Veteran architect and National University of Singapore (NUS) adjunct professor Tay Kheng Soon has reiterated his concern over the perceived “loss of moral authority” in ruling party leaders that he believes was created by the high ministerial salaries they earn.
Earlier this year, in January, Mr Tay called on the Government to take on a “drastic self initiated pay cut” to restore the trust and moral authority he felt it had lost. He said then that the Government needs to install a “new type of 4G leadership, not the same old defunct “people are digits” types. A more down to earth and human inspiring leadership is needed to regain lost moral authority and trust.”
In July, Mr Tay said that he was struck by the “incremental nature” of the 4G leadership’s ideas and asserted that there is “no fundamental review or rethink on the basis of long standing policies on housing, education, inequality etc.” from the new slate of leaders.
Mr Tay added that he believes the “4G is aware that the ground is sour” and that the Government needs to deal with “the loss of trust derived from declining moral authority due to grossly inflated remuneration at the top and grossly depressed remuneration at the bottom.”
Calling on the 4G leaders to cut salaries in the public sector commensurate to any drop in the GDP, Mr Tay had said: “As a guide, if GDP drops by say 40% all salaries in the public sector should reflect this too. Such a radical move will restore moral authority that signals commitment and dedication.”
In one of his most recent Facebook posts, Mr Tay stressed his concern over high ministerial salaries and how he believes it has eroded the Government’s moral authority.
In a post published yesterday (11 Nov), Mr Tay asked what a good government is and noted that a government that is good when times are normal is not necessarily the right government that is needed to face crises.
He then listed six crises he believes Singapore faces. One of the crises Mr Tay believes Singapore faces is a “loss of moral authority created by minister’s high pay”. The remaining crises he listed are “global economic slow down, rivalry between USA and China, compliant people unsuitable for new tech economy, local talent deficit and the foreign talent swapping effect.”
Mr Tay has been critical of the Government in the past and has earlier shared a letter founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew wrote to him in 1969, in which Lee wrote that “The answer against a bad (sic) elected government is to vote it out of office.” The letter quickly went viral online.
The architect has also publicly expressed appreciation for Mr Lee Hsien Yang – the youngest son of Mr Lee Kuan Yew – who is embroiled in a bitter feud with his elder brother, current PM Lee Hsien Loong. Mr Lee Hsien Yang has publicly supported opposition politicians and activists in the past, leading many to speculate that he might join the opposition and contest the next General Election against his brother’s party.