Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pay Cut

Last evening I was at the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting where I was the Evaluator for an advanced speech ‘The Demonstration Talk’ by Chan Weng May. Besides her, there were three other speakers – but I reckon only Jean Ng excelled. All the evaluations were great though. It was also a meeting that started on time and it was heartwarming to see 29 people in attendance – not many clubs can boast of these numbers on a regular basis! I would award this meeting a score of 7 out of a 10.

Singapore is pruning salaries for its Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers after voter unhappiness over a widening income gap and weakened support for the ruling party (i.e. PAP) in last year’s elections.

Prime Minister's Lee Hsien Loong’s salary has been reduced by 36% to $1.7 million (£1.089 million), or over four times that of the US President, who is currently paid $400,000 (£256,000). Or compare to that of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who earns $222,000 a year (£142,000). When all’s said and done, Lee (left) is still one of the world’s best paid political leaders, so the pay cut is not a big deal after all!

Even new ministers will make about S$1.1 million ($850,000).

The monthly pay for a Singapore Member of Parliament (who does virtually nothing, I reckon) is S$12,000 ($8,600) per month or S$144,000 ($103,200) per year tax free.

In addition to their inflated salaries, the Singapore politicians and elite gets extra pay as appointed company directors!

Of course, over in Malaysia, ministers are paid paltry sums. But if you add in the “extras” through lucrative corruption and crony business deals – don’t be surprised if their total take-home is as high if not higher than their Singaporean counterparts!

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