“Retired ministers”: no megabucks from private sector

In Political governance on 02/09/2011 at 6:58 am

So ex-junior minster Zainul Abidin is joining SPH where he will run SPH’s radio stations, SPH UnionWorks, where NTUC has a 20% stake. Given the job description, I don’t see him drawng a million dollars a yr, the starting point of ministerial salaries.

We were told that S’pore had to pay the likes of ex-DPM Wong, HDB Mah, Cry baby cry Lim, Raymond Lim, “PAP must change” Yeo, Ms Lim (the MP from 7th month) and Zainul Abidin million-dollar salaries because taz what they are worth to the private sector.

If they were not paid millions, they would resign from the cabinet in search of million-dollar salaries.

Well they have all left the cabinet recently but somehow I don’t hear of the private sector (let alone the TLC or GLC sectors) offering them zillions of dollars for their expertise. True Ms Lim has become a director of a major listco, Jardine C&C, but she is not getting millions of dollars.

Admit the truth PM? They, like Nathan, struck it lucky big  time. Juz like first prize winners of Toto, Big Sweep or $4D tickets.

Or maybe, their pensions are so big (remember no details are made public) that they can sit back and relax, and take jobs that pay “peanuts”?

Salary reviewers pls note, whatever the case may be,

  1. Do they really need so much money? Enough is Enough

  2. […] – Everything Also Complain: Lim Swee Say’s so-so Singapore – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: “Retired ministers”: no megabucks from private sector – Singapore Notes: Treated Like Lepers – Jamal Ismail FB: The Moderate Opposition – Yee Jenn Jong: […]

  3. You are right. None are as good as the private sector, and people have known it for a long time.

    That’s why I have a lot more respect for someone like TJS who quit Cosy civil service job, get into Private and then back to serving the people. He knows both sides of the equation. Or Someone like CSM spent years in private sector and decide to return to SG and serve its people and country. These are the ones who have genuine desires to be a public servant.

    The likes of those ex-MPs are nothing more than a bunch of shielded prince and princesses protected but their emperor , devoid of all kinds of real competition out there and can’t even prove they can make it, jostling along with all the cheap or expensive foreign talents at the top, medium or lower bottom that people like us face everyday. Now they get their own medicine and a real dose of reality.

    Just look at Aljuinied and you’ll see they are now nothing more than just a bunch of glorified social-events organizers. Question is – are taxpayers paying for these losers once again?

  4. Haha…another MIW myth busted! How much do you think people like Lim Swee Say, Lui Tuck Yew and their likes are worth in the private sector? It’s what we have known all along but now the evidence is clear – crystal clear!

  5. My feel is that with TT as the new EP, the salaries would not move down very much.
    We would be ‘lucky’ if they would even agree to suck 10% less of our blood! Let’s see what lapdog GE and his kennel come up with.

  6. Actually, the million dollar salaries matter less for ex-ministers because they are usually too old, too senior in position to be of use in private sector. It matters more for the likes of TJS when they were still young and had a choice of

    1) Stay put in civil service and take up political appointments
    2) Leave the civil service to chase the millions

    The argument is really that there are millions to be achieved if they choose 1). Put this picture is too complicated to explain to the “daft” electorate.

  7. I agree with your analysis. Many ministers either cannot make it outside the civil service or government linked companies so the justification of the private sector top pay is definitely justified. Moreover from the last elections, how many MPs actually came from the private sector having the type of ministerial pay often touted by the PAP? I can’t think of any. Most of the PAP candidates come from unions (who should set an example to their worker members by not drawing obscene pay) or from the admin/civil service.

    But I also wish to add one factor in this ministerial pay issue which we as the tax paying public should be wary of: pay cut at ministerial level will probably mean pay cut at civil service especially admin service. If ministerial pay is severely cut, admin service pay may also be cut unless ministers can live with their permanent secretaries and senior civil servants getting more pay than them. There may be arguments in support of that possibility but I just don’t think it will happen in Singapore. So do not underestimate the resistance to pay cut from the admin service. Maybe they were the ones who have been been doing the hardsell about high pay for ministers because high pay for ministers will mean high pay for senior civil servants, particularly those few who can dictate policies to ministers or are influential in that respect.

    • On related issue, TJS would be gd example of high flying civil servant who didn’t quite make it to the top in private sector.

      At best, he was at his last job in StanChart juz below top mgt — top of middle mgt but juz that middle mgt.

  8. Let me say this. I’ve been in pte sector for 20 yrs. Changed many jobs for various reasons – skills upgrade, promotion, m&a, foreign talent etc you name it, I’ve been through it. In sales, where I used to managed a big team in MNCs – it is perfectly normal that we have a handful of top salesmen who are consistently outperforming. And these group of people can even make more money (salaries+ bonuses) than the VP/Director at any given time. So just because you are above them in rank/title, a good leader will know that rewards should justly go the ones who truly delivers and perform. It doesn’t always mean that the BOSS always have to make more money than that top talent/individual.

    So for those truly qualified ones, I say pay them. But if you want to go on the argument that just because they are paid more, the boss must also paid more (otherwise no dignity) that argument is very flawed. Just read the recent wikileaks. You’ll realize one of the reasons why SG Airport is corportizing is because they are losing their top talents to other private sectors as they claimed.

  9. Head of state…but cannot make decision…must wait for someone holding the strings to jerk him here and there…

    What a joke!

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