Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dancing Monkeys In Play

Pay peanuts, and you get monkeys. But who would have guessed that if you pay millions, you end up with dancing monkeys? Tired of the monkeying around about "convergence and agreement" of the principles in play over the ministerial salary debate, Chen Show Mao told the house:
"If indeed there is convergence today and if indeed, as has been mentioned, today is much like a dance, I would like to thank the Government for leading the dance and taking the first step towards acknowledging that political salaries in this country need fixing.

"While we agree with he three principles distilled by the committee, does DPM agree that under the committee's application of the principles, they have produced a formula that is really quite distinct from what the WP has proposed?

"For example, if maximum bonuses were received under the committee's proposal, ministerial salary would be in fact be reduced by 8 percent. And under the WP's proposal, it will be reduced by 37 percent."

Josephine Teo, missing the forest for the trees altogether, could not grasp the monkey tricks with the allowances. For Pritam Singh, it was like talking to a wall, "It's not the numbers that's the issue.... Peg it to the average Singaporean at a level where Singaporeans can aspire to."

What the primates in white and white missed altogether (scientific factoid: one of the most predictable traits of rhesus monkeys: their tendency to steal food at every opportunity) was a lifeline that would save them from the quagmire of greed they were sinking deeper into. Instead of pegging pay to the top earners, pegging it to rank and file servants, Pritam Singh explained, would be more acceptable to the public and, "critically, take the emotion out of the debate and set the tone in future decades for a more sober assessment of political salaries."

The last word came from Tanjung Pagar GRC MP Lee Kuan Yew, who preferred the boardroom of TOTAL in Paris discussing profits from oil to Parliament House deliberating the nation's future, "unless we have a steady stream of high quality men and women to serve as PM and ministers, Singapore as a little red dot will become a black spot." Precisely why we need people who come in for the service, not the money.


  1. Let us ask MM what's decent for the Ministers -

    Do you want a Condo in district 10?
    Or a Landed property in district 11?
    Or a Waterfront House Bungalow in Sentosa?

    I get a feeling that these PAP whites are asking for all three + a Cul-De-Sac somewhere in Paris or Switzerland.

    In fact, since they insist so much that any further cut is resulting a sacrifice on MPs standard of living..let's just show the electorates an open list of their declared properties and see what exactly are the sufferings here. Singaporeans will be fair to judge for themselves. The onus is on PAP whites to prove they are sacrificing.

  2. I know money is important in life especially to the poor. But you just can't keep emphasizing on the money. If you care a lot about money and the sacrifice in terms of money and others when you enter politics, then I just wonder or can't help feeling suspicious what's your motive in entering politics.

    If you feel serving the country and the people is a sacrifice, it is most likely you will feel this is a burden. If you think this way,you will never do a good job.

    No Wonder We See The Quality Of Governance Slipping!

  3. Don't you just love his rhetoric.

    Imagine Nike or Titleist should take the credit for Tiger Woods success, and not because he is simply a brilliant sportsman who has his ups and downs?

    I am sure when LKY sells his books well, it must be down to his hard truths, writing skills and hard work, and if it flops it will be the publisher's fault.

    People easily mistake non-causal conjunctions for causal ones. Success under a certain regime is thus easily mistaken for success because of a regime.
    LKY & PAP is no different.

    From red dot to black spot? At age 88, he must have forgotten that these are no longer primates..they have become the leopards who still think they rule the law of jungle in cowboys land, like 30-40yrs ago.

  4. Disappointed1/19/2012 11:23 AM

    So it has come down to this. It's about the money, stupid. The truth is finally revealed. Political is about how much one should be compensated for one's sacrifice for lost of privacy and missing out on private sector salaries (never mind that most currently drawing the million dollar pay now would probably make only a fraction of that in the private sector). Not the honour of being entrusted by fellow citizens with a task of leading them and improving their lives. I can see this debate going on for some time yet as the pigs have not had their fill at the trough.

  5. Disappointed1/19/2012 11:27 AM

    Oh. And the monkey has now become a 500 pound gorilla. You'll be dancing to his tune instead of the other way round.

  6. sorry, we are not dancing to his tune, we are being trampled on by these 500 pound gorillas??!! What dancing???

  7. So after all that song and dance, it boils down to this :
    The children of the MIW are doomed if their political parents don't have million dollars paychecks.
    Those other 3m singaporeans children are even more doomed since their parents will never have a million dollars paycheck. Just have to sacrifice their HDB to send them to local uni or foreign ones.
    They will defend so robustly for their maximum pay..but not a word of defense for even a minimum pay for workers..

    Enough of these elitist-are-special-squad that needs to be protected and courted at all costs. If you don't have the moral conscience to serve, please go earn your million bucks in pte sector and make way to those with passion and great humility and talents to serve. Singaporeans have enough of these self-serving politicians.

  8. Bats are not birds even though both exhibit what is known as convergent evolution of powered flight. The final ballpark may be similar but there is fundamental difference between what the Ministerial Pay Review Committee recommends and WP proposes. One views ministers as top earners and the other, leaders of the civil service. As much as the MIWs tried to obfuscate the public from seeing the crux of the issue with their lengthy speech and petty politicking, it still did not escape me that their benchmark for ministerial pay is just so obscenely wrong. When the principle is not right, everything else is crooked.

  9. No, the yoda is wrong, or may be correct. Um, we are now the little red and black dot. Red as we have one million communist among us, black as there are a proportionate number of indians from India among us.

    Pardon me, I don't mean to be racist, just my observation.

  10. So where is Master Mah when all his monsters colleagues are dipping into the cookie jars and raiding our reserves?

    So where are all the million dollars paid 81 MPs & Ministers who are not seated and present to debate in the parliament? Too busy with their other part-time hundred thousand dollars job to be bothered to show up? How to have first world parliament with a 80% absentees like that?

    I say let them have their XO chai-tou-kway and eat it. Since there's no repent here, we singaporeans will make the trade-off in 2016 and put in more competitions for MIW.

  11. MyGrandsonIsNext1/19/2012 3:38 PM

    Maybe the real reason why they can't pay peanuts is because to buy blind loyalty from all these primates, one have to pay a very high price, no?

    Otherwise how to ensure your chosen one is the next appointed one?

  12. Building a nation based solely on economy and obscene paycheck to the politicians without caring the increasing social gaps among the people will fail. The nation will collapse sooner or later because of economic factors. It is beginning to show this sign. Eventually, it will lead to revolution as history tells us. During GE2011, LKY said to the young votes that do not think you can change the government. This shows how ignorant he is. The change may not be in GE2011 but may happen in GE2016. if not, it will be after GE2021. The truth is the change or revolution will come eventually because PAP has declined, it has gradually lost the support of the people, and its governance model is out dated.

  13. errr...ahem...the next appointed one is already anointed? Wait till 2016!


  14. Here is a man who claims that he has not enriched himself..but yet no one knows what he was worth when he took office and what he is worth him I mean his family, we all know politicians are good at enriching their families and to later claim I am just the husband..I did not know my wife made billion doing legal work..a contract she got fair and square