After announcing the ministerial’s salaries hike for MPs and administrative officers – the elite of the civil service- last week, Senior Minister Goh Chong Tong was reported saying that “the latest civil service pay hike is aimed at retaining and attracting younger officers.”
This is despite the fact that Ministers at the starting grade will take home $1.94 million next year – an increase of 21 per cent over this year’s $1.6 million under the revised salary package.
SM Goh further explained that the increase was necessary and emphasised that the Ministers were less concerned about their own salaries because their salaries were actually quite attractive.
“But we are concerned about the civil servants now and the next generation of people whom we are trying to target to become Ministers,” he said.
Read the report here>>>
For Money or for people
Personally, I am flabbergasted over SM Goh’s comments and reasons for proceeding with the hike.
Notwithstanding that the retaining of Ministers is a valid reason for expediting the hike despite the increasing inflation, but it seems to send out a very wrong signal to the public.
For once, I am concern and question the agenda of any Minister taking up his/her role in our public service by using money as a “carrot” to retain and lure young officers.
Would he/she be in a ministerial role for the money or is he/she truly passionate about serving fellow Singaporeans?
The answer, I believe makes a lot of difference in how Singapore will be led. This would eventually affect the livelihood of us Singaporeans with the kind of policies rolled out for “nation-building”.
Nevetheless, I believe there are more others reasons to leave the public service apart from not having a high salary package. The other possible reasons surely cannot be any much different from us non-elites which should include having a lousy boss, not having opportunities for personal development or a dislike of the working culture.
So would increasing the salary package really solve the problem? Or is the increment really meant to solve that problem?
The sort of leaders we need
Ideally speaking, we need more leaders that will lead with their heart and soul especially if one who is in a role of a Minister.
If one steps up to become a Minister, it should be a calling rather than a career.
The reason why they serve makes a difference because in the face of great adversity, we can be sure that those who serve with passion will stick to the end of their duties even if it costs them their lives.
For those who are in for the money, we can expect them to leech on the people’s resources and lives. And like a hired hand, we can expect them to elope at the sight of danger.
Therefore, it is up to us to decide which one of these two types of leaders would we rather have lead us.
I really dread to think how Singapore will be run with the young and new Ministers in office who are in for self-interest rather than the people’s initerest.
But probably it is not too hard to imagine when we just have to look at our present state.
Read related TOC article here>>>