Singapore – Recently, Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh announced that he has decided that he will be allocating 50% of his salary to charity and other causes.
With his new appointment, he will receive an annual package of S$385,000. In a Facebook post on 28 July, Mr Pritam wrote: “After putting the girls to bed, my wife and I knew there were some things we wanted to talk about arising from the (Leader of the Opposition) appointment. Amongst other things, we spoke about what the salary increase would mean for our family.”
Many Singaporeans have applauded Mr Pritam for this noble act. However, there have been critics as well.
The prominent Calvin Cheng recently wrote a post which was reposted by Ho Ching, raising questions from the public if the latter was throwing shade at Mr Pritam.
Mr Cheng wrote: “If it is indeed the case that Mr. Singh is donating all of his increase in salary (50% of a doubling), then it is a sad day for Singapore politics. That a politician sees the need to have his family make a sacrifice in order to make a political point, and to publicly tell everyone, in order to participate in political theatre.”
He continued to compare Mr Pritam to PM Lee Hsien Loong and the late Lee Kuan Yew who both made donations from their salary increase, but did not do so as publicly as Mr Pritam.
Concluding his post, he wrote that Singapore can expect more “competitive politics” which is divisive, and “The public theatre of Pritam Singh donating part of his salary is already deepening the divide.”
This divisive post has garnered split reactions from the public as seen in the responses below.
Ho Ching’s take?
Ho Ching re-shared Mr Cheng’s post on July 29, which only added more controversy to the issue at hand. Comments on the re-shared post have criticized both Calvin Cheng for the contents of his post and Ho Ching herself for encouraging divisiveness.
This is in addition to a separate post that Ho Ching had written early in the day on the issue of donating salaries.
While she did not mention who she is referring to, there has been much speculation on whether this post was meant to throw shade at Pritam Singh by netizens.
A reddit thread has also been started to discuss this, which can be found here.