PM gets salary of RM22,800 a month
November 23, 2010KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The prime minister receives a monthly salary of RM22,826.65 according to the Members of Parliament (Emolument) (Amendment) Act 2005 which came into effect on January 1, 2004.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the deputy prime minister was paid RM18,168.15 while Cabinet ministers are paid RM14,907.20.
The monthly salary of a political secretary effective from January 1, 2004 was RM5,709.99, he said.
He said this in his written reply to N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR-Padang Serai) on the salary and allowances received by members of the Cabinet, political secretaries as well as the total emoluments and allowances paid to members of the Cabinet from 2005 until 2009 at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
Nazri said the total annual salaries paid to members of the Cabinet last year was RM5,470,942.40 and RM5,783,993.60 in 2008.
He said a total of RM5,858,529.60 was paid in 2007 while RM5,858,529.60 was paid in 2006 and RM6,007,601.60 in 2005. — Bernama
Published: Monday, April 9, 2007
SINGAPORE — How much money does it take to keep a Singapore government minister happy? The government says a million dollars is not enough, and on Monday it announced a 60 percent boost in ministers' salaries, to an average of 1.9 million Singapore dollars, or $1.26 million, by next year.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will see his pay jump to 3.1 million Singapore dollars, five times the $400,000 earned by President George W. Bush.
In this nation where the bottom line truly is the bottom line, the argument goes, you've got to pay to get them and you've got to pay to keep them.
"If we don't do that, in the long term, the government system will slowly crumble and collapse," Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean told reporters last month.
As the minister who oversees the civil service, Teo announced the pay hikes Monday, saying: "We don't want pay to be the reason for people to join us. But we also don't want pay to be the reason for them not to join us, or to leave after joining us."
It is a pay system created in 1994 by Singapore's founder, Lee Kuan Yew, pegging the salaries of government ministers and top civil servants to the money they might earn at the top of the private sector.
Defending the system last month against an unusual public yelp of pain, Lee Kuan Yew painted a horrifying picture of a Singapore governed by ministers who earn no more than ministers anywhere else.
"Your apartment will be worth a fraction of what it is," he said, "your jobs will be in peril, your security will be at risk and our women will become maids in other people's countries."
Singapore has one of the most efficient and corruption-free governments in the world.
It is Asia's second-richest country after Japan, with a gross domestic product per capita of about $31,000, and Lee said it could well afford to pay its leaders top dollar.
The total of the salaries before the increase amounted to 46 million Singapore dollars a year, he said, or 0.13 percent of government expenditure - 0.022 percent of gross domestic product.
Under the government's formula, ministers are to be paid two-thirds of the median of the top eight earners in each of six professions: accounting, law, banking, engineering, multinational companies and local manufacturing.
There has been no public sign of discontent among the men and women who run Singapore, but last month the prime minister noted that they were earning just 55 percent of this benchmark.
"We don't want pay to be the reason for people to join us," Teo said Monday in announcing the pay hikes. "But we also don't want pay to be the reason for them not to join us, or to leave after joining us."
Talk of the impending pay increase drew an outcry here for weeks that included letters to newspapers and an online petition that has collected more than 800 signatures.
The average Singaporean earns something over $2,000 a month, and the government has voiced concern over a widening gap between rich and poor.
The ministerial raise comes three months ahead of a 2 percent increase in the sales tax.
Mohamad Rosle Ahmad wrote in a letter to the editor: "I am sure Enron and Worldcom paid more than top dollar for their top executives, and look where their companies are now - six feet under."
Lee Kuan Yew, whose title is minister mentor, said naysayers like this need a reality check.
"I say you have no sense of proportion; you don't know what life is about," he said last month.
"The cure to all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government," Lee said. "You get that alternative, and you'll never put Singapore together again."
He presented himself as an example: "A top lawyer, which I could easily have become, today earns 4 million Singapore dollars. And he doesn't have to carry this responsibility. All he's got to do is advise his client. Win or lose, that's the client's loss or gain."
The Straits Times newspaper quoted him as saying his current salary as minister mentor was 2.7 million Singapore dollars.
Money may buy happiness for a government minister, but some Singaporeans suggested that other motivations should also come into play for government service.
"What about other redeeming intangibles such as honor and sense of duty, dedication, passion and commitment, loyalty and service?" asked Hussin Mutalib in the Straits Times' online forum recently.
Carolyn Lim, a prominent writer, suggested in an essay in The Straits Times that Singapore needed a little more heart to go along with its hard head. "Indeed, a brilliant achiever without the high purpose of service to others would be the worst possible ministerial material," she wrote.
"To see a potential prime minister as no different from a potential top lawyer, and likely to be enticed by the same stupendous salary, would be to blur the lines between two very different domains."
The minister mentor brushed aside concerns like that.
"Those are admirable sentiments," he said. "But we live in a real world."