20 December 2007

New highs in ministerial salaries, new lows in media credibility

The second phase of salary increases for ministers and top civil servants kicks in next month. What a relief it's finally done, says a letter writer to the Straits Times Forum. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

not sure you are reading Ongko's letter correctly; it sounds mocking to me

if you were a cabinet minister, how would you take his suggestion to donate their additional income to charity?


Anonymous said...


here's where Ongko supposedly clarifies that his letter IS a satire.

and yeah, Low Lee Siang is a female teacher at MGS. hahaha

Anonymous said...

If a particular minister of a country can command a public-listed SIA plane at his immediate disposal to convert to a mobile hospital to cater to the emergency needs of his family member, would there a real necessity to tell the whole world that you are generous enough to donate your million dollar salary increases to charity.

At the very least, isn't this a form of hypocrisy, especially when you have been arguing the fact that political leaders will tend to be corrupt if they are not paid well enough.

yuen said...

>command a public-listed SIA plane at his immediate disposal to convert to a mobile hospital to cater to the emergency needs of his family member

this generated much internet discussion at the time, and subsequently it was announced that the cost of the charter service would be paid for by the family, but obviously, this is not a service SIA would provide to just anybody who asks

Anonymous said...

I guess the Straits Times editor must have looked high and low for a long time for any letter that agrees with higher ministerial salary.

I always wonder why anyone would consider being a journalist with any local press. They are merely word processors to me becos they cannot write about the truth.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, the ministerial salaries are just an obvious outcome for a totally suppressed and politically dominated Spore. After Catherine Lim wrote to the PM in an open letter regarding the very sensitive topic of the climate of fear and the absence of political liberties in Singapore, the lack of response from the PM Office is deafening. It is incredibly insulting to the writer by a democratically elected leader in not replying to her open letter.
Spore has an unnaturally wealthy facade which is used to mask the severe political control and economic exploitation that it uses to achieve this wealth. Spore is not on friendly terms with many neighbouring countries - Msia, Indonesia, Thailand, Phillipines, etc. The latter see Spore(govt) as insincere,exploitive & insensitive. Yet Spore continues to sell itself as a trading & economic hub to the region. Spore domestic economy is plagued by high & escalating cost of living, deflating wages due to easy entry of legal/illegal foreign workers, govt inclination to push costs up when it should be reining them in (transport cost, ERP, taxi fares, ministerial pay, etc). The quality of living in Spore has declined so much that Sporeans have to work longer hours, stagnant pay & yet contend with increasing prices in daily living.The problem with Spore is that many intelligent Sporeans have already seen through it. Those with capital & skills have already left or planning to leave Spore. The foreign talent scheme is used to plaster over mass migration of Sporeans overseas. What will be left in Spore are a hodge-pot of foreign workers with no ties to Spore, local Sporeans who neither have the means nor the skills to migrate & a comfortable elite group of people protected by their privilege status. Already, we are seeing uniformed LEOs not interested in maintaining public order but are out in full force whenever CSJ/JBJ are seen in public for a political cause. A riot squad was seen during an innocent protest by harmless anime fans against ODEX downloading law suits furore.
Spore mainstream media is seen by many as a propaganda branch of the govt. It lacks credibility & a conscience to voice social issues like those in western democracies. No wonder the ST readership is declining - in part to Sporean moving overseas/Gen Y not interested preferring their news thru blogs & internet forums.
In concluding, Spore has moved to a elitist social order with future ramifications. Elitist societies are inherently weak & are prone to either explosive elements [revolution] or implosion [decay]. It is a natural outcome.

majulah said...

There ARE some thinking and feeling Singaporeans out there, but not enough to make a difference when we vote.

While ministers and civil servants take home increasing amounts of taxpayers' money, when we complain we are asked for solutions. But isn't that what we are paying them to find?

We do not have checks and balances, we do not have competition. How does that augur for a healthy, vibrant and competitive (in every sense of the word) Singapore in as little as 10 years?

We might well be setting ourselves up for a fall, but those with money and connections would have their bolt holes ready by then - if not by now.

Anonymous said...

Look At Pace University in USA... Their President got vot of no confidence by their faculty and students.. while the univ is losing $, implemented a hiring and salary freeze, the President is still paid >$600K - which was defended by industry professionals as "fair"

Check it out: