SINGAPORE —Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Singapore Parliament shared his recent encounter with a stroke patient who can “miraculously” freely walk after claiming his free lunch.
Last Tuesday (17 January), Mr Tan wrote in his Facebook post, shared his encounter who the resident who attended his Meet-The-People Session on previous day.
Mr Tan said the resident told him that he was homeless and his father was violently abusive and a drunk.
“He also had a debilitating stroke on his right side. Couldn’t use his right hand at all, could barely move. Even had to use his left hand to lift the right to grip his walking stick. ”
The Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC said the resident came to the MPS to appeal on housing matter, and was seen walking slowly and even decline his volunteer’s assistance.
Mr Tan’s also arranged daily free lunch for the resident.
But someone at Mr Tan’s MPS who recognised the resident, showed Tan a video clip of the man walking normally.
” I’m not sure what we did that was right. Miraculously, he could walk freely, one arm carrying food, another carrying the walking stick!”
He added that the resident was seen on Tuesday walked slowly to collect his lunch.
” After collecting lunch, he slowly shuffled away. And then when he turned the corner, miracle again! Walked away briskly and carrying his walking stick. ”
Mr Tan said he was “worried that others will be taken in by him”, but further stressed that when in doubt, he and his team will always help first.
“And even when in doubt, we help again… until we double confirm that things aren’t quite what it seems. ”
Kenneth Jeyaretnam: Singaporeans know the hard truth that who get the free lunch
While Mr Tan is concerned whether the resident might be scamming his party for a free lunch or two, Kenneth Jeyaretnam commented that Singaporeans know the hard truth that the only people who are entitled to free lunches are those from the PAP party, starting with Prime Minister and his wife and filtering down to Mr Tan.
“Singaporeans should also concerned about PAP Ministers and MPs helping themselves and their relatives to multi million jobs in government, statutory boards and state owned companies, while pretending to be humble servants of the people, ” the Secretary General of Reform Party wrote in his recent Facebook post.
He added that the establishment would further using people’s money to pay for state media propaganda to ensure their re-election and “continued access to the teat of state resources”.
Paid among highest in the world
The 2012 White Paper on ministerial salaries was put up after many Singaporeans got angry with the incumbent PAP government and voted against the PAP during the 2011 General Election, resulting in the ruling party garnering the lowest percentage of valid votes in the history of Singapore and the first loss of a Group Representative Constituency.
Still, with the new salary formula devised by the committee, PAP politicians continue to remain among the highest paid in the world. For example, according to World Population Review, PM Lee is currently paid US$1.6 million annually:
Salary (in USD) of PM Lee compared with that of others:
- PM Lee Hsien Loong – $1,610,000
- Chief Executive Hong Kong – $672,000
- United States President – $400,000
- Australian Prime Minister – $384,000
- Chancellor of Germany – $369,727
- British Prime Minister – $200,000
And in fact, even under the revised salary in 2012, many of Singapore’s ministers and civil servants make more than some of the mentioned heads of states of other first-world countries.
Nevertheless, it’s not known if the salaries of ministers and other political appointment holders will be increased this time since they are already among the highest-paid politicians in the world.
Remuneration of Singapore Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) executives remains a secret
While foreign SWF CEO, Norway hedge fund CEO Nicolai Tangen is publicly known for his US$672,400 earnings a year, the remuneration of Singapore’s own SWFs’ executives remains a secret that the PAP politicians fiercely guard.
In April 2020, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s former Finance Minister instructed the POFMA Office to issue four correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) relating to posts made about the salary of former Temasek Holding’s CEO Ho Ching, who is also the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The POFMA website noted, “The Authors made various claims that the annual salary of Temasek CEO Ms Ho Ching is ‘NT$ 2.1 billion’, ‘about 100 million SGD’ or ‘S$99 million a year’.”
It asserted that these claims are “false” or False Statement of Fact (FSOF), referring to a statement published on the Temasek Holdings website as well.
The SWF denied claims that its CEO Ho Ching earns an annual salary of S$99 million.
Though it rarely ever addressed the matter of remuneration of its top management, this time Temasek addressed the claims of Ho Ching’s salary directly, merely saying that the claim is “false”.
Temasek also noted that Ho Ching’s annual compensation is not the highest within the firm nor is she among the top five highest-paid executives.