Frankly I am surprised with the reaction towards my STFU entry. It started out as nothing more than an angry stream of thought rant that was provoked by the sight of another 8 page extravanganza editorial in the ST justifiying the ministerial pay hike. A few days has passed, and I have hadÂ time to properly collect my thoughts- but that doesn’t mean the anger has subsided. Obviously it struck a cord with many readers, judging by the comments. But I also don’t want us- those who oppose the pay hike to be identified as nothing more than a bunch of irrational foul-mouthed angry dissenters.Â No. The reasons for our dissent has to be substantiated by reason and facts, else we just risk being dismissed by the MIWs and the PAPanons as nothing more than an irrational mob hiding behind our green eyed jealousy, anectdotal evidencesÂ and anonymous online persona.
Let’s start with the one that provoked the rant in the first place- the ST.
Now we’ve always been told that the role of the ST is suppose to be that a of nation building press. But thus far, it seems more like a PAP building press as the overwhelming majority of the editorials and articles all serve to parrot and support the viewpoints of the MIWs. Where is the intelligent analysis of the rationale behind the reasons given by the MIWs? Where is the fair and objective reporting? I mean why continue to pay subscription for a newspaper that does nothing except regurgitate everything that the MIWs throws in our face? Hell, why even pay salaries to the reporters to write the articles when those articles are nothing more than MIWs press statements repeated ad infinitum?
And as I flipped thru endless pages upon pages of thinly disguised propaganda, I could literally feel the throbbing vein in my forehead as the anger builds with every turn of the page. And then I ask myself, here we have a good 20-30 pages of articles and pseudo-analysis of the ministerial pay hike which ultimately will never amount to anything more than $150 million of the yearly budget, yet why is there scant attention paid by the ST over the continual saga of the Shincorp fiasco which in terms of monetary value is thousand of timesÂ more than the ministerial pay hike.
I mean where is the sense of proportion? Since the Shincorp fiasco, thereÂ had been scant attention paid by the ST over it. It involves billions of dollars that comes from the taxpayers which can ultimately disappear in a puff of smoke, yet there continues to be a near media blackout over it.Â All things consideredÂ the ratio of coverage over the ministerial pay hike against Shincorp is easily 30 to 1.
And while we’re on the Shincorp subject, lets also deal with the issue of responsibility.
According to this bloggerÂ and also one of the reasons given by the MIWs is that because they are tasked with the heavy responsibility of governing the nation, they deserve the money that is coming to them. Okay then lets ask ourselves-
1. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the Shincorp fiasco?
2. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the NKF scandal? Afterall weren’t the ministry of health suppose to be monitoring the NKF? TT Durai couldn’t have done what he did it if the people who were supposed to be overseeing him were vigilant.
3. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the collapse of Nicoll Highway?
4. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the deteriorating relations between Thailand, Indonesia and us?
5. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the collapse of China Aviation Oil on the local stock exchange?
6. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the death of the guardsman who died during POW training?
7. Who stepped up and took responsibility for the widening income gap and the fall in living standards for the middle and lower classes?
They all want to be paid like they are responsible but when its time to take responsibility, its always someone else’s fault.
Next we look at the issue of paying a fair wage to the ministers. Now we’re suppose to pay these guys well because you always get what you pay for. We are suppose to pay them well, because that will ensure that the ministers we get are of the best quality.
To that I say- BULLSHIT!!!
If you live in the real world, you know its pure bullshit that paying good money is the best way of ensuring you get theÂ best talent. We all know that pay issues has alwaysÂ been aÂ sensitive issue around the workplace and that in most companies, its a standing rule not to disclose your pay or discuss it. The reason is because pay has always been pretty arbitrary and oft times is subject to time and circumstance. And if you’ve work for awhile you’ll also know that sometimes the best person in the company doesn’t always get the best pay.
So the argument of paying high salaries to ministers to ensure the best talent is pretty shaky at best. Paying good money certainly didn’t get NKF, China Aviation Oil, Enron or WorldComÂ what they paid for. Chelsea paid top dollar for Andriy Shevchenko, someone should ask Abramovich if he got what he paid for. Afterall before going to Chelsea, Shevchenko certainly came with impeccable credentials.
Once upon a time, Real Madrid pay world record salaries for a succession of world footballer of the year players. The Galacticos. The best players that the best money could buy. How many trophies did they win as a group? Life is just not as simple as that.
Next, a high pay is supposed to be a good safeguard against corruption.
How soon we forget about NKF. The fact is, money is never a good solution for corruption and this is not even a case of being overly idealistic. Again you can refer to NKF, Enron or WorldCom. Its just a simple fact- an honest man can never be bought and for a greedy man, no amount of money is ever enough. You just can’t buy your way out of corruption. This rationale wasn’t acceptable back in the day when SM Goh mooted it and it certainly isn’t acceptable now- in light of what happened at NKF. Anyone who even suggest this should be given a good proper cockslap on the face.
Then you read in the P65 blog, how you first have to establish a good reputation and thenÂ you must then satisfy the Prime Ministerâ€™s highly stringent standards so that no one who is motivated only by the high pay will ever get into office. As if the PM is some kind of god who can read minds. To this I’ve got 3 words for you.
Teh Cheang Wan.
Back in the day, this dude even manage to get through LKY’s super stringent standards.
And if the PM got such highly stringent standards, I find it hilarious that his wife came out to defend TT Durai once upon a time. NKF might just well be the best thing that ever happen to singapore since it holds so many valuable lessons for us.Â I think itÂ ought toÂ be part of the national education syllabus.
And next, as given by the MM,Â if we don’t pay the ministers what they are worth, they will supposedly run away and become CEOs of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs or any one of the Fortune 500 companies. I think the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffets and George Soros of the US must all be having a good laugh over this. As Mr Wang has shown, to date, none of the top civil servants or ministers has ever resign from their posts to join a top Fortune 500 company or even become part of the senior management team.
This is the equivalent of your mother telling you too much masturbation can make you go blind. An old wives tale if there ever was one. Honestly can any one of our ministers even make it beyond the first episode of The Apprentice? I can honestly see Donald Trump just jumping out of his hairweave just so he can tell fire them.
Actually, there are people in the civil service who do resign to go into the private sector. Unfortunately what the MIWs has so cleverly forgotten to tell us is that the bulk of the people who leave to join the private sector are really civil servants who belongs to the lower echelons of the civil service. Go read Yawning Bread excellent analysis of the topsy turvy nature of the pay hike. The fact is the people who are really in danger of leaving are the ones who are getting the smallest increment, whereas the ones who are absolutely in no danger of ever resigning on their own are getting the biggest increment.
Someone please tell me again how this ministerial pay hike is not self-serving?
And finally this is suppose to be debated in parliament, yet what has transpired so far has been nothing more than a formality. The pay hike has already been signed, sealed and delivered. The supposed debate seems like nothing more than a hearty endorsement by yes-men in parliament. Oh yes, the MIWs were telling us during the elections we don’t need an opposition because the MIWs can check and balance themselves.
The MIWs can check and balance themselves like the 300 pound guy can check and balance himself at the buffet line after 20 bottles of beer.
And then you have V Balakrishnan who came out to say the PM has actually decided to donate his increment some time ago. Jeeze, what kind of an idiot do you take us for? If he had already decided, he could’ve came out to say it during the early days when the pay hike was first announced. Why only reveal it now, when it has become obvious just how angry the people are over it.
Sure, its not a political ploy. Just like how my STFU entry is not a rant.
Bullshit leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. And I get angry at the hateful thought of havingÂ to suffer through this bullshitÂ for another 5 years.