Lee Kuan Yew defends competitive ministerial salaries
18 January 2012
SINGAPORE: Singapore's former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has defended the need for a competitive ministerial pay to attract committed and capable people who will serve the country.
In a letter sent to the media on Wednesday after a parliamentary debate on political pay, Mr Lee, who had fought strongly for competitive political pay when he was in the Cabinet, noted how with a different generation, political attitudes change.
But he said unless Singapore has a steady stream of people to serve as ministers, Singapore as a little red dot will become a little black spot.
He pointed out that Singapore did not get from Third World to First by "head-hunting ministers willing to sacrifice their children's future when undertaking a public service duty."
He said the leadership took a "pragmatic course that does not require people of calibre to give up too much for the public good."
Mr Lee added that Singapore must not be reduced to another ordinary country in the Third World by dodging the issue of competitive ministerial remuneration.
Mr Lee said Singapore cannot underpay ministers and argues that their sole reward should be their contribution to public good.
"Every family wants to provide the best for their children, to go to a good university. We were pragmatic and also paid competitive salaries in order to have a continuous stream of high calibre people to become MPs, and then ministers. They put their careers at risk and undergo an uncertain and unpredictable election process," he said.
He pointed to the heavy responsibilities of ministers in making Singapore a success.
"A PM and his ministers carry heavy responsibilities for the nation. If they make a serious mistake, the damage to Singapore will be incalculable and permanent. Their macroeconomic policies will decide the GDP of the country, which was more than S$300 billion in 2010, with per capita GDP of S$59,000."
The MP for Tanjong Pagar had spoken.
MP Lee again rubbished that if Singapore don’t pay high salary to Ministers we will be reduced to another ordinary county in the third world….. HUH?
Yes I agreed that every man has to take care of his family and Ministers as well, they should be paid well so they can send their children to good university and get themselves a big houses and a few big cars.
But there is something not right if they are over paid!
With the current salaries, these jokers can send their next 5 generations to good universities and get each and every of their grand children a car and a house, all with tax payer money.
If each and every Minister is so important then they should stand for election on their own and not in GRCs. So if they screwed up we can removed them in the next elections.
Look at the standard of passed DPM Wong Kang Seng and Minister Mah.
They are hopeless but still got away with it.
PAP is made up of Elites for the Elites, they has lost connection with ordinary Singaporean long ago.