Well, this was no surprise. Months ago, SM Goh had already dropped hints that the salary increase was on its way. So now, their salaries are not only the world's highest ministerial salaries, but the world's highest ministerial salaries by far.
Eat your heart out, George Bush.
I still haven't caught up with all the details. I've just been quickly browsing articles via the Intelligent Singaporean on this matter. MM Lee's age is showing - he spouts little bits of strange nonsense like this:
"Low salaries will draw in the hypocrites who sweet talk their way into power in the name of public service, but once in charge will show their true colour, and ruin the country."This is an illogical statement. One may just as well assert: "High salaries will draw in the hypocrites who sweet talk their way into power in the name of public services ...". Surely high salaries have greater ability than low salaries to attract hypocrites.
In fact, both statements are untrue. In Singapore, most ministers do not need to "sweet-talk their way into power in the name of public service". They just need to be picked by MM Lee, to be minister. That's the tough part. The easy part is getting into Parliament - that's usually done by election walkover.
Anyway, I wonder how the founding fathers of Singapore, like Goh Keng Swee or S Rajaratnam, would feel about MM Lee's remark. Really insulted, I guess.
Back in those days, ministerial salaries were low, far lower than now. There was no such thing as pegging ministers' salaries to the absolute top earners in the private sector. But were Goh and Rajaratnam really "hypocrites who sweet-talked their way into power in the name of public service"?
I don't think so.