Photo of Tan Chuan Jin from Straits Times

In his interview with state media Straits Times yesterday (Oct 15), former Minister Tan Chuan Jin said that the S$550,000 Speaker of Parliament appointment is only part-time and that he is considering seeking a full-time job outside his Speaker profile. The former army general also pointed out that his predecessors used to have a full-time job outside.

Speaker Tan Chuan Jin also hinted that S$550,000 a year is too low to be a “full-time” job:

“Tan Chuan Jin: The Speaker’s role is defined as a part-time job, in the traditional duties of conducting parliamentary proceedings and diplomatic roles, and by the very pay structure.

Straits Times: Is there an option of Mr Tan making the Speaker’s role a full-time one. How do you go about doing that? Do you have to get approval from the House members?

Tan Chuan Jin: Don’t know. It does not matter whether the role is a part-time or full-time one.

Straits Times: Will you take on another job as some Speakers in the past have done. As Speaker, Mr Tan Soo Khoon also ran his watch business and Mr Michael Palmer continued practising law.

“Tan Chuan Jin: Well, I’m open to seeing what develops I guess.”

The former Minister was paid S$1.1 million a year and was recently demoted to become the Speaker of Parliament due to poor performance. Tan Chuan Jin acknowledged the pay cut saying that “there has been an adjustment”.