Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Singapore General Election 2011: PAP's naked and insatiable greed

source:  The Love of Money is The Root of All Evil

As Election Day looms, there are numerous discussions everywhere on what the incumbent party has done, or not done, to Singapore.  In my opinion, almost everything the incumbent Leader and its cohort has done, does have its merits or demerits, and may be debatable to some extent, because you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time.  The immigration policies, the casinos, the language policies,  the casinos, CPF Life compulsory schemes… you can always find some good in it if you bother to look.

But the one thing which is unforgivable and nullifies every single good that PAP has done is this.  It created a culture of Money Worship.  The Leader had set a bad, really bad example for Singaporeans to worship money for money’s sake.  It is absurd that a lower grade minister in Singapore is easily earning double of Obama’s salary, and more recently President is getting a 26% pay rise without any rhyme or reason as to what specific contributions was made in the past.   Why do people want more than they need?  Unlike the issues with foreign talent, or language policies, etc – there is no controversy in this: it is outright WRONG, it misuses the wealth of the nation which comes from taxpayers.

It’s not about jealousy, it’s not about the quantum of money per se, __ but, it’s about the subtle creation of a new Singapore Culture that money is to be accumulated in infinite quantities for the satisfaction of the soul and definition of success.  It sends a wrong message to the young and aspiring, and constrains their thinking into the narrow view that besides money, nothing else in life matters.

Frankly speaking I am puzzled why The Leader championed the cause of pay rises all the time, when in fact, none of the ministers are clamouring that their money is not enough.

When you pay a person too little he/she becomes lazy..  Likewise, if you pay too much, he/she will also become lazy, after a while, because he/she is no longer hungry.   People need to be kept at a certain level of “hunger” to be productive.  The correct salary level of the cabinet as mentioned by Sylvia Lim in her excellent and evergreen speech in 2007 (which fell on deaf ears of people with no feelings of “tinge of discomfort”), should be bench marked against the governor in Hongkong, or PM of Japan or something similar.

If anything, in the last 10 years, it is well proven that money doesn't necessarily attract talent. Money attracts yes-men, corrupt men,  incapable men – anybody.  PAP already admitted that they couldn't find the talent, it proves that their policy of “money attracts talent ” is seriously flawed.    Truly, for Singapore to be able to afford to pay multiple times of Obama’s salary to numerous questionable politicians even at the mid level hierarchy, and with pensions thrown in, it shows how rich Singapore is!!!!!  Therefore it is not unreasonable to use such wealth to improve the citizens' welfare, for we seem to be even richer than America to be able to afford such salaries and pensions.

In summary, every single policy which pap had done, in my opinion, is negotiable, i believe pap meant well and there are positive aspects of many of the policies even if they don’t look right at first.  But the culture which is subtly introduced into the young minds – of worshipping money for money sake, of Greed – this is the greatest disservice that the pap has – wrought -  to the nation.  Wrong policies can be reversed more easily, but if you inculcate the wrong culture in people, it is far more difficult to change.

In summary, all other things i can compromise,  but not this.

No comments: