MP apologises for comments on ministerial pay

Member of Parliament Lim Wee Kiak has apologised and withdrawn his remarks on ministerial pay.

On Wednesday, the MP for Nee Soon GRC made the following comments in Mandarin to Lianhe Zaobao:

"If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discusses policies with CEOs of telco companies who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister's ideas and proposals. Hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity."

Dr Lim's remarks regarding ministerial pay review were criticised by netizens. One pointed out that a person's dignity is not measured by wealth.

In a note posted today on his Facebook page, he said: "Personally, I think we should not use pay and perks to attract capable people to come forward to serve. I agree with PM that there is a service to country element and an element of sacrifice expected for the Ministers by the public."

"On further reflection, I agree that the example I quoted regarding a MICA minister meeting the heads of telcos and saying that there may be some loss of face if the minister's salary is low is inappropriate and incorrect.

"I withdraw those remarks and apologise for making them. Dignity cannot be and must not be measured purely in monetary terms."