It was again a full house at our second public dialogue on Tuesday night. Debate was robust with vigorous participation from the floor. Below is the summary of what was presented by Christopher Pereira, a member of SingFirst:
Greed shoots sky-high
Singapore’s ministerial salaries are not just the highest in the world, but are many times more than those in other countries, including advanced developed market economies.
The PAP claims that these high salaries are necessary to prevent corruption and to attract talent to provide a competent government. After two decades of super high ministerial salaries, have these two alleged objectives been achieved?
Although Singapore’s ministers are the highest paid in the world many times over, Singapore is not perceived to be the least corrupt. Six countries which paid their prime ministers or presidents 5 to 13 times less than Singapore, are seen as less corrupt than Singapore. Lower salaries (US$133,000-328,000 versus US$1,700,000) have not made them more corrupt. In fact, Singapore’s PM is paid 8 times more than the least corrupt country in the world. Hence high salaries are not necessary to prevent corruption.
Have high salaries resulted in a talented and competent government? Here are the facts
From these few examples, it is obvious that high salaries have attracted the wrong kind of talent who have not delivered on their promise of competent service.
How PAP greed shows through
It is time that we have a new salary formula that is rooted in a deep sense of public service rather than an entitlement of high living based on personal greed. Greed shows through when PAP benchmarks
their salaries to the top 1000 earners! That’s the elite band of income.
The new formula must reflect the spirit of public service that the common man can relate to and believe in on the basis of what he earns. He must trust that political office holders are in it not for huge personal monetary gain but for genuine public service.
So, our proposed formula will not be benchmarked to the top 1,000 earners but to the median income of the working population. In 2014, the median gross monthly income (i.e. the income below which half the workers earn) was $3,770.
We propose to apply a multiple of this median salary to arrive at the salaries of public officials. We suggest a multiple of 3 for the salary of a member of Parliament, hence $3,770 x 3 –> $11,310 x 13 months =$147,030 per annum; deputy ministers to be paid 2 times the salary of an MP i.e. $147,030 x 2 =$294,060; the prime minister to get 3 times an MP’s salary i.e. $147,030 x 3 = $ 441,090.
The charts below shows what our proposed new salaries will look like compared to other world leaders.
Here’s the choice – PAP today or toward a fairer approach of Singaporeans First tomorrow
Here are some snap shots of the dialogue session: