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Old 3rd September 2018, 03:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A high ministerial salary sows seeds of distrust between cabinet and civil service (a

A high ministerial salary sows seeds of distrust between cabinet and civil service (and also within civil service itself)

With SAF as an instructive example, very often the MWO, SWO (senior warrant officer) although they have to salute the 2nd Lieutenant and follow his instructions, they earn much more $salary than the junior officer does.

Many talented civil servants, upon deciding that they would not have chance to be in cabinet because they do not wish to run for parliament, will resign and leave because they do not feel that there is much future in civil service because ultimately, they will be bullied not just by being bossed around by a young punk cabinet minister, but to add salt to wound, to earn less than the young punk minister, some of whom are just like a passing shadow (e.g. Mah Bow Tan/ Teo Ser Luck) the former who hyperinflated HDB prices and thus sowed the 'freehold HDB' expectation of many: i.e. creating PR problems for the MND ministry and the need for the next minister to perform damage control/ recovery work (e.g. convince HDB owners that they are owners and not tenants and that SERS isn't a given but a rare bonus if any).

It is smart for talented civil servants without political aspirations to leave the civil service because there is guaranteed to be much partisanship and back stabbing within the civil service since parliament /cabinet (based on salary scale) becomes the pinnacle of progression. This is a dangerous precedence because then civil service promotion becomes based upon political affiliation rather than job competence since as mentioned, it becomes a truism within the civil service that parliament /cabinet is the aspiration of all civil servants (if salary scale is any measure). All too soon, parliament, cabinet and the civil service become an inbred bunch : a family business / crony government, all intent of keeping the old boys club to themselves and needless to say, thus are sown the seeds of a civil war or political revolution.

Also, high minister salary is unnecessary especially if there is a strong civil service and judiciary. E.g. Even though Donald Trump is a joke (and in my mind, the consequence of an obsolete election vote counting system built on horseback communication technology (thus the district/electoral division method of counting as opposed to the exact number of popular votes)), the judiciary and civil service can also opt not to follow presidential orders if they are unlawful or are declared by the judiciary to be unconstitutional and thus illegal / unlawful .

A politician who will really receive the love and respect of the people earns his keep by selling books, making paid speeches/ appearences, exclusive news interviews, business advisory, UN honorarium etc and contributes to the betterment of society through popular (democratic) support internationally from people who seek out their publications because they think that he is smart. Not some bunch of blue blood ex-military generals and kids quarreling amongst themselves who will be the next to receive a stratospheric salary/ decades long job security as Prime Minister of Singapore.

Only despots and dictators die in office and by some accounts, Lee Kuan Yew was one too. Internationally however, democracy triumphs as people vote with their wallets. Being a cabinet minister should only be a place for the really talented to live for their cause just like Nelson Mandela willingly broke the law to fight against apartheid in S Africa ... If Mr N Mandela had to also pay a fine, he would too... thus, a high cabinet salary only attracts gangsters and thugs to parliament ... Useless parasites with an authoritarian / dictatorial streak who (wrongly) think that parliament /cabinet should be the pinnacle of their career; they and the electorate cannot be more mistaken. Parliament /cabinet should be like jail/ trial by fire for the inspired to test bed/debate their political ideas just like LKY put into action his idea that being a republic was better than just remaining a British vassal state.

Thus ideally, ministers should serve foc and a rare opportunity for trial by fire and by good faith, they may receive the same honour and prestige as Nelson Mandela, not least a trial by fire/ a character building experience second to none.

Gerrymandering, shifting political goal posts, fixing the opposition, vote buying etc to arrive in cabinet is not just the worst way to destroy one's own soul/character, if LKY were any example, even the progeny suffer because the Lee siblings and the subsequent generations are in a state of civil war.

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