Photo of elderly Singaporean with Lee Hsien Loong portrait

Unhappy after an international inequality index ranks Singapore a bottom-scrapping 149th out of 157 countries in terms of inequality, Singapore Minister Desmond Lee expressed his outrage and hit back claiming that the report is fake.

Slamming the report as “satisfying ideological indicators”, the S$1.1 million-a-year Minister told state media reporters that Singapore is very equal, and even lied that half of the Singapore population pay next to no taxes:

“Yes, the income tax burden on Singaporeans is low. And almost half the population do not pay any income tax. Yet, they benefit more than proportionately from the high quality of infrastructure and social support that the state provides. While the report assumes high taxation and high public expenditure reflect commitment to combating inequality, it is more important to look at the outcomes achieved. We set out to achieve real outcomes for our people – good health, education, jobs and housing – rather than satisfy a collection of ideologically driven indicators.”

The PAP Minister then said HDB leasing is home ownership, and that “no other country” in the world can be as good as the Singapore government:

“For example, 90 per cent of Singaporeans own their homes, and even among the poorest 10 per cent of households, 84 per cent own their homes. No other country comes close.”

Minister Desmond Lee then admitted that the government indeed spend very low amount on healthcare, education and social protection, but hit back saying the Singapore system is still among the world’s best:

“Despite the low amount, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Singapore second in the world for healthcare outcomes, and the World Health Organisation ranks the Republic’s healthcare system sixth in the world. Similarly, in education, Mr Lee noted that Singapore’s students consistently outperform others in international rankings.”

The millionaire Minister then claimed that the low income in Singapore are seeing rapid growth in wages thanks to government training:

“We have income support for low-income workers, generous schemes for worker training and a progressive wage model for certain low-wage jobs. Both lower-income and median households here have experienced faster income growth over the last decade than those in most countries. That we achieved all of this with lower taxes and lower spending than most countries is to Singapore’s credit rather than discredit.”