The Singapore Democratic Party is gratified that the Government has finally heeded our call to reduce the Ministers’ salaries. We have stated over the years that these salaries are beyond excessive – they are an abomination to those who aspire to public service.
More than anyone else the SDP has consistently called for a reduction in ministerial wages. We have done this in every issue of our newspaper, The New Democrat, in our videos, in our manifesto It’s About You, in our Shadow Budget 2011, and countless times on this website.
We have stated repeatedly that our country’s leaders must have a strong sense of sacrifice and public service. Monetary reward as a motivation to serve the country corrupts the national spirit.
Ministers are elected by the people to be the custodians of power and that power should not be used to raise their own salaries, especially to unacceptable levels.
While we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement to review cabinet salaries, we are disappointed by the fact that the Government has appointed a committee to do this.
When cabinet ministers decided to raise their wages, they did not appoint a committee to look into the matter. They did it unilaterally.
Why can’t the Prime Minister do the same now? PM Lee Hsien Loong should take the clean and clear step of announcing that he would reduce his own salary as well as those of his ministers.
Such a step would signal that he is committed to reforming not just the salary scale of the ministers but also the attitude of the cabinet towards governance and politics in Singapore.
The SDP calls on PM Lee to stop dithering over the matter and do away with the appointment of a salary review committee. Intead he should lead by example and decisively and boldly announce a significant reduction of his own salary to $60,000 a month. His ministers should be paid accordingly.
Sixty thousand dollars a month can more than adequately take care of the needs of a family, even that of the head of a government.