The writings are already on the wall. Today newspaper reported a fortnight ago that retrenchments will “go up” after Chinese New Year.
In TV news just now, it’s said again that there will be more retrenchments toward the end of this month, with more cuts targeted at white collar workers in the manufacturing sector.
Yet, our lovable Permanent Secretary Tan Yong Soon wrote a rather show-off article in today’s Straits Times Life, flaunting how he and his family spent more than $50k attending cooking lessons in Paris, and how he as “a good leader” can afford to take five weeks’ leave.
As a perm sec, he must be one of the highest earning civil servants. If his salary grade is MR4, he earns $59,760 per month [edited 19 Jan: this was before an 18% cut in end 2008, pending further cuts in 2009, but still a lot nonetheless].
No wonder he can flaunt his wealth.
But as a senior civil servant and a “good leader”, isn’t it a tad bit insensitive to boast at a time like this? Well, maybe he has low EQ, or maybe he just doesn’t realize that people are getting retrenched by the hundreds and families are suffering. (See another blog criticizing what he wrote.)