In a recent post shared by Lim Tean on Facebook, he criticised the level of pay received by the ministers and compared them to the pay received by Denmark’s ministers, citing a link from “Wake Up, Singapore”.
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who has held office since 2015, has an annual approximate salary of 1.458 million Danish Krone, around 306,000 SGD. This puts his salary at one-sixth that of PM Lee Hsien Loong which is around SGD 2.2 million SGD.
Denmark’s PM earned approximately 2.87 times of the average gross salary-522,657 KR. Comparatively,the average gross salary per annum is SGD 67,152 and PM Lee earns a jaw-dropping 32 times that amount.
In the website that Lim shared, it mocked,” If the PAP Government’s line of reasoning is true, Denmark will have a tough time attracting capable leaders for political office, in addition to suffering from endemic corruption in its civil service. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.”
On the website, it said that despite the lower salaries, Denmark has been consistently ranked in the top five least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog. In fact, Denmark has topped the chart for seven out of the last ten years on this index. Singapore is ranked 6th.
This might imply that salaries are not the key determinant to the leadership capabilities of a country.
This contradicts a statement Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong made last year, where he said,” I am telling you the ministers are not paid enough, and down the road, we are going to get a problem with getting people to join the Government, because civil servants now earn more than ministers. Are you aware of that?”
While it is said that political salaries are needed to attract the right talents amid a small population pool, this is certainly not true for Denmark.
The Economic Intelligence Unit consistently ranks Denmark in the top 5-10% of countries for political stability and is on par with Singapore regarding human development.
All these are only possible with effective governance and not the need for so-called “competitive salaries” in the millions.
To this, despite having a small number of comments, netizens’ views are not very positive.