Following the announcement by Worker’s Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh that he would be donating half of his salary as Leader of the Opposition, CEO of Temasek and wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took the opportunity to make a comment about people who donate publicly and privately.
Ho Ching wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday (29 July), “There are lots of folks who donated and continue to donate quietly, without making any public announcement.”
“Some folks make public announcement of part of their donations, and still maintain privacy on the rest of their regular donations. Other continue to donate anonymously. Yet others put their donations into their wills,” she added.
Mdm Ho also said that “not all are angels”, noting that some people will “scheme to get money from others in their families, or friends, some by stealth, others by outright manipulation and cheating”.
To these people, only some may be caught by law, she noted, before concluding her post saying, “Everyone has to answer to their conscience, the Almighty, and their karma in time to come.”
The post, which has garnered over 600 comments and shared over 470 times at the time of writing were filled with netizens calling out Mdm Ho for seemingly critiquing Mr Singh’s decision to go public with an intention to donate his salary.
Steven Cheong said it is “shallow” to question a person’s intentions to publicly donate, while Roy Ang asked why something “commendable” has to be “dragged through the mud” in this way.
Other’s pointed out that Mr Singh’s move to donate half his salary could inspire, motive and encourage other politicians and members of the public to do the same and be more charitable.
Jamela Lovette Law said that the WP is setting an “uncomfortable but important” precedent for people in positions of authority to be more transparent about their financials, calling it “necessary political theatre”.
Like Ms Law, others also said they think Mdm Ho is so “morally insecure” that she needs to criticise Mr Singh’s motives.
There were also people who pointed out that Mr Singh is holding to the values of transparency and accountability by disclosing what he intends to do with his salary since it is being paid for by taxpayers.
Among others, there were also plenty of irate netizens who highlighted the fact that Mdm Ho’s own salary as Temasek CEO remains a “closely guarded state secret”.