Marina Bay Sands

Highlighting the case of certain wealthy American entrepreneurs who have vowed to accept higher taxes to help their nation, one forum letter writer has asked whether the rich in Singapore will be willing to do the same.

In a letter published by the national broadsheet yesterday (3 July), Dr Yik Keng Yeong said that it is important for the wealthy to offer to pay higher taxes since “the top 1 per cent wealthiest people own 85 per cent of global wealth and chief executives no more earn simple multiples of what the workers in the same organisation earn but hundreds of times in excess.”

Asserting that the rich “can and should contribute far more in taxes on income and investments” and that they should do this as the Government helps Singaporeans by “providing for most housing and healthcare needs while also lowering the nation’s somewhat high Gini Coefficient by redistributive policies,” Dr Yeong added:

“It is entirely politically and socially correct for the wealthy in Singapore to volubly sound their advocacy and support of this movement for our nation, and it will leave a sweet name for themselves in posterity.”

Netizens responding to Dr Yeong’s views have said that this is not likely to happen in Singapore since low taxes are what attracts the rich to park their wealth in Singapore. Some also pointed out that political office-holders also benefit from the wealthy remaining in Singapore since their salaries are pegged to the pay of top-earners.