Close look needed at ministerial system

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 October, 2001, 12:00am

How can our high-ranking government officials be converted to ministers, as in other countries? The answer is not just by changing the title of their appointment but by revamping the entire system at that high level. It is grossly unfair, ineffective and inefficient to have an additional tier of 'non-minister' secretaries doing redundant jobs, with much less responsibility and receiving the same emoluments while other civil servants are either overworked or being laid off.

Those who do not qualify for appointment as 'ministers' should and must be demoted to lower ranks, with pay commensurate to their functions and responsibilities. Equally important, those appointed as 'ministers' should not be paid more than they are currently receiving (which is among the best in the world) simply because we are asking them to be more accountable than before.