Thursday, May 26, 2011

Accord minister's pay to leader of opposition

May 26, 2011

WHILE I am delighted to read that the policy on ministers' salaries is being reviewed ('Ministerial pay to be reviewed'; Sunday), the review committee may also wish to consider paying the leader of the opposition a salary.

In Britain, the opposition leader, who carries the title of the Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition in its Parliament, is paid a salary equivalent to a minister's, on top of his MP's salary.

He is also given a chauffeur-driven car whose cost and specification is equivalent to the vehicles used by Cabinet ministers.

Workers' Party secretary-general Low Thia Khiang could take on such a role here. In a way, he and his colleagues represent about 40 per cent of our citizenry. His responsibilities and contributions should be recognised.

With the increased number of opposition members in Parliament and with the formation of a committee to review political office-holders' salaries, now may be the appropriate time to consider allocating a salary for the leader of the 'loyal opposition'.

This would reflect the inclusive government that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong aspires to have.

I would like to emphasise the words 'loyal opposition' as I feel that Mr Low and his party have always believed it is possible to be in the opposition and yet remain loyal to Singapore.

Lee Tow Kiat

[Yes. We should pay Low Thia Khiang the equivalent of a Minister's pay for being the leader of the opposition. Nevermind if we don't know what he is supposed to do. In the UK the Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition is like the Alternative to the Prime Minister, and is a member of the Privy Council and advises the British Sovereign. The incumbent also runs a shadow cabinet precisely because he is supposed to be an alternative to the PM. We don't have a Privy Council, but we do have a Council of Presidential Advisors. Low can be a member!

So what if there is only 6 elected opposition MPs? There's 3 NCMPs! That's nine opposition MPs who can form a shadow Cabinet. Just double-hat a little.

Low as Shadow PM and Minister for Defence, Sylvia as Shadow Minister for Finance and Home Affairs, Chen Show Mao Shadow Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs, Pritam Singh Shadow Minister for Education and Manpower, Md Faisal Shadow Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports, and Environment & Water Resources, Yaw Shin Leong Shadow Minister for National Development, and Transport. NCMPs Yee Jenn Jong as Shadow Minister for Trade & Industry, Gerald Giam as Shadow Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, Lina Chiam as Shadow Minister for Health.

Entirely workable. And now there is a back-up plan (shadow cabinet) if the PAP fails.

And the next time Sylvia stands up to criticise the Minister's salary, Low will also feel uncomfortable.

I thought the writer of this was a pro-WP supporter, but I realise now, he is a scheming PAP-supporter who seems to be innocently pushing for more resources for the WP, but is actually laying the foundation for the corruption and downfall of the WP!


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