The salary of the Leader of the Opposition “is not even at the level of the lowest of the political office bearer”, said the Workers’ Party (WP)’s Yee Jenn Jong.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (29 July), Mr Yee, who contested in the recent general election as a part of the Marine Parade group representation constituency (GRC) team, said that such a political office bearer, a parliamentary secretary, receives “the full MP allowance on top of that of political office”.
Mr Yee’s remarks were made following comments made by “a corporate high flyer” supposedly “criticising” WP chief Pritam Singh’s decision to donate half his salary as Leader of the Opposition.
Ho Ching, the CEO of Temasek Holdings and wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a Facebook post today wrote that “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”.
Only some may be caught by law, she said.
“Everyone has to answer to their conscience, the Almighty, and their karma in time to come.”
Mr Yee opined that it benefits Singaporeans “if Pritam chooses to donate whatever he wants and if others wish to follow, great for Singapore too”.
“The road in the alternative camp remains a challenging one. Let’s hope more will aspire to come forward, whichever camp they belong to, and for the right motivations,” he said.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Singh said that he had discussed with his wife about the matter.
He revealed that both of them had felt strongly that “a percentage of the salary should be used for a greater purpose”.
“After putting the girls to bed, my wife and I knew there were some things we wanted to talk about arising from the LO appointment.
“Amongst other things, we spoke about what the salary increase would mean for our family. Both of us felt strongly that a percentage of the salary should be used for a greater purpose,” he shared.
Mr Singh said that half of his salary as Leader of the Opposition – after tax deductions – will be allocated for the following causes:
- To assist low-income residents in Hougang SMC, Aljunied GRC and Sengkang GRC through the Workers’ Party Community Fund (WPCF) and/or the WP Grassroots Committee; or
- Community programs in Hougang SMC, Aljunied GRC, Sengkang GRC; or
- Charitable or worthy causes; or
- Workers’ Party specific needs.
Expressing his gratitude and appreciation in receiving the additional support and remuneration, Mr Singh also noted that this appointment will require more investment of his time as well as “longer hours away“ from his family.
“The LO appointment carries with it many additional responsibilities that I will have to shoulder. The road ahead will not be easy but I thank Singaporeans for their support and encouragement,“ he remarked.