Thursday, June 2, 2011

Career Options For Members Of Parliament

The Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Yeo Guat Kwang, had listed 64 appointments in his official power resume. Baited by a posting about his super-active business calendar, he has now, inadvertently or otherwise, confirmed his peripheral sources of income: "I wish to clarify that apart from my job as NTUC director and as Independent Director to the few companies stated, I do not receive remuneration for these other roles."

The "few companies" in which he serves in non pro-bono capacity to date:
  • Independent Director, Grandwork Interior Pte Ltd (interior fit-out works, restoration and custom-made furniture)
  • Independent Director, Japan Foods Holding Ltd (Japanese restaurant chains)
  • Independent Director, Koyo International Ltd (systems integrator)
  • Independent Director, United Envirotech Ltd (environmental engineering and consultancy)
  • Independent Director, Asia Water Technology Ltd (water purification and wastewater treatment)
  • Independent Director, HLH Group Ltd (property investment and construction)
For perspective, recall former PAP MP Dr Wang Kai Yuen, with 11 directorships under his belt, used to lament that "some of the companies pay me as little as $10,000".

Yeo Guat Kwang is a Bachelor of Arts degree graduate from NUS, and has no formal training in engineering, finance, business administration, or specialised trade skills. Prior to entering parliament in 1997 via the Cheng San GRC route, he was a secondary school teacher with the Ministry of Education.  The pinnacle of his career development then was being made Specialist Inspector for Chinese (1993-1996). It would be an interesting exercise to date the chronology of his directorship appointments.

The companies Yeo is associated with professionally span quite a diverse range of technologies and business interests. In July 2009 Koyo International Ltd's subsidiary Koyo Engineering (S.E.Asia) Pte Ltd was awarded two contracts worth $14.6 million by the Ministry of Education for the maintenance of Mechanical and Electrical (M & E) systems in two school zones.

It is no wonder then that the newly commissioned MP for Marine Parade GRC has just resigned her day job as a senior business consultant.  Who cares for a pissy post at Ernst & Young when the yellow brick road leading to parliament house is paved with gold? Meanwhile another de-commissioned member of parliament who seems to have difficulty securing alternative employment in the private sector is eyeing another soft option: the elected Presidency. Apparently the pay packaged is good, very good.


  1. They justify their high pay because they don't make nearly enough as MPs and Ministers. Maybe I am mistaken, but I have not found congressmen and senators sitting on the boards of corporations. And they are not paid as lavishly.

    If the high pay is to compensate for the opportunity cost and to keep elected officials honest, the MPs should give up the directorships and focus on their job serving the people. Better yet, release their tax return for full transparency!

  2. Just look at him, makan until so fat and round. More good life than my fat cat.

  3. No need to act noble. No remuneration never mind, it's the connections that matters.

    See that Sitoh MP for PP even has the connections to dictate over 8 other town councils to help take in the ex-PP Town council staff. A promise is not a contract. If one has been eyeing that post since 3 elections back, can one expect him not to reward his loyal pets ?

  4. Talking about MP Sitoh, and his win of PP ward, I would like to interject an aside as to what happened possibly to cause that marginal win. As far as I know, while many of the older folks in PP were grateful and thankful to Chiam See Tong and his group for the work they have done over the years, the younger generation--the swing voters--were somehow sick of things and wanted "change". What kind of change were they looking to have? According to the friend of one friend who actually lives in the ward, he and his wife voted for MP Sitoh because they really wanted the change in the cosmetic aspects of asset enhancement and upgrading and were somehow tired of having the same old MP in the ward. From that, we can see that political allegiances are thin and only run as deep as how much one promises to do this and that for the estates.

  5. Minus the whiskers, YeoGK can really pass off as "Garfield".....the amazing FatCat with so many sponsors feeding him.

    * courtesy of the PAP selection system *
    * courtesy of 60% dumbasses on this island *

  6. My understanding is that civil servants cannot have a second job unless declare and approve by Perm Sec. How about MPs like him? Does someone higher up need to approve him of having alternative income sources...?

  7. Common there are ways to work around restrictions on MPs to sit in board of companies and receive director fees. What is to stop them from recommending their spouse or other relatives for those lucrative positions? Afterall, the culture of nepotism is thick in PAP. At the end of the day, it all comes down to ethics since there is no system of check and balance to keep people with power in line. Oh well, we got the government we deserve.