Former Prime Minister and Emeritus Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong has taken to his Facebook page to clarify that he does not receive a ministerial salary even though he has the title of ESM.
ESM Goh pointed to the recent post by Factually, the website managed by Ministry of Communication and Information, which sought to debunk online falsehood on the salaries of the Prime Minister and Ministers and wrote, “I shall use this opportunity to debunk public perception that I am paid a ministerial salary. ESM is merely a title with no pay,”
The post by Factually sought to address two “falsehoods”, one being the Prime Minister gets $4.5 million in annual salary and it is not upfront about how ministerial salaries are calculated. While the post is right on both counts but it does not address the reluctance by the Prime Minister to reveal the total amount of bonuses received by the ministers, which TOC calculated to be 13 months for the PM and around 11.85 months for the political appointment holders.
ESM Goh goes on to state that he continues to work for Singapore in various capacities and use his stature as ESM and former Prime Minister to help raise awareness and funds for different groups of disadvantaged Singaporeans.
He then wrote, “Instead of threatening to get up from my grave when things go wrong, I prefer to contribute while still alive but without getting in the way of the younger leaders.”
The above comment is likely to be in relation to late Lee Kuan Yew’s earlier statement on leadership transition, Mr LKY said, “If you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong. I will get up.”
ESM Goh ended his post by stating that he has no plans to do a Mahathir, which many have urged him to do, to lead a separate faction of leaders from the People’s Action Party to contest with the current leaders of PAP just like how Mahathir did in Malaysia’s recent General Election which saw the ruling UMNO party being taken out of power after sixty years in power.
ESM Goh was appointed Senior Minister in 2004 after handing over the premiership to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with late Lee Kuan Yew being appointed as Minister Mentor. Both ESM Goh and LKY stepped down in 2011 as SM and MM after the General Election 2011.