Two Acting Ministers taking half the load of a full Education Minister portfolio were promoted to full Minister and given a pay raise without merit.
Acting Education Ministers Ong Ye Kung and Ng Chee Meng took half of former Education Minister Heng Swee Keat’s portfolio in 2015, and despite having less than 2 years experience, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong promoted them because of a lack of time.
Posting on his Facebook page:
“Building a leadership team is one of my top priorities. These changes are part of the renewal process, to reinforce my Cabinet and get a younger team in place, ready to take over.”
The promotion comes with a pay raise, and now the Education Ministry will have to set aside at least S$2 million a year for the salaries of two full Ministers.
However, the two ministers are unable to shake off the “seat-warmer” image cast by the public. Minister Ng Chee Meng is in-charge of schools while Minister Ong Ye Kung is tasked for higher education. No changes to the education system were proposed by the two newbie ministers who never had any experience in policy making.
Prior to his appointment, Minister Ng Chee Meng spent his entire life in the army and rumors are widespread that the 3 star general was appointed a Minister because of nepotism.
Minister Ong Ye Kung is believed to be selected because he is an ardent fan of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Cronyism and nepotism still plagues Singapore leadership despite the deceased Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s effort to stamp out corruption.