Sunday, April 12, 2009

Parameswara's Weekly Round-Up (29 March to 4 April 09)

Hi everyone, Parameswara here again on Seelan Palay's blog.

Even without the current financial tsunami which is affecting a lot of people, Singaporeans are kept busy. Some are holding two jobs, some three, while some have no jobs and try to survive whichever way they can, to feed themselves and/or their families.

As a result, many have lost track or are not in touch with what has been happening in Singapore, especially for those who have to hold two or three jobs to survive.

Parameswara will try to keep them updated through this blog as often as possible, and if possible on a weekly basis, unless I have to work extra long hours and maybe be made to be late in the posting.

Parameswara will sometimes add his comments on what is happening, readers may agree or disagree with the comments - but that’s what democracy is about. Readers are most welcome to add their comments too, so we can all learn and grow together. Let’s look at some of the headlines:

The 10 highest paid politicians in the world
1 April 2009 – Promotional Codes UK

1. Lee Hsien Loong - Singapore

Salary in dollars - $2.47 million

Salary in local currency - S$3.76 million

Parameswara (P): I think almost everybody will agree that the top news not welcome by Singaporeans is that LSL is the highest paid politician in the world.

Imagine a walloping – us$2.47 million or Sing$3.76 million a year. What the heck, that’s S$10, 301, 13/ per day, and that is not including bonuses, allowances, pensions. How many Singaporeans will ever in their lifetime ever smell this type of salary and let’s not even include the bonuses etc.

I remember many years ago David Marshall, Singapore’s first chief minister remarked “what are you going to do with all these monies”. Or something to that effect. He was of course referring to our ministers salaries.

For some who maybe be curious, why LHL is not in the pic, that’s because, this pic was taken during the G20 meeting, and Singapore was not invited, because G20 is for the top biggest economic nations in the world, and Singapore is too small.

The publication of LHL salary by the Times, prompted Singapore’s own bloggers’ brigade to react. Here are some of their postings:

My SingaporeNews, 3 April 2009 - On this small island lives the 30 best-paid politicians in the world, comments a blogger

The Wayang Party, 3 April 2009 - CORRECTION: The 10 highest paid politicians in the world are...

The list compiled is wrong unless the title is changed to "The 10 highest paid leaders in the world". Here's our corrected version of "The 10 highest paid politicians in the world":

Who are the 10 best paid politicians in the world?
2 April 2009 - SDP

Our Singapore ministers, of course!

For the record, the current Singapore’s ministers’ salaries are as follows;
(note: salaries quoted are an estimate only)
1. S R Nathan- Singapore Salary - S$3.1 million
2. Lee Hsien Loong – Singapore Salary - S$3.00 million
3. Lee Kuan Yew – Singapore Salary - S$3.00 million
4. Goh Chok Tong – Singapore Salary - S$3.00 million
5. S Jayakumar – Singapore Salary - S$3.00 million
6. Wong Kan Seng – Singapore Salary - S$2.5 million
7. Teo Chee Hean – Singapore Salary - S$2.50 million
8. Tharman Shanmugartan – Singapore Salary - S$1.50 million
9. K Shanmugan – Singapore Salary - S$1.50 million
10. Khaw Boon Wan – Singapore Salary - S$1.50 million

Do you think they are worth this much?

Let’s now see other headlines for the week in chronological order, along with my comments.

Executive hiring in Asia deteriorates - survey, 2 April 2009, Reuters

P: ..The survey covers four markets -- Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China (Beijing and Shanghai) -- all of which have seen exports plunge in recent as key markets in the West fell into recession.

Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are in recession and analysts say they are unlikely to rebound until the U.S. economy shows signs of recovery

Hiring expectations in Singapore, already low, fell less sharply than in previous quarters as 20 percent of employers said they would add staff, compared with 23 percent in the previous survey. However, 19 percent of respondents said they would reduce headcount, up from 12 percent in the previous survey.

What happened to all our planning ahead by the best brains in the country?

Travel agents’ boycott hits Singapore Airlines, 2 April 2009, MDFC

P: Top airline in the world…what happened?

StarHub wins Singapore broadband network bid, 3 April 2009, ST

P: Starhub wins? From who ?

China secures Myanmar energy route, 3 April 2009, Asia Times

P: What are our ministers’ answer to this ?...Not only will the oil from middle east and Burma flow directly to china from Burma, tankers do not have to come to Singapore anymore. Psa, bunkering and associated services will also be lost.

OECD names and shames tax havens, 3 April 2009, AFP

P: It listed another 38 territories as those that "have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but have not yet substantially implemented" the measures.

They included: Belgium, Brunei, Chile, the Dutch Antilles, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Singapore, Switzerland and Caribbean island nations including the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

…so Singapore is a Tax Haven after all…does this means more business will be lost, after having our reputation now tarnished ?

American Club warns of Singapore collision dangers, 3 April 2009, Marinelog News

P: The American P&I Club has alerted members of the collision dangers that laid-up ships can present to vessels sailing through, or anchoring in, the territorial waters of Singapore, including the eastern and western outer port limit (OPL) anchorages.

Efficient Singapore.

Virgin brides off the shelf, April 4 2009, The Star

P: Its reputation as a stable, affluent society and the close affinity in culture, skin colour and food has made Singapore a special choice of Vietnamese women.

MOVE OVER, China ladies; hello, Vietnam! In their dependency on foreign brides to correct a marriage imbalance, more Singaporean men are turning to Vietnamese women in recent years.

But this growing marriage bond has become mired in controversy and charges of exploitation that are earning Singapore’s image a black eye.

For years, the city-state has gone on a global binge on almost everything in life, including the institution of marriage.

Looks like our SDU didn’t work.

Singapore Airlines threatens to withdraw ticketing rights, 4 April 2009, Live Mint

P: Singapore Airlines had earlier said it will not pay any commission on tickets sold and agents should charge a transaction fee from customers.

Mumbai/Pune: The stand-off between India’s travel agents and Singapore Airlines Ltd has taken a new turn with the carrier threatening to withdraw ticketing rights.

SIA thinks it is Singapore.

Sentosa dream gets hazy, 6 April 2009, The Malaysia Insider

P: Remember all the hype…the Caribbean of the east…not forgetting...the Switzerland of the east too.

There you have it, the week that was. Hope you have been enlightened. See you at the next round up.



Anonymous said...

It is only when one compares Singapore government's acts and omission with those of other government, like the Ministers' salary that one appreciates how much we have been fooled.

For another similar example, compare what the Singapore government does to create jobs with what some other governments do in the link below:

ed said...

It is only a people who are taught to think little of their worth whom will attribute inordinate worth to their public-servants-turned-masters.

Good article. Keep up the good work Seelan.