Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yaacob Ibrahim - Is this guy worth his million dollar salary?

There are idiots and there are imbeciles, and there is Yaacob Ibrahim.

From a news report by Tan Hui Leng of MediaCorp huileng@mediacorp. com.sg, he was reported to had said the followings:
"THINK not of the ministerial pay hike in terms of dollars and cents, but about the kind of Singapore that you want," said Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

"Really it's not about me, it's not about the Cabinet, but I think the best question for you to ask is the first question asked in Parliament: What kind of a country are we? What is Singapore?" he said.

Dr Yaacob was responding to a resident's question on the link between the Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike and the ministerial pay increment at a dialogue session with residents during his ministerial visit to Tampines Central.
Dear Dr Yaacob, if it's not about you nor about the Cabinet, then all of you wouldn't be asking for that million dollar pay raise will you? Of course it is all about you and the Cabinet. Surely you and the Cabinet getting that million dollar pay raise has nothing to do with the "generous" $30 increase that those pitiful old folks are getting right? $290 for them is definitely dollars and cents, but your million dollar salary is not.

And you have to ask what kind of country are we and what is Singapore? Why don't you tell us? Are we a country where the income disparity between the rich and the poor had widen so much over the past years and yet you guys see nothing wrong with that and still want more money over the currently obscene level you are already getting? Singapore's growth in term of GDP and foreign reserves did little to benefit us, the poorer class and if this stay the course, it will never be. Is this the type of country and Singapore you are telling us that we want? Or is that what you want?
"I always explain this to visitors. I say you go to the US, if you have a riot in New York, you can go and stay in Los Angeles. In Singapore if you get a riot in Bedok, you cannot stay in Jurong," he said.
Of course not, but why will there ever be a riot in Singapore in the first place if the government is genuinely caring for the people? Do the poor peasants of Singapore have nothing better to do and create riots all day? In order for a riot to form, there must be a cause for it. Can the cause of this probable riot you are thinking of be due to the unreasonable ministerial pay hike? I will think so.
"The smallness of Singapore gives us a certain flexibility but ... our room for making mistakes is very, very narrow and ... if we get our policy wrong, I think that will be disastrous."
Does it mean that you and the cabinet had never been wrong before? Does it mean that all your policies in the past 40 years are all right? If it is so, then we wouldn't have this ever widening income discrepancy and you demanding a pay hike before this is resolved.
Because of that, he said, continuity in leadership is required in governing the country. He cited the Government's ability to overcome Singapore's water issues as an example. "Supposing the Government changes every five years, different policy, I don't think we could have a sustainable water supply for Singaporeans, " he said. "Only because the Government has been on it for the last 40 years, the same Government, committed to the same outcome, we have been able to achieve resilience in our water supply."
I disagree, the leadership of a government can change, but good policies that are already in place need not be changed, just the bad ones. I wonder where you get this idea from? Your degree from NUS in 1980, or your PhD from Stanford University in 1989? Whatever gave you the notion that if our government were to change today, we will have no water tomorrow?
Explaining the GST increase, Dr Yaacob said it is needed "primarily because we have some long-term problems emerging". "In order to fund projects for low-income families, we need to be able to raise some revenue," he said
Yes, you are right on this long-term problems emerging, and that problem is not the low income families but the ever insatiable thirst for salary increase by the current government. Look, your salary is already way, way high up there. If you think that's still not enough, go join the private sector. We can do without you and your pay hike. We can use the total cumulative sum of the ministerial pay hike to do something good for all the Singaporeans, especially the lower income ones, and we can all do without the GST increase since now we do not have to raise revenue to fund your salary hike.
Dr Yaacob also defended the civil service, saying the good performers deserve the pay. "Frankly speaking, you cannot find another civil service quite like it. It's an ecosystem. ... Look at other countries ?how the civil service is corrupt, inept, inefficient. Ours is on the ball. They get the job done."
So who appraise your performances and tell you that all of you are doing great? You yourself? Why not put this to a vote right now and let us Singaporeans tell you what we really think of your performance? You think you are on the ball and getting the job done? Then why are you asking for more money now when the poor gets poorer? Why are our men being discriminated against in job opportunities because they have NS liabilities? Why are Singaporeans being penalised and slapped with a fine for driving foreign vehicles into Singapore at all times while foreigners get to drive in for free at certain hours of the day?

Look, these are just a few examples among many others and they are long standing issues that haven't been resolved. Whatever make you think you are better? If you think you are solving problems, think again, because you might be the very problem that need solving.

2 comments:

Gary said...

This is extremely revealing on the virtually unknown realities of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

yaacob sabagai saorang Islam kita kena percaya qadak dan qadar, segala yang terjadi Allah yang telah menentukan, bukan partY PAP, tanpa PAP singapura tetap ada ayer kalau Allah dah tentukan.