In a state media interview with government mouthpiece CNA, PAP MP Louis Ng cried innocence saying that the PAP government does not set their own salaries. The PAP MP claimed that the lucrative million dollar ministerial salaries and his own S$200,000-a-year MP salaries is set by an “independent” committee:
“The key is we have to be transparent with what we get. Whatever I do should be subject to public scrutiny. Also, salaries are determined not by us, but by an independent committee. I think transparency and independence are important.”
This is however fake news.
Earlier in March this year, Deputy Prime Minster (DPM) decided in Parliament that the ministers will get to keep their millionaire salaries despite furious objections from the public. Setting the salary benchmark recommendations in 2011 was a self-proclaimed “independent” committee led by cronies of the ruling party, who hold major appointments in statutory boards, state-funded organisations and government-linked companies.
In the interview, PAP MP Louis Ng continued to defend the exorbitant political salaries saying that the people who are angry are the ones who do not understand the work they are doing:
“Understanding the job scope of the MPs or the ministers so that you can gauge how much you feel we should be paid.”
The PAP MP then recounted his slap-down by Minister Ong Ye Kung, when he gave a speech in Parliament asking if civil servants were afraid of speaking up. MP Louis Ng said he accepted the Minister’s scolding and he learned his lesson about speaking up:
“I accept it fully. Let’s work together and I can improve. Did I overgeneralise? I would say, yes. But I spoke to over 100 civil servants and since it was a concern I heard, I thought I should follow up. But I agree and I think we can move forward together.”
Notorious for faking an act of crying in Parliament, MP Louis Ng then told the state media reporter that he does not believe in wayang and that he was genuinely crying:
“I don’t think wayang should be part of politics. Sometimes we do choke up in Parliament in delivering the speeches. I urge everyone to see what the context is. Some of the things I’ve shared in parliament are very personal. I share it so that policies can change. The change in policy on parental leave for example, won’t benefit me since I had my kids already. It was really for the benefit of future parents. I was sharing the experience of how difficult and how painful it has been for me and my wife so that others won’t have to go through that same experience.”