Tony Tan deserves shume credit

In Political governance on 05/01/2012 at 12:55 pm

During the last PE, one Tan Kin Lian offered to take a salary of only S$2m a year, donating the rest to charity. One Tony Tan kept quiet on the issue.  TKL was widely praised by netizens, while TT was condemned for not being like TKL.

Well Tony Tan has accepted the recommendation of Gerald Ee and friends that he gets around S$1.5m. Now taz 25% lower than what TKL was willing to take, so those that condemned TT should retract their comments.  

Fair is fair.

I’m not in the mood to plough (CNY round the corner) thru the details of the Recomendations, and based on what I see on the Internet, one comparison table (Table A) from the Recommendations looks dodgy (bad methodology — why not use minister’s basic pay without bonuses for 2010 compare it to the basic — without all the discretionary bonuses– under the Recommendations). So there will be minimal blogging from me on this very impt issue.   Still trying to find the mood to analyse whether the yield on MIIF is worth the risk.

I’ll leave the heavy lifting on this to others.

  1. I enjoy reading some of your postings. On the last point, I think you are better off finding that mood and analyze K green rather than MIIF for their yield. For disclosure, I own/owned these. I think the risks are chalk and cheese for these 2 listco

  2. I don’t get your point. No minister has so far come out against the cut. Who will be so stupid to do so publicly? TT has no choice but to accept the “recommendation.” Still, when compared to the world’s leading politicians, Singapore politicians still populate the top 30 in take home pay. This salary review is just a dog and pony show. What a scam!

  3. Please allow me to point out some issues I have with the review.

    Firstly, benchmark is against top 1000 Singaporean earners. The number of eligible voters in 2011 was about 3.2mil. That means PAP is benchmarking against top 0.03% of earners, then applying a 40% discount. Means PAP ministers consider themselves to be super-duper elites that are above the top 1% or even the top 0.1% of Singaporeans! Are they really THAT good? Common knowledge tells us that the rich get richer quickly, and I am afraid that what seems a reduced salary NOW will end up being over-inflated in 5 years time. IMO, they should perhaps benchmark against median top 5% or 160,000 earners and apply NO discount. Seems fairer that way and also spreads out the sample across more industries, not just the more lucrative ones such as banking, property and oil & gas sectors.

    Secondly, MP pay is pretty much unchanged at 192,500 annually (about 16K a month). Seem pretty high still, plus no one seems to be asking whether ministers, speaker of parliament, mayors etc. (who are elected MPs), are paid their MP salaries on top of their salaries for official appointments?

    Lastly, there is a new National Bonus based on four equal-weighted measures like real GDP growth (old favourite), unemployment rate, real median income growth and bottom 20% real income growth. Glaringly missing from this is the Gini Coefficient (aka the income inequality measure). The review committee was asked about it, but they dismissed it saying the real income growth is more important. The KPIs for each of the four measure does not seem to be widely reported in the news as well, so we do not really know how easy it is for the ministers to hit KPIs and max out their 6 months National Bonus.

    On a related note, it seems a certain senior minister has posted on her Facebook that she took a pay cut to join politics and the latest cut is the maximum she is willing to accept before her “standard of living” is affected. This coming from someone whose monthly pay is higher than most Singaporeans’ annual pay…. Now that is what I call detachment from the citizenry.

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