(Parliament): Review political office holders’ salaries – Ministers 5.3% p.a. real increase last 48 years, Associate Professional & Technicians 0.16% last 20 years?


“Review of political office holders’ salaries likely to take place in 2023: Chan Chun Sing” (ST, Jan 11)

“Mr Chan replied that in 2012, a White Paper on Salaries for a Capable and Committed Government had recommended an independent committee be appointed every five years to review the salary framework for political appointment holders.

That year, the president’s pay was cut by 51 per cent, while the prime minister’s pay was cut by 36 per cent, following recommendations by the committee, chaired by then National Kidney Foundation chairman Gerard Ee.

Other political office holders – including ministers and the Speaker of Parliament – also took pay cuts in 2012.”


In 1973, a Minister’s annual salary was about $58,500 ( monthly salary of $4,500 x 13 months assuming 1 month’s bonus).

Minister’s pay in 1973 – $32,500

Similarly, a Minister of State’s (MR4) salary was $32,500 ($2,500 a month)

On 1 Jul 1996 – a minister’s salary was $39,000 a month


In 2012, the starting salary for a junior minister (MR4) was reduced from about $1.7m ($141,667 per month) to $1m ($83,333 per month)

So, the increase for MR4 Ministers, from 1973 to 2021 is about 3,233% or 7.6% p.a., from 1996 to 2012 is about 263.2% or 8.4% p.a., and by 113.7% from 1996 to 2021 or about 3.1% p.a.

Since inflation from 1973 to 2021 was about 202.3% or 2.3% p.a. (33.708 CPI 1973, 101.9 CPI 2021 Jun) – the real increase was about 5.3% p.a. (7.6 – 2.3%)

Since inflation from 1996 to 2021 was about 41.2%, or 2.3% p.a. (72.167 CPI 1996, 101.9 CPI 2021 Jun) – the real increase was about 0.8% p.a. (3.1 – 2.3%)



In contrast – Negative -0.08% p.a. real decrease in minimum income last 21 years, for Retail Service & Sales workers, and Resident Full-time employed Associate Professionals & Technicians’ real income increased by only 0.16% p.a. last 20 years?


Also, Part-time workers only had a real increase of 9.5 cents per hour, p.a. in the last 25 years?


(Note: I do not have the data in 1973, for the above 3 categories of workers. Thus, I am unable to compute their respective real increase p.a. for the last 48 years, like what I have d one for the Ministers above)




About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.