Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cut a minister’s pay by 30% after two terms, can we?

The Ministry of Education proposed cut of up to 30% for retired teachers seems to suggest that old teachers are useless or less productive as compared to younger teachers.

Should we apply the same standard to ministers too? After servicing more than two terms, a minister is already an old minister (due for retirement) and so he or she is less productive.  Therefore, his or her compensation should also be reduced accordingly.

Still remember Goh Chok Tong who once suggested that:

Ministers may serve just two terms in future: SM Creating space in Cabinet for new arrivals is vital for self-renewal, he says (ST 4 Apr)

So, two-term is an idea guideline to cut a minister’s pay.  Under the present pay structure, a minister can easily earn more than S$ 20 or 30 million after two terms. And even a junior minister (minister of state) can have more than S$10 million after two terms.

MPs, President too

Similarly, those elected for more than two terms as MPs should also have their salary cut.  As an extension, the elected President should also have their salary cut because he is very much beyond the retirement’s age and is already a senior citizen. 

Consider also the President has benefited from the Singapore system and being the selected few who are qualify to stand for EP. In his working life, he has already accumulated certain wealth to let his family having a comfortable life as compared to a common and ordinary citizen.

Teachers vs politicians

In fact, teachers are even more important than politicians in shaping the future of Singapore, especially, in upholding value, moral and responsibility.  However, all these have been neglected and all we are looking for is how to produce ‘A’ students.

If we look at the financial crisis, sub-prime and mini bonds, etc; have the business schools taught the right value to students?  If yes, creating accounting and other structured products will less likely to appear.

If we look at the London riot, the youngsters have not been adequately taught of value, respect and right and wrong. They feel no hope, no future and have no trust to the society.

All these values have to be taught by the teachers. And we have all neglected the basic principal of education and the more we look for economic growth, the less we will teach our children about the meaning of life.
Politicians want to win your hearts but teachers are to educate your ‘hearts’.

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