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Million Dollar Civil Servant Censured in Parliament

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19-01-2009, 10:49 PM
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Default Million Dollar Civil Servant Censured in Parliament

Minister in charge of civil service, Teo Chee Hean, censured Tan Yong Soon in parliament for his boastful article (see perm sec flaunts wealth), saying it "showed a lack of sensitivity and was ill-judged."
"The Head of Civil Service has spoken to Mr Tan about this to make these points, and asked Mr Tan to take note of the feedback and learn from this episode. The Head of Civil Service has followed up to write to Mr Tan to put the matter on the record."
But I'm disappointed not to have read a single letter in ST Forum or Today or my paper regarding this.

Either the ST editors deliberately want a "radio silence" (media blackout) on this problematic matter (why didn't they realise the problem before publishing Tan Yong Soon's travelogue?), or that forum writers refuse to write on this, knowing too well that such letters won't be published anyway.

But even Reuters UK reported on the outcry. Goes to show how our local reporters and editors are so focused on other more important issues. (I say this with sarcasm, in case you don't notice.)

Actually, Minister Teo Chee Hean was responding to a query from NMP Siew Kum Hong, who asked if there were guidelines in place to ensure that senior civil servants conduct themselves "appropriately and sensitively".

If the NMP hadn't asked the question in parliament, I wonder if this matter would just quietly fade away, with the coordinated "radio silence".

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 12:58 AM
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Default 3873

And indeed, why does this even merit much discussion? TYS has been a made a political scapeboat because he has brought embarassment and unwelcome analogies to the govt's current belt tightening drive. Pple make much of the "timing" of his article (which by the way, does not actually mention how much the holiday costs - leave that to prurient journalists), but ignore the fact that he could probably have been flamed with the same logic no matter when the article were to be published. After all, it would only take another fool to point out that "S$50K can feed a poor family for 3 years" to make this whole circle spin all over again, boom times or no - as though poor pple form the natural priorities of all singaporeans at all times.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 08:24 AM
pay more--
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Default 3874

We should pay them more so they know how to time their travels and writings properly. Btw, we're the first to go into recession, so we should also pay our leaders more to make sure we're not the first again. Embarrassing you know.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 10:28 AM
Singapore Beat--
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Default 3876

In fact, if NMP Siew had not even asked, who knows if the Head of Civil Service would really have 'gone on record' and 'censured' TYS. As you pointed out, there wasn't any mention of any public outcry in all major national media till yesterday. For all the supposed talent in our govt, I'm surprised they even need to learn how to conduct themselves in their position through such an episode.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 12:27 PM
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Default 3878

I have a small comment on the title. Is our lovable TYS really paid million dollars? assuming he makes 50kS$ a month plus 3 months bonus, that would be 750kS$ a year. That is a lot but still hardly qualifies him in the million dollar bracket.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 01:05 PM
yes millions--
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Default 3879

Yes, for senior perm secs and maybe even those not-so-senior ones, their annual income is more than a million.
The senior ones get $1.94 MILLION before the 2008 pay cut - see
... and $1.57 MILLION after the 2008 adjustment - see
Even if they cut further in 2009, I think it'll still be more than a MILLION.
When I grow up, I want to be a Permanent Secretary cross-trained in Le Cordon culinary art.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 04:57 PM
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Default 3880

ah! thanks for the reply. It is a great job indeed.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2009, 11:30 PM
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Default 3883

Pls give the man a break. He worked hard throughout his life, from study to obtain SAF scholarship, then rose to ranks to become a PS.
Not everyone can achieve that much in a life time.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 21-01-2009, 08:18 AM
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Default 3885

he's just lucky lah. lots of capable and more humble people do not get a chance to get a scholarship and the opportunities tys got in life. go read Fooled by Randomness or Black Swan.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 25-01-2009, 10:52 AM
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Default 3913

Won't you get smitten by Big Brother if you talk against it in Singapore?
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