Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Meaning of Public Service

I quote a section of what David Marshall said back in 1994:

I’ve got nothing against money. I’d like to have money myself! I’d like to have a house and a garden and dogs and a car and a chauffeur but, look, I’ve got a flat. I’ve got a swimming pool attached to the flat. I’ve not even got a car but I use taxis. I have a dignified way of life without being wealthy.

I don’t see the necessity of owning a Mercedes-Benz and a swimming pool and a couple of mistresses. I think we’ve got our values all wrong.

You know $96,000 a month for a Prime Minister and $60,000 a month for a minister. What the hell do you do with all that money? You can’t eat it! What do you do with it? Your children don’t need all that money.

My children have had the best of education. In fact, I’m very proud of them. One of them is a senior registrar to two major hospitals in Oxford. Another of them is a consultant in European law to the Securities and
Investment Board in the United Kingdom. They’ve had their education. There are no complaints.

I never earned $60,000 a month or $90,000 a month. When I was Chief Minister, I earned $8,000 a month.
Look, what is happening today is we are encouraged to and are becoming worshippers of the Golden Calf.

We have lost sight of the joy and excitement of public service, helping our fellow men. The joy and excitement of seeking and understanding of the joy of the miracle of the living the duty and the grandeur. We have lost taste for heroic action in the service of our people.

We have become good bourgeois seeking comfort, security. It’s like seeking a crystal coffin and being fed by intravenous injections through pipes in the crystal coffin; crystal coffins stuck with certificates of your
pragmatic abilities.

I found this over at this blog. This has been what I've been dead against all this while. You're telling me you must pay market rates to a head of a charity? Then where is the spirit of giving? Without understanding the true mission of the organisation, can you lead it?

Likewise in the government, without the spirit of public service, I would rather the minister leave and go somewhere else if money is all they care about. Pubic service is not like private sector, where the focus is more on profit driven initiatives. The ministers have to remember that Singaporeans are paying them the salaries, not any other people. Do the ministers really know what happens on the ground? For some, I seriously doubt so, seeing some of the comments which can only be made by people who did not feel the ground. They have put themselves too far up, and has lost sight of the ground.

If you do not know how much the ministers are earning, you can refer to this post. Ridiculous!

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