Following the announcement of the recommendations on Ministerial pay cut by the Ministerial Salaries Review Committee, this is what our Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts & Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Grace Fu Hai Yien has to say on her Facebook page:
When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office.
It sets me thinking. A top international lawyer like Chen Show Mao definitely took a very drastic pay cut when he entered into Singapore politics the hard way via the opposition ticket (no GRC to ride on the coat tail of an established Minister; risk of defamation and other occupational hazards faced by local opposition politicians).
I don’t recall any whining from Chen Show Mao on his “low” (in the context of our Ministers’ pay) MP allowance.
Entering politics should be about serving the greater good. Passion, not money, should be the main impetus.
PAP still needs sterling candidates to win back Aljunied GRC from the Workers’ Party at the next General Election. Perhaps Grace Fu should volunteer her service. It is a win-win situation for her. Even if she loses, she can follow in the footsteps of George Yeo and Lim Hwee Hua to join the private sector and draw higher salaries than her current Ministerial salary.