Ministerial Pay Review committee should have increased all pay!!!
Editor's note: You need to read in between the lines for this article
The new Ministerial Pay Review recommendations were reported by ST to be considered fair and reasonable by Singapore citizens.
I have searched the past records of government policies introduced and apparently we have a 100% government. We never had a single time whereby ST didn't report the public as considering government policies to be fair and reasonable.
I really think we have been unfair to our government. As far as I know in no other countries is there a single government that had a perfect 100% public approval of government policies.
In light of such a perfect government I feel the Review Committee has got it wrong. They should have increased all pay, benefits and perks at least 100% to keep in line with the 100% approval ratings the government has gotten so far.
It is very difficult to get even two people to agree let alone a few million. Hence any government that can garner 100% public approval for every single government policies introduced is a major achievement indeed.
If anything it is a miracle. Popes should be paid more since they are not motivated by money. Don't ask me about this statement. I got it from our government.
Another bone of contention is the reduction of make-up pay for up to 90% of the difference between the pay of the appointment and the candidate's average pay in the last three years prior to the political appointment. The review committee has suggested that this is applicable for up to only one term instead of two. This will result in a dearth in talent in the government and consequently their loss of 100% public approval rates for their policies.
One reason why the pay of Ministers are so high is because we need to attract talents from the private sectors. If the pay is not comparable or higher we may attract the wrong kind of people into public office: people not motivated by money for instance. These wrongly motivated people may implement the wrong policies for the public out of ill conceived good heartedness.
If we are only willing to guarantee up to 90% of a monetary motivated talent's income it may not be enough. We need a system whereby anyone joining the government can only experience an upside in their salary and no downside. Talents are not motivated by downsides.
The bonus system based on:
1. Real median income growth rate for Singapore citizens;
2. Real growth rate of lowest 20th percentile income for Singapore citizens;
3. Unemployment rate of Singapore citizens; and
4. Real GDP growth rate,
is unfair to incumbents.
When they entered public office they were under the impression their pay is based on their ability to convince the public of their ability and stay elected. Now they actually have to work for Singapore citizens for their bonus this is retrospective law and hence illegal.
A fairer system is to base their one time sign on fee on the above. In this way the system can be said to be based on fairer metrics and yet not have its consequences. In this way there will be more talents applying for public office.
The Committee's proposal to scrap the pension system and adopt CPF is also ill conceived. By doing so they will encourage our `talents' to not only leave office but leave the country at the end of their employment. The only way they can enjoy their retirement benefits is by staying in Singapore and living longer. With the CPF system there will be more people electing to not only walk out of public office but walk out of Singapore. Although such `talents' are carefully screened to select only those people whose heart is to serve the public selflessly without considering their own financial well being we mustn't be unfair to them and their good intention.
The keywords are fair and reasonable. Ours is a fair and reasonable government and every living Singaporeans thought likewise as well.
If you don't believe this check up with The Straits Times.
* Editor's note: You need to read in between the lines for this article