Ministers and their ministries and their pay

A title like that will simply make what I want to talk about quite obvious. Our ministers are the highest paid in the world. Our ministers are even paid many times more than Obama. I don’t think anyone will want to dispute this with me. Please don’t tell me about Obama’s Air Force One and all his other perks like he can collect millions going on a lecture circuit. I am just taking a simple comparison of pay, basic or gross.

Why we pay our ministers such a big salary? We have been told that they are super talents. If the govt does not pay them well, the private sector will grab them and pay them more. Good point. We are also told that they should be paid market rate pay. We are also told that they should not be underpaid and be tempted to risk corruption. The pay is to help them not to corrupt.

So all our ministers are paid very well, with portfolio or without portfolio, with ministry or without ministry, with big ministry and with small ministry.

The question is, should the ministers be paid the same just because they are ministers? Maybe it is a bit complex to break down their jobs and responsibilities. So I think it is fair that every minister running a ministry should be paid the same salary. We are here talking about a ministry of people and responsibilities and big money at stake.

What about ministers without portfolio? I think this is an exception in the case of the Secretary General of the Trade Union. It is a big portfolio and a lot of things to take care of and the breath of responsibilities are pretty big.

What about ministers in the Prime Minister’s office? Should they also be paid the same salary as a minister running a ministry and has a big and complex portfolio to look after? A minister in the PMO does not run a ministry. How big is his or her portfolio and area of responsibility that the salary should be the same as a normal minister?

You ask me?


agongkia said...

One thing I am very sure is that Din Tai Fong will not offer job to Zorro as he has the habit of keeping tooth picks.

Anonymous said...

You ask me, I ask who? My opinion is their pay should be adjusted many times upward as their jobs are very complicated and we have so many problems yet to be solved. All the talk about reducing their pay is very demoralizing and give them the perception that sinkies are not grateful and counting peanuts with a few million where at stake is billion.

RB, Tio Bo?

Anonymous said...

It is not a matter of whether the ministers are super talented or not.

It is whether they are the most talented AVAILABLE to be ministers from the strongest party!

And they are!

If a super talent joins the WP, where got hope to become minister, you say lah?

So why would a super talent want to join WP? Even if he want to become minister, he will join PAP because there is a 93% chance of being elected, as compared to only a 7% chance for WP and zero chance for other parties.

So now you know why the strongest party will have the best talents available and be rewarded accordingly?

Anonymous said...


2016 PAP = 80% OF THE VOTES

Anonymous said...

But WP got a star talent called CSM (short form) what.

Of course he will have no chance to become minister lah, in the current situation.

But then what about CSM performance in Parliament so far? Very good?

Will he be a good minister if he become one?

What do you think?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Except for agongkia, all the comments are very positive. I like. Give them more pay and don't demoralise them.

Agongkia, the publicity given to DTF is so good that they may appoint him as their chairman.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Lately I've been a staunch defender of the high ministerial salaries. To the chagrin of most of my friends, I assure you.

In fact on one occasion, one of my mates lost his shit and started insulting me, in a public place, no less, in Holland V, my "kampung", when I put forward my case for defending the "elites" and their outrageous pay.

Anyway, I didn't blame or argue with him and remained calm throughout his tirade against me. He had been retrenched from his high-flying bank gig in London and now eating humble pie in S'pore working in a local bank for substantially less money and perks, under a manager who is his junior and an Indian national. My mate blames the overpaid PAP for their fucked-up policies in "foreign talent and labour". He is a tormented man, my mate. But alas, most of our tormenting demons are self-made, by us and our "negative spirits".

My defense of the overpaid super-talented elites:

1. Singapore to me is a HOTEL

2. Since I plonk down a substantial "contribution" to the local economy during every visit, I expect "bang" for my hard-earned bucks.

3. This means I expect the best in management talent to run my hotel, and I want the to be happy and effective, so they need to be paid extraordinarily well. They do indeed run a tight ship -- which makes me glad.

4. I pay crazy taxes in Australia, and it is run by a bunch of untalented and incompetent buffoons.

5. Therefore I don't mind paying in Singapore -- it is substantially less -- percentage-wise -- than what I pay in Oz, and the "service" and "quality" is light years ahead of what Australia can only dream and hope to be.

6. Thus, for my money at least, the managers of Hotel Impressionnant Singapore royally deserve their fat pay cheques -- as long as they keep doing their jobs to make the place AWESOME for private property and enterprise, and The Sovereign Individuals who rock the house with their self-interested "pursuits of happiness".

If parliament decides to double or triple the management's pay, I wouldn't have an issue with that as long as they add commensurate VALUE to brand and the quality of service.

I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but then not everyone is "sovereign". :-))

Anonymous said...

PAP ministerial pays remain a highly controversial issue todate.

A Local Chinese said...

High pay for Ministers should be indexed to the Singapore Happy Index for all citizens and not just themselves!

Anonymous said...

Japan Premier annual pay is merely

Japan is a leading industrial power, world number three Asian number two economy with a GDP of US$5.964 trillion (2012 est.)

With Exports worth US$788 billion
(2011 est.)

SG is not even in the group of top G20group of economies.

Yet in spore a cabinet minister here is paid higher than a Japan PM !!

b said...

The PM set a very bad example for paying himself and his team so high. By being paid so high, all the costs will raise and it will be a mad chase to ever increasing costs in the expense of more important things. This kind of mentality will lead the country into self destruction as we need to continuing import foreigners to cope with all the raising costs and screwing the residents further until they all die of exhaustion and frustration.

Anonymous said...

The ministers should just be paid a fee like many executive directors in private organisation - they only received a director fee. If PM is the chairman of an organisation, he should only receive a chairman fee and not a salary, pensions etc. That should be the way.

Anonymous said...

Even if they paid themselves insane wages, the naive people still continue to vote for them. Most unfortunately, the naive people makes up the majority of voters in this country and gave them the mandate to do whatever they like. Unless and until the naive becomes slightly more wise, nothing much will change. Living will continue to be miserable in this country and almost everyone will be thinking of leaving this country. Those naive people should feel very bad and guilty every time they walked past an old auntie washing the stinky toilets in the mrt mostly used by all the foreign workers.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Many years ago I commented that the high ministerial salary is a two edged sword. They painted themselves as super talents and be paid super pays. They forgot that they need to live up to their expensive price tags. If they failed, as the expectations are rightly very high, they will stand up like sore thumbs.

They are standing up like sore thumbs now.