Friday, June 25, 2010

Does handsome reward check corruption ?

We are given the reason that our ministers are rewarded handsomely because if we pay them peanuts there will be a tendency for corruption. So in order to have a clean cabinet, they need to be pay a high salary.

In the first place, they were never pay peanuts. Secondly, corruption does not limit to monetary gain. Abuse of power is also a form of corruption. Monetary reward itself does not stop power abuse from happening. So how does handsome reward stop corruption then ?

Power corrupts, absolute power will lead to uncheck corruption. Only a balance cabinet with no one party dominating it will we feel we are in safe hands.

In fact paying a unjustified high salary will only attract the 'wrong' calibre of people - those who do not have service for the good of the public at heart. They go in for the money.

Just like we have seen different calibre of doctors. Some are in for the money and prestige - you can tell from their attitude. It makes no difference whether they are in private practice or government service - you can sense they don't enjoy what they do nor they like serving the public.

In fact, I would think the tendency of corruption would be higher for those who took on the job because of the high remuneration. After all, these are precisely the folks who love money more than public service.

Those who take pride public service, monetary reward is secondary concern. We have seen many examples of such high calibre folks in NGOs and charities groups. Unfortunately theses folks are not interested in politics, if not having them in our cabinet will help ensure S'pore is in good hands.

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