Biggest Broken Promise

By Augustine Low

In the realm of broken promises, the PAP has had its fair share.   Singaporeans have on the whole chosen to turn a blind eye, to live and let live.

But Minister Chan Chun Sing seems to have conveniently forgotten about it. He, like PM Lee Hsien Loong, has been talking about building trust and keeping promises in recent months. Speaking at the inaugural S R Nathan Hard Seats Lecture, Chan reiterated that the key to building and maintaining trust is for leaders to be accountable and responsible, stressing: “That means making good on promises.”

Must Chan be reminded of the greatest of the promises not made good, the one that rankles the most, the one that ought to have consequences for the PAP? The promise is this: If we get paid what we want (i.e. the world’s highest salaries) we will deliver clean, efficient government, corrupt-free institutions and men and women with the highest integrity and performance.

They got exactly what they wanted. Ministerial and Civil Service salaries have been benchmarked against the top private sector earners since 1994. For a quarter century now, our politicians and top civil servants have been the world’s highest paid by a long, long mile.

Let us ask the Minister then, has the PAP made good on its promise for being rewarded with top dollar?

Costs keep going up but standards of public services (like the sluggish SMRT and the short supply of hospital beds) keep slipping. The Auditor-General has in recent years been rapping government agencies for lapses ranging from inefficient and inadequate financial controls and unauthorised investments to poor management of public funds and irregularities in contracts and procurement of services. Government agencies have been cheated and scammed, it seems, far too easily. Not only has performance been compromised, so too integrity  – public servants and GLCs been been nabbed for corruption.

Over the years, the PAP has made very robust defence of the policy of paying top wages. None more robust than the speeches by Lee Kuan Yew. It’s worth revisiting what he said in Parliament in 2000, in his final very impassioned defence of the policy:

“Our market based pay and allowance give no excuse for slippage. It is the duty of Ministers and MPs of all parties to be alert, to report incidents of KKN (Corruption, Collusion, Nepotism), and to set the example by maintaining high standards in protecting the integrity of our institutions. And you need two things for Singapore’s continued well-being: strong institutions and good men to run them.”

The thrust of the promise: with such high wages, there is no excuse for slippage and Singaporeans can be assured of top notch integrity and unblemished performance.

Lee Kuan Yew put in no uncertain terms what Singaporeans get in return for paying their leaders top dollar. But today not even the PAP can argue that there has been no slippage, and that integrity has not been compromised. If fact, Singaporeans can turn around and say there has not only been slippage but dearth of accountability and dearth of solutions to problems.

Yet Ministers continue to see salaries (with provision for up to 12 months’ undisclosed bonus) befitting their performance. As Ng Eng Hen said: “I will tell you squarely in the face that you’re getting a bargain for the Ministers you get.” While Grace Fu had the cheek to warn that cutting salaries “would make it harder for anyone considering political office.”

Let’s get real. Chan Chun Sing and his colleagues cannot claim that the PAP has always made good on its promises. The title that our political leaders hold – the world’s highest paid –  is an albatross around their neck because it begets the biggest broken promise of all.

69 COMMENTS

    • Strongly agree. Highly paid White Termites suck away your last drop of blood, ate your flesh & now chew your bones before hanging you to drip dry to make salted remains to feed them!

    • Exactly.
      And why do we continue to pay this bunch of idiots the world’s highest salaries?
      Are we not the greatest fools on earth?

    • Just look at that damned fool. Can you imagine him being the PM? PAP is leaving us rotten eggs.
      Pui!

  1. Shit promises are meant to be broken. So that where Fake news originated from Singapore. 70% is happy from broken promises. So it’s ok to give BS. It’s part of the new culture in the first World status.Fake news, Broken promises . threat, carrots and etc.

  2. Not worth to pay them this much..
    I grew up proud of NOL look what they did. Years of Singaporeans sweat . Sold .
    Nobody got punish. Not the pap we know.

  3. you must understand how to learn from your mistakes and be aware of all these signs in Singapore.

    1. NTUC- Never Trust the Union Chief.
    2.ERP- Every days Rob People.
    3.CPF- Cheat People Fund.

    • NTUC INCOME belongs to the Government… Paid Part co-insurance So that’s why they raised up the issue of insulting Doctors for abuse it’s power in Hospitals…so from now on we will will not get proper medical examination…. We all Singaporeans die early is better of course for themselves…. they will be treating like a King if they are Sick…
      We have to go thru all unnessary Red Tape and Restrictions from Now on… fellow citizens …..

  4. The biggest lie is we can get our blood money at 55 , now only when you are lying in the coffin then your next generation can touch the $$. Second biggest lie is HDB asset enhancement, now you will be left with nothing when lease runs out. The mother of all lies is the whites are competent, corrupt free and able to steer the country for better tmr. Today also dun noe how to manage liao what is the use of better tomorrow??!!! All big big lies.

  5. And remember that Singapore is not growing it’s economy as it did 10 to 20 years ago. Last time we have Foreign Direct Investments in the tune of $10b +/- a year and it does create jobs for Singaporeans, in addition to attracting foreigners to work here.

    Nowadays we only hear of companies closing shop for good or move to cheaper countries due to rising costs or companies moving from one location to another that is not helping. Or companies come due to lavish tax holidays at the expenses of local businesses.

    Or using the enbloc fever to generate business activities and pump GDP but how many Singaporeans benefited from this enbloc fever? Only the rich, government and developers.

  6. Never trusted our singapore govet at all
    Fool of lies and the rich gets richer
    The poor get poorer even the construnction worker in singapore and maids enjoy life but we the singaporeans pay all this people to work and enjoy but we end up with so much of problems…need to have change in govt soon if not the next genaration will all migrate elsewhere

  7. Redent1. When LKY defended his high salary for minister, himself didn’t up his own salary. LHL while cut people salary & CPF, he shamelessly hike his own & gang $M salary. LKY hedged his whole 30yrs political reputation to have his own PAP MP, law prof Walter Loo back off in parliament debate. Then Walter is retired as Switzerland ambassador.

    LKY did delivered good quality ministers, carefully chosen from top scholars thoroughly tested in gov sectors for decades. Among 2000 scholars, he found it would be lucky to find one minister caliber, which need to be patriotic, integrity, high morality and capable one.

    However he allowed a incapable son to ascend / succeed the throne, so all the rubbish people LHL brought in from private sector with no solid credential & integrity, no proven performance, & pathologic liars. Same feathers flock together, LHL attracted what his kind, and also can’t have better credential than him to outshine him. So all the high flyers & good one are systematically prosecuted, e. g. MAS whole group of top directors & Deputy MD Ong Beng Seng left against the LHL wannabe finance minister cum PM fithy policy, with his wife control Temasek.

    As UOB Chairman Wee Cho Yaw openly said, LHL is a green horn thinking after a few luncheons with city bank low grade bankers will make him expert in financial. So LHL forcefully merged all profitable local Banks to give the market to all scamming foreign banks, and insurance industry to AIA scammer.

    If you think $1.5M p. a. salary is too high, you should ponder how they have hundred of millions in bank account each. Everyone incl gov owned companies chiefs are given multi cross directorship, shares, business, amount to many millions.

    LHY is more clever to shun politics, as Singtel CEO he earned not just millions, but with share bonus worth $5M p. a. that he sometimes exercised. But Singtel delivered results.

    So is high pay minister policy has merits? Sure, only if you look at how corrupted other countries politicians are cutting deals during & after office. If you think Bush, Clinton & Obama are after $250K pa salary, you better look at their speech fees of $200~500K, $10M memoir fee, hundreds of millions in Clinton fund. Defense Secretary, DPres..after starting wars, they are given CEO or director post in war benefiting companies like military MIC, Exxonmobil Oil company, Halliburton…paying tens of millions.

  8. When LKY asked us to vote for PAP, he promised public housing, investments and jobs, protection of the country against aggressors and multiracial society. He cried when we were kicked out and saved the country, all of us. That is why despite many points of views, Singaporeans follow him. But the next generation of so call 4G leaders had it easy. After getting good A level grades, they were rocketed into positions, some become general of an army (that I am proud of) that has never fought a war. These recent years – hepatitis outbreak, littering of bikes, mrt breakdown, Keppel corruption, etc. I am not sure we will feel as much about them as LKY. I think many has no vision, have not seen their bravado, has done a fair bit of kissing babies and shaking hands of hawkers. But their salaries are very high. In the midst of it, there are old auntie and uncle cleaning tables, washing toilets and collecting waste boxes. Do they deserve our vote ? Let them defend themselves against all the accusations against them.

    • Edwin Kwan
      You forgot about Little India riot ? Senior citizens downgrading to studio apartment must pay $50,000 levy to HDB? The white monkeys bully our senior citizens and rob them of their retirement funds! Our aging population will vote for any opposition in due course!!!

    • Adeline Goh Swee Kheng I forgot. That is why the list needed to be added by the opposition at their next rally, with focus on competency of the government if led by the next generation of leaders. Worse, if goodies are given and massive celebrations organised, we will all forget with the delights and glee.

  9. Resent1.

    When LKY defended his high salary for minister, himself didn’t up his own salary. LHL while cut people salary & CPF, he shamelessly hike his own & gang $M salary. LKY hedged his whole 30yrs political reputation to have his own PAP MP, law prof Walter Loo back off in parliament debate. Then Walter is retired as Switzerland ambassador.

    LKY did delivered good quality ministers, carefully chosen from top scholars thoroughly tested in gov sectors for decades. Among 2000 scholars, he found it would be lucky to find one minister caliber, which need to be patriotic, integrity, high morality and capable one.

    However he allowed a incapable son to ascend / succeed the throne, so all the rubbish people LHL brought in from private sector with no solid credential & integrity, no proven performance, & pathologic liars. Same feathers flock together, LHL attracted what his kind, and also can’t have better credential than him to outshine him. So all the high flyers & good one are systematically prosecuted, e. g. MAS whole group of top directors & Deputy MD Ong Beng Seng left against the LHL wannabe finance minister cum PM fithy policy, with his wife control Temasek.

    As UOB Chairman Wee Cho Yaw openly said, LHL is a green horn thinking after a few luncheons with city bank low grade bankers will make him expert in financial. So LHL forcefully merged all profitable local Banks to give the market to all scamming foreign banks, and insurance industry to AIA scammer.

    If you think $1.5M p. a. salary is too high, you should ponder how they have hundred of millions in bank account each. Everyone incl gov owned companies chiefs are given multi cross directorship, shares, business, amount to many millions.

    LHY is more clever to shun politics, as Singtel CEO he earned not just millions, but with share bonus worth $5M p. a. that he sometimes exercised. But Singtel delivered results.

    So is high pay minister policy has merits? Sure, only if you look at how corrupted other countries politicians are cutting deals during & after office. If you think Bush, Clinton & Obama are after $250K pa salary, you better look at their speech fees of $200~500K, $10M memoir fee, hundreds of millions in Clinton fund. Defense Secretary, DPres..after starting wars, they are given CEO or director post in war benefiting companies like military MIC, Exxonmobil Oil company, Halliburton…paying tens of millions.

  10. This clown thinks he is a Uni lecturer!!!! He is so overpaid for what he is doing ( basically making brave speeches ) that it is embarrassing. He should go teach in a military college or go work in the private/ public sector to gain some hard experience so that when he talks there is some semblance of reality and credibility!!!!

    • Huh….. I thought he is only good to join the senior uncles and aunties to collect plates at hawker centres or doing cleaning jobs and clean toilets in factory buildings

  11. To be fair, our government and civil servants are generally paid less than an equivalent post in a comparable commercial company. And performance can depend greatly on factors that are not within the government’s control. A good captain that brings the ship through a storm should not be faulted for being late, and a poor captain should not be praised for coming in early when all he encounters are fair winds and following seas.

    However, a minister is NOT a CEO and a country is not a commercial company. A good CEO needs only bring in the profit. What love and dedication he has towards the company is of little relevance. But for an MP and minister, do we expect them to always do what’s right for the people? Or to do so only when their expensive homes and two cars are secured? Can we expect someone to vote fairly on a bill that threatens their million dollars property investment, when the same person is only willing to serve the people when paid hundreds of thousands?

    We trust the CPIB to weed out the politicians who are corrupt, but it is not as easy to weed out the fair weather politicians who only serves the people when their personal interests aren’t threatened.

    • I agree. You look at George Yeo and other members in his GRC team that lost in Aljunied. How many of them are still involved in serving the public after they lost? Fair weathered politicians; hypocrisy at its best.

  12. These bunch are extremely comfortable up there & they know whatever happens, the people will suffer but definitely not them!! What are so proud of when our lil Red Dot is the most expensive place in the world & worst still the govt/ ministers pay are the highest in the world!! Its just bullshit to give the excuse if they are paid million dollars, there will not be any corruption! Seriously!!!!

  13. I think not only the high salaries but also the size and numbers of the politicians and civil servants that are robbing our wealth. Most are quite useless and redundant. BTW where is the swiss standard of living as promised by PAP?

  14. If the extremely corrupt leader from the neighbouring country is able to win big in this coming election , what more will the overly paid, greedy yet underperforming and self serving PAP government not obtain another strong mandate in the next election?

    People might be amazed by the righteous Christ’s resurrection , but many would be even more surprised by an unrighteous government’s resurrection through elections after elections.

  15. Just look at that damned fool. Can you imagine him being the PM? PAP is leaving us rotten eggs.
    Pui!

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  18. I curse all PAP ministers and their families to be plague by diseases, terminal diseases so Singapore can be saved. They are a disgusting group of Satanist.

  19. A few groups of voters for PAP to ponder at the next GE : a) Singaporeans who grew up with LKY or GCT and who are now feel threatened by too many new immigrants b) Singaporeans who mesmerised or eulogised with the past and see things going beyond their grasp c) Singaporeans who simply cannot identity with those PM aspirants and maybe some dislike them d) Singaporeans who feel the PAP has strayed too far away from its founding core beliefs and can’t align themselves with the PAP. It will not be those critters who argue for freedom of press, or has some liking for liberation theology or Marxism, or who dress themselves as clowns on MRT covering their eyes / faces, or who want to try some gimmicky things from the West to prove their point. All the above 4 groups are quiet, observing, sometimes steaming maybe not boiling but are going to swing the votes at the next GE. Unless you start addressing concerns, in particular as the changes around us and the world are moving too fast for most of them, then they will vote against you to preserve their notion of past status.

  20. A few groups of voters for PAP to ponder at the next GE : a) Singaporeans who grew up with LKY or GCT and who now feel threatened by too many so call “foreign talent” b) Singaporeans who mesmerised or eulogised with the past and see things going beyond their grasp c) Singaporeans who simply cannot identity with those PM aspirants and maybe some dislike them d) Singaporeans who feel the PAP has strayed too far away from its founding core beliefs and can’t align themselves with the PAP. It will not be those critters who argue for freedom of press, or has some liking for liberation theology or Marxism, or who dress themselves as clowns on MRT covering their eyes / faces, or who want to try some gimmicky things from the West to prove their point. All the above 4 groups are quiet, observing, sometimes steaming maybe not boiling but are going to swing the votes at the next GE. Unless you start addressing concerns, in particular as the changes around us and the world are moving too fast for most of them, then they will vote against you to preserve their notion of past status.

  21. Alas, all because of the 70 %. They gave the government an empty cheque book. Come 2019/20, let’s hope they will be given a devasting blow by the 70 %.

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