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Justin Santiago, BAppSc (Hons), MBA, LLB (Hons) comes from a journalism, market research, intellectual property and strategic communications consulting background. Now based in Melbourne he spends his time advising businesses on how to communicate to their customers as well as writing on various subjects of interest in this blog.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Some jobs can't be judged in money terms

I REFER to the News Comment, “Cynicism and corruption” (June 1). Mr Philip Jeyaretnam’s and Mr K Shanmugam’s respective arguments on “rewarding contribution to government” and “referencing public-sector income to private-sector income” go to the heart of the culture of the people.

We attempt to woo with financial rewards judges, who are entrusted with ensuring that every man or
corporation is judged according to the law, and public servants, whose jobs are to serve the people who have elected them.

Can a reward for being in such professions ever be quantifiable? How much is enough? It is like asking: “If you could pay a mother for loving her child, how would her salary scale look like?”

In a money-seeking culture, some of us might even attempt to answer this question!

The position of a judge is weighed alongside lawyers and businessmen as if one’s decision to become one or the other is based on how much one stands to gain or lose in monetary terms.
If a judge should ever become one because of the high salary it offered, I would not only question the judge but also a culture that is veering away from the value of excelling in one’s endeavours towards one that seeks the bottom line.

One becomes a judge because one wants to ensure the scales of justice are balanced evenly. One be- comes a lawyer to be able to defend one’s client to the best of one’s ability. One becomes a businessman to add value to the value chain. One becomes a public servant to be a servant of the people.

Money is the by-product, not the objective.

Letter published in Today, 2nd June 2007

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