Little sympathy for no pay hike for ministers

AFP reported "that there was little sympathy in the city-state for the world's best-paid politicians.
Ministerial salaries in the financial hub are the highest on Earth, with an entry-level minister paid Sg$1.1 million ($830,000) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earning an eye-watering Sg$2.2 million.

The government has argued the huge pay packets are necessary to attract top-calibre talent and prevent the corruption that afflicts other Asian countries.

But the issue has long attracted public anger, and the government responded to criticism by slashing salaries after a review in 2012."

Many people may be grudgingly cheering this decision to stop raising the outrageous salaries of the ministers and even wanted the salaries to be slashed given the dismal performance of the ministers. But I have another take on this as the decision could bring about the demise of the country. The country cannot be run well if the ministers are unhappy for not having more pay hikes to their mouth watering salaries when every worker is getting a pay hike, no matter how small, some may get $10 or $20.

There are several arguments favouring a pay hike for the ministers.

One, it is a Singaporean mindset, or at least among the politicians, that after a few years there must be a hike, in salary, in prices, in fees and in taxes. You cannot keep a salary, price, fee or taxes at the same level for too many years. Since the last hike or cut in salary in 2012, it has been a looong 5 years without a hike for the ministers. This is unacceptable and unreasonable.

And two, there is inflation to consider. The life style of the ministers would be gravely affected if their salaries did not keep pace with inflation even though many have viewed that their out of this world salaries have out paced inflation by a 100 years. Their families will suffer, definitely. This is how some ministers would be thinking, true feelings. And with this kind of thinking, how can the people expect them to continue to sacrifice for the country when they could be earning millions more in the private sector?

Three, many would be thinking of leaving political office to seek greener pasture in the private sector now. These super super talents would easily make more than what they are getting as ministers. The country will suffer if they leave. There are no more such talents in an island where there is a dearth of talents. Would Singaporeans be happy if the PAP starts to recruit third world talents, with fake degrees, dubious experience and credentials and doubtful talents to be ministers?  Many of these foreigners would not even pass our PSLE or O level examinations without cheating or faking.

Four, the most disappointing part is that the Ministerial Salary Review Committee already recommended a 9% increase or a mere $100,000 only. The ministers knew this and would be very unhappy that they are being deprived of such a small increase. It is like meat in the mouth and snatched away again. They would end up with a lot of saliva in their mouths.

Overall the morale of ministers would be low definitely. Remember, they are making very big sacrifices, sacrificing their privacy, their good lives, their families, to serve the people and country. How can the country be so mean to them. And all the time they have been scheming how to make the people rich, well taken care of in old age with plenty of money in their CPF? Singaporeans are ungrateful creatures. If not they should be holding a protest at Hong Lim to fight for a hike in ministerial salaries to show their appreciation to these selfless and honourable men and women.

From the HR perspective, all is not lost. There are many ways to raise the salaries of ministers without raising their salaries, like promotions, more deputy PMs, more senior ministers, ESM or even add the post of mayors to their portfolios, secondary appointments as chairman or directors here and there, big bonuses, study strips overseas, leadership allowances, innovative allowances, etc etc. Another way of raising salary without raising salary is to half the job size. Instead of one minister doing a job, have two or more ministers and each minister would theoretically only need to do a portion of the job. A two minister ministry would mean the job is divided by half, and being paid a full minister's salary for doing half the job. Very neat.

Anyway. the govt must seriously reconsider this decision not to hike the high pay of the ministers. It would affect their morale and performance. Must be, they are also human, just like they would be corrupt if salary not high enough. I am worried for Singapore and the well being of Singaporeans going forward. If the economy is not doing well, you cannot blame the ministers for not performing when you don't give them a hike in salary. First thing that comes to mind is the MRT.

Singaporeans should not expect their ministers to look hagged, lean, badly dressed and unhappy and troubled by a stagnant salary with no pay hike. The ministers must be well fed, happy, well dressed and with high morale so that they can only think of working for the people without any financial worry, or unable to give their families a Swiss standard of living. We are all in the same sampan. Their well being is our well being.


Anonymous said...

Redbean, your comment here is flawed & does not sync in tune with the majority dafts docile Sinkies. Sinkieland minionsters r the most well paid in this world if not in this galaxy! They r the most well paid politicians on this planet & they achieve mediocre results. Their jobs r very simple as KJ had said few days ago even our ministers apply pri school maths to solve the country financial issues just as they simply raise taxes & gst to collect more monies from the dafts people & majority of issues become solve miraculously. These minionsters have so many support & running dogs to work for them & with a stroke of pen or button everything is resolved-- ez wz ez job! & like Min Joe Teo solving of the low TFR is by mere foreign imports & even manpower crunch also using this way--again ez weez case solve & they jus sit in ivory tower to collect monies,once in a while appear on tv or radio to talk cock sing song & nobody dare to argue with them -- see ez weez monies in their pockets. Like wat China President Xi said to his officials - u wan get rich then go to a place in Nanyang where u become rich being a politicians, we wan people who can sacrifice to serve our people ( 黑猫白猫会抓老鼠的是好猫-邓同志)。

Time For A Tiger! said...

I propose ALL the Ministers (including the PM) be sent for "Study Leave" in China's Rehabilitation Schools for One Year, without pay and allowances, for a Proper Leadership and Hardship Trainingl, in order to put some sanity into their brains and feelings into their hearts.

Singapore can function for one year without them around. We citizens are willing to make this sacrifice.

The Civil Service can do the running of the country without a hitch, I am sure. The Chief of Civil Service can hold the fort for the PM. The Permanent Secretary for each Ministry can hold the fort for their Minister Millionaire. No problems at all.

Our civil servants would be able to sacrifice more effectively and function more efficiently without the Millionaires Ministers around, for sure!

Good idea? What say you?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thank you anon 9:36am for exposing my flawed article. I am getting old and muddled head and cannot think clearly. I must admit that even when I was writing this article my mind was confused and I also did not know what I was writing.

I hope you can make some sense of my flawed article.

I confessed I am having difficulty with it myself.

jjgg said...

Very simple to resolve.. u know now their ability .. u also know their inability.. would u even pay them half what they getting if it's your own money? OPM... it's a different ball game.. u let your own kaki Lang n lap dog pee on you and u still smile n take it...

Anonymous said...

These $million-salaried ministers only know 2 ways to solve problems:

1) increase prices

2) import more foreigners

Anonymous said...

The ministers must be well fed, happy, well dressed and with high morale....Their well being is our well being.


That's why 70% Sinkies voted for PAP to give PAP the strong mandate for this.

If Sinkies want their ministers to take care of them, they must also need to take care of their ministers what, logical or not?

Anonymous said...

Anyone of us would be able to this as well. There's no real input at all.

Anonymous said...


CEO of this super fund was paid 6.7 million kroner equivalent to 1 million SGD return 13% over 1Trillion fund compared with our Temasek. World of difference, really.

This is what Singaporeans should and must demand for.....

Anonymous said...

This is what Singaporeans should and must demand for.....
11:24 am

Singaporeans can demand lah but will PAP care, that's the question.

Anonymous said...

They are nothing but legalise robbers, crooks and scoundrels. Why do they need to take so much money from the people? Are they bringing the millions of dollars to their grave in no time while hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans can't even make ends meet. Shame on them the robber barons.

Anonymous said...

Politician salary has to balance with the minimum salary a citizen can earn. From human labor production point of view, they both has brains service to sell only. What is the balance? First is president or peeyam both can control their own time: want to work or want to rest. Therefore, they are not selling 12 hours working time to citizens. Dont jump up and say they make good decisions to benefit millions people. If you do, you must also say they make bad decisions to poke holes on your retirement. ie dont carry balls, they are not steel made balls. Back to workers: every hour they sell, they are paid. No joke. If a cleaner leaves the job 30 mins early, the pay will be paid less by 30mins. Dont expect a cleaner to work 24 hours, same apply to presidents. U cannot have no president or peeyam and cannot have no cleaner. So how much? Dont talk about complexity of work to politicians. They want the jobs they get elected. Cleaners want the jobs, they must be interviewed and selected 2 steps.

Take the extreme example to convince voters. Trump s Lago Palm Beach mansion was said to be aimed by Russia. Could be. In same state, there is Middle east and Mid asia command office. So this is extreme lah. There is still president candidates. This US president now is paid USD$1. Voters should not take this example.
Korea should be the next complex job as president. Not need to mention Kim Jong Un. The salary should be a joke, but better than dotard s $1.
In other words, there are people on earth whole heartily serving their countries. No doubt about such motivation. One old fart pushed such real motivation aside from real politicians. He claimed they would be corrupted. Ah hiar, there is no one can investigate corruption on top? Not true, it depends how the system is set up. In HK, the chief executive corruptibly rented or something a big house at shenzhen, he was caught and jailed. So depends on how the top politician set up the anti corruption system.

So what price to pay an elected politician? Use South Korean s salary should be good yardstick. Who do not want korean s kind of innovation in industries? If they could make it a top society in Asia, while sinkieland has nothing comparable, korean s way to pay its labor has to be at least viewed at by sinkieland s voters. Ah hiar tio bor?
Moon s pay is S$277k. Korean s minimum wage per hour is SGD12+.
Ah hiar, do you feel the small coffers is drained by the payment to so many ministers earning millions of salaries? Plus president also big paid job? You better think harder now.
What is SGD12+ per hour? Its 12x44x52=27456. This basic salary is $2112per month.

Ah hiar, you voted for the pap to take millions dollars, did they make sure that you as voters get a minimum job salary per month as S$2000?

If you still spread the fake talk by one ah neh that S$700pm can buy HDB flat, you re guilty of betrayer to your siblings. No one can survive without a basic total $2000pm on sinkieland with a family to feed. Did the politicians help you to achieve this level of income? The one said to increase $100pm you need to wait for productivity in this whole island to be +1%. Hey they did not tell you how to use the maths to work out +1 and +1. They keeps increasing the foreigners to work here. When dividing the output in dollar, they cannot get +1%. How to solve it? They told you no pay increase for cleaner. This logic was well spoken, not fake news. But it is a flawed logic. The logic put cleaner in charge of national productivity.

The whole thing was a talk cock show. The salary level has not risen through 20 years. Look at general admin executive job, the salary is below $2000pm. Hellow executive means no OT. Is that similar to president and peeyam job? So you feel for these lucky people for not getting another few millions into pockets? They vd NEVER helped you in getting MORE income. Why do you still need them? Do you agree you are crazy? yes you are crazy to vote for them.

God Must Be Crazy said...

Never before were there so many greedy and thick-skinned unconscionable self-centred ministers demanding to be paid so much from so small a population and so tiny a country.

Anonymous said...

Look at general admin executive job, the salary is below $2000pm.
11:58 am

But my company general admin executive is paid $2500pm leh, with about 2 years experience. And there is also OT pay some more. She started as a fresh graduate at about $2300 pm. And we are only a local SME somewhere in the Defu industrial area.

Anonymous said...

U lacked the level of understanding on the working of minimum wage in Korea. The message 11:58am put was a general comment. The level of salary can be verified on common job site like stjobs.

Your example could be compared with. Your example merely said you had admin exe making $2500pm. Your illustration has no value on 11:58am s discussion at all.

Are you attempting to prove to readers that your example: admim executive are earning $2500pm?
If you have evidence to say so, you should complain 11:58am is fake news about admin job salary.

Have you gone to stjob to check?

Defu industrial area is an old Hdb multi storey building similar to kallang types. There are well paid employers within. No one can deny unless you put the firm s name for others to verify.
U are telling you wear underwear more expensive than others jeans or business pants on mrt. Why not u tell others what brand is your underwear? others will check the price. This is the same logic.

Anonymous said...

Your illustration has no value on 11:58am s discussion at all.
1:21 pm

No value at all? Sure or not? One example to prove 11:58am wrong is no value at all meh?

Maybe just one example not much value lah, but don't say no value at all. Hope you can be more measured with your language in discussion.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

Yesterday I watched a great one-sided docco made by Al Jazeera called "Singapore: The House That Lee Built".

Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c27vAhUJQdc

It summarizes all the nagging bits of our polity which is primarily based on the LKY-style of Statehood, and the "unconventional" tactics (fear?) he is accused of applying to exact conformity and obedience from the people.

I have problems with this "fear" argument. Fear can be used if the cuntry is a few years or a decade or so old. Modern Singapore is over 50 years old. Surely---one could argue---that in that time the population in general would embolden themselves against any (perceived) tyranny? And if they didn't, what does that say about the character of the population? It says that they are spineless and easily cowed. Sorry, I am just not going to buy that.

Using "fear" as a main point to buttress an argument is weak and smacks of intellectual laziness at best, and intellectual cowardice at worst.

The fact that ministerial salaries have been in an uptrend since the 1980s suggests that people just don't care THAT MUCH about how much the government is paid. The last GE when minister salaries were at world-record highs, the PAP got a landslide victory and Hsien Loong a CLEAR MANDATE to govern. So fuck you...look at the facts, the NUMBERS

About a year or two ago I changed my opinion. Since Singapore is such a rocking awesome place...for business and sin (the fun part of being able to afford such things), ministers should have a 2-3 times INCREASE in their salaries.

In this way---aka legalised bribery (or incentives for all you behavioural economists out there), we can rest assured of even higher standards of performance.

Why? How so? ...you might ask.

Because Politics is DOWNSTREAM from culture...i.e. the Singapore ministries are comprised IN TOTAL with people of the same culture at the rest of the population. Therefore they hold the same cultural values...like being kiasu and kiasi, and affixed to the ideas supporting material security, material success, social status, job security and the ability to earn super-duper high salary which is an undisputed social metric in this meritocracy

So I suggest we increase the pay of these poor, hard-slaving members who selflessly sacrifice themselves for our collective good.

PAP Forever (seriously guys, keep on doing the stellar work to keep my cuntry ROCKING!)

Anonymous said...

Next pm is NG, retake.
"A video of the exchange shows that Ng is reading Low’s quote from an iPad or an electronic tablet of some sort. Interestingly, after he reads Low’s quote, Ng hands the iPad over to PM Lee, without being prompted to do so."

The whole house laugh as if they have won toto 12 millions. This is that kind of mentality: laughing at small blunder. They were very proud of not making blunder in english language. Unfortunately, the real flourishing market is in Shanghai. Can they fill in chinese forms? Not to talk about reading chinese contracts.

From that laughter shown on one website, sinkies needs to hire psychologist like CSJ to teach these politicians to aim high on issue that can enhance their intelligence. Not laughing on blunder and broke out thunderous laughter. It was out of proportion to their intelligence people expected of them. They made themselves low class behavior politicians.

Anonymous said...

Autocracy exposes a country to the unchecked whims of one person. As years turn into decades, such concentrated power has too often turned sour, as the ruler grows increasingly detached from reality. - FT

Anonymous said...

One policy that is detached from reality lies in digital payments.

Many of the old, the poor, the bankrupts, and many children do not have a bank card.

The policy of digital payments imposes great inconveniences to many in everyday life.

b said...

69% of voters are not high iq due to the tomakeyoudumb education system and thus they will buy the 1% bullshit that these ministers need millions in salaries. If they are of any talents, they can earn their millions or even billions outside smalland or payandpay. The 30% voters are higher in iq but since we live in democracy, the not high iq wins. The 30% only have the option to leave like moses did or to suffer in silence or to pray. Prepare to be squeeze and squeeze, screw and screw, milk and milk by pay and pay if one has no courage to seek a future outside small egypt.

Anonymous said...

Khaw Boon Wan celebrates 40 years in civil service.

Sinkies bemoan.

Anonymous said...

Ministers, political appointees, and top civil servants already have additional National Bonus (replaced the GDP Bonus from 2012 onwards).

This National Bonus has been on average about 6 months each year, and 9 months for PM.

So for last 5 years, PM is collecting $2.2M + $1.65M = $3.85M per year .... and just for PM role.

Don't forget he's also collecting big bucks as Chairman of GIC. Top hedge funds managers are collecting tens of millions USD ... hopefully they don't benchmark against top 1000 hedge fund managers for salaries in GIC & Temasek!

The $208K he's collecting as MP and the other few hundreds thousands on various boards of directors are sup sup sway & chicken feed in comparison to above.

b said...

So what if he has all the wealth in the world? He cannot bring it to his coffin and will have more struggle to say goodbye one day and living the rest of his life without inner peace.

Virgo49 said...

What's the fark for? ?

Can put all into coffins? ??

Anonymous said...

The year in year out solutions of Pappies talents:
Collect more money:
1. ERP...more n more
2. Carpark charges
3. Car import tax of 100%-155%
4. COE for 10yrs
5. Car driving fees n licence
6. Taxi fares...surcharge, midnight charge, airport charge, booking charge, etc
7. GST
8. Water tariffs
9. Gas tariffs
10. Conservancy charges
11. School fees, tuitions, etc
12 Medical fees...hybrid private public hospitals...pay less queue long long n wait long long
13. Property residential tax
14. Developmental charge
15. Stamp duties
16. Pipes connection fee???
17. Income tax
18. Corporate tax
19. Low Cpf returns arbitraged by govt
20. Compulsory Medical insurances
21. Cpf significant portion no return to retirees
22. High HDB prices inflated by controlled left pocket to right pocket land cost
23. Etc
Myth: Spore low tax cuntry
Truth: Myriad of taxes n very expensive place. Poor cannot afford to fall seriously sick, like cancer. Middle income not too far from that too...
Why do very rich politicians want to squeezed the most stressed n squeezed citizens in modern cities????
Is it becos they get premium 6-star service like $8 heart surgery?

b said...

March 03, 2018 6:44 pm>>

Simple. Because they are evil/greedy/malicious and aspire to be the guy who sucked the shewolf.

KP said...

The Devils are always disgused as good guys in order to fool the gullible and unaware.

In order to differntiate between the devils and the really good guys, you check your own heart. Are you afraid? Do you have fear (any form of fear, whether you can grasp it or not) in your dealings, writings, expressions, votings, etc. If you have, any slightest tingling of fear in your heart (not your brain) in dealing with them, then you are dealing with the DEVILS!

The really good guys do not project or manifest Fear. They manifest unconditional love, selfless compassion, inexplicable kindness, spontaneous generosity.

Anonymous said...

@anon 8.05pm

the current lots of the PAPies r : sometimes like Gods and Demons, Chinese says -- 鬼也是依做,天使也是依做,dafts Sinkies sometimes couldn't tell which is which all blur blur at erection time majority vote for PAPies after their pockets being stuffs with a few hundred dollars, don't be surprised Redbean will also vote for them after being brainwashed become muddled headed confused & bo bian liao

Virgo49 said...

Hi KP, Chinese Saying: The Guilty Ones are always the First to report to the Courts for their grievances.

Thus, the Pappies when criticized by WP or others or rather brought matters that they felt Guilty Of always tells the other Party to repeat or apologize or withdraw their statements or else, Ha Ha, we gonna sue you in Courts.

Just like many prominence cases of threatening the weaker parties that they gonna bring up to the Courts.

Thus intimidated the other parties into submission. Hokkien said: Han Lau Tua.

Bully Kechils.

Wah, surplus, first time they don't want increase their salaries.

Fishy, something very fishy,

Not their past behaviors.

By Year 2021 or later, many many CPF contributors gonna to withdraw their Minimum Sum. The figures could be quite staggering and the Treasury Kosong kosong.

Thus, they have to tax tax and tax and paid the Minimum sum amount.

Another project of T5 at nearly four times the cost of T1, T2,T3 and even T4. Costs may be the same or where about. But inflated another 8 to 9 millions for minimum sum payments.

Also, they are caught in a bind. If GE 2020/21 they washed out, they can chabok. But knowingly Daft Sinkies that they expect to win again, they have to think how to have that monies to pay back. Afterall, all the years, nobody knows what is the Actual Reserves.

If not cannot pay, pichak lobang liao.

agongkia said...

So?all the laochek.
What does these prove?
Proved that it is the older generation like you all never teach your children well.
Lui lui lui..$$$$$.
Can anyhow give me summon even I am innocent,just to secure promotion...
I can't blame the younger generation
not having compassion ,welfare or concern as they are brought up to be so..
My farmer Ah Kong wanted me to study hard to be a Tua kow,to be loyal, serve with integrity and fight corruption and look into justice...
My Ah mma said risky though can be millionaire but must resign if the day come cos high pay for tua kow mean larng meng jiu kangkhor and added Sewer servant serve not for the purpose to make money.
Ah Kong scolded ah mma and said unless one is corrupted,not possible to become millionaire. The tongkak on the wall will land on my forehead if I dare jialui..mai siaseesiasuay to my family.
Looks like my Ah mma is right .No need corrupted oso can be millionaire.

Moral of story.
Go join the sewer service and ask for lower pay .

Anonymous said...

Reduced unsustainable super aggressive open-leg FT policy of 6.9m from 15 years to 40 years target, then overall population increase will be much more manageable and correspondingly reduced need to spend so much to build added strained infrastructure. ...CUT SPENDING...then no need for all these tax hikes unless the real agenda is TO SQUEEZED.

Virgo49 said...

Wah, Ahgongkia, be Tua Now can be millionaires? ?

Fight corruption, your job in fighting corruption or taking corruption? ?

Anti vice or anti gambling rake in millions??

Protection MONIES? ?

Now already collecting so much Protecyion so called Protection MONIES for what's nonsense bogeyman terrors by employing the Handicapped and Bums for these JLB jobs.

Bugdet increased another 11%. For them even to take laptops home.

That bloody Kiosks Systems giving problems to Singaporeans at all checkpoints with their stupid wrong installations of faulty unable to check the identifications need to change with other tracking means.

Daily have to proceed for second queue as good as going thru manual systems.

Use your Bains lah, use your Bains. PCK famous words.

Anonymous said...

The meek have inherited this island.

Anonymous said...

The Out-Of-This-World Unconscionable Obscene Salary, Making Ministers Instant Millionaires Overnight, will be the Undoing of Whatever Goodness of the PAP forever and ever. Whoever continues to refuse recognizing and accepting this fact yet insisting on supporting this self-enriching scheming scheme must have their brains washed and their hearts cut open.

Anonymous said...

They need to build a super big nest egg for their children and grand children and great great great grand children that are yet to be born.