Speaking to members of the public at the National Day Rally forum, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said that there are only two type of people who will serve at zero cost – the wealthy or the corrupt.
Minister Vivian was responding to a question from the floor about the salaries of Members of Parliament and Dr Vivian said:
“Tell me who can afford to work for you for zero. There are people who can afford to work for you…apparently at zero. There are two kinds of people who can provide you services apparently at zero. Number 1: I’m already very rich. My bank account is full. I come back, I tell you I want to serve. Other kind of person: Why will that person actually cost more? The word is called corruption. That’s the word.
Don’t be seduced. The danger with elections is it’s an auction. Everybody would promise you the moon. Everybody would say they don’t need pay on the assumption either they don’t need to deliver, or things will go wrong.”
Minister Vivian’s comment is aimed at Opposition candidates who are volunteering without getting a single cents, and in some cases, having to fork out from their own pocket. His comment is however insulting to volunteers and politicians who do not draw a single cent from serving the people. Going by Minister Vivian’s logic, no poor or middle class Singaporean should stand for elections because they are corrupted.
The MP for Holland-Bukit Timah will face the Singapore Democratic Party in the coming election.