11 April 2007

5 Gold Plated Peanuts

There has been a lot of talk with regards to ministers' pay hike of late and the overall sentiments were pretty mixed, though the negative ones tend to be heard and seen more.

Here are my 2 gold plated cents' worth.

1) Bulldozing. When Gahmen announces something that is not popular, it is only natural to have people jumping up and down, kpkb in protest. But seriously, ask yourself this.

Got use meh?

Just because many people write many negative letters to the newspapers, the Gahmen will heed the people's advice and reverse their decision? Wake up lah! You saw what happened when they propose the GST increase? You saw what happened when they proposed the casinos integrated resorts? You seriously think the Gahmen listens to the people meh?

2) A Pair Of Sng Buehs. Speaking of newspapers, I was told that it has been pretty quiet as far as reflecting the negative sentiments from the people. Again, one-sided journalism at its best. After what they have seen over the mrbrown saga, all the editors started having shriveled nads. Why ah?

Makes me wonder why people are still paying good money keeping them around. There are more credible news website out there that are free.

3) Transparency. What is transparency? Transparency is when Gahmen want money hor, they openly take it from you. Better faster learn this word. Exam will come out one.  As much as people du lan over the sheer size of their pay packets, at least they never do it behind our backs with golden taps, non-existent software contracts and first class tickets. Remember Durai?

4) Bird Talk. MM Lee was quoted as saying "The cure for all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government..." This is known as Gong Jiao Wuey (讲鸟话). Please lah. Any idiot also know that a useless gahmen is bad. We don't need to fork out millions of dollars to pay someone to tell us that. Stats and figures were brought up about how the $46 million spend on paying top civil servants is 0.13% of total gahmen expenditure, 0.022% of GDP and how his (MM Lee) salary is a "fraction of what the top manager in the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) earns".

Lucky, MM Lee is smart, with all the small small percents floating all over the speech, he never utter the word Peanut. Otherwise, he would have set the local blogosphere on fire.

5) Peanut. I was chided last year by a friend's mom for agreeing that 600,000 was indeed peanuts. However, I was misquoted. What I originally intend to mean was that the number of 600,000 is indeed peanuts in relation to a number as big as 262,000,000. I have never intended to belittle $600,000 as a sum of money. Some how, my delivery just didn't come out right resulting in a tongue lashing which was actually a simple case of misunderstanding. Imagine what RunForFunds can do with $600,000? Imagine how many kids we can feed, clothe and send to school with that sum of money? Now how is that ever a small sum of money?

6) Money To Attract. Quite sad to see that the only way left to attract good people to the Gahmen is with the lure of money. Are there no one left in Singapore that would do it because he/she loves the country? Monetary incentive is indeed a logical option but there is one problem. There is no soul.

The pay hike is more or less a done deal. What I would like to see is for that one minister to step up and donate the excess to charity. While acknowledging that more pay is justifiable in retaining good people in the gahmen, I would tip my hat to that one minister who would give it back. Will there be such a person?

Afternote: Just as I was drafting this entry, it was announced that the Prime Minister is donating the hike to charity for the next 5 years. I applaud the gesture and hope more ministers would follow suit.
Like a student, from a well-off family, winning a scholarship. My utmost respect if the family could simply acknowledge the scholastic award and pass the scholarship money to the next worthy candidate who needs the money more.

7) George W. Bush. Reports say that our Prime Minister is currently earning over 3 times more than George Bush and will be more if the hike comes into place. Trust me on this one. Bush is an idiot. I think the people of America wasted money hiring this monkey. If Bush runs Singapore, our women will be maids of the maids in other people's country. Less money spent doesn't necessarily mean money more wisely spent.

Then again, you seriousy think Bush makes so little money meh? Confirm got sideline one lah. If Vice President Cheney got all the contracts for Haliburton, what makes you so sure Bush got no lobang and kangtows outside also?

8) Things That Make You Go Hmm... MPs are supposed to represent the people in their respective constituencies. I wonder if any of the MPs actually live in the constituency that they represent? Wouldn't it be really cool if your MP lives in the HDB flat next to you? That way, you can be sure that he is really there at ground level together with you.

Ok ok, it is not fair to impose that an MP die die must live in HDB. I mean if he is capable and makes good money, there is no way anyone should stop him/her buying landed property anywhere.

But hor, try to visualise this scenario. Imagine yourself living in Marine Parade a few years ago. Having voted for Goh Chok Tong means you are now having your flats upgraded. However, all is not smooth sailing as upgrading contractors went belly-up halfway through the project leaving many residents in limbo. So now imagine yourself in a dusty, dirty, half-done, half-fucked, living environment and your MP is staying in a swanky cool bungalow in Bukit Timah. How does that make you feel?

Still, credit goes where credit is due, the matter was eventually resolved and if I may add, rather quickly. Kudos to GCT on this one.

9) Not Happy? Too bad lor. We voted for these guys and we will have to live with them until the next election. Thereafter, the people gets to choose again. This is called democracy. The only thing undemocratic is the GRC concept where we have uncontested MPs coming in via the backdoor under the shield of the established incumbents that we die die will have to vote for.

I am thinking that if we are to fork out money to pay the salaries for these guys, at least let us have a say of yes or no to each candidate.

Is that too much to ask?

- Voxeros

1. ihawk98 left...
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 9:49 pm
i can suggest a few more "undemocratic" examples. one, the constant "redrawing" of constituency lines during elections resulting in a year where residents living along Holland Road ended up as part of Tanjong Pagar GRC, and two, not fixing elections at a fixed time like the way the US always have elections every 2 years in November.
what more can i say but this is one big wayang show...

2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 10:58 pm :: 
ihawk98: Well, that's the GRC concept that I was referring to. As for the timing of the elections, I don't have a qualm with that.

3. sunflower left...
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 11:28 pm
Bravo! Nice post...
I am definitely very disguested over the recent debate.

4. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 12 April 2007 8:59 am :: 
Sunflower: It got me thinking that while this "decision-before-consultation" approach may be clinically efficient, it sure pisses a lot of people off. Now I am wondering if this is the very same reason why our neighbours are so upset with us?

5. akk left...
Thursday, 12 April 2007 9:17 am
but during election time, who will you choose? its not that we support them so much, it's that there isn't a good opposition to choose from.

6. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 12 April 2007 9:25 am :: 
Akk: An excellent point there. Those who voted for PAP are those who think their candidate is indeed the better or because they think the opposition candidate really CMI.

In the past, opposition has not produced any worthy successors to the likes of Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Kiang. Instead, we have clowns like Chee Soon Juan and Gomes running amok.

However, this is slowly changing and we start to see more credible candidates stepping up. Dr Sylvia Lim has impressed me very much in the last election. If she were to contest my ward in the next election and the PAP sends some minnow candidate, Dr Lim has my vote on account of who she is and not what political party she is from.

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