Mainstream and alternative media: Stop the Yaw Shin Leong witch hunt

January 29, 2012 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
29 January 2012

I am deeply saddened by the behaviour of both the mainstream as well as the alternative media with regard to the Yaw Shin Leong saga.

A prominent Singaporean blog, Temasek Review Emeritus, penned an article several days ago saying that Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong had engaged in an extra-marital affair with a female opposition member. They could not cite any credible facts or evidence to back their claims. They only stated that they had reliable sources, and that they had made serious deliberation before posting the article.

Notwithstanding the lack of any credible evidence to prove this claim, many netizens took up the issue and started to hound and pester Yaw Shin Leong as well as the alleged female party member “Angela” on their facebook accounts, and in popular forums such as the Sammyboy Alfresco Coffeeshop Talk which is run by a webmaster stationed in Auckland, New Zealand.

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The Barren Political Landscape

January 27, 2012 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
26 January 2012

The ominous forecast is that if we don’t continue to attract a stream of good people into political leadership, we are doomed to become a little black dot. This statement is essentially true, except that salaries, however high, would not be the right solution to alleviate this problem. There are historical reasons why we are starved of political leadership in Singapore. To solve this problem, the right thing to do is the remove the inherent obstacles.

Way back in the fifties and the sixties, when the population was less than 1 million, Singapore had no problem with educated people and professionals coming forward to serve in public office. At that time, pay was not a consideration. Passion was.

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Live Simply That Others May Simply Live

January 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Dr Patrick Kee
16 January 2012

The current debate about the pay of our political leaders has generated much heat, but has shed little light on the need of our nation for a committed, compassionate, caring, competent and co- operative oriented leadership.

The more important issue is not about the adequacy of the pay to attract leaders to come forth to serve. The fundamental problem is the need for our leaders to be beacons of light, and to inspire our people to become a committed, compassionate, caring, competent and co-operative society.

We need leaders with the wisdom to optimize the use of our nation’s limited financial resources for the well being of our people. Our taxes should be invested in our educational, health, social and defence services, which are for the common good.

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What kind of people are we trying to attract?

January 9, 2012 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

“There is one good point about paying our ministers obscene salaries. This will make them so expensive that foreign countries would not try and poach them.” — An Anonymous Wag

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
08 January 2012

“When I undertake to do something, I do not expect anything in return. I am doing it for the sake of my country.” So he said on national television. This sounded very much like an inspiring political utterance made by a selfless politician, but unfortunately, it was not. The words actually came from the mouth of the late Mr. Choo Seng Quee, Singapore’s legendary football coach of the 60s and 70s.

Who is Choo Seng Quee? Those of us who are in our fifties and above would probably know something about him. It is unlikely that people below the age of 50 would have heard about him.

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More thoughts on ministerial pay revisions

January 6, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
06 January 2012

The ministerial pay revisions is primarily a political exercise aimed at pacifying the large number of Singaporeans who over the years have become disgruntled at what they deem to be exorbitant compensation for political appointment holders.

It is clearly just a cosmetic exercise. First and foremost, the Terms of Reference (TOR) under which the Committee headed by Mr Gerard Ee operated clearly specified that the Committee was to devise a formula for ministerial pay based on private sector compensation. In other words, the Committee was already handcuffed in its approach — it had to adopt a private sector benchmark and it was not permitted to choose another approach.

That explains why the Committee only came up with token revisions to the salary scale, but without changing the underlying premise of using top private sector compensation as the deciding factor.

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Analysis on the pay cuts of political appointment holders

January 4, 2012 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
04 January 2012

The Committee to Review Ministerial Salaries chaired by Mr Gerard Ee released its report, entitled “Salaries for A Capable and Committed Government”, to the public on Wednesday.

Firstly, ministerial pensions would be done away with.

Secondly, the Committee recommended a 37 percent pay cut for entry-level ministers and a 36 percent pay cut for the Prime Minister, taking into account the removal of ministerial pensions.

Excluding the effect of pension removal, entry grade ministers would see their annual salary docked by 31 percent to around $1.1 million, while the Prime Minister would see his annual salary docked by 28 percent to around $2.2 million.

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