Sometimes more information is good; in fact more information usually is great. However, there are times where it’s better to keep quiet about some stuff. Your salary is usually one of them; I mean who go around talking about how much you are earning?
The same rule should apply for the salary of our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. There’s been big talk in the papers about how the salaries of the PM and his Cabinet will fall due to the bad economic times. Now I think this is info Singaporeans do not need to know. You see; I’m one of those rare Singaporeans who are not actually against paying high salaries to our politicians. However I know most Singaporeans are and the fact that our PM’s salary has dropped to $3 million a year is something I think the papers should keep to themselves.
The problem is that current U.S President Bush is only paid about $400,000 per year; U.K PM Gordon Brown is paid around $375,000, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy around $346,000. Is Lee Hsien Loong 10 times better than the French President? Actually the answer is yes because I think Sarkozy is a joke, but that’s beside the point.
The point is $3 million a year is still a very high salary. The fact that all increases in our PM’s salary after 2007 revisions is being donated to good causes is something lost to most Singaporeans. It’s like when John McCain said that you are only rich if you have more than $5 million, it just made him sound out of touch.
All this talk austerity is lost on Singaporeans as $3 million is well…$3 million. When it comes to our PM’s salary, my thinking is this, “The less talk there is about our PM’s salary, the better it is for him”.