Friday, May 27, 2011
Lessons From The Private Sector
It all sounds too much like common sense, when Mak says that if you pay very well, you also risk attracting the wrong people who are motivated purely by money. One example of such motivation is best illustrated by what Dr Lim Wee Kiak, PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC, told Lianhe Wanbao: “If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals, hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity.” It sounds better in the original Chinese:
Mak adds that people who are attracted to politics because of the money (or power) might still want to use their positions for their own benefit because for some, it is never enough. Considering that Lim Wee Kiat is one of the newbies who sneaked into parliament via the GRC route, one only hopes that his monetary concept of dignity is not too virulent among the PAP ranks. But then again, didn't the SAF army generals once tried to justify being driven around in Mercedes cars "so that the men will look up to them?"
The professor says he is not concerned about high pay, and is outraged only by someone who makes money in an illegal or unethical manner, in that the compensation is not related to appropriate measures of performance , or the pay determined is through a contaminated process. By his measures, namely average wage growth, Gini coefficient, average expressway speeds, admission rates of Singaporeans into local universities, percentage of low income families owning HDB flats, our ministers have got away with murder. And if they still persist in the contaminated formulation of drawing private sector pay, to paraphrase the good professor, they risk receiving an unexpected performance appraisal from the electorate again. George Yeo was just the first to face the music.