look at your performance.

    1) Spore will be in the World Cup by 2010. You failed in your objective.

    2) Asset Enhancement-Keep your HDB cos you can sell later at higher price and retire. Again you failed as flats nearing 40 years old will have difficulties to be sold as banks will not give out loans to purchase flats that are reaching 40 years old. CPF also cannot be used to purchase flats over 60 years old. How can buyers have enough cash to purchase ?

    3) Gearing Spore to reach for Swiss Standard Of Living. Instead we have achieved Swiss Cost Of Living by being the most expensive city in the world. Again you have farking failed in your objective.

    4) Import More Indians to boost our GDP by signing the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Now the government wants to stop or reduce the import of Indians but they cannot do it. The Indian Government had complained to the WTO that Singapore has breached the terms and conditions of the CECA Agreement. You again failed cos you have now created another big mess.

    5) You intended to use taxpayer money to bribe and threaten Hougang resident by promising to spend 300 million dollars for upgrading. You underestimated the intelligence of Hougang residents. You failed miserably as they did not vote for PAP.

    With so many failures in Your life, tell me do you deserve the million dollar salaries ?

    I have always asserted that tying Ministerial Pay to top private sector earnings is a ROTTEN SCAM – no matter what pretentious “political discount” it claims to concede of that benchmarking – BECAUSE IT IS BENCHMARKED TO A ROTATING POOL OF WINNERS. It is SURE WIN bet like you bet on only the winner horses on the race course when each year Melbourne Cup is won by different horse/jockey or you betting on the winning cards in a casino after the result is announced. Those top private sector earners who were included in this year benchmark of Ministerial pay MIGHT BE BANKRUPT NEXT YEAR, FORGOTTEN AND SILENTLY EXCLUDED from 2019 benchmarking.

    WHERE IS THE RELEVANCE OF THIS BENCHMARKING WHEN APPRENTICESHIP STARTS AT FORTIES EVEN SIXTIES?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    SURPRISED TO READ HERE THAT ANOTHER COMMENTER @ The Best – Always??? POINTED TO Cherian George illuminating my own observation above – that is Ministerial Pay benchmark to top private sector is a ROTTEN SCAM.

    the Best - Always ???: Hi Minister Salaries . . .
    -
    CherianGeorge has gd comment on this –
    “A league table of top salaries in fields like banking and corporate management would show very high figures year after year,
    but those salaries were not going to the same people every year.
    { Survivor of the fittest; Winner Bias }

    Firms and individuals would enter and leave the list;
    they were in risky, competitive markets.

    Like boy bands, they might be at the pinnacle for only a few years.

    In contrast, the government’s stars would continue to get top dollar for a couple of decades,

    When ESCALATING PAY is tied to role/position even in LATE AGE APPRENTICESHIP, the ill-effects of this scam is magnified because

    - there is NO PERFORMANCE element in that pay equation and because of this rorting

    - it attract greed, not ability or potential for performance just like cockroaches and house flies are to excr*ment

    - the newly installed incumbents won’t shake up failed policies because of self-preservation and protecting the status quo establishment knowing that the alternative of shake-up is taking OWNERSHIP FOR CHANGE.

    AND THAT IS WHY FAILED POLICIES LIKE CPF/PUBLIC HOUSING, POPULATION RECYCLING ECONOMICS (warned many times against this by economic strategies committees over decade) all have become SACRED COWS.

    If voters have NOT agitated for Ministerial Pay cut in 2011, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORST OF THIS ENTRENCHMENT AND DEEPENING OF HEAVENLY-HIGH MINISTERIAL PAY SCAM.

    Ministerial pay and negative performance is toxic of just INCENTIVE INCENTIVE INCENTIVE JUICES, NO CANING FOR ADVERSE PERFORMANCE AS LONG AS NOE ONE ROCKS THE BOAT.

    HOW CAN LEE-jiapore SURVIVE IN THIS CLIMATE OF RORTING AND ROT PERFORMANCE in political leadership HOWEVER CONCEALED BY THE COMPLICITY PAPpy News Publishing?

    They won’t even pay full rate for parking which ALL PEASANTS PAY in equity and respect for equality!

    This is the extent of rort of GREED INSANITY INCOMPREHENSIBLE. And how long have this scam of perks have been going on whilst PAPpys sings and dance to the fiction of For You, With You and For Singapore.

    IT IS THE PERVERSE OPPOSITE!!

    -

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    I AM AMAZED TO READ OF BUREAUCRATS even earning better than some Ministers (not that the latter deserves higher pay), it simply means THE ROTTING CARCASS have spread into the public service. LAUGH AT ME NOT, @ Rabble-rouser, WHERE DO YOU FIND ANY BUREAUCRAT that upturn the downturn of policy failures? They are all obedient Pavlovian dogs either barking or remaining silent on the order of their political master!!

    One CEO famously rebuked his/her audience that it is his/her choice to answer any question he/she likes as presented by interrogative audience in a public audience. The attendees in that forum wasn’t asking about the CEO’s pay or his/her SEX LIFE, just matter of policy clarifications WHICH OBVIOUSLY THIS CEO found it uncomfortable to share with the public domain. In Australia, that would result in INSTANT DISMISSAL because it is NONFEASANCE OF PUBLIC DUTY (i.e. refusal to perform a public duty when called upon and paid by tax-payers) tantamount to CORRUPT CONDUCT (not corruption) in laws Down Under. It is like, in analogy, the public complaint of broken pipe-caused failed water supply and, hypothetically, PUB CEO turned around and tell its complainants this – Don’t tell me your problem, I don’t want to fix it.

    SO WHAT ARE TAX-PAYER PAYING THIS BITCHY CEO for? Is he/she paid to fart gas on the hot Bromptom Chair of the same or better quality than POO YI sat on?

    Or was he/she paid better than POO YI perhaps, just to turn up for warm up the chair in that CEO role/position, achieves nothing, snide at irritating winching peasants and if they persist resort to this maladaptive behavior

    - starts with equivocation, if that didn’t works

    - try the Holocaust denial, and if that also fails,

    - try the reset button of SILENCE AGAIN of DIAM DIAM DIAM.

    If our bureaucrats are better paid than POO YI who is far better paid than Malcolm Turnbull, or Donald J Trump, or Theresa May or Angela Merkel, SOMETHING IS DRASTICALLY WRONG IN LEE-jiapore now.

    As the Spanish and Arab proverb got it right – fish rots from the head. Mrs. housewife knows it BUT STUPIDLY VOTED in the wrong direction.

    LIKE IT OR NOT, MINISTERIAL PAY AND TOP BUREAUCRATS MUST TAKE A PAY-CUT, OR LEAVE THEIR POSITION AND FEND FOR THEMSELVES OF SELF-EMPLOYED IN THE COMMERCIAL WORLD – if they are really confident of their ability and real worth.

    I STRONGLY SUSPECTED THAT THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of this lot, if they dare to risks all their assets IN A NEW VENTURE OF HEDGE FUND INVESTING, will vaporize to next to nothing.

    The real world outside is brutal of competition. Jack Ma is correct – he hired no elite MBAs or top civil servants – mostly deadwood.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Zhenzidan:

    When China actor Wu Jing wanted to make the record-breaking movie Wolf Warrior 2, he approached many mainland actors and actresses but was turned off by their demand of high wages because they thought they were worth that much. Wu Jing famously retorted them: 只找对的,不找贵的!(Looking only for the right one, not the expensive one!)

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Wakeup SG:

    This high ministerial salary thingy is immoral when Woody Goh even further clarified that high salary is not the starting point but “character, motivation, commitment, selflessness” are the veto factors (https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/goh-chok-tong-salary-not-starting-point-in-looking-for-ministers-10597576)

    If Goh has said “NSmen are not paid enough” we would have applauded him and not let him go.

    IT IS IMMORAL FOR COMMITTED POLITICAL SERVANTS WHO EXPECT TO BE SELFLESS & HAVE “CITIZENS-CENTRED” MOTIVATION NOT LEADING BY GOOD EXAMPLE!

    WE NEED TO BRING IN “CITIZEN-POLITICIANS” WHO ARE NOT “PAY AND PERKS” MOTIVATED IN GOOD & BAD TIMES & RIGHTLY COMMITTED TO SERVE THE CITIZENS BY LOWERING THEIR PRIDE & BE HONORABLE TO GAIN THE RESPECT OF CEOs & CITIZENS!

    LET’S BRING IN “CITIZEN-POLITICIANS” & NOT THE “PAY AND PERKS” POLITICIANS NEXT GE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT MEETING OUR EXPECTATION. WE HAVE TO DO THE RIGHT THING THAT WE WANT TO ATTRACT “CITIZEN-POLITICIANS” NOT BY HIGH SALARY BUT HIGH “SPIRIT OF SERVING” THE CITIZENS!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Haigen-diaz:

    @ oxygen
    It seems to me that we have allowed our political culture and media to drift into a kind of senility, like ESM Goh’s. It is almost impossible to believe we are capable as a nation of having a national argument that has any level of complexity at all. LKY’s small, greedy- minded legacy have perpetrated his pathological understanding of what life is all about into our culture. It’s a fact that we have a gig economy crippled by waste, fraud and abuse that isn’t working anymore, a difficult hole to dig out of. The housing bubble was a man-made phenomenon to prop up an already failing economy. The latter part of the baby boom generation is getting restless and insecure because savings was never tweaked enough in the 80s and 90s when there was enough time to set aside the needed dollars. For years the PAP has been waging a veritable war of attrition on its citizens … One cannot predict exactly the intensity, speed or exact direction our country will move toward, but we will reach a point of intolerance when trade-tariffs, global warming, inflations, unemployment all interact and drag us down.

    oxygen:

    I AM AMAZED TO READ OF BUREAUCRATS even earning better than some Ministers (not that the latter deserves higher pay), it simply means THE ROTTING CARCASS have spread into the public service. LAUGH AT ME NOT, @ Rabble-rouser, WHERE DO YOU FIND ANY BUREAUCRAT that upturn the downturn of policy failures?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Guan-ah:

    This is the dumbest speech a minister’s speech one can ever hear! A typical minister’s monthly salary is $55k, an understatement. Even if this number is accurate, how many singaporean can earn that amount in ONE year? Many singaporean do not want to enter politics simply because politic is a dirty game, a game which if you lose, you lose your job, your home, your spouse your children and family together with everything else. There has never been and never will be a fair and transparent politics here if the people of Singapore do not wake up! Has anyone ever question in the parliament what is the combine income of our PM and his Wife? Does anyone within the PAP dare to ask this pertinent question? None and the reason is simple, he or she does not want to jeopardise his or her own income since where else can a minister get paid millions ? No where in Singapore any of our minister can earn millions. We have been saying this for years, ministers’ pay is obscene . People who genuinely want to be ministers must have the spirit to serve the people, not after money and fame. To use money to attract so called “smart people” to be ministers is the dummest reason. It is so sad for ESM to try justify and defend, the reasons he gave are not new, it was illogical, unethical and totally flawed. He even said it without blinking an eye. See what money can blind a person? Like Najib, I don’t think he knows how much money he has and our ministers too, if asked the same question, chances are they do not know exactly how much they are worth…he was never eloquent speaker as PM, he is even worse now . Poor singaporean will forever remain poor or even poorer because of the current government policies. Has any MP or minister or even PM stand up and admit that they were wrong on stop at one policy which is evidenced by the shrinking and fast Aging population of real and genuine Singaporean? No one dare .. so? What is ESM, a post created by the ruling party for?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Heard it again and again:

    The disease is outright superiority complex.
    “Superiority complex definition: If you have a superiority complex, you believe that you are better, cleverer, or more important than other people.”
    And on top of that, it comes with that incurable insatiable greed.
    And lack of philosophical or religious ballast to stabilize or bring meaning to the soul.
    A smallish egoistic pgymy mind.
    Many think they will live for a thousand years.
    They don’t realize and simply cannot fathom that in the universe the earth is just a grain of sand in the Sahara desert.
    They are so backward and retarded in their thinking and approach to life and living.
    Their measurement of success is materialism and money.
    They have no genuine understanding or concern or feeling.
    So many sad examples on display every day.
    50 years on, the results are the traits of kiasuism and kiasiism which are evident and so overwhelmingly dominating.
    Despite their degrees and so called superior education, their mentality are apparently confined in a restricted mental framework.
    They are lost, trapped in their own sheltered cloistered world.
    What a pity, it is very very sad!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • How to care for them:

    To free the the minds of the ministers and key civil servants so that they could give their full undivided attention to manage the affairs of state, the people could give them these guarantees.

    1. Free fully furnished housing quarters.
    2. Free medical coverage for them and family.
    3. Free provisions and food.
    4. Provide free cars and drivers and cooks and helpers and other help as needed.
    5. Provide free education to their children with no limits.
    6. A reasonable monthly allowance.
    7. One free holiday per year for them and family.

    The above is not comprehensive. Whilst they are serving the people, the people must provide them with all their needs free of charge.

    They in turn must not participate in stocks or properties. This is the difficult part.

    After being elected and served for a minimum of three terms, they are to be given one lump sum bonus, and a generous monthly pension for life and one reasonable free house and a car.

    Can anybody improve on the above.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ oxygen & Haigen-diaz:
    The rise & fall of nations have always been on the paradox of balancing political issues with the economy. At any time after the politics overwhelm the economy, the end is always nigh. In history, civilizations end after the political structure overtaxed the economy to the point of death. The issue had always been not that “History repeats itself but that Man always repeat History”. It is a facet of Human behaviour & part of the Human Nature. Politics is the art of getting something for nothing (Wealth transfers, welfare payments, economic privileges, cronyism, etc). Economics is about Production & Provision of essential services supporting a monetary mechanism for exchange. The difference is as stark as night vs. day. Economic issues dominate the centre while politics divide & distracts on the fringe.
    Hence when the Political Bureaucracy demands being paid the same as the ones pulling & pushing the economic levers – we have a major problem! The biggest issue for politics & Bureaucracy were the lack of an economic vision & of risk-taking. Where in the world are there business visionaries & risk-takers in Bureaucratic-Land?
    The growing indebtedness of nations will drive the trend towards fiscally responsible govts (re: smaller govts/accountability). As always, the arbitrator will always be the capital markets & wealth providers (ie. the market itself). Capital & wealth migrates towards innovative industries & invests into creativity clusters. At the same time, Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI) would be the technological disruptors for fufure govts who needs to stay relevant. Ask yourself this question, how can political leaders & their bureaucrats continued to command high pay when the capital markets & wealth providers demand accountability & a measurable return for their tax $s & committed investments?
    In S’pore, there is a quiet exodus of MNCs & foreign capitalists pulling out from S’pore’s shores. Every year, about 15k to 20k people in S’pore leaving for good for greener pastures already pulling out their capital & investments. The economic voting had already started for the PAP unlike the political one which is about 2 years away.

    oxygen: I AM AMAZED TO READ OF BUREAUCRATS even earning better than some Ministers

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    BRILLIANT COMMENT on politics, economics and government. The reality in practical world is that politicians and bureaucrats are NOT SINGLY or COLLECTIVE the basin of wisdom but more often than not, they are enclave of stupidity and incompetence.

    HOW CAN THEY DEMAND AND DESERVE SUCH OBSCENCE HUMONGOUS PAYOUT FROM PUBLIC PURSE WELFARE? Better paid than PMs of big countries like US, Canada, Australia, EU? Are these politicians in the First Worlds got any easier jobs than our own politicians and bureaucrats?

    That the fact that bureaucrats draw even bigger paycheck than non-performing or untested Ministers SPEAKS A MOUNTAIN OF HOW OBSCENE OUT OF PROPORTION the public sector overpaid themselves.

    It became a chase for money, not performance. And this country rots! Thrown them into a sea of self-actualisation substantiation of self-employed, no one should be shocked they self-destruct – they are the kind that Jack Ma is contemptuous of that won’t see the sunshine tomorrow.

    The economy is in a sh*thole and our SWF is so pathetic of performance return – VOTERS NEVER ASK WHERE EXACTLY IS THE QUALITY OF PUBLIC SERVICE that demand out-of-the-world paycheck that such obscenity payout is PRESUMED to have attracted and harvest of exclusivity possession in politics and government.

    I FAINT AT THIS SHAMELESS PRETENSION OF SUPERIORITY AND CLAIM TO WISDOM, competence of performance.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    @ Rabble rouser

    AS THE SAYING GOES, MUSHROOMS GROW ON DEADWOOD, the mushrooms of course knows. But does the overpaid deadwood also know???

    I am afraid I have to ask the deadwood for the answer even if it is sanitized lies, propaganda and fantasy.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Haigen-diaz:

    @Rabble-rouser
    It is treason, not free market capitalism.
    Our aristocrats/bureaucrats of financial flimflam probably believe they deserve their obscene fortunes, that they mastered a world so few could manage…that generating capital investments and risk dilution is innovative and stimulative. It is like watering a plant with toxic fluid. Our health systems, educations and communities will wither. A looted middle/poor class, demoralized as their basic retirement safety is gutted by manipulated markets and the transfer of immense wealth to a small class of plutocrats and con men. Paying high remunerations does not mean the unbridled exploitation & self-serving destruction of our ‘living standards and quality of life’ will be thwarted.

    Rabble-rouser:
    how can political leaders & their bureaucrats continued to command high pay when the capital markets & wealth providers demand accountability & a measurable return for their tax $s & committed investments?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Bapak:

    Respect need to be earned. And it takes a long time to earn it. That is why it is called HAR EARN RESPECT. But once you lose it, nothing can bring it back. GCT has lost it, period.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Chok Tong, don't talk cock!:

    If every Ministers want to serve the nation just bcos of good monies, we are doomed!

    What happen to duty, honor, country, all
    ‘deposited’ into Swiss banks?

    Singaporeans are damn sure that not all our Ministers are there for the monies, don’t belittle them please!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Kefentech:

    So now we know our ministers are there not for us or to take their
    country onto higher things, but to fill their own bank accounts.
    What a money-grubbing, pathetic bunch!! And this lot are telling
    Ben Davis he’s got to put S’pore and NS before his soccer career?!?
    What utter irony!

    That aside, can one put a price on doing good for your country,
    such as starting and building up a public housing scheme that now
    provides homes for 80% of the population?

    Or for constructing the economy and defence systems brick by brick?

    Doesn’t this give one a high of accomplishment and satisfaction –
    the kind Ed Tong must have gotten when he won that Kong Hee case —
    that money simply can’t buy??

    Obviously it doesn’t to too many holding the power to change lives
    and life for the better. To them, it’s just a job. No wonder we
    have the low calibre of people we have now in charge! Folks who are
    busy not telling you basics and giving poor reasons for decisions.

    These are guys who know more about what’s in their old textbooks
    than about people and life. Fellas who regurgitate and do same old
    same old rather than break new ground. A pretty mediocre bunch….

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a Reply

 characters available

Member Services
Members LoginSelf-ClassifiedsSelf-Support
Sponsored Advertisement

Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement


Most Recent Comments
  • LIONS: Well,bro leong,RESERVES here are used *secretLEE* to pay PIG$ N PIGLET$ BIG FAT SALARIES N BONUSES N TO...
  • LIONS: That SAW PAIK CHOO was really something. Will she get a TOP NATIONAL DAY AWARD for creating such a huge mess...
  • LIONS: Lets STOP PRETENDING. Good to witness THE *HEART* TRUTH OF LEE AH LONG’$ FTs. Never mind lah pls welcome...
  • TUCK WAN: A clown is a clown. Guessing and Gasing sound the same only difference is exist point. Top or Bottom .
  • I'm Halimah also jiak liao bee: Like you, I also sold my car and switch to public transport to impress. and guess...
  • more Ammos now,: Seems the Amos spirit blossom across the island. Favourite slang not horrible is dead but shitb...
  • Asd: Y y y… bcos u ask for it la
  • Not patriotic but moneyatric 2: envy, greed n self gratification creamed withvself glorification on hot air. As a...
  • Not patriotic but moneyatric: When SW Goh rationalised why he n the ministers should be paid equal if not more than...
  • PC Ong: CEO Neo set a good example. Only by experiencing what commuters do (ie. walk the ground) he can better...
  • Perspective: The public transportation is definitely overly crowded during peak hours. Passengers pay for their ride...
Announcements
Advertisement
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic
Advertisements