Lee Hsien Loong
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his ministers will see their pay slashed by about 36 percent as the government responds to public discontent over their high salaries. But Lee will remain the world’s best-paid leader.
Singapore pays government members and civil servants generously to attract top talent to the public sector. High salaries have also helped its politicians stay honest in a region where corruption is rife.
Lee earns more than S$3 million (US$2.31 million) a year, but will have that reduced to S$2.2 million. Lee said the government would accept the recommendations. The salary cuts will be backdated to May 21.
Despite the pay cut, Lee’s salary will still be three times that of Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen’s, the world’s next highest-paid political leader, who earns about HK$4 million a year (US$514,140). U.S. President Barack Obama earns about US$400,000.
The annual salaries of Singapore’s ministers will start from S$1.1 million, a cut of 37 percent.
The city state scores well in surveys on corruption — the last scandal involving a minister was in 1986.(SD-Agencies)