Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NSP Press Release on Ministerial Salary Hike

Finally, the National Solidarity Party has issued a press release in response to PAP government's intention to increase ministers' pay. ;)

Ministerial Salary Hike – Please Don’t Leave Workers Behind

The NSP shares the people’s displeasure over the latest campaign by the PAP government to justify salary hike for the civil servants. The government should not think that the common people would not understand the implication that the hike will invariably translate to even higher salaries for the Ministers. Such an assumption would be highly insulting to the people.

The NSP does not disagree with the fundamental principle that career civil servants should receive just rewards for their useful contributions to the public. However, as officeholders elected by the public, it is wrong for Ministers to demand salaries far higher than the non-elective state employees. Furthermore, it is inadmissible to rigidly peg Ministerial salary benchmarks to the highest earners in the private sector instead of pegging to the Ministers’ measurable performance.

Even without more salary increment, the Ministers are by no means short-changed. Ministers (as well as Parliamentary Secretaries and Speakers of the House) are eligible for pension after 8-years of service in their respective offices. Ministers also continue to draw a ministerial salary even as they are cashing in their pension. And with a salary that would effortlessly qualify them for the small exclusive segment of multi-millionaires of the country for which there are less than 2%, there is little reasons for Ministers to think they are underpaid.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say recently commented that pay hike for Ministers will benefit workers. Regrettably, he did not clarify that the pay hike will mainly contribute to the widening of the gap between the median wage (the wage below which 50% of the workers are earning) and the average wage, a figure skewed higher by having more high-earners. Moreover, workers have to brave hikes in GST, public transport, electricity, and postal services, while Ministers ‘weather’ a hike in their salary. The NSP believes that the formula for Ministerial salary must factor in the wage disparity between the low and high earners, as well as the structural unemployment rate. We further believe that the formula must be made transparent to the public.

The NSP further questions the logic of Senior Parliamentary Secretary Amy Khor that other countries with low reported salaries for their Ministers would not have a good, clean, and efficient government. We believe the availability of examples like Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland (which the Singapore government had wanted to emulate) exposes the flawed argument that the progress of a country depends on highly-paid Ministers who demand ever more.

Ultimately, we will like to remind the PAP government that the money to fund the salary hike does not descend from the heavens, and will unavoidably result in higher taxes, fees, charges, and levies for the common people, if the country’s reserves are not to be compromised.

In conclusion, the NSP is unconvinced that inflationary salary increment for Ministers is justified. It is morally abhorrent for the PAP government to attempt to misguide the nation into believing that the value of the highest elected public offices of a country is measured principally by the amount of remuneration that is paid to the Ministers. We do not welcome the development where the Singapore government is increasingly opined by the public as ‘political mercenaries’.

We believe that the disquiet from the ordinary citizens warrants the matter to be put to a national referendum. The PAP Ministers should also candidly state to Singapore voters during all future General Elections the price of their service which the nation is expected to pay (if they are elected), so as to accord voters the opportunity to fairly assess their choices.

The NSP respects the frequent proclamation by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that his government will “leave no one behind”. But with another Ministerial salary hike, almost everyone will be left far behind.

Central Executive Council
National Solidarity Party


Anonymous said...

There's an article in ST today saying tht the govt is losing civil servants cos its not paying enough, would u like to end up like HK?

Anonymous said...

Before entering politics men like Tony Tan r already top earners in the privates sector, as revealed by MM LKY in his memoirs, if thts the case why isnt it fair to benchmark ministerial salries with the top earners in the world? Indeed Dr Tan made a huge financial loss by joining PAP, wonder if Mr Goh would enter politics if it means losing 2/3 of his former salary?

Anonymous said...

To anon:

There is article on Todayonline saying that in Msia "despite the low salaries, corruption in the civil service tends to happen more frequently at the top, especially among those earning RM5,000 and above."

So what say u?

Anonymous said...

Let's see if the PAP will have any guts to respond to NSP press release.

Well, said NSP. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

It is a great fallacy to say that most or all capable people are mainly driven by money.

If any of our ministers leave because they rather earn more than serve the country then let them, I'm sure there will be countless capable yet altruistic people willing to take their place.

If the pay hike is to prevent corruption, I propose a great money-saver, death sentence to and confiscation of all assets of any minister found guilty of corruption. Death sentence after all is a great deterrent according to our ministers.

Anonymous said...

There's an article in ST today saying tht the govt is losing civil servants cos its not paying enough, would u like to end up like HK?


And you actually believe everything that the ST publishes?

wonder if Mr Goh would enter politics if it means losing 2/3 of his former salary?
I'm sure Mr Goh would, since he would still have enough to get by.

If any of our ministers leave because they rather earn more than serve the country then let them, I'm sure there will be countless capable yet altruistic people willing to take their place.
Good people must be paid well. The problem is finding good people. Willing people may not be good people. Good people may not be willing people too.

Anonymous said...

The good people are all recruited by the PAP, as for the rotton eggs and outcasts, you can find them in the wayang party and the owner of this shitty blog.

disappointed said...

Is it possible for minister's pay to reach 5 mil a year by the next election?
Mostly likely yes. Of course, GST will continue to increase to probably 12% by then.

In the private sector, if I continue to stay in my job, my pay increment seldom exceeds 7% p.a. I agree that good money can attract talent but in the case of the minister's, it's too much and I do not see the justification.

At this moment, I do not see any achievement from the ministers to justify this kind of pay. What kind of performance indicators are they using for their individual contributions?

MM Lee cited that Tony Tan and GCT were top earners before they entered politics, so what made them come into politics ... higher pay? Civil servants are providing a service to the public. Because of this, the government is supposed to take care of their welfare and give they are more stable working environment. They should not be compared to the private sector on the same note. What is our government doing now?

The next thing we know, because PAP goverrment supports the notion that to keep "good" talent within the organisation is to pay them obscenely well, I would expect polyclinics and schools to charging higher rates.

Pay and pay indeed. Maybe the last election sent the government the wrong signal or they just want to make all that they can now and then come 2010, all run away. Make 10 mil (2 mil x 5) already what, can retire in style in Australia.

Anonymous said...

To all the PAP pro supporter,open your big eyes and see what me uncle got to say about this.
Firstly, what the PM said 'to increase pay to stop corruption...'
come'on guys,if a person were to have the mind of corruption,yes when you pay him well, he might not be corrupt for the 'time being' but if certain things is not going his way and he need to get corrupt to get his way out, he will still be corrupt!Discipline and law and order is the way to fight corruption not just the money!!!No IQ to think? Or simply just follow what your master say and you Pro PAP supporter just shout'yes yes'like a robot?wahahaha lucky i am in good mood today so i use the word robot instead of 'doggy'!!!
Secondly, keep talent so increase pay?Hahaha, how talent?Name it please!Name the one who is damn talent that he can plan a solution so as our GST won't go up to 7%.So that our transport, healthcare, makan... won't shoot up.So as we can keep our jobs while not afraid of foreign talents.Yaya and i nearly gotten, those so called talents make losses in the Temasek buying of Thailand Telecom.Not forgetting the NKF issue, very talent indeed so as 'he' don't even know how to stop that Mr Greedy Durai from eating so many peanuts from us the donators!!!
Yayaya, go on and shout...PAP my great master... please save me from hell!!!

Anonymous said...

What talent are we talking about? Are we running the country like a corporate MNC? Such a fallacy to benchmark the salaries to the position, not the person coz as rightly put, these salaries will never decrease coz if these people don't perform, they get kicked out and replaced by someone else. Increasing the salary is a nice legalised way of corruption isn't it? Are they trying to say if we don't pay more, they'll take money under the table? If so, hey, why don't we pay them the money over the table instead so they do not need to take the effort to stretch their hand under the table instead? What's the difference? One is reflected in the payslip and the other is not! Hypocrites.

Silent 34 percent said...

The minister's pay will increase in two steps:
1. increase to 1.6 mil now
2. increase to 1.98 mil by end 2008.

We are all aware of the increasing income gap. The MR4 benchmark is based on the top earners, so what is a supposedly "caring" PAP doing when they are only using the top tier income as a benchmark?

Reason to hike GST? It's for the poor people. I can still remember these words staring at me on the front page of Straits Times. Appeal to our compassion.

Reason to hike Ministers' pay? Because if we don't, the Ministers will turn to corruption and led Singapore astray and misuse our funds. Appeal to our fear.

Singaporean are kind-heart, kiasi and very forgetful.

What debate are we talking about? There is no debate on a show. All the questions were submitted beforehand to the Ministers' so that they can prepare the answers in advance and look good on TV. My friends working in the respective ministries all standing by and working overnight to draft the answers. What debate?

The only show we get to see is the opposition get whacked from LKY.
Low, Sylvia and Chaim - if you are reading this, I applaud your courage.

Kiasi Singaporean said...

I think the "debate" or wayang show will end up being the Ministers still getting their obscene pay increase, despite the unhappiness felt by Singapore citizens. If you are to conduct a random poll now, I am sure you will find many people unhappy with the Minister's pay increase.

I am awed by our Minister's pay - by end of 2008, I think it can be considered as the 8th Wonder of the World, unmatched by any government/politician. Not only that, in 2011, after their next election win, their pay will go up to 3.5 ~ 4 million a year. (Aiyah, you and I both know that despite the fact that we complain and complain, on voting day, we will still vote PAP back.)

After a while, it becomes a number game and Singaporeans, being Singaporeans, will forget about all this "debate" and resign to their fate and continuously casting their vote to support this ridiculous system - why? because we very kiasi. we are afraid we will lose our state of economy and our "women will became maids in other countries". And the PAP knows precisely that we are very kiasi - that's why they are using our fear of instability to control us.

katrine said...

People on public assistance will be receiving $290, an increase which looks ridiculous when compared to what the Ministers will be getting. I say 'ridiculous' because they are concerned so that the assistance will reach the right party. Well, Public Assistance recipients have been vetted and cleared to receive cash monthly, hence we know there's 3000 of them, as quoted.
So if these 3000 have been cleared to receive cash monthly, why the concern that the cash will go astray? I don't get that. For a poor family, $100 means a lot. For people with a fat bank account, $100 is loose change.

Anonymous said...

Instead of just talking, why do the opposition not DO something about it! Get enough people to support and you can throw the support in PAP's face. However you do need to show that most people object to the hike in minister's pay. DO something NOW!!

Anonymous said...

The opposition only knows how to talk cock sing song with no concrete plans or actions like this GMS asshole who announced not too long ago he is going to start a programme to groom future MPs, KNNCCB I waited so long to sign up but still no updates. So you think he has any credibility left? At least the PAP talks and walks the talk later. That's why it is an ACTION party as compared to the WAYANG party. LOL

PAP trolls are like their masters said...

"At least the PAP talks and walks the talk later."

Yeah sure, like how they would ignore public opinion as usual and give themselves massive pay hikes, you mean?!

And before you forget, you Anonymous PAP rabid troll, official polls are banned by the gov't.

Anonymous said...

"this GMS asshole who announced not too long ago he is going to start a programme to groom future MPs, KNNCCB I waited so long to sign up but still no updates"

YOU! You? a foulmouth PAP supporting dog like you actually wants to be groom to become an MP?!?

Holy shit! For the sake of S'pore. We truely need opposition parties to stop foulmouth muthafuckin' pro-PAP bastards becoming MP.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the view that this pay hike is merely a legalised form of 'corruption'. The worst thing is with corruption, the law can do something about it, but in this case, they are the law! We simply just sit back, eyes wide open and watch them rob us blind!! For years we have been brainwashed by the PAP's indoctrination : keep Singapore competitive by keeping wages low........obviously that does not apply to them. Isn't it handy that the PAP can simply reward themselves with a big fat pay hike without taking a vote on it? So they want to imitate the private sector. Do you think top lawyers/CEOs etc have the luxury of adding another zero to their paycheck as and when they feel like it??? NO! It has to go through the board of directors. Is the PAP not behaving like the greedy NKF guy who simply helps himself to whatever he so desires, stuff that belong to the people, sick people?? The PAP should change their slogan to 'bleed the people dry' not 'for the people'!!! What part of this pay hike is done for the benefit of the people??? Have the PAP no shame trying to justify amassing their personal wealth while others in the community still struggle to make ends meet? If we were to equate a person's paycheck to the difficulty/intensity of his job, then it makes absolutely no sense that we have to pay a puppet president $3mil and our NSmen, a $50 hike in allowance. Whoopee! Fifty bucks! They can finally afford a chocolate sundae with their BIG-Mac meal now!!!Honestly, how hard can it be to host a few dinner parties and live in that humungous mansion??? Even Martha Stewart can do it? But not everyone can survive NS and defend our nation. Are these the sort of greedy leaders we want in the next election. So don't forget how the PAP have screwed us the next time you go to the polls. Don't be fooled by their usual pre-election goodies handout of a few hundred dollars. It is only a legalised form of vote buying!!! Final message for the PAP "YOUR GREED WILL BE YOUR DOWNFALL!!" Learn from your neighbours, namely Suharto and Marcos!

Anonymous said...

We all know which party these talents are going to. So, why must
PAP force the people to pay for their scheme to attract "talents" into their fold? Is this legal under the Constitution? It's not as if oppostion would get a share of the money to attract their own talent so they can compete with the ruling party on equal footing.

Anonymous said...

I can't help laughing after reading the recent news coverage of GMS:

October 2006: WP member GMS quits after internet fiasco - he was accused of mudslinging and ungentlemanly behavior.

Jan 2007: Ex-WP member GMS thinking of forming a new political party.

March 2007: GMS joins NSP!

Oh dear, GMS is really becoming a clown in the media and singaporeans' eyes. What future does he still have here?

Anonymous said... you agree that salary hike can prevent civil servants from resigning. but what is the salary increase for most civil servant? 3-10% of their $2k pay which is at most $200. what seems more unjust is top minister have increase of 30% of their already very fat salary. 30% of millions!compared to 3% of thousands??? Certainly a law to promote rich-poor disparity.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

One of the biggest problem with PAP is that they run the state like as if they run the business. They are more interested in gaining profit more than anything.

To run a country is to ensure unison among the people, to enrich everyone (not just the so-called elites), and to create a nation identity in which the people are proud to be citizens of that nation.

Instead, they kept saying that they are paying the ministers in accordance to the market rate. If the ministers are so interested to be paid in accordance to the market, they should be in the private sector not in the public sector cause their skilset is in making money....and in public servants IT IS NOT ABOUT MAKING MONEY...but to serve the people.

Again, not all are like the respected DR Tony Tan who had proven himself. I believe many of our so-called ministers will not fare well in the modern corporate world due to the fact that they do not have the skillset (many of them are not business trained) and their old ways of managing, pride and egos would definitely not go-well in the current world.