Ministers’ National Bonus: Inherent conflict of interest in the formula?

Minister bonus

“Salaries of Singapore ministers, political office holders to be reviewed in 2023” (CNA, Jan 11)

“In 2018, an independent committee chaired by Dr Gerard Ee recommended an upward annual adjustment to match annual benchmark movements of 9 per cent since 2011.

It suggested setting the annual salary for an entry-level minister at S$1.2 million. This figure includes a 13th-month bonus, three-month performance bonus and National Bonus paid out if indicators are met.

The committee also recommended adjusting the allowance for NCMPs from 15 per cent of that of elected MPs to 20 per cent, to “recognise that NCMPs have full voting rights in Parliament from April 2017″, said then-Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The Government’s response then was to maintain the salary framework and level. Mr Teo explained that the decision was influenced by the 2017 entry-level minister salary benchmark dropping below the 2016 one.”


National bonus (Ministers)

This is determined by four factors:

Real median income growth rate of Singaporeans.

Real growth rate of the lowest 20th percentile income of Singaporeans.

Unemployment rate of Singaporeans.

Real GDP growth rate.

The average national bonus over the past five years was 4.1 months.

Is there possibly, an inherent conflict of interest, in the formula for the Ministers’ National Bonus, which may have possibly, adverse implications for S’poreans?

Since every year, an average of more than 20,000 new citizens are granted, and it is likely that most of the new citizens at the time of being granted citizenship, as well as when some come of working age as they become older – it may contribute towards higher incomes & lower unemployment rates of citizens (as new citizens are granted every year)

Also, arguably, every foreigner who is allowed to come to S’pore, either to work, live, study, etc may contribute towards GDP growth


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.