Should statutory board CEOs’ pay be pegged to the private sector?

Former navy chief CEO replaced by former police chief.

CEOs of stat boards are not labeled ‘jiak liow bee’ without a good reason.

Most of them are former civil servants and scholars who have not worked a single day in the private sector. Nevertheless, PAP sees fit to peg their remuneration to the private sector for reasons which boggle the mind.

This sort of convenient arrangement to further PAP’s political agenda has dug Singapore into a hole, now looking more like an abyss. How does anyone without prior relevant experience contribute in any meaningful way to an organisation? Is there really no one who is more qualified other than a book-smart scholar to be CEO?

Since the hot topic is on the impending water price increase, let’s take a look at how jiak liow bee PUB CEO is. During such a ‘crisis’, the CEO should be taking centre stage to assuage consumers’ concerns. As for PUB CEO, there was no sound, no shadow.

Till today, he is still hiding behind his political masters who have been selling koyok to justify the increase in water prices.

CEO Ng Joo Hee knew as much about PUB as any Ahmad or Ah Kow before the mishandling of the Little India riot forced his transfer from SPF as CP to CEO of PUB. Ng was a SPF overseas scholar. According to a blogger, he was also “Singapore’s worst ever police commissioner”.

In October 2014, Ng was appointed (meritocracy?) by PAP to replace PUB CEO Chew Men Leong. Like Ng, Chew was a former SAF overseas scholar and navy chief who knew as much about PUB as you and I before he was parachuted into his CEO role.

Chew’s predecessor was President cum Colombo Plan scholarKhoo Teng Chye. Khoo’s relevant experience included being an MD of Temasek Holdings, CEO of government-linked companies PSA and Mapletree Investments.

These book smart guys are all PAP-appointees and like PAP, concerned with profiting in any way they can from taxpayers and consumers, not with improving our well being.

All CEOs of stat boards are appointed based on their aligned interests with PAP. To me, it’s a disgrace to call themselves CEOs as they are as fake as foreign ‘monks’ begging for alms in Singapore or fake branded goods. Should just rename their title to ‘CEL’ or Chief Executive Leech.

PUB is a stat board – funded by taxpayers – and should not be run as a for-profit organisation. PUB’s ‘loss’ instantly becomes a ‘profit’ after topping up from the government and its ‘profitability’ has nothing to do with its CEO’s performance.

Why then should the remuneration of a stat board CEO be pegged to the private sector?


Phillip Ang

* The author blogs at LikeTatAlsoCanMeh.




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16 Responses to “Should statutory board CEOs’ pay be pegged to the private sector?”

  • Patriot Tan:

    Our civil service & GLCs look similar to North Korea’s Royal Court Economy which serves to reward supporters of the ruling party at the expense of the people economy. Another reason for such a system is to keep capable citizens out of opposition politics. This is probably the reason why we dont see high flyers esp from the public sector joining opposition parties.

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  • l'ingenieur:

    Because talent of that calibre will command the same salary if they had applied to be CEO of privatised utility generation companies like Tuas Power, YTL Power Seraya, Keppel Merlimau Cogen, etc.

    Stat boards do not appoint CEOs from the open market because of a ready pool of ex-government talent.

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  • N.Jungne:

    Just sound the alarm that fpr example “Geylang will be next” like Little India, you’ll be transfered to Jaga water. But LTA and trains are ARMY “tanchiat territory”, so the Navy guy (thorn in the flesh) must go. Only logical Chew to Jaga water, and Ng Sotong to Jaga kereta and kereta Api,

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  • William C:

    It is wrong to peg these civil servants salary to CEO of a private company. The writer has written why, and I do not have to echo them again.

    In China, civil servants are not highly paid. If one want to get rich, then quit and go into the private sector, or run his own biz.

    Fyi, Jack Ma is only an English teacher in Hangzhou before going into Taobao and Alibaba.

    Even China Premier Xi JP also not amount the 10 riches in China. If one assume he the CEO of China Inc, then he should be the highest paid person – taking charge of 1.3 billion workers, and fund in term of Trillion.

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  • It is not the pay:

    It is not the pay that bothers the citizen..
    It is whether they are the best man for the job…
    Their performance will affects so many people life…and pocket..

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  • Hhhh:

    Pappy paying sky pay in exchange for lap dogs. Part time seldom attend parliament get $16k pocket allowance?

    Remember when you are paid so much, you will never risk your career by going against the master that gave you the dog food. This is why every one says yes in parliament and even over aged ministers never retire, keep hanging on.

    This kind of very incorrigible politics is causing Singapore to sink under leadership of junior lee.

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  • Uncle Lim:

    Taxpayers should not bear the burden of overpaying these useless PAP appointees which is a politically motivated exercise.

    This fits in exactly with a crony system of governance.

    There must be a backlash against PAP for abusing taxpayers money.

    Accountant General has nothing to say?

    Likewise WP?

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  • RDB:


    From Mata Mata exipert who was hiding during the Little India Riot to now be Ayer Ayer Exipert liao! Past Tense Lee Kuan Yew’s highly paid ex civil servants from MR4 right up to MR super duper grades are all EXiPERT PERKs PAID of his “Reel-World” & top “talenterers” per his son’s “Cheaperer Betterer Fasterer ” best “talent” Lim Swee Say now minister of his “Mummified Of Meanspower” MOM hor!!!! And after having failed as no portfolio minister In LHL’s PMO, after failing in NTUC as it’s Secretary General of No Talent made it a Not Trustworthy Union Chiefs for non-PMET worker. And that was even after LimBoon Heng their cry-baby also before him was oso Not Trustworthy Union Chief as well as PMO Zero Portfolio minister who later cry baby over… WHAT HAR? Lee Kar You’s best paid talents if not paid humongous & Shamlessly auper duper high, We Singapore WILL BE FINISHED Woe!And that was his meaning we are his “Guided-DemoCracy” and oso with his son LHL as PM3 because he is very much a man of his own too lor! Agree?

    YEH I do as so uniquely a man of his own talent hor? Get my drift first before you thumb me down please! Thank you!

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  • Sinkies Deserve It:

    These scholars are very good in problem solving, for example:
    To raise funds for a charity, teddy bears were sold at $16, mugs were sold at 25% less. Total amount collected for sales of both items was $936. 40% of the items sold were mugs? How many teddy bears were sold?
    Therefore, they make good CEOs, and they know how to calculate and make sure government make money, so they make good money too. So water price up 30%. By the way, Ah Dou also can count, heard he solve more difficult maths problems.

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  • kf:

    I don’t know the writer but I think he is impressive, since he digs up huge amounts of facts within a short period of time.

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  • LIONS:

    By pegging stats board towards private sector wage schemes,the gahmen are encouraging their CEOs to PUT PROFIT BEFORE SERVICE N ACCESSIBILITY TO THE COMMONER,isnt it?


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  • opposition dude:

    In the first place why should PUB even have a CEO since it’s a stat board?

    Same goes for SMRT now that it has been privatised. What for need a CEO? Temashit can handle everything since SMRT is now under them, wjy the need for a high paying CEO who can’t even solve the frequent disruptions?

    We know the answers to both and it’s a simple answer of needing to create a job opening for these so called scholars.

    Same case for when PAP had 2 useless positions of MM and SM. Why now no more MM and SM positions ah? Goh Chok Tong not good enough to be MM meh, he was a former PM after all what!

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  • Dosh:

    @ Phillip Ang:

    Thank you for the excellent and credible arguments that our scholars should be paid according to actual Performance/Merit/Experience (implied) and not merely appointees of the PAP government.

    However, I have to disappoint you. This is the status quo: ‘We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think’. Additionally, we want you to read ‘the right things’. That’s the path down the abyss albeit not headlong and immediately but SURELY and stealthily and when it hits ………a catastrophic disaster!

    The increase of 30% of the price of water is absolutely UNNECESSARY! This is a desperate action. Yes, I am saying: Something is dreadfully amiss in our Treasury and our coffers have been drained and abused by the government. Yet, there is NO Way that we can check on them! It is OUR money – from the taxpayers and citizens.


    How can this government be for you, the 70% PAP voters, when PM LHL told us condescendingly that Singaporeans commit more crimes than the foreign workers?

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  • UniQ:

    As for me, I am really do not think that Civil Servants that are receiving their wages from Tax payers should owned or even be living in Private Properties or even landed Properties, while owning Big Luxurious Vehicles which many has more than 1. While many of the people that pay their wages are living from hands to mouths.

    Ask any of the servants, are they serving the people or the papies…many or infact all cannot reply you with a straight answer !

    Think and think hard….is there something wrong in our system ?

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  • Contradiction:

    Good point.

    Pity those fellas who worked their way up the ladder in the company only to be beaten to the punch by someone from the outside.

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  • Just Noises, no one listens..:

    Another Army BG to lead Building Construction Authority!

    No point making noise!

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