Ministers’ Salaries & Pensions

In Political governance on 15/11/2011 at 7:20 pm

Or “Stream of consciouness of a wondering mind” or how one tot lead to another.

When I read yesterday that NSP was organising a forum on ministers’ salaries, I tot of the story in the Chinese media last week that junior ministers’ starting salaries would be around the S$300,000 mark rather than the present (suspended) S$1m mark. and wondered how much would cabinet ministers and the president draw under the revised scheme?

I then wondered why the opposition MPs and NCMPs did not ask what our ministers and president are drawing pending the salary review report? The PM had said in May that any changes would be effective from the date he announced the review. So are they meanwhile paid their millions, with a clawback provision? Aka like investment bankers. And if so, what happens if a minister pleads poverty? Will he get the chance to pay back in instalments? If so, how long and at what interest?

Our WP MPs and NSMPs more interested in playing on same team as PAP? Like in footie?

Then I was reminded of what “moretothepoint” posted on TOC last Saturday


At a social gathering of prominent ladies today, Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon {former MP and junior minister) was askedrepeatedly how much her ex-MP cum MoS pension was.

She tried to avoid the question by going on about the basis of how ministerial salaries were determined.

One insistent member of the floor kept asking and she finally replied that she gets 40% of her last drawn package of $500,000 p.a.

So that’s about $20K a month for doing nothing.

The audience let out a murmur when the numbers sunk in.


All these, for some unknown reason, reminded me of this passage in “Animal Farm” : “Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”― George Orwell

  1. to be precise,should be about 16.6k a month

  2. i disagree with the rumourmonger’s (scrooball i believe) tale on how much she earned, becos what she was paid was nowhere near $500k a year.

    JUNIOR ministers earn $1m, not including bonus etc etc. she was a CABINET minister. so she wasn’t even earning a mere million but a Helluva lot more. i would say, at a conservative estimate of $1.5m a year, she would be getting at least $50k a month in pension.

    that’s more than many people here earn in a year….

  3. Just had a tangential thought totally unrelated to this – was or ever offered as ‘A’ level Literature options?

    FYI: The pension scheme was abolished many years ago (in the 90’s?) for almost all civil servants across all agencies. As my father told me, they had a choice to stay on it or convert to the new scheme [entirely CPF? not too sure about the details]

    Of course, if you are counting on your superior to remain equal and fair, don’t count on it.

    BTW, the pension scheme mere mortal civil servants are on is rather modest. It would be interesting to see what was the exact episode that triggered the Old Man to go psycho and elevate his Ministers [and future ones] to become the highest paid mortals in the land.

  4. Hmm the line should have read “was “Animal Farm” or “1984” ever offered as ‘A’ level Literature options?”.

    • In 1971, it was taught at O-levels for lit exam in RI.

      TKL it seems studied it at O-levels in RI in late 50s., early 60s?

      Someone at MOE had a sense of irony?

      • In the 50s and 60s, MOE run by chao ang mohs, so naturally they choose ang moh books. Also at that time, ang moh countries becoming more & more socialist like UK, so they choose socialist storybooks. Early 70s still got remnants of ang mohs in MOE. But by late 70s, MOE basically fully politicised by PAP liao, and become propaganda machine to start Sinkies young.

  5. Ci

    The ministers salaries is pegged “incorrectly” to GDP but the base salary may be low as most comes from variable (ie bonus) hence up to S$1M and above.
    Hence, maybe queries can be directed to the right ministries eg in charge of “growth” on what would be the better way


    • Govt has been asked, but refuse to give a straight answer. So all the guessing.

      It is known that Dr Goh Keng Swee was drawing in the late 1990s, after he retired from all his posts, a govt pension of abt $8,000 a month. Given the huge jumps in ministerial salaries in the 90s, a $20,000 a month pension is not implausible today.

  6. I studied Animal Farm at Victoria School for my O Levels in the late 1980s…

    • Happy to hear that it was taught in the late 80s in VI. Wonder if it was also taught in RI then?

      And what about the 90s and noughties?

  7. I wonder how much all these old fossil ministers cost the country a year. No wonder, whether nerve disease or not breathing, also occupy a seat. And creating all the silly titles to justify.

  8. Based on friend’s kids comments, yes, george orwell is still a “popular” book for the kids ie 1984 and even above.

  9. Animal Farm is still covered in the Secondary Schools based on what my friends with kids told me.

  10. Nice to know that students are still exposed to the book. Either someone is asleep or it is wrong for S’poreans to equate the PAP with the pigs of bAnimal Farm.

  11. As far as I can recall, Animal Farm was never compared to the political system in Singapore in our secondary school lessons..

  12. […] recent blog post by an anonymous someone highlights how a retired junior minister, Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon is getting […]

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