Saturday, February 28, 2015

Singapore Scholar logic

So the Singapore govt wants to keep paying the men who defend Singapore from enemy attack - peanuts.

Its very funny coming from a Minister who is getting one of the highest government salaries in the world. She's paid millions of dollars a year.

Its puzzling isn't it? So let me offer an explanation.

1. They can do it. There is no serious opposition. Even if they decided to pay NS men literally peanuts - because Singaporeans by and large really don't protest - they just mumble and grumble - they can.

2. Why are they doing it? Let me offer a speculation based on Chinese history: Traditionally, Scholar time is more valuable than peasant time. This is just a historical way of thinking that goes back to ancient China. Scholars were more valued than peasants. So the Minister may feel she is entitled to the world's most exorbitant multi-million dollar salary because her time is more precious than the 18 year old ordinary soldier holding a rifle defending her - who gets paid - about $300 a month?

That sort of "brilliant logic" resulted in China being constantly invaded by foreign powers throughout its history and also to all manner of fubar policies because no one is allowed to question the scholars who know best. No counter balances - no way to stop a foolish government from carrying on.

You pay peanuts and you treat people like monkeys, meanwhile you pay yourself a fortune and what do you get? Look at China's history - a couple of people benefit while the rest of the people live a monkey's life. China could have colonized North America and Australia centuries before the British/ Europeans got there but they didn't. Thank you Confucian scholars.

In Singapore's case you pay multi-million dollar salaries and you get King Kong kind of thinking it seems.

I'm not suggesting that NS soldiers get paid million dollar salaries. How about shortening the service time to 1 year? How about making NS voluntary? And tying it with the right to purchase an own HDB flat?

To be fair NS should be made voluntary. But NS soldiers serving the 2 years should be granted the special right to own a small hdb apartment. Not for free of course - but at a special discounted rate commensurate with the terms of their service.

You've heard the argument given by our leaders for paying the Ministers and top civil servants multi-million dollar salaries. Why can't that logic be extended to the men and women who defend the nation?

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