You slaved for 30 years in a government department with high integrity and avoid corruption at all cost. You hold the department at high moral standard and promote meritocracy as best as you can. You collect standard government salary your entire life.
Then, when you retired, your successor - a bumi - with much lower standard take over. A year later, he lives in a $10m house, which you know for a fact government salary alone cannot pay for it. Projects slipped, fall behind. Your previous colleagues complain.
For 30 years, you upheld integrity and meritocracy with low pay. The next moment, your bumi successor who didn't upheld integrity nor meritocracy, and enjoy the material things that money can buy. 30 Years! Doesn't that make your blood boil?
So, to the people who makes these sort of statement - "After all history has though us that even in the most corrupt environment there will be individuals who hold themselves at a higher standard than the rest despite being lowly paid.", I say BULLSHIT!
Yes, Singapore has it right. No corruption. Promote meritocracy. And link the leaders salaries to the top private sector salaries so that there is all incentive for meritocracy, and absolutely no room for corruption.
The top job in the country deserves the best person, and they deserve the best pay. No question that Singapore 40 years ago was worse than Malaysia when she was expelled from the Federation, but today, she has clearly become a First World country. That's the sort of difference one gets when one isn't corrupt and promotes meritocracy, no this NEP Bullshit.
Very well said, I do agree with the gist of yr opinions, and I do think meritocracy is the way to go. I think the top dogs did a good job, its only a matter of pay hikes twice over the last 2 years at a time when the bulk of Singapore is trying to catch up with inflation, and wondering how the "new economy" is already leaving many of them behind.
You may try to run the gov like IBM but you can't really as the notion of political office has the interest of its citizens at heart, and you don't want to run tyre tracks all over that. There has to be an element of "serving for the country" which cannot and should not be accounted just in monetary terms. They are not starving, their pay scale is already 5-8x higher than anywhere else in the world.
Just because you peg it does not mean you have to have it, there are times where these things are akin to political suicides anywhere else, where there is a 2 party system.
Just because there is none makes it even more honourable and necessary to do the right thing at the appropriate time.