Friday, April 03, 2009

A Top-Ranking I am not Proud of

PM Lee tops list of 10 best-paid world politicians
Thursday, 2 April 2009, 3:27 pm

From Times:

There is nothing like a scandal involving porn films claimed on Commons expenses to focus attention on the pay and perks enjoyed, sorry earned, by our public servants.

Even before Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, was forced to apologise for her husband’s blue movies there had been calls for the whole system to be overturned. The committee on standards in public life which has promised to report on MP pay and expenses by the end of the year is under pressure to do something radical.

Whenever MPs come under attack over pay they are quick to argue that compared to executives in the private and public sector they are not particularly well paid.

With the G20 leaders in the country we thought it was worth getting a snapshot of how much the highest paid presidents and prime ministers around the world earn. For comparison’s sake all earnings have been converted into dollars. It also shows basic annual salary only, not the expenses claimed on top.

So, where does our own Gordon Brown stand?

1. Lee Hsien Loong - Singapore
Salary in dollars - $2.47 million
Salary in local currency - S$3.76 million

2. Donald Tsang Yum-Kuen - Hong Kong
Salary in dollars - $516,000
Salary in local currency - HK$4 million

3. Barack Obama - United States
Salary in dollars - $400,000

4. Brian Cowen - Ireland
Salary in dollars - $341,000
Salary in local currency - €257,000

5. Nicolas Sarkozy - France Salary in dollars - $318,000
Salary in local currency - €240,000

6. Angela Merkel - Germany
Salary in dollars - $303,000
Salary in local currency - €228,000

7. Gordon Brown - UK
Salary in dollars - $279,000
Salary in local currency - £194,250

8. Stephen Harper - Canada
Salary in dollars - $246,000
Salary in local currency - C$311,000

9. Taro Aso - Japan
Salary in dollars - $243,000
Salary in local currency - Y24 million

10. Kevin Rudd - Australia
Salary in dollars - $229,000
Salary in local currency - A$330,000

My comments

Hi Friends,

I am proud to be Singaporean.

There are many aspects of Singaporean life that I am thankful for and indeed proud of.

However this does not include the fact that almost all of Singapore’s political leaders (from the President, Prime Minister, Minister Mentor, Senior Ministers and all the too many Cabinet Ministers) would occupy all the top places in the league of highest-paid political leaders of the whole wide world.

In the list above, only the highest paid leader of each country was represented in the table. This is like in some tournaments where each country is restricted to only one competitor. If all of Singapore ministers’remuneration were considered (eg in tournaments with no restriction from each country) , we will take all the spots available on the list.

Not something I would be proud of, and I suspect, not something that the PAP would be proud of too!

I have blogged about this before here,

and I am still convinced that to say that only if Singapore’s political office-holders are paid astronomical salaries, could we have a non-corrupt and clean government is a false dichotomy and an insult to each and every Singaporean’s intelligence. The words "altruism" and "self-sacrifice" are obviously alien to the PAP and not present in their vocabulary!

My friends, Watch this space ( or akan dating)- for in a few months from now, when our economy starts to recover from this financial crisis and Singapore’s GDP becomes positive again, our political leaders will become smug again and insist that their astronomical salaries be restored to their previous even loftier levels on the excuse that their remuneration are pegged to Singapore’s economic growth.

Might as well peg it to the rising of the sun!

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan


tony said...

There are leaders in many countries whose official salaries are low, but who end up amassing a fortune in foreign banks. They bleed their countries to death while in power. They loot, discreetly. To all appearances, Singapore leaders don’t loot; they are paid astronomical salaries, officially. But people in power inevitably end up milking the country they are supposed to serve. Call it by whatever name you like; they are all looters. And we sit back, watch, and let them do it…

Anonymous said...

They therefore would "loot discreetly" perhaps in a smaller ways ? (in order of possible decreasing smaller ways) Donald Tsang Yum-Kuen,Barack Obama, Brian Cowen, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Gordon Brown, Stephen Harper,Taro Aso, Kevin Rudd

40+ years to scheme said...

@ tony, are you suggesting leaders from USA,UK,Germany,France,Netherlands,
Scandinavian countries,Japan,Hong Kong,S Korea,Australia,NZ,etc
loot their country ?

Many of these leaders are cracking their heads to solve this economic crisis, and our own bunch of 10 highest paid politicians in the world are absolutely dependent on the success of these leaders.

Didn't the father and daughter-in-law bleed our country's reserves ?
By the way, why don't MM, SM and PM declare publicly how much they are worth ? and include all the other cabinet ministers as well. Afterall they make up the top 10 in the entire world.

Emigrant said...

PM said in a BBC interview that we should not be fooled into thinking that the bright ones would go into politics for "love of king and country". That really made me sad for Singapore and glad that I emigrated to NZ where the PM gets much less than what he earned while he was in the private sector. Last I checked NZ ranked better than SG in some anti-corruption index.. Next time our kids ask "what's in it for me?" if we ask them to do a task, we know that the political leaders in Singapore have led by example...

Anonymous said...

Talking about Donald and rest of his gang of AOs (Administrative Officers), they the best paid civil servants in the whole world. There is no true politician in HK and the civil servants are the governing gang and they increase their salary and benefits continuously.