In the most recent post by the biggest Opposition party in Singapore, the Workers’ Party, showing a video exchange of Parliamentary vibes among WP MPs Pritam Singh (sec-gen) and Leon Perera, and Deputy PM Teo Chee Hean, WP took a snide at the PAP only giving us some clarity into ministerial salary system only 6 years after the 2012 debate in Parliament.
It furthered chided, revealing a shocking fact:
Did you know that even though norm bonuses for Ministers were assumed to be 7 months in the 2012 White Paper, from 2013 to 2017, the total actual bonuses were, on average, 9.7 months?
It then clarified on its 2012 position on ministerial salaries:
In 2012, given the information available at the time, the WP’s position on the issue was to base Ministerial pay scales on the Civil Service’s management executive scheme rather than the pay of the top 1000 earners.
A lookback at Pritam Singh’s speech on ministerial salaries back in 2012 reveals the stark difference between the PAP’s idea of reward based on the top 1000, versus the WP’s way of taking into consideration the people’s emotions:
“In retaining the unmistakable connection to the top 1000 and to the Administrative Service, the committee has missed an opportunity to fundamentally address the emotive reaction of Singaporeans to political salaries.”
He also added in on the WP’s perspective:
“We seek to persuade Singaporeans that political salaries ought to be underwritten by a key Workers’ Party philosophy – that public service is open to all Singaporeans. The privilege of being of service to your fellow countrymen is the attraction of being an MP. You are an MP first, before becoming a Minister. Public service in Singapore is for all Singaporeans, and opportunities to be a Minister should not be restricted or institutionalised to the few with silver spoons.”
In the Parliamentary speech, Pritam Singh also told challenged Teo Chee Hean to put out the dollar value of their ministerial salaries to clear the air:
“I would suggest to the DPM that if we put out the dollar value, the prospect of more disinformation can be reduced.”
To which DPM Teo accused Pritam Singh of being ‘slightly disingenuous’, before going on to wax lyrical about ‘falsehoods’ and for WP to ‘clarify its position on its website’, and that a ‘WP government would pay its ministers similar salaries to the PAP government’. He even retorted that the salary issue is an ‘emotional one’ that is ‘easily politicised’.
Meanwhile, the DPM himself and the PAP media in general are spreading the falsehood that WP had ‘agreed’ with the PAP’s salary system, and that the “salary numbers” of the PAP and the WP are ‘similar’, without reporting on the stark contrast between allowed variable bonuses, the amount of these bonuses, and the fact that WP was disappointed the PAP had not given Singaporeans the dollar values of their sky-high salaries.