Singapore premier accused of paying himself salary most world leaders can only dream of

Lee’s annual pay is S$2.2 million ($1.6 million) including bonuses, according to the government’s website. His pay was such fodder for speculation that the government dedicated a webpage on the subject in September 2018, which said Lee doesn’t get a performance bonus. Source (pic): SCMP

Singapore’s premier Lee Hsien Loong, accused of ‘abusing’ his position to approve an exorbitant salary for himself, has found an apologist in the form of his own wife who came to his defence amid the brouhaha.

In July, the Prime Minister’s estranged brother, Lee Hsien Yang, took to Facebook a day after Temasek released its annual profits and questioned why Ho’s pay was blacked out.

“Why is it such a big secret?” he posted.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the post came attached with an article by Singapore news site The Independent speculating that Ho earned about S$300,000 a day.


PETALING JAYA: Singapore’s premier, accused of ‘abusing’ his position to approve an exorbitant salary for himself, has found an apologist in the form of his own wife who came to his defence amid the brouhaha.

Ho Ching, married to Lee Hsien Loong, took to Facebook yesterday to defend her husband’s pay which is said to be higher than most government leaders.




According to Bloomberg, Ho posted that Singapore’s wage system stands out as it doesn’t have any other perks in kind during office and does not offer pensions or other benefits after a sitting officer’s term ends.

Ho was said to be responding to an article by a local blog site Seedly that compared Lee’s pay to that of U.S. President Donald Trump, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and others.

The Bloomberg report read:

“In most, if not all, other countries, they would have many other perks during term of office, like butlers and hairdressers, free flights on national airlines, even family holidays, etc; and quite a number like the USA would include perks after end of term of office,” she wrote.

Lee’s annual pay is S$2.2 million ($1.6 million) including bonuses, according to the government’s website. His pay was such fodder for speculation that the government dedicated a webpage on the subject in September 2018, which said Lee doesn’t get a performance bonus.

The city-state has previously said that million-dollar ministerial earnings prevented corruption and helped attract and retain talent. It cut the salaries after voter unhappiness over a widening income gap weakened support for the ruling party in the 2011 elections and said last year that its ministers won’t be getting a raise anytime soon.

Ho, who is also Chief Executive of state investment firm Temasek Holdings Ltd. — which has come under the public spotlight on its own executive compensation — said those in public and social services need to have skills and commitment, on top of other qualities.

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Having “these qualities of excellence, we must not take advantage of them to underpay, or require them to wear hairsuits for a show of sainthood,” she wrote.

Seedly isn’t to blame for triggering the media storm.

In July, the Prime Minister’s estranged brother, Lee Hsien Yang, took to Facebook a day after Temasek released its annual profits and questioned why Ho’s pay was blacked out.

“Why is it such a big secret?” he posted.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the post came attached with an article by Singapore news site The Independent speculating that Ho earned about S$300,000 a day.

In the post, Hsien Yanghad urged Temasek to release the figures in the name of transparency even though the firm was not required to publish its CEO’s earnings under the Singapore Companies Act.

THE THIRD FORCE



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