Saturday, March 05, 2011

Elect Them?

Wow, wow, and WOW! Senior Civil Servants in Singapore will be paid 8 months bonus for last year's stellar economic growth of 14 plus percent! And these include government ministers, who already receive million dollar annual pay packages. Do the math. As many have observed, even Barack Obama doesn't get paid this much to run the world's only superpower government. Well, ok, there are uncertainties in politics. One day you are a minister of such-and-such, and the next day you may be out on the streets, booted out by the electorate. But senior civil servants - the perm secs and all, they can pretty much stay around forever so long as they don't 'mess up'. And that's really the problem about them receiving such large bonuses. You get rewarded, hugely, for keeping the status quo! And my bonus with tax rebates and all annoiunced in the budget last month now looks a pittance in comparison!

Don't experiment. Don't fix anything which is not broken. Just don't do anything and you will get your bonus, and 8 months at that. How this is related to a stellar economic perrformance eludes me. And the local press, such as the Strait Times are trying too hard being apologists for the government. They deconstruct the 8 month figure to show that it is actually 3 or 4 months, citing that the 8 months is based on the basic pay amongst a total package that includes various other variable components. Well, it is either 8 months or it is 3 months. Why the need to deconstruct? To make it more palatable for the man in the street, who I surmise, is shocked at the quantum. But this is enshrined in the law, they would say. And it certainly is.

Which is why we need more good opposition minds in Parliament who can pour over legislation and prevent such madness from ever being instituted again, or at least make it much more difficult to do a 'walkover' by the government. Come on Singapore, we owe it to ourselves to make sure that the people's money is not frittered away by some senior civil servants on gourmet trips to France while the rest of us have to earn double incomes to service that 30-year mortage, send our children for tuition classes, pay the bills and, perhaps, keep the car. If Singapore is as resilient as it is for its leaders to be rewarded with 8 months bonus, a couple of fallen ministers does not matter, does it?

Let your votes count this year!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

You forgot the multiple corporate directorships that these new or present MPs will be "entitled" to. They are not paid peanuts, that's one thing for sure.