Launch of PAP Manifesto
New Ministers of State will Lose Up to $200,000 per Month in Pay
The seven new people made ministers of state will lose between $10,000 and $200,000 monthly by moving into the political jobs, according to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
And, going by past records, not all will make it in their new appointments and may have to drop out after a year, he said at the People's Action Party convention on Sunday.
'The losses for the (junior ministers), the few whom I spoke to, I think four of them or so, will range from $10,000 per month to $200,000 per month,' he said.
'Now, this includes very successful specialists in the private sector earning high income ... '
Of the seven, two were top civil servants, two from the corporate sector and three medical specialists: Balaji Sadasivan, a neuro surgeon; Ng Eng Hen, a cancer surgeon; and Vivian Balakrishnan, an eye specialist. Mr Goh, who is the PAP's secretary-general, said they willingly made the sacrifice and undertook the risk. 'We hope all would succeed but going by past records, I think it would be difficult, in my one view, to expect successes everywhere and in every one of them.'
All they wanted was to be informed as soon as it was decided they are not going to make it, he said. 'In other words, if after one year we think they can't make it as minister, tell them, then they can go back to their private sector life.'
And to help the medical specialists make that return if needed, the government will arrange for them to spend one or two mornings weekly at its hospitals to keep their skills current.
'These are good people but, just in case, they are good specialists but not good in public policy making and they haven't got the political acumen, why should you cause their lives to be hurt more than necessary?' Mr Goh said.
27 November 2001
Business Times Singapore