Responding to media queries over his promotion to full Minister, Education Minister Ng Chee Meng said that his most satisfying work so far is working with children.
“I enjoy children, and seeing how I can contribute to their growth and their education adds a lot of meaning to my work in education and as a politician.”
However, the Education Minister has never worked as a teacher or had any interaction with school children in his career. The former 3-star army general was in the Singapore army prior to his ministerial profile.
Over in public forums, the two newly-promoted Ministers are getting flaked for being yes-men to the Prime Minister.
Not swerving rumors of cronyism, Minister Ng Chee Meng also said at the interview:
“I’m very appreciative of the Prime Minister’s confidence in me, and it’s a good affirmation of all the things that we’ve done in the past year.”
It is understood that Minister Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung were deployed to the Education Ministry because it is an “easy” profile. The post was formerly held by one man, and their predecessor Heng Swee Keat is the current Finance Minister.
The Singapore government is increasingly becoming a junta-like dictatorship, with army generals helming million-dollar ministerial positions in “easy” profiles while the “difficult” ones like Law and Finance are undertaken only by those with relevant experience.
“Easy” Ministries, including the Prime Minister position, do not require Ministers with relevant experience. Minister of Social and Family Affairs Tan Chuan Jin was a 1-star Brigadier General, Minister of State with no portfolio Chan Chun Sing was a 2-star Major General, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean a former Rear-Admiral and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself a Brigadier General.
Each Minister cost S$1.1 million a year including bonus – making Singapore having the most expensive government per capita in the world.