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Monday, October 16, 2006 

PAP-Bashing with Reasoning

As many of us do have our fair share of reasons for criticising the PAP, at many times these may not be as fair as we assume ourselves to be. As such, I was wondering to do it differently by having anyone who is willing to share your (well-thought) reasons for criticising the PAP, and either I'll reply to it, or I might even invite an undisclosed public official to reply to it.

If this suggestion appeals to you, may your PAP-bashing start now on this posting. But may I just add that the reasoning should be specific and not too generic that it takes a 10,000 words thesis to reply to you.

Negative example: (I hate PAP because I think they are non-democratic!)

Positive example: (I dislike the PAP for their inability to solve haze problem attributable to their weak foreign diplomacy approaches.)

Please be event or policy-specific (as the title suggest it) to demonstrate that you do have legitimate reasons for our criticism. Rest assured this will not be a Mao Tze Tung-like "Hundred Flowers Campaign". If you have fully comprehended the rules of the game, then "may the hundred flowers bloom and the hundred thoughts flourish"!

What do you call a government:

-that it questions the founder of the 400 frowns campaign during the recent IMF-World bank meetings?

-that a political commentator on a free paper gets removed of his post because of criticism?

-that politics engaged during elections period cannot contain mud-slinging, accusations in the name of “politicking”?

-Increases its GST during a (still) recovery period from the Asian Financial Crisis.

Parochial? Small minded? Small hearted? Unforgiving? Lacking humanism? Unforgiving of dissent?

Hi Prof

Thanks for starting the ball rolling. Let's get more before the "water flows uphill".


Hi T,

I don't understand the meaning of "water flows uphill"...??

The PAP, in its desire to govern without opposition and entrench its own position, has systematically either corrupted or dismantled our system of checks and balances. This makes out system very vulnerable to abuse by those in power, as the NKF has shown. After 40 years of nation building we actually have weaker rather than stronger institutions. This augurs badly for the future of Singapore.

My main beef with the PAP is that they are close-minded to criticisms. It seems like they care more about maintaining their ego and image than about real debate and feedback.

PM Lee keeps claiming that he wants a more open and inclusive society, and encourages people to speak up for issues they are passionate about, but sadly does not match his rhetoric with his actions. Many examples abound, all taken from just this year alone:

1) The mr brown incident. Mr brown voiced his criticisms towards certain government policies and initiatives in a satirical manner. Instead of looking into the causes for such a negative view of a government, the PAP, through its mouthpiece K Bhavani, decided to condemn mr brown instead for trying to "champion issues" and "campaign for or against the government". So on the one hand, the PAP wants its citizens to speak up and "make a nuisance of themselves" until things are fixed. On the other hand, we are told not to champion issues or campaign against the government (apparently criticising govt policies equates the campaigning against the govt). What a contradictory stand the PAP holds.

2) Just recently, Ms Sylvia Lim issued a statement exhorting the govt to work harder to solve the haze issue. She also proposed a few measures to solve the problem. Instead of sincerely engaging with her comments, the PAP went on the ultra-defensive and decided to accuse her of trying to score political points.

It seems like every time someone voices anything bordering on criticism of the govt, the PAP feels compelled to robustly refute it and defend themselves. While sometimes this is necessary, if you do this regularly, people will start to doubt your sincerity in asking for feedback, and subsequently get disillusioned with even voicing their views anymore, since it invariably gets shot down.

My main grouse with the government is the lip service on promoting the local art scene and culture , yet try to rein in censorship on a haphazard manner.
First we have the renassiance city blah blah idea...now we have MM Lee on making singapore the "paris of the east" (I hope the government sent some delegates to Paris..and see how intervention or non-intervention the police/state govrnment are in promoting the art scene there)...and how do we do it...by shutting down the only art studio/villgae in Sentosa, and not providing an alternative venue..there is a reason why world class artist will prob never want to exhibit here...think daimen hirst..we should have creative chaos...yet the government keep tripping over itself ..like a over-protective mother who let the child be free, yet keep him/her on a long lease and yank it back, on her whim and fancy.

Hi all

So for all the comments have been good and constructive. Do keep them flowing in. Thanks!

Hi Prof

"Water flowing uphill" is like gravity shift from the norm to the unusual. If you look at it differently, it is like having information flowing up the ranks...

Punt intended. =)


you may visit my site www.redbeanforum.com and pick the criticisms that have reasons and the praises that also have reasons : )

and don't forget the thread on Myths, all 77 of them.

Pple loved to liken NKF with PAP. R they alike. When those volunteers were sued by NKF, where were these critics? Only when things happen then seize the opportunity to criticise. End of the day, NKF problem is to be solved by PAP, not opposition. What an opportunistic streak!!!

Up till now, Slyvia Lim has been very quiet abt the rebuttal given by Yaccob Ibrahim. Why is tht so? Why is she keeping quiet? Is it an admission of her "guilt"?

In a word, the PAP destroyed democracy in Singapore.
Even before Goh Chok Tong admitted that the GRC system was twisted for their perverse intents, Singaporeans island wide knew that something was wrong if the candidates supposedly representing the people did not even have the votes to justify their entrance into parliament. And even as Lee Kuan Yew told the below 30s that the PAP was not about perpetuating their hold on power, on Sep 24, in an interview with Harvard University Prof Lawrence Summers, he actually hinted that in his imagined case of an alleged plunder of the national reserves - and if the elected president could not or would not prevent it - then "in two or three years" the army would step in to stop it. His talk of possible military intervention came only three days before the military coup in Thailand.

Sylvia Lim said her piece, which happened to echo the thoughts of many Singaporeans. She did not stoop to indulge in gutter politics like Yaccob Ibrahim, who should have done his job in the first place. So say we all.

If u want the votes justifying their entrance to parliament, challenge them? Y dont challenge them? Goh C T with a enitre new team asked to be challenged but no 1 dared. They prefer some weaker GRCs helmed by so called "weaker " ministers (in their own eyes) and hopefully win. Why r u so selective? Prefer this apple over the other one. This apple juicer?

Not a PAP bashing post, but to address other anonymous postings:

NKF issue: A logical mind would tell you that the NKF issue can only be solved by the -government-, of which everyone knows that PAP has a dominant majority in parliament. Refer to the Nicholl Highway-WP incident, where the WP claimed to go over but were sent away.

Sylvia Lim being quiet: The last I checked, the article written by her is barely a week old. Secondly, refer to Chiam See Tong -Mah Bow Tan over the street light incident - where the argument ended with Mah Bow Tan asking Chiam See Tong to raise it next time in parliament instead of the Straits Times.

Goh Chok Tong's GRC unchallenged: For the record, Lee Hsien Loong was challenged. The opposition also have their own election tactics, they don't have to follow the ruling party's words like sheep. If you are of the opinion that Lee Hsien Loong is a weaker minister, I would be at a loss of words to say, and have to agree your opinion in your eyes is justified.

Anyway, let's keep to topic. Maybe if there's enough people who are sufficiently aggrieved with the opposition, can lobby T to start another post on Opposition-bashing.

I always have this question. What is the real reason of forming PAP? What were the real goal of MM Lee when he started PAP? The party's name started with the People. I assumed that it is for the people of the then Singapore. We have changed much over these 40 years. Man can change their ideals over time under ever-changing circumstances. Has the goal of the then PAP changed? It appeared to have. If my assumption is wrong and the goal is NOT for the people, then I believed that his "real" goal has not changed but rather reinforced. Whatever policies we have now start from one point, the beginning of PAP and the real reason will never be known. If one looks at the history of Singapore, we are given one thing to think about: our economy. Every policy is tied to this theory of our economy is important to our small island. The clever perception is as effective as it will get. Now, the next big question is will his real goal be passed on.

U hv not answered my qn? Y are certain apples juicer than others? Y opp love to eat certain but not the rest? Whats the diff? Other apples r tougher to chew? Break ur teeth? hahha no wonder opp teeth has all been broken. Is tanjong pagar the toughest apple? Opp dont even dare to look at it oin the face, let alone biting. The selective choice of apples would only show opp to be opportunistic.

To Andrew and others:

Just some food for thought: do you think Singapore will in a better position if MM Lee leaves the political scene, voluntary or otherwise? It's something I've been pondering and analysing about...

"If u want the votes justifying their entrance to parliament, challenge them?" and may we ask how, pray tell? In the previous general election I voted against Wang Kai Yuen - never saw his face around the estate, never heard him speak in parliament. Then in May 2006, my constituency was absorbed into a GRC - poof! my constitutional right erased by gerrymandering. And when Lee Kuan Yew actually mouthed the words that "you can't change out a government through an election", Singaporeans all over the land must really be pondering what civil alternatives are left.

Anon: It would, using your argument, show that the PAP is being opportunistic by keeping their strongholds instead of challenging and crushing the opposition. By that argument, lots of other actions done by the PAP, WP, SDP, SDA and other political parties in Singapore are opportunistic by giving preferential action at preferential times.

Your argument seems to be in a similar vein as when the US Republicians accused the Democrats of seizing the opportunitiy to smear using the Mark Foley saga in the upcoming elections. Or the opposition in Taiwan seizing the opportunity to try and overthrow Chen Shui Bian even before any legal proceedings. Or even PAP, when they used the law to "crack down" on the "communists".

By your argument, lots of actions are opportunistic. Might as well agree with you and also say everyone wants the softest apples, and we should practice anarchism, since just about every party does opportunistic actions.

About the MM leaving the scene. He will not leave in any time soon, some people need to piggy back on him. He has already said he wanted to maintain the "system" even without PAP. So it comes to the point that the future of power does not centre on the concept of political parties contesting in an election. In one speech, he envisioned his Singapore in the context of 10 to 15 years down the road. He already have something on his mind on how to achieve these aims. Unless he has a crystal ball that tells him everything, his plans may not work. Vision is one thing, reality is another. Just like the Thai coup, was it in his vision.

Hahahahaha never knew a simple posting by me can arouse some much of "hatred against the PAP". Well let me say what all these opp supporters wanted to say. They r simply angry because out of 84 seats pAP swept thru 82. They hope liars (James Gomez), chinese chauvinist (tang liang hong), political gangsters (chee soon juan) would be voted in. But sad to say, majority of sporeans hv rejected them. The day tth PAP ceased to be in power will be the day of DOOM for spore. Maybe LKY name scare u off, how abt Lim Hng Khiang then? He was not challenged in the past 2 GEs too. How do u explain tht? Haahahaha only losers would find easy targets because it proved unchallenging and easy in their eyes. For those who r ignorant abt electoral history, pls revisit it and u will find some apples hv always been constantly passed over in preference for others. Tanjong Pagar is 1 such apple. Of course hardest to chew without syign. Hahahhaah

Sigh... why must a page meant for constructive discussion turn into a slugging match?

Politics is a noble idea, it is man - politicians who smeer its name.

To claim that one side is opportunistic and the other not it to be simplistic of the worst order. The aim of the game, is to win votes and stay in power. Honourable thoughts may last for a generation, but inevitably will and must erode. Can it be avoided? I think not.

Before anyone write to chastise me, think about it, have u ever had a first impression of someone, only to realise that you made a mistake and that there was more to him or her, can be so one sided, and claim that he or she is a liar, a racist, a pervert based on what we see/hear without knowing the full picture.

Sadly in todays world, we all tend have so much that we tend to just pass these snap judgements and move on, refusing to see things from the other side, or give others a chance to prove us otherwise.

Gerrymandering, selective electorial choices, these are political parties playing a game - a bout to win votes and get to parliament. Fair or unfair, lets not be so quick to pass judgement.

People see what they want to see. If you choose to see bad, you will, if you want to view the positives, you will be unable to view the negatives.

Please, lets not mud-sling each other, but try to understand the viewpoints of the different sides.

(Same guy as anon, Oct 19, 11.06pm)

Sorry, like to chip in about the MM Lee consideration.

He and his team fought hard, against odds that have not been seen in todays political system, and to their massive credit it was the system that they had brought us to where we are today.

Will Mr Lee leave the scene one day? Yes.

What swings the pendulum with his leaving of the political scene?

The image that signals the epitomises the struggle against the past is no more, the climate of fear slowly fades, quickens politcal engagement of a new generation, bringing forth the future development of a bi/mutliparty system.
Singapore forgets the struggle of its past, our history becomes a distant memory, no urgency develops. No visible positive change occurs.

The way is paved for brilliant man of generations younger than him to step out of his shadow and carry Singapore forth.
No clear, powerful successor who appears to have the control, grip and influence of the party as LKY had. Fractions in the ruling party start to widen. Asia and Singapore lose a highly respected elder statesman.

POSSIBLE Pro and Con 3:
The longer he stays, the more indispensible he becomes to the success of the system. Unless he can create a self sustaining system that can survive beyond his time within the time he remains in the scene, things will change drastically after he lives. Can we compare it to Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai? I'd think his impact would be even greater. Imagine the day you find out LKY is out of the political scene, or he will no more be able to run this country, I do not know how much strength will remain in this country.

He is like a nail (LKY) drilled into the wall (Singapore) to hold a painting (Singaporeans and our lives). Unless there is some other form of glue, or holder put in place of it, once its removed, the painting will detach itself from the wall and maybe fall to the ground. The painting (in a frame) may or may not break, depending on the work did on the structure of the frame before hand.

It is a scenerio we will face one day.

Brace yourselves, it will come whether we like it or not.

Am I giving too much credit to his influence? Or are there other scenarios possible? What do you guys think?

To anonymous above:

Scenario 3 is a likely scenario, in my opinion. Why? Imagine, in the stand-off against the SIA pilots on strike, it was MM Lee who led the negotiations. Not the PM, DPM or Minister of Manpower.

With so much power and influence in one man's hand, is it healthy?

PAP supporters, ironically, should consider that MM relinquishing power slowly and surely might be a good for the party and Singapore.

"If the young boy is constantly held by his father without a chance to venture forth into the world, how would he grow up?"

Each time I hear someone say Singapore will not survive without Lee Kuan Yew, I broach the example of USA. By law, each president, no matter how good he is, cannot stay in office longer than two terms by law. And so they have the good and the bad, be it Carter, Nixon, or Clinton. But guess what? The country is still strong and vibrant.

US COnstitutuion is crafted upon very "NOBLE" ideals. Well ideally no one should hold on to power idefinetly but if he's a gd leader y not? Imagine if LKY can a PM for 2 terms, would there be modern S'pore. May I urge toung sporeans not to subscribe to such ideals and add a tinge of pragmatism to ur NAIVE & STUPID thinking.

One doesnt realise what r the far reaching consequences of SIA strike shld LKY not interfere. To be unable to see far and wide simply ahow a "frog in the well".

Whenever LKY call pple names, opp supporters r not happy, saying tht PAP is in for a smear campaign. LKY has said he wont defame unless he got slod proof behind him, James Gomez would not be the last person defamed by LKY, for those ignorant, once again read up on history.

if those liars, political gangsters, language chavinists r not, then take action then. If i deliever a punvh in ur face and u dare not punched back, many would take it as an admission of guilt.

For those sycophants who still do not think Lee Kuan Yew has outlived his stay, the following list in his Writ to FEER will be an eye opener:

Proceedings: 720 and 721 of 1965
Defendants: Tan Sri Syed Ja'afar Albar, Utusan Melayu, Editor of Utusan Melayu
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff is acommunist who is out to destroy Malaysia
Result: Settled. Defendants apologized and paid indemnity costs.

Proceedings: 2647 of 1972
Defendants: Barisan Socialis Malaya, Yeo Ah Ngoh (Editor of Barisan News), Dr Lee Siew Choh
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff behaves like a gangster and scoundrel. He uses tactics such as long term detention and brutal treatment against those who oppose him.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $50,000/-

Proceedings: 219 of 1977
Defendants: Teng Ah Boo
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff is corrupt. He uses his postion to obtain favours for M/s Lee & Lee
Result: Judgement. Damages of $100,000/-

Proceedings: 1023 of 1972
Defendants: Chan Yang Ling
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff is corrupt. He uses his position to obtain favours for his brother and M/S Lee & Lee.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $65,000/-

Proceedings: 28 of 1977
Defendants: J B Jeyaratnam
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff is guilty of corruption and nepotism. The Plaintiff had procured the grant of favours to M/s Lee & Lee and his family.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $130,000/-

Proceedings: 1025 of 1977
Defedants: Hwang BAn Cheong
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff is corrupt. The Plaintiff had procured the grant of favours to M/s Lee & Lee
Result: Judgement. Damages for $65,000/-

Proceedings: 9332 of 1984
Defendants: Seow Khee Leng
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff is corrupt.
Result: Judgement. Damages for $250,000/-

Proceedings: 230 of 1985
Defendants: Dr Lee Siew Choh
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff covered up the investigations into Phey Yew Kok. That the Plaintiff is corrupt.
Result: Settled. Damages of $30,000/- and an apology.

Proceedings: 231 of 1985
Defendants: Quek Teow Chuan
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff has embezzled public funds.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $400,000/-

Proceedings: 3336 of 1987
Defendants: Derrick Gwyn Davis, Publisher of FEER, Printer of FEER, Author of article
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff had threatened to use the ISA against 4 Catholic priests; that the Plaintiff was against the Catholic Church.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $230,000/-

Proceedings: 1754 of 1988
Defendants: J B Jeyaratnam
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff had encouraged the suicide of Teh Cheang Wan for the improper purpose of covering up an embarassing scandal to the government and the PAP.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $260,000/-

Proceedings: 1488 of 1994
Defendants: Executive Editor (Vinocur), Chief Executive, Publisher and a journalist of the International Herald Tribune
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff was guilty of nepotism
Result: Judgement. Damages of $300,000/-

Proceedings: 1974 of 1994
Defendants: Executive Editor,Editor for Asia,Publisher and and journalist of the International Herald Tribune
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff sought to suppress legitimate and democratic political activity in Singapore by the subtle means of suing political political opponents for defamation, and relying on a compliant judiciary to grant judgements in his favour.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $300,000/-

Proceedings: 1116 of 1996
Defendants: Tang Liang Hong, Editor, proprietors, publishers and printers of Yazhou Zhoukan
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff was guilty, or reasonably to be suspected, of corrupt or otherwise criminal conduct in respect of the purchase of private properties in 1995
Result: Judgement. Damages of $550,000/-

Proceedings: 172 of 1997
Defendants: Tang Liang Hong
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff was guilty of misconduct in relation to the HPL issue and that this would be his "death blow".
Result: Judgement. Damages of $250,000/-

Proceedings: 2523 of 1996
Defendants: Tang Liang Hong
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff had committed criminal offences by defaming Tang and assassinating his character.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $270,000/-

Proceedings: 181 of 1997
Defendants: Tang Liang Hong
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff had abused the process of the Court by suing Tang for defamation.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $200,000/-

Proceedings: 182 of 1997
Defendants: Tang Liang Hong
Gist of Offensive Words:
The Plaintiff had lied to Nanyang University students when he assured them that they would not be arrested.
Result: Judgement. Damages of $230,000/-

Proceedings: 1459 of 2001
Defendants: Chee Soon Juan
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff was dishonest, unfit for office and has misled Parliament.
Result: Settled. Apology and damages.

Proceedings: --
Defendants: Bloomberg
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff had procured the appointment of Mdm Ho Ching as the Executive Director of Temasek Holdings Ltd and was guilty of nepotism.
Result: 1. Published apology on its website. 2. Paid damages; and 3.Indemnified the Plaintiff for costs.

Proceedings: --
Defendants: The Economist
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff condoned the appointment of Mdm Ho Ching to Temasek Holdings Ltd, not on merit, but for corrupt nepotist motives for the advancement of the Lee family.
Result: 1. Published apology on its website. 2. Paid damages; and 3.Indemnified the Plaintiff for costs.

Proceedings: --
Defendants: FinanceAsia.com
Gist of Offensive Words:
That the Plaintiff had corruptly and improperly caused Temasek Holdings Ltd to be owned and managed for the benefit of his family.
That the Plaintiff was dishonest and unworthy of the high office he held and continued to hold in that he behaved corruptly and improperly despite taking the public stand in support of clean, corrupt free Government in Singapore.
Result: 1. Published apology on its website. 2. Paid damages; and 3.Indemnified the Plaintiff for costs.

Hahahahah so free ar? Dig up historical past? Why not dig up the 3 cases when Chiam sue PAP men too? U know the outcome? Why so biased? Show 1 side dont show the other? Truly reveal ur character.

Sylvia Lim's reply is at WP website.
Guess the press didn't cover her reply to the minister....

Hmmm...looks like Wolong123 (1st post on 17th Oct) is very active in this topic...once again detracting the real topic at hand with argumentanum ad nauseum. Truly the Joseph Goebbels of the Singapore blogosphere!

it's called "winding up" in football; for him it's probably him being an active & patriotic citizen. One thing is for sure though - it's time for T to write a new entry. :P

wolong123 for president!

Hi All

Seems like the thread started well, and ended with a bit of skimish between a commentator and an over-zealous white supporter.

Many thanks to thor666 for reminding the parallels in post of Anonymous and Wolong. Whether both are the same person or not, I welcome both.

Anyway, I'll look through the comments again and reply in the next post.

For the rest, Happy Hari Raya.


No comments. Why do people comment with anonymity? What are they afraid of? Or who are they afraid of?

(1) The PAP derives its legitimacy from being the government that can deliver economic progress, and is always quick to boast about its acheivements. But, when it makes a mistake (eg. Suzhou, IDA $388 million) it tries to downplay it as far as possible, without having the humility to admit their mistakes and having heads roll.

(2) The PAP, having succeeded in its noble task of providing housing for singaporeans in the 60s-70s, now is misusing housing policy for its political ends by always dangling the upgrading carrot.

(3) The PAP prides itself on its transparency, yet is not willing to say which minister gets how much. (I stand to be corrected on this).

(4) The PAP stifles even constructive criticism, eg. Mr Brown incident.

Hi Tabbycat

Just to add to your points, that the Suzhou industrial park CEO, was later propelled to a Minister. Only to quit later on. Care to find out who? ;)

For your point three, they have presented in figures in parliament sometime back. And publicly, they never shy away from the fact that Ministers are paid a million dollars.


S'pore under the PAP has given my parents the ability to acculmulate enough wealth to send me out to see the world. As a post-65 myself, it's hard for me to appreciate the poverty, ethnic strife etc before my time. And the PAP reminds me of that every so often, that I need to more thankful and less critical.

Herein lies the issue: there's a big gap between the post-65 generation (with our foreign degrees, and creative streaks) and the generation of the PAP leaders. Yes, credit goes to the PAP for trying to catch up with the times (egs. IT drive, arts/museums etc), but for every little inch the post-65 are given, it feels like our chain is yanked 2feet back thereafter. Think about some of the contradictions: 1) We got a 'Speaker's Corner' that is right next to a police post and at a noisy road junction with little pedestrians, 2) S'pore takes part in globalization, but the govt clamps down on the protests that go hand-in-hand with going global, 3) In our democracy, the govt uses a sledgehammer to swat at a tiny Opposition fly, 4) there was way too much debate over bartop dancing (yawn!) when we can get everything else on the internet.

As a post-65, I feel torn about S'pore: I am at once thankful but am also suffocating. I like the stability and prosperity, but I resent the price that I pay: constantly being made to feel like a small boy that's always berated and over-coddled by the well-meaning patriarchs. If S'pore has brought me up well, maybe it's time to let go of my hand.


Question for you. Did they provide a list, minister by minster, of who gets what?


in fact to my point (2) I would add "misusing housing policy and public funds for its own political end. ie. I pay GST, Income Tax and indirectly, tariffs on imported goods, and the money goes to dangling carrot in front of Hougang and Potong Pasir? hehehe.

Hi Tabbycat

As mentioned, see if you can access this link.


If not, just go to http://stars.nhb.gov.sg/stars/public/ and search for "minister's salary". Select the one with LKY parliamentary speech dated 30/06/2000

Of course they will not list the name by name, but the range is stated.


Hi Tabbycat

Just for interest and fun of it since we are on this topic. I've found this table of Minister's pay at the following, and perhaps you could search for it.

"Source: Government of Singapore: Ministerial Statement by Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament on 29 June 2000, "Civil Service NWC Ward, Public Sector Salary Revisions and Review of Salary Benchmarks"

Of which, its states that a Prime Minister gets around S$85,300 per month as at 2000. Let's take it the PM is earning twice as much now, which we assume it to be S$2.5m annually. Now here is the market rate:

David Lim, resigned as the Acting Minister in around 2001 to be the CEO of NOL. In 2004, his CEO pay was US$2.65m (S$4.2m). Much more than what the PM's earning now.

Really, depending on which perspective you are looking from, it is reasonable to a certain extent. In the company, I'm working, at least 30 people (locals) earns more than a Minister's pay. So it is debatable.


All the reasons we ever need are here: http://citizzena.blogspot.com/

The contradictions in their words are mindboggling.

By the way, the main reason is this: When you have the so-called 'father of singapore' proclaiming that he prefers to be feared rather than loved, well...how do you expect our society to turn out? Does not the leader set the tone for society?

"I belong to the old school. I believe that it is better to be feared than to be loved." - Lee Kuan Yew

Therein lies the real problem.

Really, depending on which perspective you are looking from, it is reasonable to a certain extent. In the company, I'm working, at least 30 people (locals) earns more than a Minister's pay. So it is debatable.

How could you compare the private & govt salaries? Call debatable? The salary came from the people....taxpayers!


If a CEO does a bad job, the company figures will be affected, and companies suffers. As worse, employees get retrench. You have incompetent people in the Cabinet, the effect is worse than retrenchments. Taxpayers like us would have difficulties in aspects of life, not just jobs.

Mind you that we have one of the lowest tax rates in the world, despite the subsidized healthcare and education. If you are able to find competent people, that is willingly to accept a pay 50% lower than his present pay and yet honest in his/her intention, then u will solve the problem. But how many of such do you have those in Singapore? To have a long term perspective for the good of Singapore, and not compare your absolute pay against their salary would do a reasonable justification.


Finally someone realised everything got to start with a gd govt (despite high pay) and end with a gd govt too. Of cos tht would earned him labels like "PAP DOGS" but up to him to decide how he will like to respond to such accusations. Throughout the ages, we saw how gd govt would hv trigger "a chain of effects" from gd housing to quality education to economic progress etc etc. But once a bad govt is formed 9tht would realy happen shld opposition came in), everything simply falls apart. Its heartening to see Thrasymachus realise the full ramifications of a bad govt. It simply does not affect a single person, a single aspect, a single industry but everyone, in short the ENTIRE s'pore would go down the drain and we may never recover at all. To believe in the all fairy tales spun by opposition is simply naive, foolish & retarded.

Notable eg of ministers suffering hefty pay cuts include the following.

- Tony Tan

- Eddie Barker

- Ng Eng Hen

- former CJ Yong

For people who hv not been to the real world and willingly be confined to their "frog well", I hv got nothing to say. Drawing similiar comparisons between an average sporean pay to tht of a minister is ridiculous. Wonder which class of taxpayers u came from, the average sporean dont pay more than tht few cents in GST. Real big time taxpayers like Wee Cho Yaw/Sim Wong Woo r not complaining but petty fools like u. Wonder if opp forms the govt, r they not to be paid a single cent? hahahahahahaah

Of course u hv to be feared if not how do u run a country? I say something u dont follow, I hv to punish u, as simple as tht.

Does anyone know how much a Minister of State or a Senior Minister of State earn per month. I heard the basic salary of a Minister of State is $50,000 per month. Am i right?

To be honest, it fluctuates, it pegged to the private sector salaries. If top men in pte sector not doing well, they will suffer too. Pegged @ 2/3 of the median salaries of the top earners in 6 industries. Some yrs back, it was reported LKY drawing 80k, GCT 60k, nw i dunno.

"David Lim, resigned as the Acting Minister in around 2001 to be the CEO of NOL. In 2004, his CEO pay was US$2.65m (S$4.2m)."
This statement does not stand up to scrutiny. For the record, David Lim was sacked from NOL for performance (lack of) reasons. Secondly, the salary figure is inflated by share options which he may never have had the chance to exercise, given his very short tenure.

Hi Harry

Good that you've challenged my statement. I meant it in a good way that debates should be healthy and qualified like this.

His pay comprised 27 per cent in fixed salary, 32 per cent in cash bonus, 39 per cent in share incentives and 2 per cent in other benefits. If you fully negate his share incentives, that is still USD1.62m (or SGD2.565m). This is still more than the Prime Minister's.


my guess is upstairs did not really think highly of him, but had to carry him along for special reasons

for example, because Suzhou was supposed to be a success, the person in charge needed to be rewarded; because it was not a mistake to bring him into cabinet, when he leaves he needed to be given a job; even now, no one would talk publicly about his success or otherwise at NOL

this mentality of "I am OK; you are OK" works fine as long as you stay in the little circle; once outside, things can go seriously wrong; we outsiders have no chance to penetrate this fog; insiders had better make an effort

As Low Thia Khiang said in the rally:

"Singaporeans can afford to pay, but have the ministers live up to their million dollar salaries?"

We should frame the question this way, Yes, we should pay them well, but are they living up to the expectations of the people?

GST increase, Bus fares increase, less welfare and health spending than most mature democracies, increasing university school fees etc.

Everyone should watch what Low Thia Khiang says about ministeral salaries. Moderate, Thoughtful and just brilliant.


Singapore lacks natural resources. If a singaporean becomes less resourceful (eg. middle-age, no sleeping incomes, no special talent), he will have problems making a living.

Economy growth is a must in Singapore, so that other concerns can be addressed, by funding a course for any imminent concern. No money, no talk.

A story says, for the lack of supplies of fishes in Japan, more salmon fishes survived long distance, after transported from russia to japan, when the packing was placed with an arch-enemy of the salmons, a crab.

Singaporeans will live longer, if the fighting spirit is there. In this blog, one must fight also, to be constructive and positive, when writing about politics.

my one comment begin...

In the 1960s, PAP has the dream of the people, and rally the children of commoners to become successful, through opportunities, meritocracy, and welfare like subsidised education and low-cost of living.

Now in 2006, the commoners are less resourceful than 1960s, why ?
...more global compeitiion,
...higher cost-of-doing business (can you survive by selling char-kway-teow ?),
...marginalized of older adults (suggesting a 40yr old man to work in a service industry, and get rejections from customers and tourists who prefer youngsters and female service staff ?)
...more competitions from foreign workers and not foreign talents.
...Travelling is not free. (In 1960s, how much you pay to travel from west to east of singapore ?)

The dream of a commoner in singapore in 2006 is to be more resourceful.

Personally, the PAP or the elected gov is to find a balance beween being humane, and being pro-biz (ie. no welfare), in a situation like singapore.

Given an unresourceful commoners in non-resource singapoore, can we afford the onslaught of foreign workers and managers, without striking a balance by studying and acknowledging in parliaments, the resourcefulness of the commoners, for the next 10 years ?

Too good a comment, but nothing is free in this world. In return for care given by gov to commoners in next 5-10 years, there will be some string attached. Everyone will come to know by then.

But still, singapore is still very much a situation like america, and like 1960's spore, where talented commoners hope to be successful one day, by becoming more resourceful. This is my IDEAL of singapore. Will the obstacles in 2006 be removed, when a talented commoner failed but should have succeeded in finding just for a living ? Have the same politcal party who started out in 1960, no long have the same IDEAL, just because now the commoners are a minority, and majority are able to survive on their own, and resourceful enough ?

A rich and succesful singapore, but can have different ideals also. The resourceful ones will dream of other ideals, the non-resourceful commoners will have different ideals.

But in life, it teaches us that if we have the basics, we will not fall. If Singapore continues the basics, in giving the commoners resources to become more resourceful, it will not fall. But if gov deviate away from the basics, and set out to fulfill the ideals of the resourecful majority, and rub shoulder with them, will life gaurantee that, that is the way to get the votes in return from the majority ?

There is a vacuum-niche in this aspect, and oppositions can sweep in the parliament in next 5 years, just like what happend in US 2006. Only issue is commoners are worried also, that singapore is run by opportunistic political party. That is why 2006 the PAP is chosen.

This comment only applies to the commoners, not the more resourceful, and gov is trying to be fair across the board, to leave everyone for their own survival.

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Till to date, I am still puzzled as to why so many people dislike/hate our PAP government.

To me, economics is the core being of a nation. In this respect, our government has done an outstanding job. It has made Singapore the 29th richest nation in the world in terms of GDP per capita (US$31,400).

In many poorer countries, the citizens can only hope for a better and richer economy. And most of the time, they are not able to realize their dream because of corrupted governments or bickering/fighting parliaments where good policies cannot be implemented because of vested interests of the political parties (just look at some of our neighbors in South East Asia).

Let’s imagine a scenario. The next Singapore Government is made up of 36% PAP, 33% WP, and 31% SDA. What will our parliament be like? With such a combination, I am very sure that our economy will head southwards.

Don't think that the above will not happen. It may and will, if more and more of you out there clamor for more opposing voices in the parliament.

I know some of you are already questioning if I am a PAP-man. I can only say that I am a true Singaporean who knows that the PAP has given us a very stable and peaceful home.

I can go on and on but I don’t want this to be 10000 words thesis.

But suffice to end this post with the below example.

Taiwan - in the 70s and 80s was top among the 4 Asian Tigers. She was supposedly under a draconian/authoritarian (Jiang JieShi / Yan Jia Gan /Jiang JingGuo). Then the government was able to focus on growing the economy. But look at Taiwan today. It is no longer one of the Tigers. The current president does not even have to step down when there are overwhelming evidence that his wife has collected expensive gifts from the business communities just because he is an expert at politicking.

Think about it. Is the Singapore government that draconian as many people make it out to be??????????

:) Posted by TH Ang

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The Idealist

  • Thrasymachus
  • Propagating In: Singapore
  • The Critic, The Philosopher, The Pragmatist, The Moralist, The Egalitarian, The Confused, The True-Blue Singaporean
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