Friday, March 20, 2015

Poor Putin

Ouch! That is so NOT the kind of epitaph to die for. The Business Insider write up of 19 Mar 2015 is proof that we are not alone in begrudging an installed princeling for helping himself to the nation's cookie jar.

Maybe Putin was putting on a show of personal sacrifice when he took a 10% pay cut in the face of mounting economic sanctions and low oil prices, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was sincere when his pay was shaved 30% to help fund reconstruction in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastation. But unlike the cape crusader wannabe Lim Swee Say who effused endlessly about his CPF statement, Putin told reporters that "Frankly, I don't even know my own salary, they just give it to me, and I put it away in my account."

Over the last 15 years under Putin’s reign, Russia has raked in over US$3 trillion “petrodollars.” Although detractors claim that Putin’s brand of crony capitalism has turned many loyalists into billionaires, he did not peg his salary to the top earners.

The rot started in November 1994, when Lee Kuan Yew made a mockery of the Old Guards' sacrifice, "My generation of political leaders have become dinosaurs, an extinct breed of men when went into politics because of the passion of their convictions." One journalist was brave enough to tell him that higher salaries would change, and Lee quoted him, "the name of the game and attract a different type of person with different motivations."

His speech during the debate on the White Paper on ministerial salaries concluded with these lines: "In five to ten years, when it works and Singapore has got a good government, this formula will be accepted as convention wisdom." Now that we have rat infested housing estates, trains breaking down with alarming frequency, rising healthcare cost showing no signs of abating, it is questionable what a working government is really like. Ten years after 1994, we had a new prime minister, whose next ten years' turn at the helm was coined a "roller coaster decade" by Straits Times journalist Chua Mui Hoong, the nadir of which has to be the Population White Paper in 2013.


  1. When all decisions are based on one person's belief and liking, they are usually not sound.

  2. The biggest strategic mistake of the PAP is the astronomical ministerial pay. This is the cause of all the unhappiness. With high pay, people expect commensurate performance. With low pay, lapses here and there and inadequacies of infrastructure can be tolerated and even excused. But not when you demand top-of-the-chart pay. This will eventual prove to be the downfall of the PAP. Sigh.

  3. In many countries, leaders like to be respected. In Singapore, they prefer "dignity". Respect? nah, that's for the poor.

  4. The tiny tiny town of Zug in Switzerland is the exact mirror image of what our leaders would like to achieve. See how it drove out the local residents to the outer land.

    Over here in SG, the writings are clearly on the walls already. The old are retiring in JB and middle class are living in JB to commute to work and earn in SG. That is quite an achievement don't you think, within 2 decades between the Seat warmer and the Pinceling. More swiss standard anyone?

  5. I think you are just being generous in merely describing the current solutions as questionable. They probably have already spent hundreds of thousands to eradicate the rat problem at Bukit Batok ONLY while other areas are not being looked into. Meanwhile billions are being spent to improve the public transport problem BUT no clear solution is apparently in sight.

    If they had to pour tonnes of public monies in solving problems, are they not JEAK LIOW BEE ? In other words, is this current team even up to any international standard considering the amount of pay they insist they are worth it ?

    If like this kind of mediocre results, any Tom. Dick and Sally can also be husband and wife team, isn't it ? What extra value do they bring especially if the wife keep losing so much public funds and can't even get it right in the first place ?

  6. The biggest elephant in the room is ZERO productivity growth. This put Singapore further behind all major economies including China, German/Europe, USA since the turn of the century. How can anyone justify premier compensations for such subpar performance?

    1. Productivity growth should start with the Prime Minister's Office.
      How many Ministers in the Prime Minister's Office does LHL have?
      How many Ministers of State are there?

      What exactly is the job of a "Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and a "Minister of State"?

    2. "Minister in the Prime Minister's Office" title used to be "Minister Without Portfolio" until someone realised it was too embarrassing a confirmation they had nothing to do.

  7. In the dark...3/21/2015 3:58 PM

    Entry level pay for ministers is categorised as MR4
    Its origins seems to be from some civil service pay scale.

    Currently a minister's starting pay is $1.1 million ( that is MR4)
    which is already a pay cut of 37% ( !!!)

    As for their bonuses, it seems to be based on quiet a fuzzy criteria:

    "....The Committee also made recommendations on a new benchmark. A new salary framework and National Bonus linked to the socio-economic progress of average and lower income Singaporeans is also proposed."

    How, what matrix is being used is untold. They probably feel its none of my business.


  8. Traditionally, it is lying in state but what our Ministers of State do for their $$$ is perhaps lying in Parliament?


  9. His epitaph should probably read

    "He dies richly. Pardon him for not rising."

  10. Scientists at Large Hadron Collider hope to make contact with PARALLEL UNIVERSE in days

    PAPigs; Do not despair.
    LKY might still be alive in a parallel universe elsewhere.
    Why don't all of you migrate to Geneva, Switzerland and keep vigil there.

  11. When political leaders, in the business of winning hearts and minds, started to become shamelessly engaged, for all intent and purposes, to forcefully acquire immense instant wealth through taking advantage of a parliamentary majority of more than two-thirds, and throwing away all their ethics, morals and modesty, they have lost all respect from the very people whom they are supposed to win hearts and minds.

    The hearts of the people simply feel very upset and angry. The minds of the people simply cannot understand and accept such blatant acts of disregard.

    The exorbitant out-of-this-world salary, with even the lowest minister of state gets more than what the President of USA gets, is unimaginable to the common people. Only the callous, conscienceless, crooked minds can come up with such slimy schemes to feast themselves by dipping their hands into the coffers of the taxpaying public. This is truly absurdity to the extreme.

    Yet those shameless people's skins get thicker and thicker by the days. They have the chick to even hint of wanting to have a raise after 3 years of "No Increase"!

    They do not think they are politicians?
    They think they are civil servants?

    1. Politicians are never embarrassed .
      Their sole purpose is to get voted into power and remain there till kingdom come.

      Neither do they feel pain, sorrow, or sympathetic.

      They do however will feign pain, sorrow and pretend to have sympathy when required.

      Faced with a politician & a venomous snake, I'll take my chances with the snake.

    2. But still Singaporeans will vote PAP right?
      Shamelessly stupid people.

    3. Spot on. Singaporeans are daft, said the old thug. And he is certainly right on that one.

  12. His epitaph should read : He was a bully.

  13. Parliament approved an increase in the President’s salary, which is also known as the Privy Purse, for the fiscal year 2010, by $890,700 to $4,267,500 (8.5 times the salary of President Barack Obama).

    Reminiscent of Putin saying "they just give it to me", gaji buta President SiR Nathan commented: “I didn’t ask for it. That was the rate for the job, that’s what I accepted. You don’t like the rate, I can’t help it.” (The Sunday Times 7 Aug 2011)

    Simply outrageous the way they put their hands into the cookie jar. And they make a song and dance about AHPETC managing agent fee.



  15. Lau Lee passed away on Monday 23rd March 2015 at 3.18 am. Rest In Peace.