In a recent U.S. trip, Loong highlighted how American politicians, because of their low annual salaries, may have other interests — future pursuits, perhaps — that could distract them from their public service.
"Our attitude is: you must pay for the quality of the person you want," he said of his high earnings. "You want the best person and you want him to be properly motivated."
Still, rhetoric aside, there are many who justly suggest Loong's annual income is far too high for governing Singapore, a tiny nation of less than five million people.
The P.M.'s salary of $2.75 million per year is more than 80 times that of the average Singaporean family.