Monday, April 02, 2007

The Government says "We need higher pay .. all the time"

Mr Lim Swee Say said ".. there's no such thing as a good time, there's no such thing as a bad time, we just have to do it all the time" (Today Paper 2nd April 2007). This was in response to whether it was right to increase the minister's salaries as the income gap widen and with the GST hike impending. He responded that time is of the essence" and there's little time to lose in terms of attracting the right talents in the government. This to me just sounds like a bad way of justifying their actions of always raising their salaries and even in bad times, doesn't it? So the right talents they are attracting are those who favour higher income/salary? Then wouldn't we be having people in the government who works more for the cash and less for the love of the people, and the good of the country? So according to the government's warped sense of perception, the more salary paid a person, the more he will love the country fellowmen? The more pay he gets, the more he will be able to empathise with the lower and middle income families? Somehow with a recent MP justifying how his daughter was right in saying people who are not successful in finding a job are basically lazy people, I highly doubt this increase of pay would do anymore to reduce their elitist thoughts. Will higher pay attract people who have the right knowledge and more importantly, purpose in their hearts and minds? But hey wait a minute, PAP wants elites to be in the government! Or to be specific, well paid elites (talents) who will supposedly more than likely be able to empathise with the lower and middle income countrymen who ironically form the majority of the nation's population. I for one disagree that paying more would mean less corruption or better talents. Paying fair would be more important that paying more. Then it comes to the question of what is fair?

Not too long ago, our good friend PM Lee Junior said that we have to raise the salaries of the Ministers so as to keep up with the salaries in the private sector. Is that fair? Let me raise a few questions. Would it be fair to compare the salaries in our government body to that of the private sectors'? Isn't the private sector "profit driven" while the government should be more "people's interests driven"? Then would it be in the best interest of our people that we have people in the government who works more for the interest of a higher pay then for the interests of the people? Would raising the salaries of what is already one of the best paid government in the world help to attract "political leaders and civil servants who really care a lot about the ground, who understand their anxiety, who understand their aspirations" (Mr Lim Swee Say, Today, 2nd April 2007)?

Hmmm .. questions questions questions ....

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