I believe that one should not have a system where salaries are determined by oneself, or where a small group of selected individuals determine each others’ salaries at the top. It will lead to the situation where the small group of individuals cares only about the well being of each other and other special-interests groups and not the well-being of the masses below. This is what I believe is happening in Singapore today.
I propose that minister salaries ought to be determined by the Singaporean citizens, not by the ministers themselves. The ministers are supposed to be public servants. Hence the salaries of these servants should be determined by those they serve: the public.
With today’s internet technology it would be quite easy to implement such a scheme. A government web-page could be set-up for each minister, showing their current salary. I would propose that every citizen of Singapore be given the authority to increment the minister’s salary by 1 cent, decrement the minister’s salary by 1 cent or leave it unchanged, each month. I would also propose that each citizen can attach a reason for their vote and the number of people voting minister’s salaries up or down would be a very clear form of feedback to the leaders.
Here are the benefits I envisage of implementing such a scheme:
1) The ministers, all the way up to the prime-minister, would no longer be able to focus on small special-interests groups. They would have to focus on the happiness of the citizens, because unhappy citizens would mean lower salaries for them.
2) We would likely not end up with the situation where out leaders make salaries that outweigh the salaries of leaders from several other developed nations combined.
3) It is the most democratic and direct form of feedback the ministers could receive from the public
4) It is tax-payer money that is paying their salaries. The tax-payer ought to have a say in how that money is spent.
5) Poorly performing ministers would be encouraged to leave office and eventually would not be able to sustain living in Singapore with low salaries.
6) High performing ministers would be aptly rewarded. The measure of performance is judged by the average Singaporean rather than by a small group of higher ranked ministers.
7) It would give the public a direct channel of feedback to the ministers that they cannot ignore.
8 ) It would enable the public to vent their unhappiness about any issue in a fair and controlled way. The alternative that we employ today, is that the leaders of Singapore can safely ignore the will of the people with no consequence to their decisions or policies, thus building frustration and anger in the population with no place to vent or effectively feedback. This is like boiling a pot of water and leaving no escape for the steam. Eventually the pot will explode. From the unhappiness expressed on forums such as TRS, I fear we are moving towards a situation where our pot is going to explode. it is far safer that we introduce a vent to release the excess pressure being generated in the masses. The implementation of such a proposal would provide such a vent.
However, the leaders will not accept such a proposal. It will only happen if enough people back it and make it happen.
Average Salaried Singaporean