I personally know of people whom, while classified as “middle class”, are actually cash poor, in deep debt but by virtue of the government’s guideline, they are not considered “poor enough” to qualify for any subsidy. As a result, these people struggle for years and “tahan” it out silently, doing the best they can do, and counting on help from understanding and emphatic family members. They get stuck in their dire predicament with no way out and hitting a brickwall as a result of the ever changing and not-so-very-transparent HDB loan which further worsened their financial situation. They suffer silently. They have had no pay rise for more than 5 years because of “poor economic condition” and simply have no prospects of getting any pay rise anytime soon. To top it all, they face serious competition from foreign workers who are willing to work at lower wages, a policy that has garnered a strong support of the government to make Singapore more competitive.
Yet the ministers are getting pay rise like there’s no tomorrow, earning dubious amount of money in the name of anti-corruption. I understand the reasoning behind high pay for government officials to ward off corruption – I am all for it. But an income that is obscenely higher than the median income? Oh, come on.
I am especially insulted by the last sentence in the article.