[ 2007-04-10 13:17 ]
Singapore's prime minister,
Lee Hsien Loong, will earn five times more than US President George Bush this
year after a pay rise yesterday boosted his annual
salary to S$3.1 million ($2.1 million).
Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
A minister told parliament yesterday that other Singapore government
ministers - who are already among the best paid in the world - will also see
their salaries jump by about 60 percent to an average of S$1.9 million ($1.26
"For the public service to remain an attractive employer, our terms must keep
pace with the private sector,"
Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also minister in charge of the civil
service, said in parliament.
The ministerial salary increase - which will take effect in two steps by the
end of next year - is slightly smaller than the government had originally
Lee said last month the salaries of ministers and top civil servants might
have to rise by as much as S$1 million ($660,000) to S$2.2 million ($1.45
million) because they had fallen way below benchmark top salaries in the private
Lee's announcement sparked an outcry, with hundreds of Singaporeans signing
an online petition and writing to
newspapers to protest against the move.
Some Singaporeans said the ministerial salaries did not reflect the country's
economy or the government's performance, adding that the government was tactless
to raise ministers' salaries now given Singapore's widening income gap.
Since 1994, the salaries of Singapore ministers have been set at two thirds
of the median pay of the 48 best-paid bankers, lawyers, accountants, engineers
and executives in multinationals and manufacturing firms.
Under the wage revision, the bonuses that Singapore ministers receive will
depend on their performance, to be assessed by Lee, and the rate of Singapore's
economic growth, Teo said.
He said ministers can get a maximum "gross domestic product bonus" of four
months worth of salary if the Singapore economy grows by 8 percent or more.
annual salary: 年薪（英语点津陈蓓编辑）