Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tan Jee Say will give 88% of his Presidential salary back to the people

Source: Temasek Review Emeritus


Pro-Singaporean presidential candidate Tan Jee Say has promised to accept a salary of only $500,000 a year if elected.

The amount is a far cry below the $4.2 million dollar annual salary of the Elected President, which is nearly 10 times that of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Mr Tan Jee Say’s supporters were spotted distributing flyers advertising this campaign promise at a walkabout at the Hari Raya bazaar at Geylang Serai on Saturday evening.

The flyer states, among other things, the lines: “Presidential salary: $500,000 a year is plenty for anyone to live on. Anything else should go back to the people of Singapore.”

When asked on how he arrived at the figure, Mr Tan replied:

“People ask me what is a good figure to live on so I think this is a good figure, it’s a lot of money to live on…I think it’s generally far above what an average family needs.”

$500,000 a year amounts to about $41,000 monthly which is many times higher than the median monthly salary of an average Singapore worker – a mere $2,500.

In contrast, PAP ministers are paid obscene salaries of millions of dollars annually excluding their many months of bonuses which are pegged to GDP growth.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is paid more than $3 million dollars a year, far more than the combined salaries of the leaders of the G7 group of countries.

When asked about the issue earlier, PAP-endorsed presidential candidate Tony Tan declined to say if he would donate his salary to charity except that he would accept the expected pay cut to be made by the Ministerial Review Committee.

Tony Tan is currently still receiving a monthly pension from the state as he was a former PAP minister. It is not known if he is still entitled to his pension on top of the presidential salary should he get elected.

While we applaud Mr Tan Jee Say’s pledge to accept a $500,000 salary, we implore him to consider dedicating part of his annual salary if elected to support worthy causes such as setting up an Independent Commission for Police Misconduct, a Media Commission and a Human Rights Commission under the Office of the President.

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