Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Some updates

I've been really busy with work lately -- this year-end stuff is no joke. I work in a software company with an end-March financial year closing, and it's just been non-stop dealing with contracts coming in. Hence the absolute silence on this blog.

The big issue on everyone's lips is probably the question of ministerial salaries, and this has occupied my thoughts for the past few days. The official notices from Parliament for the 9 April sitting aren't out yet, but if there is a debate (as there should be), I will certainly speak on it.

There has been a lot to digest. The SR9 benchmark in particular strikes very close to home for me, because it is pegged at the top earners amongst 32-year-olds, and I am 32 this year -- and those numbers are really way out there.

I think it's really a very complex issue. The numbers are astronomical, and hence invariably trigger a very emotional response for most people. But there are many other issues at play, and I agree with certain aspects of the Government's arguments. I'm not going to blog about my views just yet, but will post my speech if there is a debate, or my thoughts if there is none.

Finally, I did a radio interview with 938 Live's Passion People programme, which thankfully does a podcast (eventually), otherwise I wouldn't have missed it because I simply don't listen to the radio!


family man said...

Mr Siew, I agree too with the pay increase for civil servants and that they should be paid market rates. However, I do not agree with the peg to top 8 income (Mr Tan Kin Lian - ex-NTUC income-mentioned top 100) and the increase for ministers. The ministers should get a pay freeze for now and show a level of sacrifice and empathy in view of the poor showing of how our citizens are getting no increase in salary over the past years. But yes, as paid workers, Civil servants pay should keep up with the industry. - but not the top 8 people.

o said...

Their justification for paying Ministers such large salaries is so that they don't leave for the private sector. That tells me that their attitude is that the people are privileged to be led by such able individuals.

It should be the other way around: they are privileged to have been bestowed the honour of serving the people.

Perhaps this is overly idealistic.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To family man:That is something I agree with, that civil servants and ministers should be treated differently.

To o:I wrote out an outline for my speech last night. It's been something that has been percolating in my head for the past few days. And one of the points I want to make is that all of us MPs are honoured and privileged to serve -- and the greatest honour and privilege falls on the ministers.

Perhaps I am idealistic as well. In fact, I know I am -- I have to be, to do this NMP thing :).

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