How much does a Minister earn in his tenure as a politician – about $70 million or more?

I refer to the article “Goh Chok Tong’s speech defending high ministerial pay and defence budget at grassroots event” (theonlinecitizen, Aug 5).

It states that “On Friday, local news platform MustShareNews shared an audio recording of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong who turned down a suggestion to lower ministerial salaries or to lower the defence budget in order to better support elderly in Singapore, [ LINK ]

In the conversation, 70-year-old Abdul Aziz shared his concerns about issues about elderly being forced to work just to survive and asked if Singapore could have some sort of an elderly pension fund and suggested that the defence budget to be cut a bit and also perhaps 10 per cent on the ministerial pay.

When queried if the recording was indeed true, ESM Goh had his staff to clarify that the recording was taken during a dialogue at the South-East District conference on Thursday (2 Aug) at NTUC Centre and provided the transcript of the conversation.

Below is the transcript of the whole conversation between the 70-year-old Singaporean, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, and ESM Goh.

Abdul Aziz (from Braddell Heights RC): I am 70 years old, so I am really concerned about issues that are about the elderly. Unfortunately, I would say that the bad picture which has been painted is that the elderly have been forced to work, cleaning toilets, serving tables, just to survive. And the example that Dr Maliki said (of a senior working just because she wants to, not because she needs to), perhaps it is the exception rather than the whole. I think not many people will believe you if you say that elderly work because they want to mix, because they want to do exercise. Perhaps they work because they need to work. So in this case, may I just suggest that perhaps can we have some sort of an elderly pension fund, for the elderly. We will have an appropriate means test and all that, to make sure it is not being abused. And Mayor will ask me how do we fund this fund? Perhaps, maybe can I say we cut a bit on the defence, one F-15 maybe can pay for the whole fund. Or perhaps even the Ministers with the million-dollar salaries, can we perhaps cut by 10 per cent in order to fund this fund? These are just my suggestions. Thank you very much.

As to “In response to Mr Abdul Aziz’s question, Grassroots Adviser Lim Biow Chuan said:

Firstly, there is Silver Support. I think you know there is Silver Support, and Silver Support does help quite a number of our seniors. I am really unsure that we should be too hard on elderly who want to work” – is $100 to $250 a month enough to take care of your retirement needs?

With regard to “To me, if Singaporeans, if you are low-income, the Government does take quite good care of you. There are actually many many schemes to help look after those who are poor” – the Government only gave out $130 million in ComCare help schemes to about 83,000 beneficiaries.

So, does it mean that the average assistance may only be about $131 ($130 million divided by 83,000) monthly per beneficiary?

In respect of “Now if you are not poor, and you want to work, I personally think it is a good thing, because if not, then what do you expect the elderly to do at home?

I always tell seniors whom I meet, go and do something, whether it is volunteer work, whatever. Because if you stay at home, the chances of you getting dementia is quite high. When my father was alive, he was running a fruit stall. Now he runs it in a very poor manner and he loses money every month. So then he decided one day that he would sublet it out and take some rental income. And so he went home and then he stayed at home. After a few months, I looked at my father and I thought his situation was deteriorating. So I told him why don’t you take back the fruit stall, I will pay for your every month losses, because to me it is cheaper to pay for your every month losses than eventually pay for the dementia medical expenses.

So he runs the stall, he just sits there and the fruits rot after a while. I was happy because he meets people, he talks to people, and it keeps him going. He doesn’t have to go and collect cardboard boxes, but the reality is that if he does nothing, I am more worried” – is your father’s example the norm or the exception in Singapore?

As to “My sense is always that we shouldn’t always look to the government to solve the issues of the elderly. It is every child’s responsibility to look after their parents, because your parents looked after you when you are young. To all those who are getting elderly, I hope that you don’t think that your children should not look after you. These are their responsibilities. And this is what filial piety is all about.

Now, if for whatever reason your children can’t look after you, come and talk to us. We have many schemes where we will be able to help to those who are lower income to look after themselves. But if you look at people and they are working, whether as a cleaner and all that, don’t feel embarrassed about that. My mum, about 10 years ago, worked in a coffeeshop as a cleaner. Because she is bored at home. And she asked me, would it embarrass you? I said no, I mean it is a decent job, you want to go and work, I won’t stop you from working. Because if you think it is a decent job, so be it. She is not robbing someone, she is not relying on charity, she wants to work as a coffeeshop cleaner because she gets to do something, she mixes with people, she is happy and I am happy. So now that she is older, she is retired” – the issue arguably, is not so much about whether one wants to work or not, but the fact that there are so many elderly working because they do not have a choice like your mother – and they are working for very low pay.

In this connection, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s  (MOM) web site – Progressive Wage Model  (PWM) Cleaning Sector – “If you have new service contracts that starts from 1 July 2017, you must use the following revised wages” – (at least) $1,060 for Group 1 – Office & Commercial – General/Indoor Cleaners, (and) Group 2 – F & B Establishment – General Cleaners”.

Isn’t a basic monthly salary of $1,060, including employee’s CPF still very very low,  when Singapore has the distinction of being the most expensive city in the world for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Economist??

With regard to “But I honestly feel let’s not be too harsh or too judgmental on elderly who need to work. So if you do meet people whom you think need help, come and talk to us. We will be able to assess them and we will be able to render assistance. Whether we should fund that through 10 per cent cut from MINDEF, I think we better let the Senior Minister of State (referring to SMS Maliki Osman) answer.

SMS Maliki Osman: We will get ESM to share his perspective first.

(ESM asks for the mic to be passed to Abdul Aziz)

ESM Goh: I want to ask you, first of all, if the old lady and old men do not clean the tables, who are going to clean the tables?

Abdul Aziz: We have maybe youngsters or students who want to earn.

(ESM Goh turns to young people in the audience: “Do any of you want to stop education to clean tables? Any of you? Please put up your hands.”)

ESM Goh: This is a very populist kind of question, which will get you votes and make you President of Singapore! So it is a serious populist question which I want to debunk. Who is going to clean the table for you? Students won’t do it. Shall we have foreign workers to clean the tables?

Abdul Aziz: May I suggest, maybe we have to ask ourselves, why is it that nobody wants to clean tables? That is because the pay is so measly. Minimum wage pay, perhaps we can get people to clean the tables.

ESM Goh: Ok, how much should we pay a cleaner to clean the tables? $1,000?

(ESM Goh turns to audience: “Will you clean tables for $1,000? Please put up your hands.”)

ESM Goh then said:

No, I am serious, $1,000, who is going to clean the tables? Somebody must clean the tables. I am not suggesting old folks should clean the tables. I say give it to contractors, who will then employ people to clean the tables. Contractors, who do they look for? First and foremost, they want foreign workers. If you give them foreign workers, we end up with foreign workers cleaning tables, they don’t want old people. But are you going to allow more foreign workers in Singapore, just to clean tables? Those who are in support, please put up your hands, then you end up with another 100,000 foreign workers to clean tables.

If you are from India, Bangladesh, $1,000 to clean tables, thank you very much, please let me clean more tables. So contractors have no choice but to employ older ones. We feel sorry for that. How do we help them? Well, we have this income supplement. If the cleaners who clean the table are paid a standard market wage, a bit low from our point of view, there is this wage supplement to up their salary. If you feel sorry for them, we can have a minimum wage for old people, we can do that. Does it work? How much is the minimum wage? Well, we do that, your hawker price will go up, please don’t complain. Are you going to complain that the hawker prices are going up because they are paying more to the workers? That is my point. The second point which Mr Lim has addressed, to some of these people, a job is very important, not just the pay” – aren’t you ashamed that there are so many elderly cleaners working for such low pay?

Why don’t you ask yourself the obvious question – why is it that other countries are not like Singapore -do you see elderly cleaners in such abundance anywhere else?

If the pay is higher like say around $1,500 to $2,000 – do you think nobody will want to work? After all, there were 886,300 or about 39 per cent (886,300 divided by 2,269,700 total resident labour force), or 4 in 10 resident workers, with monthly take-home pay after employee CPF contribution of typically less than $2,000 (gross monthly income less than $2,500 including employee CPF contribution (791,900 workers) or were unemployed (94,400 non-seasonally adjusted)) in June 2017

In respect of “If you say please give them a pension, that is again a very popular idea, and there are some societies which actually do that, when you reach a certain age, you get pension for life. Somebody must pay for the pension. And you got it right. Take it from somewhere else. Had you suggested to up GST by 2 per cent and give them the pension, I would have applauded you. Seriously. Because you are then taxing the whole society to support older ones. But you did not. You said cut from defence, 1 per cent is enough. And on top of that, you said cut Ministers’ salaries. That is very populist. I am telling you the Ministers are not paid enough, and down the road, we are going to get a problem with getting people to join the government, because civil servants now earn more than Ministers. Are you aware of that?” – are we referring to the fact that when ministerial salaries were last reduced in 2012 – the salaries of civil servants were not similarly reduced.

For example, with the 36% pay cut, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was then still (and still is) the highest-paid political leader in the world with S$2.2 million a year (excluding bonuses).

For example, a starting junior Minister’s salary was reduced from $1.7 million to $1.1 million, whereas a permanent secretary’s starting salary remained unchanged at $1.7 million.

May I suggest that we put some numbers into this debate and discussion. How much remuneration in total (42 years) for example, has the Emeritus Senior Minister received since he became a politician, in 1976?

Another example, for illustrative purposes, is Minister Desmond Lee who was the youngest full cabinet Minister at the age of 40. Since he was first appointed in 2013 as the Minister of State for National Development and promoted to Senior Minister of State in 2015 – if he continues to be a Minister until age 66, like our current Prime Minister – does it mean that his total salaries for the 30 years (age 66 – 36) may be about $70 million or more?

How many people earn this sum in their lifetime?

As to “And where do we get our future office holders from? From the private sector? I have tried for the last election. Two of them, earning $5 million per month, $10 million per month (sic – ESM meant per year). To be a Minister for $1 million? No, no, my family is not happy with (unclear). Those approached say money is not the issue. But if you earn $5 million, $10 million, and you pay at least $1 million, many people would come, but not from the private sector. But maybe some you can get.

Edwin Tong, he is a Senior Counsel, he earns more than $2 million. PM asked him to be a Minister of State – one quarter (salary). He came to see me. He said, at this stage of his life, he has got a house, he has got a mother-in-law to support, a father-in-law to support, his own parents and so on, what should he do? So I asked him, Edwin, what were you in politics for? (He said) Here to serve. So I said you’ve got to serve, well, you know between $2 million and perhaps half a million, later on you hopefully become a full Minister, $1 million, you have to decide which is more important. So Edwin told me his job in politics is to serve. He said yes, I will take on, and he felt very strongly that he could do the job. But now we dare not pay Ministers a good wage.

To anyone of us here, $1 million is a lot of money. So where do you want to get your Ministers from? From people who earn only $500,000 a year, whose capacity is $500,000 a year? So (when) I look for Ministers, anybody who wants to be paid more than half a million, I won’t take him. You are going to end up with very very mediocre people, who can’t even earn a million dollars outside to be our Minister. Think about that. Is it good for you, or is it worse for us in the end?” – if someone who earns $5 or $10 million is not willing to serve his nation and his or her fellow Singaporeans just because $1 million is too low – perhaps these are not the type of Ministers that we want in the first place?

With regard to “Then you said take from MINDEF. Well, MINDEF we cap it at 6 per cent, we don’t spend 6 per cent of GDP. Take it from MINDEF. Do we take it from national servicemen, pay them less? Or we buy less weapons, your weapons? So you think through. If you say you know National Service, don’t pay National Servicemen that well, take from there to pay your older people. Yeah, maybe that is doable, because we are taking from the young to pay them. But if I say cut, don’t buy a submarine, ok maybe we do that. Don’t buy your F-16, F-35, don’t buy your radar. You have done National Service, you know that defending Singapore is defending a point. You are not defending a territory of 300 square miles, 3,000 square miles, 10,000 square miles, you are defending a point. If you defend a point, you need to have advanced radar. Our neighbours don’t need it. But a plane from a neighbouring country can come to Singapore within two to three minutes to drop a bomb here, if we are fighting one another. Have you got time to run to the nearest stronghouse, bomb shelter? Have you got time to run? By the time the siren comes up, before you can run, the plane is already here. We need an advanced warning system. That costs money.

Well in the end you say why, we are so small anyway, we can’t defend ourselves, why defend, just spend the money on all these. If you can’t defend yourselves, are you going to get the investors over here? I put money over here, there is no guarantee about my investments, I won’t put money here. Are you going to get the economic growth? You are going to have unemployment. You won’t get growth. Where do you get your money from to pay old folks like you and me? Think about that. So there is a whole system.

So the point I am making is, don’t just ask populist questions. Before you ask such populist questions – just take from here and there to help old people – where would the money come from? If it is from the younger generation for the older ones, yes, we are prepared to do it. Your idea is not wrong, we must do something for the older ones. Silver Support, some kind of a scheme that we can work on later on. But how to fund it? That is what I am hitting at. It is not the idea of supporting older ones. I think that is correct. There are many retirees, they haven’t got funds, they need to be supported. But how do you fund it, you see. That is key. How to fund it for the future? Make it sustainable? Once you have a scheme to pay anybody over 65 a certain minimum wage, you can’t take it away, you’ve got to think of how to raise taxes to pay that. Ok so one part of your question is very good, but your suggestion is very bad on how to solve the problem” – why don’t the Government just simply do not accumulate so much Budget surpluses?

We had about $30 and $200 billion of reported Budget surpluses and Cash Budget surpluses, in the last decade or so.

Why is it that the mainstream media rarely talks substantively about our budget surpluses, relative to our miserly social welfare spending?

Is it any wonder why our Press Freedom Ranking is at 151st?

Also, “According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Britain’s social expenditure was around 20 per cent of its GDP in 2016; Finland’s was 31 per cent; France’s was 32 per cent; and South Korea’s was about 10 per cent” – you can see that Singapore’s is the lowest among the countries cited.


Leong Sze Hian
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29 Responses to “How much does a Minister earn in his tenure as a politician – about $70 million or more?”

  • We not suipid:

    Wooden Goh is really wrong. He is comparing the motivation and attractiveness of a minister’s job with corporate CEO on one single dimension. There are other aspects he failed to see like power and span of influence, prestige, control of enormous resources, etc. Looks like he is really money crazy, understands only $$$ and measures everything in terms of $$$. The scary part is that he is speaking of the values of the ruling elites and so evident in our society and national culture. Singapore is a miserable money driven corporation!

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  • bochap:

    Who the f…k pay for ministers and mp pensions when they are already getting millions. Where is the money coming from GCT. Seriously, these leeches need to be voted out.

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  • Revelation after removal:

    If things go on in the dark, Sze Hian, u will never find out esp with the heavy wall of plps around it. Break the wall n drag out the shdaow n the darkness can then be illuminated n all become clear for no plps r there to knock u over. Mahathir’s post win address of u want to find out what, how, who n when, u have to have a total knockout of the wall of plps ranks n files to have free n undeterred access to find out. History has shown it is so at every change of dynasties n govt. The famous shinese dynasty cliche that one dynasty one set of court officials for obvious reasons good n bad. Good to get rid of past dynasty shielded crimes. Bad is the cycle begins leading the another change. The cycle time depends on the intensity of evil, greed n ruthlessness vs the resilience, anger, tolerable limits of the populace whom often the greed has blinded the govt that the real power is people power which is also reflected in anther cliche Water can float n sink the boat.

    Many dynasty change is brought about by Greed leading to lies n bestiality. R the fast pace of patching since Malaysia reset not obvious sign for time to change, cleanup n to find the answer to all queries which were wayang off insidiously?

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  • Boh Kia See:

    A person’s worth is not measured by the earning capacity. It is by their willingness to contribute to the country.

    In New Zealand, the previous PM Sir John Key, gave away his wages while being PM. Pres. D. Trump only gets $1.00.

    We are not discussing about a public servant looking for a job. We are talking about politicians. Nobody ask them to be politicians, if they don’t like the pay then go back and do something else. the choice is theirs and theirs alone.

    There is no criteria of what constitutes the “best” person. It is a subjective view. Just look at the current crop of Ministers including the Clown. Do they deserve their pay? In fact, I think they would be lucky to even earn $500,000 outside the PAP government and companies.

    In a democratic country, the political process itself will act as a filter to ensure the better person come to the fore. Of course, Singapore is not a democracy, in fact we do not have politicians only public servants as such. In a democratic country people only serve at the pleasure of the citizens– but not this country. That means politicians are not looking for a rice bowl for life.

    So their mindset is wrong and the model they use about Ministers is also wrong. That is why, we need to remove them completely and start afresh.

    The coalition is the better way to go but never ever think the Woody should be involved.

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  • N.Jungne:

    Alarmak hia Son-in-law is an Angmo.

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  • Extremely Senile Minister:

    Seriously, are we really paying this ESM more than Xi Jinping? It’s utterly embarrassing with all those BS from his mouth!

    So anyone earning only $500,000 are very very mediocre people? People who don’t earn millions are just mediocre people and not of minister caliber?

    “Don’t pay National Servicemen that well”? That’s doable? Does ESM even know how much is a NSman being paid? I’ve heard that retired officers who are allowed to stay on in the army to do bo liao stuff and are drawing at least a hundred times more than the NSmen. Why did he not mention about the jiak liao bee officers?

    Each time people suggest that govt step in to help in areas or to those in need, the idiots (PAPies and IBs) would scare people that prices and taxes would have to go up. Pay elderly cleaners higher, hawker price will go up? But when govt up electricity and water prices, they didn’t think hawker price will go up?

    Can up GST; can cut NSmen pay but cannot touch defence budget and cannot touch ministers’ pay, then why not tax the rich more! Because the ministers themselves fall in the rich column?

    If Extremely Strong Minister thinks that Mr Aziz’s question is good but his suggestion is very bad, then is it not for him and his elite ministers to think harder and solve the problem? If our ministers can’t find a solution, perhaps it just tell us that paying millions has actually attracted the wrong people, the very very mediocre people.

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  • Extremely Senile Minister:

    Seriously, are we really paying this ESM more than Xi Jinping? It’s utterly embarrassing with all those BS from his mouth!

    So anyone earning only $500,000 are very very mediocre people? People who don’t earn millions are just mediocre people and not of minister caliber?

    “Don’t pay National Servicemen that well”? That’s doable? Does ESM even know how much is a NSman being paid? I’ve heard that retired officers who are allowed to stay on in the army to do bo liao stuff and are drawing at least a hundred times more than the NSmen. Why did he not mention about the jiak liao bee officers?

    Each time people suggest that govt step in to help in areas or to those in need, the idiots (PAPies and IBs) would scare people that prices and taxes would have to go up. Pay elderly cleaners higher, hawker price will go up? But when govt up electricity and water prices, they didn’t think hawker price will go up?

    Can up GST; can cut NSmen pay but cannot touch defence budget and cannot touch ministers’ pay, then why not tax the rich more! Because the ministers themselves fall in the rich column?

    If Extremely Senile Minister thinks that Mr Aziz’s question is good but his suggestion is very bad, then is it not for him and his elite ministers to think harder and solve the problem? If our ministers can’t find a solution, perhaps it just tell us that paying millions has actually attracted the wrong people, the very very mediocre people.

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  • UniQ:

    Whether the income is at a Thousand dollars or not, it all boils down to the escalated cost of living in Singapore. Many elderly Sinkies wouldn’t mind looking after themselves if they are gainfully employed. The scenes we witness much elderlies working in Burger outlets, Securities, Hawker Centers, etc everyday in our course of daily routine can testify.

    The root causal factor is the cost of living on this land. The amount of Tax, Tariffs, Fees, Charges to survive as a descent human being is already a tall order for many, much less to even live a descent life.

    Thus, the urgency to review and reduce the essential cost of living with immediate effect should be the pressing issue here. Rebutting a common citizen question with another question is uncalled for, especially from an experience politician. That is a unfiltered projection of an arrogant person without any respect from a citizen plight/s and concern, which by the way may have elected them into the cabinet.

    Sad isn’t it ?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Rubbish rants from a past-it Politician trying to justify the humongous pay (actually welfare payments) for the PAP Ministers. The S’pore economy is at a tipping point & here he is trying to protect the rice-bowls of those clueless & oblivious PAP Ministers unable to comprehend the current situation where the Global Economy is headed.
    The economy failure signs are all flashing red – a trade war is brewing possibly to full scale global proportions. Global interest rates are bubbling towards a volcanic eruption of higher rates, investments of all kinds are tipping towards a reset ie. lower prices, base valuations vs the present day aspirational values. THE BASIC PREMISE GOING FORWARD IS A COMPRESSION OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AS THE MASSIVE LIQUIDITY EFFECT CREATED IN THE PAST DECADE COLLAPSES INTO A BLACK HOLE.
    How can they stubbornly hold on their high pay when the future is going to be bleak for everyone involved. Economic Growth is not an option because in losing game, it’s losing the least that is the winner. The only solution is capital preservation & living sustainability. Only fools & dreamers will still think that the next decade would have economic growth – fat hope!

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  • kee chiu:

    I kee chiu to serve the people. No need to pay me obscene salaries oso can.

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  • oxygen:

    THE SHALLOW PANDERING TO GRANDSTANDING POLITICAL SHOWBIZ is unnecessary. LIKE IT OR NOT, the public minds will think that there are also plenty from India and BlangaDesh equally happy to take 1% – yes, just ONE percent – of politicians pay for no performance instead of slogging out in the sun and rain in construction sites.

    IF THE ECONOMY PERFORMS TO BIGGER TAX REVENUE BASE, the State could afford a BIGGER WAGE incentive supplement provided the elderly works and contribute to economy. It is politicians don’t perform and can’t afford the budget social spending of higher wage supplement to employed retirees – never mind they clean tables of sweeps void decks in public housing estate.

    My super Down Under returns over 8% compounded over 20 years, I never bother how much the Fund paid its manager or its own profits. Likewise if my CPF pays the same rate of return or better (instead of a miserly 2.5% return), I don’t care if the Fund Manager pays himself/herself of the residual but if he/she don’t perform to tracking benchmark, I want to be able to take out the fat cane and use it effectively.

    DON’T SHIFT PERFORMANCE ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE QUEST FOR PAY pretending and silent that performance to outcome is not delivered for decades now.

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  • LIONS:

    So,LIM KIM SAN GCB tendering for $100 million or more.
    He was Chair of SPH,PAPAGANDA.
    What about DR GOH ESTATE?
    DR GOH DPM N ARCHITECT SG ECONOMY.
    NOT SO RICH?

    What does this tell us?
    Rambo Tan.
    Same.
    LTY seen as disobedient?
    Retired YOUNG,NO GOVT JOB?
    SO?
    ONLY PET DOGS GET REWARDED!

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  • Bystander:

    This old numbskull should have disappeared from radar long ago, still sucking taxpayers’ money for talking cock. How greedy can he get.
    All problems in our country are started by this old hack, when he was PM.
    Talks too much, only PM Lee could shut him up for the moment
    Tried to act smart talking about the choosing a new leader ASAP.

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  • clown pap are hypocrites !!!:

    whenever they appears, it means clown pap and S$m gang.

    they tell you in no uncertain terms they need S$m to maintain their standard of living. but with the same breath they say local born poor no need S$m to live.

    they do ffff off. yet they pay each other S$m. but when it comes to helping local born poor, an additional S$1 a day is like pulling their ffffing teeth.

    they tell you there are many schemes to help local born poor. but the hoops to jump through just to complete the forms boggle the mind. then, after submitting the forms, low chance to be approved.

    they say chas. but at S$1,100 gross per household per head for the blue card, it is as good as telling you please don’t apply.

    they say they take care of the sick. but have they tried booking a simple slot in their own ffffing messed up public hospitals?

    everyone of them is a ffffing hypocrite.

    they tell many lies. just to keep their S$m bankroll. in the end, after all manner of hen and chicken, fault of 70% sheep.

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  • HisElitistBrainTalking:

    He’s a big fugging ZERO! Thinking too highly of himself ! Senile old foggy.
    The way he answered the questions was like lecturing.
    Whats so great about this GCT & his title ? ESM means shit to us ..
    Paying them $mils and we sgs still get Mediocre politicians…

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  • Haigen-diaz:

    Still remember the ‘quitters’, ‘kiabor’, ‘kiasu’, ‘kiasi’ insults on Singaporeans? This is the logical end point of the decades long, dumbing down of Singaporeans. The so-called “elites” are largely cloistered in a time warp outside society because of their wealth and huge salaries accumulated in officialdom. Lau Goh is about one thing only: money for himself and family. Geriatric politician like him is not the problem, it’s whether the person, young or old, possesses a keen mind. Mahathir at 92 can still outwits and beats him hands down. Perhaps our nation’s “drunk uncle” could answer his own silly question as to “who is going to clear the table?” by volunteering himself and give TRE readers a few good laughs over his ‘quitters’, ‘kiabor’, ‘kiasu’, ‘kiasi’ rhetoric?

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  • GCT..FOS:

    Go and fiack spider seat warmer…. you and your wife nothing but money face. We Singaporeans were con by you about your poor life to gain more votes, bloody full of shit arsehole. Remember, YOU COME WITH NOTHING AND GO WITH NOTHING. Why so bloody $$$$$ face?

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  • LIONS:

    seriously,PEANUT GOH brought GREED INTO THE PAP fold.

    the PIG$ started to ‘eat and eat non-stop eversince Peanut Goh INCORPORATI$E SINGAPORE into $in Incorporation.

    everything the govt did henceforth is BASED ON HOW MUCH MONEY THE PAPig$ CAN COLLECT FROM PEASANTS.

    WE NEED A NEW ‘PARTY’ OF GAHMEN TO UNDO THESE WRONG$ FOR THE PAPIG$’ GREED REMAIN UNSATIATED AND IS ,IN FACT,EVER-GROWING!

    VOTE OPPO ALLIANCE TO BE LED BY PATRIOT DR TAN CHENG BOCK!!!

    BOCK ROCKS AND HE WILL ROCK PARLIAMENT WITH HIS NEW TEAM OF LOYAL SGS!!!

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  • A Useless Seatwarmer:

    What a load of rubbish from the world’s highest paid chobolan.

    You cut foreign influx, raise the salary of local cleaners to living wages, reduce the rental of stalls and introduce competitions, then the prices of food is unlikely to increase, as the pressure of exorbitant rental is reduced. Yet hawkers will still be able to retain a fair share of reasonable profit.
    Under the current model, PAP is the biggest landlord, milking the citizens while everyone works like slaves.

    Woody is the key mastermind in inflating the land value which resulted in asset bubble and high rentals, propagating the induced hardships to all poor working citizens.

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  • Monkey:

    Asknthatmonkey where his money from…

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  • Murderers:

    The epitome of evil is in the justification of the rich by the rich and for the rich in culling the systemic weaker citizens by tying a living noose, or dead depending on circumstances, around their necks.

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  • Anon:

    What a load of nonsense he is talking about:

    1) ‘who will clean tables instead of elderly’? Well paid cleaners of course!! The cleaner at Zurich airport earns $35000 Swiss francs annually; cabinet ministers including the PM earn about $500,000 Swiss francs – about 16 times that of the cleaner.

    2) ‘agree elderly needs support but cutting ministers salary is populist while increase GST or increase tax is more acceptable.! What nonsense! Minister’s salaries are from the taxpayers; where else does the money come from?

    3) ‘can’t pay ministers less than super scale civil servants’; civilservants salary should also be cut. They are hardly ‘servants’. They are livings life of luxury and decadence at the expense of the public; spending $35000 for French cooking holidays! Shows we are paying them too much.

    4) ‘if we don’t pay ministers well we get mediocrity! What utter nonsense! Prime ministers of large countries all over the world earn a minute fraction of those holding offic3 in Singapore. Does that mean they are mediocre compared to our ministers?

    5) cutting exorbitant salaries to provide a pension for the elderly is Not ‘populist’. The government has a moral duty to look after the interest of the elderly. If looking after the elderly is the responsibility of children, what happens if:
    a) no children?
    b) what is the point of the state? Since it’s all down to the family?
    c) what is the purpose of having paid tax? Just to build bigger airports, glamorous structures etc? Who benefits?Since the elderly do not?
    d) what is the point of a ‘civil SERVICE!!?

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  • Need To Pay More $:

    Woody is really confirmed over the hill. Same as Pinky, both may have high IQ but confirmed very low EQ.

    You want to pay Minister more money but do they deserve it ?

    Example One = Why until now our MRT still cannot run smoothly ? And you dare to ask to be paid in millions. Are you trying to swindle the public money ?

    Example Two = Import foreigners without proper planning resulting in building tents to house additional patients in open air carpark of hospital. And still got the cheek to ask for higher pay.

    Example Three = Recent O Bike Users lose their deposits to China company. They should rightly claimed from either MOT or LTA as these public servants cannot anticipate this problem from cropping up in spite of many spa and fitness club closing suddenly and ran off with the deposit money of their customers.

    The current crop of leaders can only react to problems but do not have the ability (unlike LKY Ministers) TO THINK OUT OF THE BOX AND ANTICIPATE Incoming problems.

    For displaying these kind of low and mediocre standards all ministers should volunteer to halve their salary as an apology to Singaporeans.

    Woody please remember when you die, these money cannot be used in hell.

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  • Woaijuguo:

    “Those people who agreed that the ministers should be paid $1 million a year, put up your hands”

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  • Greedy elites:

    Woody eating gold-plated peanuts for being a seat-warmer. What a wonderful job! If I earn $5m a month, you think I would become a daft puppy waiting for the command to bark?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ Haigen-diaz:
    Absolutely woeful statement by the nation’s ‘drunk uncle’. I’ve been to Japan numerous times, there’s no such thing as table cleaning in their food courts. The Japanese people will dutifully clear & return their own food trays after eating & will never spill any food on their tables. If they do, they will clean it on their own accord. Very hygienic & responsible of them! And it is an absolute discipline instilled on them from day one of their lives. Even their dish washing activities are done using automation ie. dish washing equipment & sterilization. Compared it to S’pore’s yucky food courts & extremely dirty hawker centres, you’ll be grossly appalled. Extremely dirty attitudes & slovenly behaviours of S’poreans & imported foreigners.
    As to his quitter’s remarks, he single-handedly trigger one of the largest exodus of S’poreans in the early 2000s who migrated after he alerted them to this option. Those who had faithfully listened to him were probably regretted ‘staying’. Instead of being a respectable statesman, Lau Goh ranks among the comical characters like Lau Foo Tze. LOL!

    Haigen-diaz:
    Still remember the ‘quitters’insults on Singaporeans? …Perhaps our nation’s “drunk uncle” could answer his own silly question as to “who is going to clear the table?” by volunteering himself and give TRE readers a few good laughs over his ‘quitters’?

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  • Sad state of affairs:

    Im 61yo…and if im paid 2.5k or 3k a month to clean tables i would willingly do it..
    From 7am to 7pm oso can..
    For 1k or less , naturally nobody wants ..its such backbreaking work..even the young n strong will tell them to F.O.!

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  • Bobo:

    We witnessed the waves of jobs flow. In the 60s there were tao ka and koolies. In the 70s people worked in factories as operators, young guys signed up Forces for life time secure job. Majority of old men drove own taxi for a living while ladies stay a home to take care of family. 80s a lot of people quit army to secure good job in public sectors. 90s economy was sliding down. People who lost their job worked as insurance agent, real estate agent etc. Taxi driver was the “no choice” job. Now, people lost their jobs to foreign workers. WTF those world class highly paid idiots were doing?

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  • sunny:

    Seventy years old still want to suck mummy milk.Everybody has children , parents & in-law to take care. May be he should learn to look for civil servants as it is said to be paid higher than ministers.

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