Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No money, no honey!

I read two articles on the Singapore PM's pay hike. Sentiments that followed are:
  • Inital shock last year from SM Goh (but then this was what I have expected after the elections)
  • Dismayed and frustrated at the lack of voice or oppositions
  • Insulted that my country was a mockery to the world after reading
  • Laughable and hilarious when you think of the self-imposed pay hike justifications. Hmmm, think GST justification for the poor. ROFLMAO!
  • Indifference, apathy and glad I have migrated
Article #1
Singapore PM's salary stuns White House official
Posted on Wednesday, 11 April 2007 (EST)
A senior White House official on Tuesday admitted he was floored by the news that Singapore's prime minister earned five times more than US President George W. Bush.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - "I'm going to emigrate and run for office in Singapore," the official said on condition he be identified only as "a senior administration official who sits in disbelief after reading that story."

On Monday, the Singapore government had announced a fresh 25.5 percent pay hike for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, boosting his salary to 2.05 million dollars per year.

Bush gets paid 400,000 dollars per year for doing his job, according to the White House.

Combined with personal investment income, he and his wife Laura reported 618,694 dollars in taxable income in the 2005 fiscal year. They had to pay 187,768 dollars in federal taxes.

But maybe Bush shouldn't feel so bad. The Singaporean's paycheck is eight times fatter than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's. AFP

Article #2 (The Australian, on Tues April 10 2007)
Singapore to pay PM $2.5mAU a year
I cannot find the article from the internet. However the part that made me feel insulted and then laughable was:

"His salary leaves those of other world leaders trailing (bold mine). Mr Bush earns $US400,000 ($489,000AU) a year, while Mr Howard's salary is $309,270 after a 7 percent increase last year.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who receives $US240,000 a year and presides over the world's second-biggest economy (bold mine), slashed his own salary by 30 percent (bold mine) and his ministers' by 10 per cent after taking office in September."

And then the article mentioned that Mr Teo Chee Hean, the minister in charge of civil service defended/justified the pay hikes.

Alright, this article made the government look greedy and Singaporeans like idiots. Should not the ministers' pay be pegged to the world leaders instead of the private sectors? The mockery stands out so to me.

Ok, let's talk global - a dirty term often used by politicians. Who is Singapore PM compared to the other world leaders? You mean if Singapore economy collapses, the world economy is affected? I think not majorly too.

So why not pay himself to a ratio percentage of the US president salary to the country GDP? If Bush earns 0.1% of the GDP, then Lee should do so. Shouldn't he? Then perhaps he understands what peanut is.

So Singapore likes to be first in everything. Why not be the first government to slash your own pay? Er wait, the Japanese government has already done so. What's new, Singapore?

I feel for you, Singaporeans.

But I personally like these parts in the article:
"...has sparked public anger in the city-state amid a widening income gap, and concerns that the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet are already overpaid."

"But the ministers' salary increases have sparked strident comments from a normally reserved public."

"This is plain injustice," said Zac Neo, who was among more than 850 people who signed an online petition against the pay increase. "I will agree with your pay hike only if you state very clearly what you will achieve for my pay in 12 month's time, said another signatory.

What a mockery!

1 comment:

QQ*librarian said...

Excellent! it's through reading other countries' newspapers that we find ourselves in such foolish positions. I personally like the liberal reporting of the New York Times which I read in greater detail compared to our ST.