Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems

Over the weekend I read:

Finance, like law, is a profession that attracts a lot of reasonably intelligent, hard-working people who rather like money. People like me. Most of us are not really suited to it, though, and that makes for a lot of unhappy careers. The financial crisis saved me from that, and I am grateful.

Robert Armstrong FT’s chief editorial writer and was a hedgie analyst 10 yrs ago

This reminded me of

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

Then today, I read

Factually, the government website, has debunked online falsehoods on PM’s and Ministers’ pay. I shall use this opportunity to debunk public perception that I am paid a ministerial salary.

(GCT on FB)

This then reminded me that GCT poured shit and piss on the PAP’s NatDay celebrations with his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more. OK, OK, he later did say that salary was not the “starting point” when the PAP chose $1m ministers.

The silence from the present cabinet is deafening.

Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole tell me that they hear that he was “ordered” to release the transcript of what he said and clarify that salary was not a factor when the PAP chose ministers.

Much good this did. I didn’t start commenting on his comments until I read the transcript. I mean TOC, TRE and The Indians Idiots are the cybernuts what ST is to the PAPpies.

And if salary was not the “starting point” when the PAP chose $1m ministers, why talk so much about money?

Whatever, based on his comments about ministerial salaries over the yrs, I get the sense that he is obsessed about money. Fault of wife? Remember she said $600,000 salary was “Peanuts”. Or could it be because he came from a very poor family?

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

I’m not the only one not impressed with the transcript he released. Here’s something a FBer posted at the time

There was a clarification? I thought it’s the just the transcript.

Or did he think the transcript gave him a context? I’ve read it, the points remain that his idea of meritocracy is how much money one can make.

His main point, which is where the money is going to come from, is correct, but he is also forgetting that if people are taxed more, then what politicians earn come even under greater scrutiny.

Certainly, I am happy to pay Scandinavian level taxes if it means free healthcare for the elderly and free education, but not if it goes to enriching politicians.

That said, and it goes back to what I said about the Ben Davis saga, our Government need to be more innovative when it comes to their pay package. Using an indicator based on economy sends a strong signal that nothing else matters, that running a country is only about the economy.

But it’s not.

Shouldn’t a minister in charge of transportation, for example, be pegged against how efficiently our transport systems run?

Shouldn’t a minister of social and family development be pegged with how many families move out of poverty each year?

Shouldn’t a minister of health be pegged to how more people are getting proper healthcare and the overall health of the nation?

If a minister does a good job at his portfolio, based on tangible KPIs on the aspect of society he or she looks after, I’d be happy to even pay them $10m, much less $1m. So maybe it can be flexi-wage, where they get a lower monthly salary but a much higher bonus payout if they perform well for example.

There are so many ways we can attract private sector talent, especially today when so many bright minds join start-ups for very little money in the hope of a big pay-out later.

I agree that we do need to pay our ministers well – but how that pay comes about can be far more creative than the way it is currently structured.

 

Cynical Investor

Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor.

 

 

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19 Responses to “Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems”

  • Pakatan Singapura:

    this morning, being Saturday, coffee was crowded.

    looked forward to meeting the young lta who had nothing good to say about pap clown and gang or pap PA paid IBs.

    alas. he didn’t appear.

    even so, those present reviewed what the young lta said about pap PA paid IBs, especially the malaysia ones. so true what the young lta said. these malaysia pap PA paid IBs up to no good each time they make noise in the east when their intent is to attack from the west, no different from clown pap fakes news propaganda. no wonder pap PA likes such IBs in its payroll.

    WTF. wonder why need for NSF NSR when small island is already infiltrated by such folks who have no love or true concern for local born. the ci from siglap comes to mind. good thing is, the young lta knows where some of the enemies live.

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  • oxygen:

    @ CI, THOSE IN THE CABINET NOW – silent on REDUNDANT PAST TENSE war cry on underpaid Ministerial pay – left the public mind to wonder if:

    - they were all above and beyond “mediocre” of earning more than $500K p.a. when they first stepped into the political arena

    or

    - they became “natural aristocrats” earning more than $500K p.a. after they got elevation into the cabinet.

    In other words, they are all – in Redundant Past Tense calculus- somehow “sub-standard of mediocrity” BEFORE ENTERING POLITICS and it is the publicly-funded POLITICALLY-PAID appointment “transmogrify” them to superiority beyond mediocrity.

    NEVER MIND THE 3Gs completely screwed up the economy with its extensions of asset enhancement politics scam, CPF, HDB scams and stranded economic stagnation post the failed Population Recycling Economics which Tharman said is BOTH POLITICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY STUPID?

    The differentiation of political achievement is measured and benchmarked by how much they collected in pay – cried often as underpaid and one even threatened to quit if pay quantum rise don’t come fast enough.

    I actually thought the mediocre ones could not pay full market rate for their parking which peasants pay full market rate or else!

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    It all STARTED with the bast**d’s LEEGal corruption in HDB Monopoly on LEEgal Fees…sooooooINNOCENT only about $300 no big deal for HDB owners to pay to a MONOPOLY lah!!!…after all HDB is LEEgal leh!!! and the Price will always APPRECIATE…ASSET ENHANCEMENT!!!

    So what, if I collect $300 ONLY, LEEgally…

    Merdeka!!! lagi satu kali dengan Semangat!!!

    MERDEKA!!! MEREKA orang Bodoh!!!

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    One of the FEW good Posting of CI…Hormat!!!

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    The clueless yet calculating CI strikes again! For those who know better than him, Finance isn’t a Profession but a short-term (arbitrage) opportunity to make as much money as you can, then moved on. It has a high burnt-out rate and a huge culling effect where only one-in-a-hundred-thousands do make it, the rest simply crashed & burned along the way never to be seen again. Even old heroes do crashed & get burnt re: George Soros (£/Brexit), Warren Buffett (Gas Pipelines, Tesco, Wells Fargo Bank, etc), Bill Gross (US$ Bonds). The Finance/Capital markets are relentless & an unforgiving place. No one is smarter than the capital markets but market psychology can defy logic & expectations. It is a fearsome jungle where crouching tigers lurk in the shadows while the hidden dragons can suddenly emerge ready to spew their fearsome dragon fire breath to “burn” investors to a crisp. For CI to correlate the riches on offer in the ultra-competitive Global Finance world & linked it to PAP’s nonsensical benchmarking of their grossly overvalued renumeration scheme & silly KPI performance links to GDP-metrics – it’s a god-damned joke!
    Money as a sole form of motivation is both corrosive & corruptible! The corrosive elements are entrenched crony capitalism, constant rent-seeking & the resultant high cost of living eco-system; (institutionalized) corruptible elements are a lack of transparency & honesty, falsehoods, lies & machinations, etc. To pay govt (basically administration functions) millions is not only stupid but also questionable (what value do they provide to an economy?)
    The future for nations going forward would be less govts (reducing public tax money wastage, public debt), greater emphasis on creative industries & on innovative ventures creating value-added jobs while traditional industries move towards automation, robotics & AI-embedded algos simplifying routine & rote-work functions (but shedding jobs).
    S’pore & the people have been indoctrinated so badly that they can’t see the forest for the trees – PAP’s good governance crap (high pay for managing a declining economy? Duh), Asset Enhancement Policy (1-way property price climb), Meritocracy Policy (rewarding for poor performance or failure?), etc. You’ll see more problems going forward! Because people were barking up the wrong tree & the PAP is happily collecting their paychecks while directing the false narrative which leads nowhere!

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  • ChurchOfRome:

    The “love” of money has been played down by the renegade religious Church of Rome and hence loses its gravity on the condemnable. Love here means an intense and passionate affair or affiliation with a systematic extraction and corruptable purchasing power.

    To err from “the faith” means to stray from “the seed” which is your doom(all empires have been fell by erring)

    Hence,

    “If a minister does a good job at his portfolio, based on tangible KPIs on the aspect of society he or she looks after, I’d be happy to even pay them $10m, much less $1m.”

    Is a dangerous statement( in fact, blindly inviting catastrophic consequences)to make(sounds right and generous).

    These leaders whose mouths when opened are flush or froth with money are highly unstable and unfruitful(like Mr Goh). High pay and highly educated make the WORST leaders because they set themselves, and the nations, against the FAITH.

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  • RDB:

    @Pakatan Singapura:
    September 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm (Quote)

    this morning, being Saturday, coffee was crowded.

    looked forward to meeting the young lta who had nothing good to say about pap clown and gang or pap PA paid IBs.

    alas. he didn’t appear.
    =======================

    What is “lta”?

    Please don’t use abbreviations not well known. Especially one which if a local govt authority’s for “land transport authority”.

    So please clarify.

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  • HarderTruths:

    Mooncake festival free wayang for our ‘mediocre’ citizens.

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  • Lee Chun Sing:

    Khaw Bong Wan is very fortunate to be accumulating the millions he have accumulated for such poor performance.

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  • Sorrowful money souls:

    No country in the world; I mean no first world country will adopt this LKY model of GDP pegged ministerial salaries and bonuses … it just wouldn’t be democracy as the industrialized nations of the East and West understand the term.

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  • Pakatan Singapura:

    RDB:
    @Pakatan Singapura:
    September 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm (Quote)

    this morning, being Saturday, coffee was crowded.

    looked forward to meeting the young lta who had nothing good to say about pap clown and gang or pap PA paid IBs.

    alas. he didn’t appear.
    =======================

    What is “lta”?

    Please don’t use abbreviations not well known. Especially one which if a local govt authority’s for “land transport authority”.

    So please clarify.

    apologies, bro.

    lta = lieutenant in saf.

    this young man, an LTA in SGP saf, spoke loudly a few days ago if called to fight war for Singapore, he won’t fight but would shoot the first pap Lj or pap Cb within sight. although we were shocked at his determination, and we warned him to be careful since pap has many spies around, he couldn’t care less. of course, in our hearts, we are happy such a human exists in Singapore, and desiring to do the right thing for the nation. we didn’t get his name. and we were disappointed he didn’t appear again. because we do think he is a worthy Singaporean in our midst.

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  • SGP is 3rd world 2018:

    Sorrowful money souls:
    No country in the world; I mean no first world country will adopt this LKY model of GDP pegged ministerial salaries and bonuses … it just wouldn’t be democracy as the industrialized nations of the East and West understand the term.

    thieves do not play by rules.

    thieves are thieves because they worship S$m.

    look at every money faced pap Lj or pap Cb. how do they talk?

    they talk S$600k per annum is peanuts. they talk S$1m per annum is mediocre. they lie, they cheat, they suka suka change the constitution to ensure they continue to pay S$m to ownself approve ownself system.

    even milo malay INDIAN is malay president. WTF.

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  • Kong Sim Mee:

    G1 leadership take action so people don’t die.
    G2 leadership only take action when people die.
    G3 leadership – you die, your problem ( I am busy counting the zeros in my bank statement)
    G4 leadership – no problem……Opposition take over.

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  • LIONS:

    The PREMISE OF GOVT IS PUBLIC SERVICE.
    If govt strays from this,it will cause hardship to the people.
    A govt that sway away from public service and makes $ its primary focu$ is even worse.

    The HARDSHIP OF THE PEOPLE BECOMES MULTIPLIED MANY FOLDS.

    GCT HAS TURNED PUBLIC SERVICE INTO PROFIT-MAKING MACHINERY THAT HAS GRAVELY IMPOVERISHED THE AVERAGE SG.

    It is sad to see sg families becoming broken becos of FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES.

    THE EFFORT OF GRET LEADERS like Dr Goh Keng Swee has come to naught.

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  • Change We Must:

    GCT was the one who conned us that HDB is an asset. he was the one who makeup the price of HDB flat. He was the one who make everything so expensive.

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  • Haigen-diaz:

    Glad to hear CI point out that avarice and prodigality are interdependent. And yes, they’ve always been with us, but what happened in the last 50 years to push PAP to the edge of a precipitous slide? Smart, greedy people like ex-senior ministers/mentors will train less-smart greedy people and then take the money and run, leaving the latter to get it wrong. Circumstances can’t always be predicted, but structures can be monitored, revised, eliminated if necessary, when they prove susceptible, or too susceptible, to manipulation. There will always be those who understand structures and circumstances and use them to their advantage. All the reasons why the nation is a corporation are true, but we left out the biggest reason: a corporation’s sole purpose is getting money for itself. Lately, it’s even more defined: getting money for its high level, connected executives – if it does this by destroying the company and ruining the shareholders, no problem. A corporation literally has no morality, patriotism, no duty, no honor and no sense of character or even the smallest modicum of humanity. It will bend any law and hurt any number of its customers – citizens -if it works for their cost/benefit analysis (even if they can’t get away with it, they’ll still do it as an acceptable risk). There are major differences between a corporation that is conceived to make profit by selling a product or service to a specific well defined market; versus a Government is conceived to provide essential services to the electorate, who decide what services their government will provide. Regardless of whether it was greed or stupidity that got Singaporeans into this mess, one overriding lesson has not been learned: The public were suckered into paying for the upkeep of these rich PAP oligarchs and are taxed to pay for its’ mediocre services.

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  • On the wrong track!:

    Over-focus on money making policies have created unfeeling cold heartedness.
    The well-off and rich are indifferent to what the average man is going through day in and day out.
    They should urgently switch emphasis to create policies to make people happy and not stressful.
    That’s what governance should be about.
    Not to start married life especially with a heavy loan on housing dragged throughout your life.
    From then on it’s survival mode that occupies the mind.
    Could we make do with less and be happy?
    As a result many young graduates are thinking twice about getting married and raising a family.
    Many are talking about migrating or have already left.
    Let’s not kid ourselves, many PRs and work permit holders are using this place as a stepping stone and waiting for the opportunity to move out. You hear this alot in private conversations.
    Of course they won’t talk about it openly knowing the gestapo-like environment here.
    Don’t comfort ourselves that they are here because they admire this “well governed” place or that they love us.
    They are pretending.
    Most people are observed to be somewhat grumpy and unfriendly. Why? What causes this behavior?
    Neighbors ignore each other.
    If only we could openly discuss this subject than we shall know the actual truth and modify policies.
    Costs of living is getting more and more expensive all round and the lack of any satisfying intellectual culturally recreational life is so obvious.
    There is no spirit of spontaneity in participating in light-hearted activities.
    It’s almost always related and tied up to money and money and yet more about money.
    Money is the barometer in almost everything.
    For those few with big fat salaries and income, they are living a unenviable worldly, consumerist, money-oriented, money-grubbing zombie no-class lifestyle. There is no refinement or finesse in their lives despite their so called education. They only know how to show off gobbling down food in overpriced restaurants. They are living in their own lost circles and world.
    Is this first world living?

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  • pap clown and S$m gang liars:

    Change We Must:
    GCT was the one who conned us that HDB is an asset. he was the one who makeup the price of HDB flat. He was the one who make everything so expensive.

    so true, bro. very well said. we agree 100%. this mediocre seat warmer goh chock tong started the rot. now we have swiss cost but india standard of living, our football not even malaysia cup standard, roads are more and more congested, HDB is more and more expensive yet smaller and smaller, and everything bad, all happened started with this mediocre seat warmer goh chock tong.

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  • That’s the difference!:

    In the 70s my working wife and I, both with full O levels qualifications, could comfortably afford a $30K HDB point block paying all the necessary downpayment and fees with our little savings and also able to build kitchen cabinets and basic renovation and furnitures (second hand) with a budget of under $5K thereabouts. Our combined income then was about $900 and we could afford an old mini car. All from our own combined savings and salaries. My mother in law assisted in taking care of our son and an auntie our daughter.
    Today I have to assist my two graduate children married to graduate spouses for their down payment and other fees to help them buy their flats. I have to help them in the furnishing. They kept cars which I pay for the down payments. Fortunately all from us their parents’ savings and the little profit made shuffling around our apartments a few times.
    My children combined income each couple are almost 5 figures monthly yet they seem to be struggling at the end of each month. Is their lifestylle to blame? Maybe. But they say that’s what all their friends are facing too. They say they try to moderate their expenses yet everything dry up at the end of the month.
    They say we are first world and they are living like first world. But unfortunately they just do not earn enough to truly live the lifestyles of the truly first world.
    If our children adopt the lifestyle of us old folks almost always eating at hawker centers and using public transport and less overseas holidays maybe they could have good surpluses every month.
    So who is to blame?
    We claimed to be first world but do we provide enough for them to live first world life styles.
    Appetites have apparently been whetted.
    The top 10 to 15 percent rich are truly made for living and enjoying the first world standards. They are okay. They fit in very nicely and easily.
    The bulk of 20 to 30 percent are trying to copycat; food, travel, cars, housing and all. These are the frustrated lot trying to keep up with the rich Joneses so to speak.
    The majority rest remain quietly eating in the hawker centers. They won’t go hungry.
    How do we correct the situation?
    Re-examine the reward and distribution system?
    Not so equal is it?
    Could that be it.

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