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Ministerial Salaries

Singapore Government Ministerial Salaries: The Debate


  1. The Government’s Case
    • MM Lee Kuan Yew
    • PM Lee Hsieng Loong
  2. The Blogosphere’s Reactions

Cartoons Courtesy of Insane Polygons and Seijieiga


1. The Government’s Case

“The Case for Higher Salaries for Government Ministers,” MM Lee Kuan Yew, “Ministers who deal with billions of dollars cannot be paid low salaries without risking a system malfunction. Low salaries will not attract able men who are or can be successful in their professions or business. Low salaries will draw in the hypocrites who sweet talk their way into power in the name of public services, but once in charge will show their true colour, and ruin the country. …

In my judgment, the long term consequences of continuing with the old system will be a lowering of the quality of people entering politics and taking office, and gradual but inevitable corruption that will creep in as mediocrities as Ministers exercise immense powers over our resources of $127 billion increasing at 8% every year. …

Time will prove that I am right that Ministers should be paid 2/3 of their private sector counterparts’ salaries of two years ago. This is the way to ensure that our government and system stay clean and honest, with able and dedicated men, who can stay in office for several terms, and develop the judgment that comes with experience. You need Ministers who will work for the public benefit, without having to worry about their families, or worse put aside a private pension for them. …

Please do not forget, we are not an ordinary country. Ordinary men cannot run Singapore. If my old guard colleagues were ordinary men, there would not be today’s Singapore. The key leaders in this present government are not ordinary men. The old guard had spent many years to select, train, test and prepare them for the job. And they have shown their ability to adapt and make the system work under changed conditions.”

“Private, public sectors pay gaps an urgent problem,” PM Lee Hsien Loong, “This is an urgent problem. We have experienced on previous occasions the painful consequences of responding too slowly when the private sector surged ahead,

We took many years to recover from the loss. This must not happen again,

Unless there is a first-class political leadership and judiciary, the civil service, however capable and dedicated, will not be able to function properly”

2. The Blogosphere’s Reply

elite girl salaries

“Sweet Talking,” Mr Wang Says So, “MM Lee’s age is showing – he spouts little bits of strange nonsense like this:

“Low salaries will draw in the hypocrites who sweet talk their way into power in the name of public service, but once in charge will show their true colour, and ruin the country.”

This is an illogical statement. One may just as well assert: “High salaries will draw in the hypocrites who sweet talk their way into power in the name of public services …” Surely high salaries have greater ability than low salaries to attract hypocrites.”

“Cut The Crap,” Two Steps From Twilight, “It is true that government salaries are just 55% of what they are “supposed” to be, but with a basic salary about three times that of US president George Bush, Singapore ministers hardly bring to mind insolvency. By pegging civil service salaries to top private sector salaries government figures have revealed that prime minister Lee Hsien Loong deserves to be paid only ten times more than Mr Bush, who after all presides over what Jean Baudrillard used to call the world’s only remaining primitive society.”

“Poor Politicians and Civil Servants,” No Fear Singapore, “It is regrettable that the PAP/government is not able to persuade the ablest and best to serve the people on the platform and basis of public service. Instead the only way to secure these loyalties is the time-honored method – Greed and the love of money! There is NO sacrifice unlike what we have been told.

Idealism in any form is dead and buried in Singapore and pragmatism and “looking after oneself” is the name of the game. …

There is much that is good and admirable in our system, but self-serving and selfish policies like this when our own political leaders use the system to reward themselves beyond reasonable limits is not one of them.”

“The ‘Service’ in Civil Service,” Ian onthereddot, “But once you use money to compete for these talents instead of appealing to the desire to serve the nation and what I consider a higher calling, then we forget the ’service’ part in civil service. And that is important. Once the job aspect takes more precedence then the service aspect, then your master becomes different – your master is now your employer (the government) and more immediately, your superiors who appraise you for your promotions ( and salary revisions ) instead of being the people of Singapore.

And I believe once that subtle shift in perception of what it means to be a civil servant changes from a higher calling to just another job (which does some good for the nation but one which you wouldn’t have taken if the pay hadn’t been competitive to the private sector) then your goals as a civil servant changes. Instead of doing what is best for Singapore, the aim becomes to please your employers and further your own career. And Singapore as a whole loses out.

Finally, I think the people in civil service and government should be people whose morality cannot be affected by money. We shouldn’t give more money to ensure people don’t be corrupt.”

“It’s a Rich Man’s World,” 1 More Sg Blog, “And it is not about envy. So much money raises a lot of questions. What does it mean to be for the public service, what does it mean to be in the Government; if the pay is so much? What kind of people are we attracting specifically?

Talent is a word that encompass so much. It says so much but to the extent of it being quantifiable, nobody would have paid Einstein a cent in his earlier years. There is also the question of how much connected these leaders are to the populace. It is not impossible to be rich and have a heart, but 1.2 million a year can change attitudes. Can it not? …

And if I don’t remember wrongly, if you increase the pay too much, people will take the money and then retire. That I can perfectly understand. If let me earn 5 years of 1.2 million, I definitely will relax after that.”

Singapore Ministers’ PAINFUL Sacrifice : Unfair and Unjust System Part 2,” Lucky Tan, “I was stunned and shocked that our esteemed ministers have Paysacrificed more than a million a year as they serve the people of Singapore. Such sacrifice is unheard of anywhere in the world. They are truly driven by a sense of duty and dedication to work for the interest of ordinary Singaporeans. I’m so touched by this tremendous sacrifice. The system is so unfair and unjust to our ministers – this has to be quickly addressed….

It seems that the work ethics of our ministers will be undermined if they continue to be paid only $1.2M a year. Poverty motivates the poor and money motivates our ministers. It is only right that everyone in Singapore should receive the appropriate motivation to help them to work harder.”

“Just Pay Them More, Lah,” Kitana, “I don’t see why they bother to waste so much good advertising space on our ST Saturday edition trying to justify to us why they want to raise ministers’ pay. I mean seriously, is it like we have any say at all? They did something like tt for our GST hikes and the Budget as well, and it wasn’t like there was an effect. Sure, people on the ground can criticise, complain, give suggestions, question etc… At the end of the day everything still goes as planned anyway. So, for fuck? …

The idea is tt all these people who are our ministers are so talented tt were they in the private sector, they’d be the top earners there! *pause* Wait a minute… isn’t this just extrapolation? Can we really prove this? If these guys were going to earn so much in the private sector anyway, then why move to the public sector? If you want the money so much, then why not just stay in the private sector? I mean, there has to be more than tt to being a civil servant, right? …

The way this looks, it’s as if our civil servants are essentially all money-grubbing. Yeah, we’re all noble and we all wanna act for the good of Singapore – but you must pay us enough first! You must pay us enough so tt we don’t leave or so tt we don’t become corrupt and take money under the table, like the crooks in Taiwan and elsewhere …

I don’t agree with the pay increase. I think the reasoning behind it is flawed. Money benchmarked to the private sector? To retain talent? There is always tt question of why? Why the private sector? Why do we pay our civil servants so much more than any other country in the world? Are they really worth tt much? Secondly, are they really talent? Intelligence and brilliance without principles isn’t talent to me. We can encourage more economic growth, we can watch our GDP increase exponentially, and we can make the roads leading from Changi Airport to our city bigger and brighter so tt all visitors will be suitably impressed with us. But is tt real prosperity, when some people can’t even get anything above $290 a month? Is tt real prosperity, when most of the generated wealth simply goes to a select few at the top?”

“The Queer Sensibilities of Singapore’s Wordscape,” XenoBoy, “No one expects an objection from the media. But not even a “concernElitegirl 28 has been raised this time.

Instead, its a monopolistic narrative that calls upon the hallowed traditions of the Singapore Wordscape. The sense of crisis, of siege that will soon befall the Government if they are not paid more. That there will be a vacuum in Government. That the talent will leave or will not come. And without the talent, the Government suffers. And if the Government suffers, Singapore suffers. And if Singapore suffers, the Singaporeans suffer most of all. …

In an emergency, the Singapore Wordscape gives birth to contradictions and conundrums. They become exigent norms. And the citizens are supposed to understand that. They are supposed to be angry. But like the top talent, they sacrifice too. For the good of Singapore, they sacrifice their anger. A ceremonial sacrifice just like the top talent who sacrifice themselves to accept that 55%.

When the hallowed traditions of the Singapore Wordscape are invoked, a comforting silence envelopes the land. Soothing the seething, smothering the smoldering. The hounds of Obaskerville perform their perpetual vigil on Singapore’s Wordscape while their fork-tongued* masters devise the meanings of crisis, siege, emergency, sacrifice, review for the good of Singapore.”

“Minsta Pay Increase Special!” The Void Deck, “Money the only way to recruit and retain top ppl in poritics meh? We all know of coz the answer is “maybe” wat. Where got obvious red or white answer. Pui. It is all pink! Money is impt, but passion to contribute and serve Sg oso impt hor? hehe power dun count yet in the equation, Sg is not USA. Sg PM boh power projection one. Look at first generation of poriticians in the 1950s and 1960s, dun care Pappies or Barisan Socialis, they are first got passion for shaping Sg and making Sg succeed. I dun think they see money as the reason to join poritics. Of coz some dat time will be corrupt lah and think wahh sayy, become a minsta is easy to take kopi money. But how many macam Teh Cheang Wan type?”

“Are you inspired by your ministers?” Zyberzitizen, “Anyway look at our leaders today. Not a single one comes close to having that spark of inspiration. They are dull, technocratic, statistics-spewing monsters. Little more than robots, really. …

But this is also why I do not consider our present set of ministers “leaders”. …Where are the leaders who can really inspire a new generation of Singaporeans? …

Nah, what we need is to return to fundamentals and see why people are so uninspired to join the civil service and do right for their country. This, really, is the crux of the issue.

And you know where the problem is?

It is in our political process.”

“You are ****ing kidding me,” little green stick, “AND no, you don’t need a ridiculous pay to prevent corruption. the tendency for corruption has no correlation with the ridiculous amount of money you get paid. just get people who are genuinely interested in making a difference…not just in their bank balance.

from an utiliarian standpoint, if the difference between a corrupt govt and an uncorrupt govt is that the corrupt govt needs ALOT more money to get the same amount of work done then isn’t what we have already a ermm….yup, u can join the dots here.

i wonder about the integrity and audacity of the fat kid in school who begs his mama for another candy bar on the claim that he is starving. lose some deadweight please.”

elitegirlep0029.jpg“The Ministers’ Salary Brouhaha” Singapore Kopi Tok, “We can contest, however, what Minister’s salaries should be pegged against. Top earners have income from various sources – aside from earned income, most would have stock gains & dividends, overseas assets, rental income and other financial instruments etc. PM Lee has taken some pains to explain clearly how the formula has been adjusted to deal with some of these elements. The fact remains, however, that the average Singaporean enjoys a far less exciting remuneration package, but one that can go up and down nonetheless.

My suggestion is this: To motivate our Ministers to work the best interests (financially anyway) of the people, we should consider pegging their salaries – not to the top few or the bottom 20%, but to the median or average wage earners in Singapore. It would be a fairer approach.”

“Minister Pay Hike,” Cobalt Paladin, “I don’t understand the logic behind the formula at all. Basing the salaries of the top 8 highest salaries from 6 professional industries just does not seem logical to me. It means that the ministers’ pay will always be compared to the top 8 professionals. It is not easy to be ranked top 8 in each of the industry and you seldom find the top 8 coming from the same company. …

The government has always asked the people to make sacrifices for the country. However, in this instance, it seems to tell us to sacrifice if only the pay is high enough. I don’t think that is the intended message but it is what the people may be led to think. How does this help in our sense of patriotism and fostering loyalty towards our motherland? Does this mean that which ever country pays me more, I should call it home?”

“A man like this is hard to find” 1 more Sg Blog, “This is the idea of elitism. To attract the best. To my mind, this argument is somewhat self defeating from a political perspective. It draws the chief ire from the many people around. The truth is ‘best’ is not possible to define properly. PAP ministers have great talents no doubt, but no talents can to the public mind, be equated with the need in public service, to command a higher wage. In other words, to ask for a higher salary and say that is because you are the best, and deserves the best pay, is just asking for popular discontent in ‘public service’. Its public service after all.”

“Ministers’ Salaries Skyrocket” Mr Biao, “How much is the bill going to go up by? I don’t know exactly how many of them there is, but say for 10 of them it’ll cost $10 million more. $10 million. How many mouths can this feed? How many poor people can be saved with this money? And that’s not including other senior civil servants’ pay increments.

Sometimes, I wonder what is the motivation for becoming ministers. Is it for the good salary, or for our country? Is it always about money?

Why are the rest of us (guys) serving NS for peanuts in allowances, while ministers are getting millions for serving the country too? I am sure there are dozens of high caliber people out there who love Singapore and are willing to run the country for much less than $2 million.”

“Sick of Constant Media Blitz” The Republic@HardwareZone, “Every industry has its own specific purposes.There is no way civil servants can compare its pay to market-related pay and demand like law,medicine,big business because civil service is a non-profit organisation.I say to each industry on its own. It is like comparing chalk and cheese. …

I also seriously doubt the civil servants who left civil service can perform as well in the private sector since most of them has no private sector experience before and no achievements. Private sector working environment is more competitive and less protected than public sector since companies face the threat of closing down and facing losses which public sector will never face. …

My message to PAP is do not hold us to ransom all the time. If we do not increase your pay does not give you the license to be corrupt either. Besides, your pay is already very high and a ‘talent’ in public sector could be a mediocre in private sector. PM Lee’s way of comparision is seriously flawed.”

“Singapore Government Promotes Obscenity,” Yawning Bread, “There is a case to be made for civil service salaries to be competitive with the private sector, after all a career is a career, but political positions are supposed to be filled by people who seek power out of passion and mission. It’s not reducible to a mere career path. Arguments about ministerial salaries needing to be competitive with the private sector ring false. …

We need to question the fundamental assumption that ministers must be paid more than their permanent secretaries or department heads. In the private sector, the CEO does not have to be the highest paid officer in the company. Many founder bosses work for less than their key lieutenants.”

“Paternal Nanny,” Molly Meek, “The pay increase for ministers does not have a message in itself. But the justifications for the increase have intended or unintended messages. We need the rare talents to plan our lives, to tell us what sort of hub we should build, to tell us what is best for us. Otherwise we will die. They are there to help you be a good subject. The people you vote into office are not there to represent your political or social concerns as a subject. …

Politics is not as specialized as the legal profession. We can let Dr. Chee Soon Juan do it and let him “destroy” Singapore, as you people claim he would. Let Chiam See Tong do it. Let Low Thia Kiang do it. As Dr. Mahathir to migrate here and do it. Get Bill Clinton to migrate here and do it. They will charge less than they are.

Yes, Father. Yes, Father. Yes, Father.”

The Debate On Ministerial Salaries Continues. See these posts for further reading (links open in new window):


See Also


40 Responses to “Ministerial Salaries”

  1. Ned Stark said

    Hahaha! Nice one ! But what about the young pap post that is being spammed around?

  2. inspir3d said

    after the statements by MM n PM, the YPAP is redundant.

  3. Ned Stark said

    Perhaps it is redundant. But it can also be used to show what those who are for the ruling party are thinking. On a side note i find the mother teresa george soros and bill gates comparison rather amusing:P

  4. Noah said

    The problem with YoungPap is that no matter what they said or do, they are still Pappies afterall.
    PAP always stand for PayAndPay, PushAndPush,
    PranksterAndPranskter etc.

    The branding of PAP has never been good in Singapore and the recent hike of our dear very talented ministers as they suggest themselves worsen the situation and make the PAP sound more like PastardAndPastard.

    Sorry to sound so vulgar, but these vulgar simply can’t express the anger, hurt, sadness of our Singaporean layman’s feeling and heart. Maybe someone will want to provde better word for it. We are one Singapore so called, but in fact this apply only to gahmen and minister office.

    One Singapore, One PAP, One Gov, One Vision, One Greed, One Arrogant, One lust, One family (Lee’s family ?), One People (Elite only ?) and of course One Asshole as well.

    The PAP gov need a wakeup call of who actually help to build the nation. It is not the FT, nor the PAP, it is the people !! OUr father and grandfather who live China and pledge their life and hope working hard on mainland Singapore. Is that how LKY and his family and guard of whities repay us ? Is the Whities aka MenInWhite a devilInDisguise ?

    It is sad that greed and lust for money rule over the leaders. Love and compassionate for money is the morality of our leaders ?
    No wonder they are vote for 66.6% because the number of 666 is the number of the beast (devil). The devil has ruled our galmen’s heart. Well, maybe the next election will be better with 99.9% since the devil had turn it upside down so that the galmen will increase to $10 million and still money-not-enough. Very Well, FT can make up for it.

  5. somebody 2 said

    taking gold bars and throwing them at monkeys does not turn the monkeys into leaders…. just a bunch of fat greedy pigs monkeys who think they are worth every cent….

  6. Ornateghost said

    I am not convinced why minister pay has to increase any further than the present levels, considering all the justifications given by the Lee administration.

    Unfortunately, it is going to happen irrespective of whether I am convinced or whether anyone is at all convinced.

    This brings up a totally different question: how the hell did we land up in a situation where a group of ministers can give themselves a pay increase without having to convince the people whom they were supposed to serve?

    Gives an entirely new meaning to the concept of Civil Service, don’t you all think?

    Truly, singaporeans deserve whom they voted for (well at least that 66% segment).

  7. Mariot said

    Don’t blame the gov and the Lee because Singaporean deserve it. Plain and simple. Singapore love to eat carrot and then sit back and exercise nothing during election. I will suggest to gov to increase their own pay to $10 millions instead of $2 millions because the cowardice cannot do anything at all. Increase the ERP to $10 per entry, and increase the MRT to $5 per trip iirespective of location.

    WE know the gov is greedy for money so we decide that since we cannot help ourselves, we may as well help our gov.

    YoungPap, how much you want ? Do whatever you want, because we can’t do anything either. We are just as useless as chicken.

  8. shoestring said

    I have come to the conclusion that it is futile to engage the government on an issue it has already decided, because more often than not, the PAP will bulldoze its way through with standard rebuttals, whether they make sense or not. Sometimes, I do not know whether to laugh or cry at their replies, especially at the YPAP site, and incredibly inflated egos.

    Nevertheless, I am saving my energy to preserve my memory so that I will be able say it with my vote unequivocably a few years down the road.

  9. wtf said

    Goddamn, if they want so high salary, we want so good employee benefits!

    Google have chiefs to prepare 5 star meals for their engineers.

    Microsoft have free flow of coffee and drinks.

    Asus have employee hostels with swimming pool and gym.

    Singaporeans? have NS and suck thumb have to called backe for 2 weeks every year.


  10. Mariot said

    wtf ,
    We do have something that many companies doesn’t have.
    We have tons of country leaders who entertain us with their load of rubbish that sometimes make us die laughing.

  11. wbg said

    Let’s face reality, people are not saints but are money-hungry superficial capitalists. And the government is showing full transparency in this fact, as opposed to taking money from the wrong places.

    And is it really that rewarding for ministers to face whiners like you and Mr Brown all day long while they are trying to get serious work done? No, ministers are fed up and dragged-down by all the unconstructive immature whiners in Singapore and need money to seek counselling from all the BS immature infantile whiners have been throwing at them all this while.

    If you want people who don’t want high salaries to work in the government but still are not corrupted, go and find them yourself talking all the BS. Go walk the talk first. Go an volunteer for a paycut in your own job, since it is after all also “serving the people”. Continue the BS

  12. kwokheng said


    And did the ministers before they had their ministerial appointments, volunteer for a paycut in their jobs?

  13. Meng said

    If, as what the YPAP said in her blog, high salary is needed as a bait to attract talents, why was it not done before the election? Isn’t that a more appropriate time to attract talent to run for election?? For talent retention you may say but what is there to retain if they have not even proved their worth.

    It is really disheartening to say this. For most of us, we have to work almost 40yrs of our life and yet may not be able to have enough for retirement and end up having to resort to selling tissues at hawker centres till the day we die. Our ministers, on the other hand, need only to work for 5 yrs and would have enough to be able to retire comfortably or migrate somewhere if they get voted out.

    BTW, did anyone of you noticed/realised that this YPAP has a previous record of being a bond breaker, what an irony!

  14. f.s. said

    A high salary for ministers, per se, is actually ok with me.. there are two major issues though.

    (1) the benchmarking process creates perverse incentives for our government to create an economy with huge income disparity. Cos when there is greater dispersion in income, the ministers gain as the top income earners earn more (even when holding the mean income level constant).

    (2) process of election must be fair. If it is fair, we attract the best people that will serve for that (whatever obscene) sum of money.

    unfortunately, elections are far from being fair in singapore. In effect, rewarding them with higher pay is merely encouraging the incumbent govt to “build empires” (analogy is the syndrome of “CEO entrenchment” and poison pills in the corporate world to prevent any take-over, which is determintal to shareholders’ interests).

  15. k2ksg said

    ya but come election time, the majority of everyone who has a chance to vote still votes for them.
    so most singaporeans like to be screwed by them anyways.

  16. The fact that the government ministers require huge amount of remuneration to ‘attract’ them to become one in the first place shows their incompetence. For example, if they misrule and stuff up (or just merely under-perform), are their salaries cut as a consequence? No! They still eat and sleep comfortably and receive the same amount of money. All they need to do is to put some spin and blame ‘external’ factors for the bad things that happen.

    On the other hand, entrepreneurs are of a different breed. They take risks to achieve wealth. If they merely under-perform (let alone stuff up big time), they bear the consequences of failure even if it may not be entirely their fault. Those are the ones I truly respect- their capabilities are truly tested and proven by the consequences of failures and success.

    The logic of the government ministers is illogical and lopsided. They claim that to attract people that have the best capabilities to be masters, lavish reward must be provided. The point is, if I am a mediocre person, I will still be attracted to be a government minister. This is because the rewards are extremely high and the risks are extremely low. If I perform well, I get all the applause and accolade. But what if I under-perform? Well, I still get my money. What an excellent deal!

    The PAP’s system of attracting people to be ministers only invites incompetents, parasites, frauds, charlatans, hypocrites and actors to join in the stage show. Those truly high calibre people will not even bother to be associated with such freak theatrics. They will want to be entrepreneurs and take greater risks because the reward is far much greater than the state-sponsored iron rice bowls.

    Ludwig von Mises, in his book, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, said it well (square brackets my comments),

    For society as a whole the squandering of capital invested
    in a definite project [entrepreneurs’ projects] means only the loss of a small part of its total funds [entrepreneurs’ losses only account for a part of the entire economy]; for the owner [the entrepreneur] it means much more, for the most part the loss of his total fortune [that is, if an entrepreneur fails, the loss is 100% of the invested capital]. But if a manager [e.g. government ministers on paid salary] is given a completely free hand, things are different. He speculates in risking other people’s money. He sees the prospects of an uncertain enterprise from another angle than that of the man who is answerable for the losses [are managers—government ministers—totally answerable to their mistakes and under-performance?]. It is precisely when he [the manager—government ministers] is rewarded by a share of the profits that he becomes foolhardy because he does not share in the losses too.

  17. Richard said

    Dear Everyone,

    They are in the position to help themselves with it.

    Warmest regards,

  18. Jennifer said

    Entrepreneurial spirit comes with passion and pride. The satisfaction of showing others you had can do and had done it through your fierce passion for something. You believe in it and set out to make it reality.

    This is satisfaction beyond money can buy.

    Sadly, few singaporeans will ever understand. Least, the ministers.

    People who sold their souls feel no pride anymore. Nor shame, as seen in the pay hike.

  19. slacker said

    Hello, 60% odd of our population voted them in. Perhaps we ought to rethink what the hell we all are doing with the vote in our hands.

  20. Peanuts said


    Extreme Money Minded (MM) Lao Lee shld retire liao lor. He wants so much money for wat har? Cannot bring to his grave lei…….
    I know I know …he needs a solid gold coffin. Mabe like the mummies.

    Then the Partially Money (PM) minded Jr Lee who is he to deserve the money. He sell meesiam I also think will also not make it. Let see what happens when lao Lee kick bucket.

  21. Peanuts Earner said

    come-on they talk abt 7 digit…alot of pple in Singapore cannot even make 4 digit a month…….

    Next time I bet…..Lao Lee will say I must be the highest paid in Singapore. Reason I am the most powerul man on this island. I manage everything.
    In 10 years, if still ard or not ard. He will teach Jr Lee to say….I must be paid highest in the world because I have investment in the world….I rule the earth.

  22. Peanuts Earner said

    hey singaporean…read this….,23599,21588458-5007146,00.html

    see what someone is earning from a much bigger island

  23. Luke said

    I strongly oppose to the pay hike, please read this on the official govt forum at

  24. sam said

    If ministers need to be paid more so that they remain incorruptible, then our policemen ought to be paid more so that they do not take bribes, our soldiers too, so that they do not sell our military secrets, and so on ……….

    And if I am asked whether I am prepared to sacrifice and die in defence of my country, my response to MM, SM and PM will be how much will I be paid for that …………

  25. sam said

    The saga of the ministerial pay hikes demonstrates just how much our present government is out of touch with the general populace. “Mee Siam Mai Hum” says it all ……… am wondering when was it the last time he ate “mee siam”?

  26. Spartacus said

    A bribe given in the name of salary, or any other name, is still
    a bribe, no matter how craftily camouflaged.

    The giver of the bribe is the initial corruptor, and the
    receipients of the bribes are committed corruptors.

    So, there is no need to talk about these people becoming corrupt.
    They already are, deep into their bones!

    Only the blind will not be able to see such a clear picture
    painted on the white-washed wall, under roars of thunder and drums
    to confuse and command.

    Doom has been initiated.
    Doom shall it be.
    Only time will tell ….
    whether you are righ or wrong.
    Yes, as you said it,
    only time will prove
    that this time round
    you are WRONG!

    You have lost you Heart.
    So are we!

  27. Deeply Hurt said

    YES, they have lost their hearts.
    So are all of us!

    Deeply hurt.

  28. Sama sama said

    And we all need to be paid A LOT more, so that we will not leave. After all, if there aren’t any people to lead, then there won’t be need for politicians. And if there isn’t any need for politicians… we wouldn’t have to pay them so much!

  29. Deeply Hurt said

    My children have just left.
    I am preparing to leave.
    Money or no money, it does not matter any more.

    Deeply Hurt.

  30. Peanuts Earner said


    that’s the make up of our society….we start the day doing nothing but thinking of money and ending the day thinking of it too….the politicians on the other hand start the day thinking differently……how to squeeze more money from the citizens….how many more not recognised local talent will be around to generate more taxes and hence their income. How many more birth we need to make the numbers….cash cow. Hmmm if we have so many babies and in 20years time we have so much taxes to collect… then what shld be our salary by then…..well easy…just pledge it to the next CEO. Then the next question, how to buffer for brain drain…..simple….just lower the statics……hahaha

  31. This debate is a 50% : 50%.

    What is the real issue ? I still dont get it.
    How about to resolve the issue , in my humble opinion, to develope this new formula based on the need to have :
    a) Long term vision ( also witha view on short term needs, mid term needs )
    b) Reward good Performance ( At various interims, thru recognition, pay and … in some instances… overall integrity and level of quality of thought manifested in the policies.)
    c) “Uniquely Singapore, we are a Unique Socio-Economic-Political” Animal… as compared to the rest of the world :

    Proposed formula :

    Part 1 : Basic Salary (plus 15%-20% increase ) +
    part 2 : Performance Bonus (Pegged to 2.5yr performance review on overall effects of all policies on Socio fabric/tech/political/regional relations/economics of country(Balanced Score card) +
    Part 3 : Performance review on yr 5 ( add 5-7%, depending on state of balanced score card ) +
    Part 4 : Policy Review ( Add REcognition to Public service award/ in monetary or “non-financial rewards ( Overall even after the minister has left the position on yr 5-10 )
    Part 5 : Overall Nation hood ( state of nation 5-10 yrs after leaving office, affected by policies made in past office over a 20 yrs period. CAsh plus some “legacy” rewards. ( To be defined )

    Rationale :
    Part 1 : The increase in present salaries can still attract “talents” to public service.
    Part 2 : The delayed payouts interim performance reviews keeps Ministers on their toes on short term, however, policies take 1-5 years to take effect… ( needs retrospective views )
    Part 3 : At a 5 year term, the “retrospective view will help” those Ministers who had to make ” sacrificial “hard Line decisions” … perhaps see the fruits of their labour… and the population gets a chance to feel the effects. 9 positive or negative
    Part 4 : Reviewed even if Minister has left the position, if the hard line policies were made long beforehand, can be evaluated and reviewed, helps all parties “learn together”. one can choose to reward the good policy.. or bear the costs of not getting any reward for “Lousy vision thinking”.
    Part 5 : With time, ( 5-10-20 yrs ), if any minister stays that long… Time proves whether decisions made in the past were effective or not. With a Long term incentive, we all learn to see the actions of our present, shape the future… and perhaps the real wisdom, tenacity and longevity of a decision comes to light.

    In short, corpporate Executives at high level MNC are not all equal.
    In many business histories of founding fathers of companies, the founders and their founding team of friends or families had to weather the “sacrifices” of tight money policies, and more often than not, had to hold heigh levels of integrity coupled with ethical business practices and ethics to get a business concern off the ground. Often, the founders & team may have worked extra hours, and made delayed luxuries to their rice bowl to survice the lean years. Point to make is that they had long term views ( 3 to 5-10 years ahead). Their sacrifices set up the “corproate DNA” and culture of the company, and thereby affecting its overall mindset in the policies that guided its business principles.

    Today, corporate Executives are given short lead times. The Market conditions are harsher.
    And oftten executives have to deliver quarterly results. Failing which, if the “market” feels they CEO and their team of management are not “performing” … the market punishes the company with a drop in share value, and at times, the “firing” of the ceo and management team. In consequence, at times, “short cut” decisions are made, at the sacrifice of other decisions to meet “market demands”.

    Put simply : If CEO of Manufacturing company as to report every quarter to the stock market, and his career lies on “making company Profit”, what would the underlying principles he needs to utilize to make this decision : Should I use Material A (Lead) to make this product .. which yields us 10X more Profit, or Use this Material B (Straw) to make this product which yields us X2 Profit ? The cause and effect of Material of LEAD may mean cancer to consumerr over a 5 year product usage, … however, at 5 years away, that CEO would have moved on to several new positions in has career advencement since he “showed” Profit in his term on the board over the course of 2 fiscal years.

    How do you see it ?

    Minister Mentor Lee is correct. we Are UNIQUELY singapore.
    we have an opportunity to fund a creative and unique solution to the issue of pay and performance. The Overall “salary is 0.022% of the overal “revenue” of our country. however, the various debates focus on Moral, ethics, Integrity, and bench marking. all which I believe are relevant.

    TO which end , our solution needs to address the unique situation of this country.
    We are that small dot. And we can create a solution to meet all those needs.

    I strongly propose this formula.

    My humble rantings.
    Kampong Girl from the Metropolis.

  32. Bloody hell, raise GST and increase ministerial pay

  33. i love singapore and its babies

  34. I want pay increase too said

    Hey Singapore should have a new policy……

    All revenue/ income earned in Singapore should have this monthly mandatory contribution:

    1) 20% for CPF
    2) 10% (in the near future) for GST besides the multiple tax
    3) 8% for ministerial pay
    4) 3% for ministerial bonus
    5) 2% for future ministerial pay increase

    Item 3 to 5 should be called “Pay for the future”

    Can you think of better system then this….another way to make you work harder till you RIP.

  35. real shaun said

    some idiot is posting as me,saying i like babies,damn manfred lum

  36. shaunieboi said

    sorry manfred, not you, some other idiot is behind it

  37. aol166 said

    I used to agree with MM when he mentioned about having the best talent to run our multi billion dollar country. Yes, corporation paid millions to their top executives. But corporations also demand the best from their top executives. They make a mistake in quality, they got to pay for it. A cockup in policy, they need to justify to the shareholders, rationalise to the board of directors. They cannot make a mistake and get away with it scott free. That is why the high salary. I was naive enough to think that our Ministers are put through the same routine. No, they are not. Civil servant on the other hand don’t get punished for their mistakes, cockup. When something goes wrong, they can hide behind the tonnes of red tapes they put in place to protect their hinds. So, at the end I found that our Ministers are civil servants with corporate executive pays. That is the best of both world. Have your cake and eat it scenarios. Make mistake, cover with red tapes. Salary, get like as if I am a top executive of a multibillion dollar company. Cool. Can somebody offer me this job?

    Case in question is the recent Mat Selamat case. Our dear Home Minister (millionaire civil servant with corporate pay) don’t even have the cheek to take the responsibilities that come with the escape. He blamed the guards, the toilets, the weather, the road conditions and whatever he can cough up. What happened to TQM (Total Quality Management) where responsibilities of quality lies with the top managers? If a principle hired a crazy guard at the guard house and someone come to the school and kidnap a kid, who will the parents blame? The principle or the guard? Seems like in this case, if comparing apple with apple, we are going to blame the crazy guard and not the principle. Damn shame when a leader teflon responsibilities, even damn damn shame if a well paid leader teflon responsibilities.

  38. TRUTHZ said



  39. Please read my comments in reach website

  40. […] Ministerial Salaries […]

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