Yup that's "4 gold bars" or epaulets if you wanna call them. That's what the captains of airlines have on their shoulders. Sometime it is known as a "chip" on their shoulders (meaning click here). These chips don't come cheap. Ask our CEO whether it's true or not.
A senior captain with SIA on the average is paid around $23,000 a month (not including allowances). With all allowances included it could go up to $26,000
( that's the reason he is not allowed to buy an EC).
I heard a captain with a few months left to his retirement was paid about $500,000 as a compensation for being certified "unfit" to fly ( they call it being medically boarded out). It took me 7 years as a cabin crew executive to earn the same amount.
One consolation is that although people like me had to struggle to earn that same amount, I am qualified to buy a HDB flat or an EC.
In reality, the cockpit crew were not allowed to buy a HDB flat from the very start because of their high salary. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise for them. The were forced to buy landed properties and condominiums when they started off as co-pilots and by the time they were promoted as captains, the prices of their private properties soared sky high. This is a big bonus for them.
You do not hear these people living in government subsidised HDB flats do you?