Thursday, January 5, 2012


Top 10 Political Leader's Salary by Country (2010):
1. Lee Hsien Loong (Singapore): $2,183,516
2. Donald Tsang (Hong Kong): $513,245
3. Raila Odinga (Kenya): $427,886
4. Barack Obama (United States): $400,000
5. Nicolas Sarkozy (France): $302,435
6. Stephen Harper (Canada): $296,400
7. Mary McAleese (Ireland): $287,900
8. Julia Gillard (Australia): $286,752
9. Angela Merkel (Germany): $283,608
10. Yoshihiko Noda (Japan): $273,676

After their less-tan-stellar performance in the General Election last year, the Singapore government put together a committee to review minister’s pay, a particular bugbear for the Singapore public. After half a year, the committee has finally come up with their “recommendations”.

With Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong having said that the government will accept the recommendations made by the Ministerial Salary Committee, Singapore ministers will now have to suffer a “severe” pay cut. PM Lee’s salary will be reduced by 36% to S$2.2 million.

So what? Just look at the list above on the highest paid political leader in 2010. PM Lee’s salary is about 4 times above the second place guy! A cut of 36% will make him…STILL the highest paid political leader in the world.

Seriously, this is why I have always said that the Singapore government should never make a big deal out of their pay. They are the highest paid ministers in the world and a cut of 36% isn’t going to change that. They should do any cuts on their salary quietly because the more they put out their salary to the public, the worse it is for the government.

It has been less than a day since the publication of the recommendation and already the Singapore public’s reactions has been mostly about how “this is a good start”. When it come to their high salary, it’s a lose-lose situation for the Singapore government. The less they talk about it, the better it is for them.

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