After so many prior examples, Ministers still don’t know how to think before they type.

Grace Fu‘s comments on the ministerial paycut on her facebook:

When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office.


Understandably, it drew the ire of citizens, and that post alone garnered some 474 comments and counting.

And then this happens:


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My view on the Ministerial Salary Cuts


bye bye 36%

When it was first announced that a committee would be set up to look into the salary levels of the government post elections, I knew that cuts would be a given, and the percentage would be significant.

All in all, its a good start, as most of the ministers’ salaries were cut by between 30% – 50%, with the President taking the brunt of it with a 51% paycut, and for the first time, getting a lower salary in relation to PM Lee, which is fair given the scope and responsibilities our President doesn’t hold.

What I don’t understand (OK, I understand it from a monetary perspective, but not from a public servant perspective) is why their salaries are being pegged to top 1000 Singaporean earners discounted by 40%.

As public servants, wouldn’t their prerogative be to help the bottom 10% – 20% improve their quality of lives, and of course the overall growth and stability of the nation?

The rich normally get richer, and even if some fall by the wayside, others will rise in their place. The poor on the other hand, could really need help getting out of the poverty cycle.

What it should be

Pegging salaries to the rich is just an easy way out. Pegging it to the poor, or at least middle income earners for instance, is in my opinion a better way of gauging the successes of the government. I’m not even saying they need to receive a very low pay. Let’s say the median income is $40,000 per annum. They can peg it to 10 times for entry-level ministers and 20 times for PM, and its still turns out to be a very decent salary in comparison with other political parties around the world.

If they manage to raise the incomes of the poor and middle-income earners to narrow the gap with the rich, they would in fact be making 99% of the population happy. And their salaries would consequently increase.

But of course, that would take up too much work and effort. And who signs up for public service to serve the public? That’s just stupid.


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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


To be honest, we only went into A Game of Shadows because there weren’t any time slots for We Bought a Zoo that could fit us, and rotten tomatoes placed The Darkest Hour at 13% Fresh.

So we went into the cinema not expecting much because we weren’t too impressed with the first Sherlock Holmes. That said, we came out pleasantly surprised by a more than decentĀ installmentĀ of the detective’s adventures.

This time round, Holmes finds himself facing off with his intellectual equal, the evil Professor Moriarty, who has hatched a diabolical scheme to start a world war, while at the same time maneuvering himself into a position to benefit from strife and conflict.

Guy Ritchie, with his signature visual directorial style, awesome costumes and outlandish disguises for Sherlock, brings a lot of fun and frenetic action to this film. And this time, the story is much, much better with a stronger and more engaging villain.

Rating: 7/10

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