20140623 Goh Chok Tong’s meaningless Facebook post

Dear Mr Goh

I am happy to know you have finally woken up to the fact that “workers at the bottom of the heap” have been shortchanged for years.

I am shocked you took so long to figure out the ‘solution’ to narrow our national income gap. With reference to your FB post, you suggested to “tweak the wage shares of employees by taking some from top management and giving them to those at the bottom”.

Your suggestion appears to have been “copied and pasted”.

More than 2 years ago, Prof Lim Chong Yah had suggested in his “wage shock therapy” to “freeze the wages of those who earn over $15,000”. The identical suggestion by Mr Goh could not have been a coincident. Perhaps you were waiting for an opportune moment to show your ‘concern’?

Prof Lim’s wage shock therapy was ‘carpet bombed’ by the PAP in the mainstream media. If you really shared the same idea as Prof Lim to narrow the income gap, why were you totally silent then?

To be really frank, Mr Goh was actually part of the huge income gap problem. Allow me to jolt your 73 year old memory a bit.

In 1981, the PM’s salary was only $16,500. In 1989, only 8 years later, it had shot up to $49,608!

In 1994, 5 years later and after yet another round of salary increase, Mr Goh’s salary doubled to $96,000! On which planet does the salary of an elected leader increase by almost 6 times in 13 years? There was no limit to GREED.

To justify the increase, you also said: “If we do not pay ministers adequately, we will get inadequate ministers. If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys for your ministers. The people will suffer, not the monkeys.’

In my humble opinion, we certainly did not pay peanuts but how come we still got monkeys for our ministers? If that’s not the case, how does one account for all the epic failures in housing, healthcare, public transportation, etc? The end result is still the same – the people have suffered, not the monkeys!

Frankly, you do not have any moral authority to lecture private companies “to tweak the wage shares of employees by taking some from top management and giving them to those at the bottom”. In public service, you not only sat on the fence but also helped implement policies which widened the income gap. The income gap within the public sector mirrors that in the private sector.

If Mr Goh is really serious about having “a more inclusive and equitable society”, please put your money where your mouth is and return at least part of your past remuneration to the government. They say talk is cheap. So is your Facebook posting.

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