It was reported that a recent job advertisement placed by the Istana looking for butlers and junior chefs has caused much controversy in social media (‘Istana offering lowball salaries for its butlers and cooks?‘).
The Istana has offered S$1,400 to S$2,000 for the butler positions and S$2000 to S$2,500 for junior chef positions. Netizens have questioned about the offered pay and asked if it is enough to survive and care for his or her family in Singapore.
Even the market pays better than what Istana is offering. According to last year’s median gross wage statistics by the Ministry of Manpower, the median gross income of waiters is S$1,838 while a captain waiter or waiter supervisor gets S$2,700. And the median gross salary for a chef is S$3,532.
Meanwhile, the current monthly gross salary of President Halimah is about S$120,000 (her annual salary in 2018 was S$1,738,550, including bonuses).
US White House’s assistant chefs paid more while its President gets less
In any case, the reverse situation seems to be true at the White House in the US compared to the Istana in Singapore.
Data based on about 20 profiles of sous chefs (assistant chefs) working at the White House shows that their average salary is US$66,801 a year.
The executive chef or the head chef of White House would earn somewhere between US$80,000 and US$100,000 a year.
And of course, the US President only earns US$400,000 a year as mandated by US law.
Hence, the salary ratio of US President to a White House’s sous chef would work out to be about 6 times on average.
In the case of Singapore, using their monthly salary to calculate, the salary ratio of President Halimah to an Istana’s assistant chef would be 48 times.
Meanwhile, President Halimah only makes decisions based on advice from the cabinet and her presidential advisors while the US President would make decisions of his own. Such as how the current US President, Donald Trump is currently doing with his means of battling huge influx of illegal immigrants trying to enter the US from South America and dealing with potential conflict with Iran in the Straits of Hormuz – whether right or wrong.
It seems President Halimah has an easier job to do when compared with what President Trump is currently doing. She even has time to go inaugurate a new ‘Milo Gao Kosong’ beverage by being the first to drink the official cup of ‘Milo Gao Kosong’ at Plaza Singapura in Oct last year.