|License to fail, and still get rich|
Lee said Workers' Party MP Chen Show Mao entered politics at age 50, after a successful career as a lawyer, "Now he is ready to do public service". Lee himself became prime minister at 52, at a substantially higher salary than entry level MP allowance. No wonder Teo Chee Hean's quote made the headlines yesterday, "Passion alone not enough to run country". For some people.
Heng Swee Keat was held up as a sterling example of a private sector find who "took a substantial cut" in salary to enter politics. Heng was a Permanent Secretary (superscaled civil servant) before made managing director of Monetary Authority of Singapore (government appointee). That's as "private sector" as they can get. And Heng was made Minister so fast, you will never guess he was sneaked in on the Tampines GRC ticket in 2011. Even Lee himself had to serve time as minister of state before handed all the perks of ministerhood, personal security officers, Gurkha guard post, official car, etc, etc. The Workers' Party is asking that the total pay of political leaders should be published annually. Better still, let's see how big a sacrificial pay cut was taken by Heng. Before and after Lee defers his bonus for 40 years.
If John F Kennedy had campaigned under the PAP ticket, he would have said:
"My fellow Singaporeans: ask not what your ministers can do for you -ask what you can afford to pay your ministers."