People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarian Gan Thiam Poh has filed a question to ask Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong whether the Government could make foreigners who have invested in Singapore or created quality jobs in Singapore “honorary citizens”.
According to the Order Paper of Parliament, Mr Gan wishes to ask his party leader “whether the Government will consider creating honorary citizenships (without benefits and grants/subsidies that Singaporeans are entitled to) for those who have invested in Singapore and created quality jobs for Singaporeans.”
Mr Gan, who served as DBS Bank’s Senior Vice-President from 2002, spent 15 years volunteering in Potong Pasir SMC before being fielded as a PAP candidate in the 2011 General Election. He is currently a member of PM Lee’s team representing Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Mr Gan is perhaps most well known for certain remarks he made in 2012, a year after he became a PAP MP.
Participating in the Parliamentary debate on Ministerial salaries, Mr Gan said that the Prime Minister’s salary could be based on the population numbers and that his current salary constitutes a “pay cut” to remind himself to work harder.
He had said: “To make it easier for the common populace to understand the required responsibilities and accountabilities of Ministers for Singaporeans, I have a suggestion that we can try to look at the issue from another perspective/angle as suggested by some Singaporeans for your reference.
“The PM is our leader and he must be responsible for the well being of 3.5 million Singaporeans, therefore his salary can be based on our population, say, one person $1 per year so that is $3.5 million per year. With that, perhaps all Singaporeans are able to feel the balance at a more comfortable level.
“Regardless of our ethic, religious, language and cultural background, we are all Singaporeans. Poor or rich, we are all Singaporeans. As long as you are Singaporeans, PM looks after your well being. Notwithstanding, some may say $1 per year is not much, some may say it is not little.
“The PM takes a pay cut of say 37%, so as to remind himself there is a need to work even harder to improve the livelihood of the 40% lower middle income Singaporeans. With that, the figure was adjusted downwards to $2.2 million, which is not much different from that recommended by the Committee.”
Mr Gan’s remarks went viral and drew backlash from Singaporeans, who were already angry with high ministerial salaries. -/TISG