14.4.07

Sub Zero Freeze

The breaking news in question:

Singapore PM to freeze his pay for 5 years, donate pay hikes

Excerpts:

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says he will hold his own salary at the present level for five years and will donate any increases in his salary during that period.


The Prime Minister said that to make clear why he is doing this, and to give him the moral standing to defend this policy to Singaporeans, he will hold his own salary at its present level for five years.


The Government will pay him his full pay, because that is how the system must work.But for five years, he will donate the increase in his salary from this and subsequent revisions.


Mr Lee said he does not expect other Ministers to follow.



What I have to say:


1. So, PM Lee freezes his pay till April 11th 2012 technically since the article is dated April 11th 2007. Now, if by law, the ruling party has to call for an election every 4-5 years approximately, how confident is the man that he remains PM? I mean of course I too feel that the PAP is not going out of power even 3 elections later, but this "surety" tends to unnerve.

In fact, this same tone is continued in most ministers' speeches and press releases where they set lofty goals for the next 10 to 15 years. Yes, the goals will still be intact. Yet, this "confirmed" tone where they know they'll still be there is very thought provoking.

After April 11th, PM also goes on to say about finding new successors and that ministers like himself can't be serving till they're 70. Still, same point I'm making. How sure is sure?

2. Last noticed in September last year during the GE season, ministers who were rallying for support still referred to themselves as ministers, ministers of state and members of parliament. Correct me if I'm wrong. Before the commencement of elections, the President dissolves Parliament, thus making him the sole guardian of the nation. So, when parliament is dissolved, not just recessed, this would mean all members of the House would revert to being normal citizens, no? Why would they then be still labelled as Ministers and the like?

3. Now that the increase in salary has been pledged to worthy causes, are we entitled to ask "which" worthy causes these might be? I mean if you did it in private, we would be none the wiser. But to announce the donations publicly, some follow through is of course in order.

4. Now that the shepherd for his "moral standing" has announced he doesn't want any increases, though he will receive them, what do the sheep do? Are they gonna fall and trip all over themselves in carbon copy donations? How about those that don't? Will they incur the wrath and jealousy of the public because "others" have been more charitable than them? If I was them, I wouldn't make a move at all and be happy for the extra dough. After all, the main responsibility has already been publicly shouldered by the PM.

5. Starting with the announcements that civil service salaries are going up, I of course thought of my own employer to see if we are mirroring the changes. After all, we are in the service of the public are we not? A big mood dampener was the fact that I'd expect only a 4% rise even lower than The Home Team who were expecting 13% and of course nowhere in comparison to the "average" 25% rise of the top dawgs.

6. In conclusion, it is my humble opinion that ONLY in Singapore and ONLY the PAP can muster and successfully conduct this sorta pay hike in the same calendar year of a GST hike. They are the true masters of politics and I bow down to their wisdom.

Overheard from a little bird:

All university undergraduates take note. Currently, Singaporean undergrads are on the Gahmen Tuition Fee Grant, which means that as opposed to full fees of $11K ++ , we pay only around $5,900 [at least for mine]. Now, students still under a non-GPA system have a limit of 7 years to finish up their degree subject to terms and conditions. For GPA systemites, there is no time limit except to save your CAP score every semester.

The MOE is embarking on a Useful Output initiative, where errant students like myself will not be granted the privilege of this grant once we exceed the useful output time period of 4 years [how long it normally takes to achieve direct honours]. Thus, the moment I exceed 4 years, I'd be paying FULL fees. And for those blokes who are now on Year 5 or 6 now, you're pretty much fucked when this comes to play.

The rest of youse should just aim to take only the NORMAL time and get the hell out before your tuition fee loan, your parents' bank accounts or their CPF burst the dam walls.

Little bird also told me, the only reason this policy is not effective the very day after the Budget was approved was because making this move in the same calendar year as the GST hike might incite much public outcry.

Did I also mention tuition fees are going up? In order to "retain international talent" [read: Lecturers who can't speak English]. Viva la KLKorporatization.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bro,

Nicely defined thoughts...however majority of (Yindians) of the past era and the many wayward youths of today have no clue or are not bothered by what is being done to us by the "Masters"!(Its like bending us over and upping without us realising it:)!

Anyway i like yr the way you put things in perspective! Well done!

Rgds
Kumar

Arch said...

Aye Carumba!!! About time to get out...Who knows next year aint a good year to be in NTU...Well thinking about it NO YEAR is a good year in that place!