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.