Ministerial salary should be further reduced, Singaporeans should say ‘no’ to maximum 12 months’ GDP and National bonuses

Before PAP lost a GRC in 2011, ministers and cronies were helping themselves to tax dollars as if the sky was the limit.

This can be confirmed by the two variable components, ie humongous Performance Bonus (up to 14 months) and GDP Bonus (up to 8 months).

PAP ministers did not hesitate to help themselves to getting as close to the maximum 22 months on these 2 bonuses alone.

After losing a GRC, the PAP-appointed salary review committee played with words (‘GDP’ to ‘National’, reduced by 2 months only) and reduce the maximum 22 months’ bonuses to … 12 months.


However, 12 months’ bonuses are almost unheard of even in the non-PAP private sector.

So, despite the drastic reduction, PAP ministers are still the highest-paid politicians in the world.

The problem with this sort of public sector remuneration is it attracts greedy and irresponsible characters who work for self benefit.  As a result, hospital beds are in short supply, the MRT system is in ICU, productivity growth is stagnant, personal attacks and intimidation become the norm in Parliament, etc.

And high pay also doesn’t prevent corruption.

Ministers and top civil servants should stop being hypocrites; a maximum of 12 months’ bonuses is a ripoff.

Hopefully, Singaporeans will beware of PAP’s insatiable greed and vote against being fleeced – again – at GE2020.


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Will incompetent MOT/SMRT senior management seek NASA’s help if McLaren fails?

I refer to “SMRT, McLaren to explore use of F1 technology for train performance monitoring”. (Link)

MRT breakdowns look set to worsen as the government continues to leave the accountability issue unaddressed.

Former Colombo Plan scholar MOT Minister Khaw and SAF scholar SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek appear to be clinging at straws, inadvertently turning themselves into the butt of jokes.  A competent MRT operator would not have to resort to seeking help from car companies.

F1 technology will of course be unable to guarantee less disruptions.
Will wheels also fly off SMRT into a wall, as they did last month for McLaren?

The only hope of improving train reliability has always been the removal of incompetent senior management: Khaw, together with LTA and SMRT senior management, should commit hara kiri.

Without removing the rot at the top, likely, regular disruptions will continue to be the norm.  So, what’s next?

Will Singaporeans wake up to this headline soon?
It was reported that China has developed an artificial heart using rocket technology.

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Why were PAP ministers paid more than 10 months’ bonuses in 2017?

PAP-controlled media has done a good job at masking PAP ministers’ minimum 10 months’ bonuses in 2017.

When DPM Teo said there were “no changes to ministerial salary levels and structure“, he made it appear that ministers were underpaid, ie according to PAP’s pay formula. They were in fact grossly overpaid.

Singaporeans should take note that bonuses included in the revised ministerial pay formula consists of this buffet spread:
1. Fixed 13th month bonus of 1 month.
2. Annual variable component – up to 1.5 months, exceptional GDP growth could be higher.
3. Performance bonus – up to 6 months. Good performers typically get 3 months.
4. National bonus – up to 6 months.

Computation of National Bonus of 5.25 months is shown in the table below:

Data for real median income growth rate, real growth rate of lowest 20th percentile income and unemployment rate can be found @ Labour Market Advance Release 4Q 2017
Real GDP growth rate @ Singstat

Since it’s not possible for every minister to be not a good minister, an additional 3 months’ bonuses would increase bonuses to 8.25 months.

Including the 13th month bonus and AVC of 1 1/2 months, ministers received at least 10 months in bonuses in 2017.

The ministerial pay formula leaves lots of room for ministers to be paid additional months in bonuses.  For example, some of them could have received 6 months’ Performance Bonus for their ‘exceptional performance’ in Parliament, perhaps in attacking opposition members?

The PAP government has to be more transparent by disclosing the quantum of bonuses paid to ministers.

Should ministers receive more than 10 months in bonuses while ordinary citizens do not enjoy a similar buffet spread, receiving only a fraction?  Or, worse, could be even out of job?

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Total defence manpower understated by tens of thousands, only 282 personnel

According to budget documents, the number of defence personnel is only 282, including 3 political appointments, since a decade ago. (Budget 2018, Head J, Ministry of Defence pg 64)
1defenceTo confirm, the same figure is also stated in “Headcount by Ministry for FY2012 to FY2018” (below, edited).
1defence2(see “Analysis Of Revenue And Expenditure” pg 23)

The army is estimated to have a strength of about 70,000, consisting of 35,000 NSFs and 35,000 regulars.  Even if NSFs were excluded, there should be a headcount of at least 35,000 personnel.

Note that headcount under “Education” did not exclude tens of thousands of teaching staff and the large number of police officers was also not excluded under “Home Affairs”.

Why has the Defence headcount been understated by tens of thousands?  Is Singapore defended by only 282 military personnel, including 3 political appointees?

Over to you, PAP.



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Government should reduce defence manpower spending before increasing GST, fire paper generals

The PAP government has not tried to reduce other expenditure before raising GST.

One such expenditure is defence manpower spending, ie having too many high-ranking military personnel.

Does Singapore need more than 50 generals?  The answer is clearly ‘NO’.

Scholars are destined to become generals on a fast-tracked career.  Worse, despite a shrinking military force resulting from a declining TFR, the number of generals has increased.

From available data, the size of our army probably peaked in the late 1970s to 1980s (table below, edited).
1papergeneralHaving the “right” number of generals – say, 20 instead of 50 – will save millions in tax dollars.

A large number of generals also mean SAF has a multiple times of colonels and other high-ranking soldiers.

With an estimated 70,000 force, the ratio of general to soldier is the lowest among democratic countries.

As the population declines, the number of conscripts will further reduce by 15% in 4 to 9 years’ time.

Does Singapore still need more than 50 generals?  Aren’t we a laughing stock?

Should PAP consider reducing defence manpower spending before raising GST?

Posted in POLITICS | 2 Comments