Video: Mahathir’s low wages begs question why Singapore ministers are so highly paid?



In this video, Malaysia’s former PM Mahathir Mohamad is talking about his days as leader and how he was paid as a politician should be paid for the services rendered to the country.

In his usual sarcasm, he said started saying as a PM he was being paid a ‘very high salary’ beginning in 1981.  He said his salary started at RM8000 and mounting to RM20,000 a month.

“And you know that in the private sector they pay much more. I know someone in the private sector who was paid RM180,000 a month, and this was more than what a prime minister was paid.

“I think the PM money was a lot of money and I can tell you I did not spend the money at all. The house is provided by the government, electricity and water are paid by the government, all the transportation is paid by the government.

“And for makan (food), except for breakfast, I did not have to spend money. People will invite me for lunch and dinner. I did not have to spend,” he said to the amusement of the audience.

He said if I can go to Penang, I have nasi kandar, somebody paid for it. I do not pay.

“I saved the money and I am spending them now by rearing cows and buffaloes and horses in Langkawi.

“Come and see them, they are there,” he said again to the amusement of the audience, in a phrase full of cynicism against the current government of PM Najib Razak.

Mahathir has accused the Najib regime of ‘losing money, which went missing’ from the 1MDB scandal.

He said the pay of a Prime Minister is not enough to buy support and if a PM wants to gain popularity, you need more money but you do not have enough money.

“So what do you do? You steal it, that’s what you do,” he said to laughter.

And when he (Najib) became Prime Minister, Mahathir said he was happy and went to visit him with the hope that the son of his former friend and colleague Tun Abdul Razak (former PM of Malaysia) who dedicated his life for this country must be like his father.

He then spoke about the famous crooked bridge, saying Najib told him that he could not build that bridge if Singapore did not agree to it.

But as Mahathir said, if everything is paid for, why are the Singaporean politicians paid so much?


  1. It’s not just what is being OPENLY paid to Ministers that is of concern; what is more impt is getting them (& their families) to do statutory declarations of their incomes/wealth & have those made public to the pple.
    Who can say in the affirmative there r NO *consultancy fees* (something like that NAC bin ctr’s obscene charge) for projects/investments going to their proxies?
    If a Keppel cld have S$50m going out in bribes (supposedly without the CEO/CFO/auditors being aware which is rather amazing), why not other GLCs for past 50yrs?

  2. PAP see running Singapore as Single MNC, and should be pay equally as top private companies top post people.

    WP question them, but they still stick to this mindset. Other words to say, we are customers to PAP. But we as customers turn out paying them to ruin our lives

  3. Aaron Loy had it all in a sentence.
    Totally agree with his rational….it did not cos all takeovers (from each other) are either Yes men or Puppets or relatives. Yes.. there were real talents in the ruling party but were fired/resigned for – different views or refused to be puppets!

  4. Was it a means to a justification. It does not stop at enhance pay but includes directorship I stakeholder advisor etc etc *-:-) – all with income and not forgetting huge bonuses. Does the payout equate to performance. Corrupt Lowly paid Indian politicians twisted our million dollar ministers into CECA. Now can’t enforce FEF but suck up to the Indians. Who is talented and who deserves million dollar salary.