From CNN, kup from emily’s blog:
- The salary of the prime minister of Singapore is more than three times that of U.S. President George W. Bush and about four times that of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But that is not enough.
- Some Singaporeans argue that the six lucrative professions on which ministers’ salaries are based do not reflect the country’s economy or the government’s performance.
- And given that a 2 percentage point rise in sales tax from July will further hit the poor, some said the government plan is tactless.
- Some argue that Singapore ministers are not overpaid, but that ministers elsewhere are underpaid.
- But critics say that the prosperity and security enjoyed by Singaporeans are not that different from other Asian first-world economies such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, where government ministers do not command such high salaries.
- Finland, for instance, beat Singapore in the WEF and Transparency International polls — as second-most competitive and most corruption-free country — but its Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen earns about a sixth of Lee’s estimated salary.
- What irks Singapore’s opposition parties is that the million-dollar salaries are only accessible to members of Lee’s ruling People’s Action Party. Opposition politicians have been crippled by defamation lawsuits brought by government ministers and no opposition party has ever held a ministerial post.
- The opposition also argues that a million-dollar pay hike is unwarranted for leaders of a country that has no legal minimum wage and where 20 percent of the population earns an average monthly salary of S$1,500 ($991).
- But Lee Kuan Yew — modern Singapore’s first prime minister, who is still the leading voice in his son’s cabinet — will have none of it.
- “It is critical for us to keep these salaries competitive, so as to be able to bring in a continuing flow of able and successful people,” Lee said in a speech in March. (if you need to dangle fat carrots in front of able and successful people to come build Singapore, what does this say about their moral values?)
- “The cure to all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government,” Lee senior told the Straits Times on Thursday, adding that it is “absurd” for Singaporeans to quarrel about ministerial pay and warned that Singapore would suffer it the government could not pay competitive salaries.”Your security will be at risk and our women will become maids in other people’s countries,” he said.
I seriously smell the stench of sexism in the air.
oh and TV showed PM Lee saying he’s gonna give his GDP bonus to charity for the next 5 years. (if i nv remember wrongly). hey, why dont we bring the GST down to 5% after 5 years also lah?
my mum’s a civil servant at the lower end of the food chain. and she says: “3 to 5% pay increase for us? that’s really kannasai compared to theirs. this makes me want to quit.” oh yeah i totally encourage her to quit. no need receive peanuts from gahmen and see P’s face colours anymore. Can live 10 years longer.
my dad’s friend said: “这不是贪污，这里是合法的黑社会。” Uncle, 说得好！
the suckiest thing about this sucky thing is: we cant bleddy do anything about it.
i never really understood why first-time voters at the GE (those who are above 21 yrs old) are so excited to vote. Now i do. Even if that vote will amount to peanuts in the end (like in my constituency), it does give one a kick to.. you know.
We’re such pathetic sods, someone tell me what’s the value of this vote in this democracy?