Nee Soon GRC MP Dr. Lim Wee Kiak should be praised for his outstanding contribution to exposing how hollow the rhetoric of change initiated by the PAP after the May 7 General Election earlier this month. Commenting on the issue of ministerial salaries, he said:
If the Minister of Information, Communication and the Arts earns an annual salary of only $500, 000, when he meets and discusses policies with the CEOs of telecommunications companies who earn millions of dollars, he may face some difficulties because the CEOs may think that there is no need for them to listen to the minister’s views and suggestions, so a reasonable salary will help to maintain the dignity of the minister.
Thanks to the wonderful talents like Irene Ng and Dr. Lim, the layers of make-up that Lee Hsien Loong has applied on the PAP leopard in order to conceal its callous spots are being washed away. Even if we were to believe that Lee is totally sincere about changing, we can see the overwhelming difficulty of the task. In less than twenty days since the election in which the PAP won with a percentage impressive by the standards of democracies but dismal by the standards of authoritarian states, the PAP is at it again, as though they are getting sick of the new charade. Same old illogic. Same old attitude. Now, this is the PAP we know. Welcome back!
From Dr. Lim’s words, we can say that:
1. He thinks that PAP ministers have nothing worth the respect of private sector CEOs but ridiculously high salaries. This may not be true, but it says something when a PAP politician thinks that PAP ministers’ worth are determined by how much they earn, not the quality of their contributions.
2. It is likely that someone earning millions of dollars does not take seriously someone who earns $500,000 per year. Using the same theory, it is easy to understand why million-dollar ministers never seem to take the views and suggestions of common folk. No wonder all our views are dismissed as noise.
Using the same theory again, even when a minister earns $500,000 per year, he may not take us seriously. Because most of us earn maybe 100-500 times less.
3. Dr. Lim considers a $500,00 annual salary low for ministers. Bearing in mind that people tend to cite hypothetical figures that are somewhat exaggerated for illustrative, perhaps we can say that Dr. Lim is expecting ministerial salaries to be much higher than $500, 000.
Obama earns US$400,000 yearly. Convert that to S$ using the current exchange rate and we will feel sorry for him. We now know why no one takes him seriously. Even when he says that Osama is dead, no one believes him and instead comes up with conspiracy theories about how Osama is lying to the world. To gain more credibility, Obama needs to at least triple his current salary.
It’s a harsh world we live in. Actually Molly feels even more sorry for Kuan Yew. Now that he has left the Cabinet, his MP salary is going to be so appallingly low that he will never be able to raise his head high again. Maybe he will be inspired to write Hard Truths II. But who is going to bother about it if he is not earning a few million dollars a year?