Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

Just another weblog

What’s the point of it all? To want it? Or to give it away? You tell me 

MPs and Ministers hold political office. Though they are different from civil servants, they are the leaders of the civil servants. Civil Servants are supposed to do the background work, the nitty gritty stuff and come up with policy papers which the Ministers and MPs decide to implement. Like the oft-quoted report card tendered to the electorate every five years to seek re-election to office, credit will be taken for a good showing and an improvement of well being of the people of the country. A bad showing will be enough reason to kick the ruling party in its butt. Similarly, during the term of office if there is any policy error, the relevant minister will have to answer. Any mistake or blunder by the civil service, responsibility has to be taken by the minister in charge.

The concept of Civil Service can be better understood when one notes that Civil Servants are also referred to as Public Servants, people employed by the state to facilitate the administration of the country. Public servants wield delegated powers and are in a special position to receive state benefits and be protected in their performance of their duties. In the olden days, they were also given a security in terms of employment and security upon retirement (pension). This was to encourage the dedicated and permanent service of the people who form the backbone of the Government. Why else are Permanent Secretaries called as such? It is because in a functioning democracy, a people would be smart enough to kick the ruling party and its ministers out of office every other term when it gets a little too arrogant. Now pension has almost but all been removed from the Civil Service – instead high salaries are used to justify the need to properly remunerate such people who are supposed to be Public Servants. A similar development occurred in the way public office holders received their remuneration – however, a select few of these public service holders enjoy not just high salaries but also pension of their last drawn salaries. The reason used to raise public office salaries was to attract the top talent in the private sector.

In the latest exercise, i feel that the raising of salaries of the Civil Service is done so as to cushion the disgustingly bad timing of the need to raise the top echelon’s salaries. In hokkien terms, we say the need to split the pork (apologies to all Muslim Singaporeans). When everyone gets one piece (of varying sizes) it is hoped that the said piece, whatever the size would be enough to stuff your mouth and garner your support if not to prevent you from opening your mouth to object. 🙂 Is this what is happening now? since we see that no-one objected to MPs allowance increases. 🙂 Luckily, God has eyes, some pieces can be swallowed easily as they are smaller. Some pieces are too big that the person receiving it chokes on it and tries to vomit it out albeit abit disgustingly. Some other beneficiaries watch in horror of the possibility of a death-choke and will resort to the same tactic of throwing the meat off their table… in this process which is gently encouraged, hopefully some of the scraps will make it to the people underneath


Ti Lik 


April 13, 2007 Posted by | Politics | 1 Comment