Whispers from the heart

Ocassional conversations with my heart. Never heart-wrenching and heart-breaking. Always light-hearted and hearty. Ever thankful for your heart-felt support.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The ministerial salaries are going up ... and away

This half-hearted Singaporean had refrained from blogging for a while because Singapore's affairs are best discussed by Singaporeans themselves, an old man once said.

I am still holding the red passport and pink IC. But my heart is far away, in some mediocre first world country. Thus, I deem myself not qualified to whine about things around me.

Yes, ordinary Singaporeans whine when they rant about how their income has been dwindling since we reached the Swiss Standard of Living. But, when ministers complained about their lower than the top 8's pay, theirs is an emergency of national proportion. The country will collapse and I will have to work overseas as a maid.

Personally, I don't see why MM has to resort to such knuckle-duster antics to get his pay rise. I would have gladly gave to any 83-yr old man begging for an extra dollar on the street. I no longer respect MM but I can still pity him.

See, this is one-half singaporean who is happy to give him the pay rise. I hope he lives long enough to enjoy more good years with it. I sincerely do.

Actually, this pay hike saga has fetched quite an international audience. Amazing, isn't it? Many of my foreign friends are taking jibes at me. I told them that in Singapore, we are all one big family; elites, foreign talents and peasants. We also operate like the mafia with everyone paying dues to the Godfather regularly.

However, we must always look at the positive side of things. Otherwise, we will be accused of engaging in politics of envy. And I thought the ministers sounded like they envied the private sector salaries, to begin with!

These are some positive outcomes of the pay hike:

1 There is a lot of learning and information sharing between the government and the people. For example, we did not know that Singaporeans can be paid a salary and a pension while performing the same job. All peasants should start to petition for the Labour chief to include this wonderful feature in our pay packets. Of course, we would still have to ensure that we still have a job at 55. But, nevermind, Mr Lim promised to find jobs for all old people as long as they are willing to work. (Actually, I am wondering what is Mr Lim Boon Heng doing now and whether he deserves the ministerial pay since he is no longer the labour chief).

2 A renewed confidence to donate to charities after the NKF saga. Since Mr Durai's curse of the golden tap movie, many are still sceptic of the various charities in Singapore. Singaporeans are also quite tired of those dangerous stunts from these charity events because, well frankly, surviving in Singapore with your meagre income seems more like a dangerous stunt to you now. With our PM's declaration to donate his pay INCREASE to suitable good causes (we hope he means charities lah), people are re-discovering the benefit of donations as a worthy tax deductible item. I am confident many higly paid civil servants will follow in his footpath, as they always do with their masters. There is another strong motivation for the donation. We Chinese believe that we should not keep all our ill-gotten gains. Bad luck and bad karma for a few generations.

3 We are getting near to being the only world class country in the world. In this round alone, MM had written off 3 countries off the first world list and labelled them mediocre. Now, we don't have to worry about Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. Sure, some years ago, every ministry was sending their officers to these countries to learn about their systems of governance. But it was all to aware ourselves of their mediocre practices so that we do not end up like them. We really don't want to have a NOKIA lah. Our MM is well-known enough.

4 MM, during his recent jiak-hong trip to down under, mentioned the uphill struggle to attract and retain talents in Singapore. I empathise greatly with him. When mediocre talents are coming to our shores in dozens, like those from Finland and Switzerland, how are we to attract angmohs from erh, where else hah? No wonder he has to resort to India and China, the future first world countries. A great man with great vision.

Don't despair for Singapore, this pay hike had solved the problem. Last I heard, every angmoh wants to migrate to Singapore. Whole load of peanuts, hassle free, no accountability and all the perks to boot like discounts on condo prices etc. I am half expecting Tony Blair and George Bush (both Snr and Jnr, we like such combinations)to be knocking at our door. They should be looking for jobs too. For all we know, even the Queen herself might consider migrating to our paradise. No one will question her lavish lifestyle and she does speak the Queen's English. Like that hor, we may have to set up quotas for foreign talents rushing here.

5 MM has taught us how to negotiate with the boss for our next increment. Ask the boss to take things in the right perspective. Don't begrudge a miserable few thousand when compared to the company's gross total revenue. It helps if you are also wearing knuckle dusters at the HR meeting hor.

Ok, as a malaysian said somewhere, we should be thankful that we have a clean and green government. We take the Pappies for granted. No wonder MM thinks Malaysia is mediocre too. If we change Pappies' names to Dr M and call them bumiputras instead of elites, perhaps this malaysian will get some enlightenment why we are so pissed off. It's all about the right moral perspective or the lack of it.


  • At 5:05 PM, Anonymous ex-singaporean said…

    whispers, missed you much & very glad to see you back.

    I'm so sick & disgusted with the greed of the miw so-called ministars. They can put all kinds of spin on why they deserved such obscene salary; bottomline, is they are robbing the Singapore Treasury. I wondered how they can look at themselves in the mirror & sleep at night. I'm so glad I quitted our 1st world Singapore over 20 years ago for a third world country called USA.

  • At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You may wish LKY well but I do not. He has hurt a lot of us minorities with his arrogant attitude towards the many who made huge contributions to the making of Singapore. He will, sooner more than later, pay for his arrogance for his racial polcies.

  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Brilliant! I am circulating this to all my cronies....ha ha.

  • At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The MIWs have a very simplstic interpretation of values: THE HIGHER THE PRICE OR COST, THE BETTER THE QUALITY. Simple minded indeed!

  • At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope we get a public holiday on the day he dies. That would be the only useful thing he has done for Singaporeans in at least one decade.

  • At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi all,

    thanks for visiting! Am in the process of winding down my businesses and have little time for blogging :(

    I lacked the motivation too. I might try writing short notes instead to keep my mind active.

    I am waiting to become a quitter down under. My son will probably head for the US one day. He has this darn NS liability to complete.

    The public holiday is factored in, don't worry. PA,PAP members and the whole civil service will be mobilised to attend the funeral and thus, no one needs to work.

    PM will have to make it a spectacular affair at any cost.

    Civil servants will gladly attend if given the day off. Secretly, I think they love such events :0

    Enough said.

    No, I don't like MM, SM nor PM. I pity them. At their age and still toiling over money is a tragedy, any way you see it. I aim to retire at 45 because I feel the need for pursuits of higher calling.

    "国大,胸襟也大" Singapore is a small country. I feel I have outgrown it.

    MM said quitters can't hold top jobs in Singapore. Actually, he was misinformed. Quitters don't need those jobs at all. Most of my friends had packed and gone down under to "heng heng" or enjoy life.

    Well, different strokes for different folks. I wish MM has his series of strokes. Haha..


  • At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree.

    The day LKY die should be make a public holiday every year because this truly a day of independence that worth celebrating and remembered for his contribution to the debt of each Singaporean.

    The day he die will be the day I called myself Singaporean.

    I will give him three saluate for building Singapore in the 80's, and finally 3 farts in his face for talking nonsense and destroying the wealth of Singapore after 90's.

    I will show my middle figure to him for continue to blunder Singapore tax money of $3millions each year just because he is LKY (Lies KaYu).
    Oh, I forget, that only the salary and bonus.

  • At 12:54 AM, Anonymous 40+Singaporean said…

    It good to have you back. I almost thought you have quit blogging.

    As usual, a good piece from an intelligent Singaporean.

    I particularly agree with you on the pay rise for the MM. Why are we paying the MM, SM and the PM obscene amount of pay? Do we have 1 head of government or 3? If the previous PMs have done their job and feel it is time for someone else to take over, then let go and let the man do his job. Since our country is Singapore Inc., it is fair to compare it with any other commercial entities. Never heard of any company where there is a Senior CEO and a Mentor CEO and all drawing the highest salaries within that organisation. The question that must be asked is surely 'Is our PM capable of doing his job?'. Perhaps we need 3 PMs, like different lines of business or regions. Afterall, we have GRCs. Merge the GRCs so that they become 3 LGRCs (Larger GRCs) and make each of them PM of each LGRC. Then we can pay them each 1/3 of the PM's pay, since they are only responsible for 1/3 of the country.

    A wise banker friend of mine once remarked to me after leaving his very senior job and retired at a relatively young age of 60. His analogy to me about it being his time to move on was that it was like being at a buffet table. He has his fill and it is time to move on so others can take their place at the table. Perhaps we have wiser banker than politicians :). It makes me wonder too, if our MM is wiser than Dr M. Both refusing to let go in different ways.

    What about our President? A nice man by all accounts, a pleasant and presentable figure head as well with one very important job - that of looking after our country's reserves - a most important job, no doubt. And for that, he gets paid $3M. You know what? Our country is relatively free from corruption but for those who 'served' in the government in senior positions, you can be assured that in your twilight years, you will be compensated sufficiently to be able to afford a grand mausoleum made of Singapore dollars coins from our very own mint.

  • At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Those very well paid ministers better not build any mausoleum otherwise their fortunes will have to be used for repair works due to vandalisms to them!

  • At 12:11 PM, Anonymous asddad said…

    Good to see you blogging again Whispers.

    You've hit the nail on the head with this post.

    I used to respect LKY a lot. In his younger days, his comments were wise and insightful. Nowadays, he seems only capable of spouting either racist, sexist or elitist remarks. I now cringe when I read his comments in the news.

  • At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    please keep blogging
    I love your blog
    I'm an ex living in Toronto, Canada.

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