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Dear Dr Chee
I am a little puzzled over this exercise. I fully associate myself with the responses given by ministers in Parliament on salaries and the Public Order Act. I hope you were not thinking that I would privately to you say otherwise.
About the Singaporeans who don’t earn enough, there are many programmes to help them. As an MP, I address their needs directly. In additional to government assistance, we raise additional funds from private sources and I must say that Singaporeans are generous. If you know of hardship cases in my constituency, please do let me know.
As for Temasek, it has done well against the market which was fully explained in Parliament complete with stats. Ho Ching wanted to step down but unfortunately the succession did not work out. So I suppose Temasek will have to go head hunting again.
No, I do not expect you to hold views that are different from that of the PAP. This was why I was surprised that you did not want to involve the PAP in the discussions. Like it or not, because you are a PAP Minister, what you say necessarily involves the party and your ministry.
On to the issues: Why can’t Singaporeans who work 44 hours a week be paid a decent wage, one that is enough for them to survive without depending on programmes and handouts? Why can’t they be paid their worth so that they can be financially independent? Handouts demean workers and enslave them to the dispenser.
There are many Singaporeans currently taking on full-time jobs who are paid so poorly that they cannot pay their bills, send their children to school, or live decent lives. At the same time, you and your fellow ministers pay yourselves million-dollar salaries.
From your reply, you obviously feel that your salary and the salaries of our working poor are economically and morally justified. I would like to ask you the reasons behind your justification. Should we not at least introduce Minimum Wage in Singapore?
On my second question, Parliament did not deal with the issue of CASE being allowed to hold a procession while my friends and I were arrested while doing the same for our Tak Boleh Tahan event. I asked you whether this discrimination is allowed under our Constitution. I would be grateful for your response, please.
Third, I raised the issue of the GIC and Temasek not being transparent and accountable even though they handle public monies. I note that you didn’t respond to this point. Again, would be grateful for your thoughts on this.
The transition failure between Ho Ching and Chip Goodyear exemplifies what I mean about the non-transparency issue. Other than a brief and general statement from Temasek, little else is known about why Chip did not continue as CEO. Can the Government be more forthcoming with information on this?
The reason I posted this message to your inbox is because I did not want to detract from the ongoing discussion over the Burmese issue. But I have just requested to be your Facebook friend. Please note that our discussion is still a matter of public interest and I will continue to post it on the SDP’s website.
To read previous discussion, click here.