President’s Pay Goes Up By 26% To $4.3 Million


The President of Singapore will get a salary of $4,267,500. This is an increase of 26.4% from the previous pay of $3,376,800. See news report.

I believe this is the first government appointment / job that pays a salary of more than $4 million. The Prime Minister makes $3m while ministers make close to $2m.

So, the President is getting an increment of 26.4%.

How much is your increment?


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  1. Other countries should benchmark their government payscales to Singapore’s.

    Obama is grossly underpaid. Our ceremonial president in singapore gets 10 times his pay as the commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful country.

    I think with $4m, it’s more than enough to hire Obama and his team of top aides including Hilary, Geithner, Bernanke to job hop to Singapore.

    Ok. Seriously, I think the president’s pay rise is the prelude of bigger pay rises for other government jobs. After the election, we will see minister salaries go up in tandem. To finance the increments, GST should go up to 10%. And of course, part of the GST increase is to “help the poor”.

    Transport charges will also go up at year end, but this is of course due to higher operational costs and improved service. Market forces at work.

  2. Worker out there..... on

    I believe this huge increase is due to strong economic growth last year, part of which is driven by the 2x IR. The formula to tie economic growth to pay appears sound. If Y2011 GDP is just 5-6%, down from Y2010 15%, does that means that their pay will drop next year? Bec. large part of this increase is the bonus tied to GDP growth. It will helps if the govt clarify this point.

  3. A fairer system ..... ? on

    Would a farier system be a combination of factors such as GDP economic growth, and growth of average salary of “All Singaporean” (MUST EXCLUDE ALL foreign talents, foreign workers, PR, etc). This way, Govt officials, would be thinking of how to improve lives of Singaporeans and not just adding “total labor force” to drive GDP. Hope somebody in govt is listening in……

  4. I wonder why, I wonder how on

    Seriously, why a President needs $4.3 millions a month when his country men & women have been organizing all sorts of dangerous charity stunts to ask for donations to help the poor & disabled?

    One more question: does our dear President has to pay rental for staying at the Istana?

  5. He gives us hope & inspiration. Now I can tell my kid to become future President of S’pore, can earn up to $4.3M/month, dun play-play, it’s best in S’pore & whole world!

  6. Come on guys. It’s only about 100x the median income in Singapore. Have a sense of proportion. Only when it reaches 1000x then I’ll say the salary is out of whack. It’s still pretty ok now. There’s room to go up more. Maybe say $10m. People of that stature deserve to make more. They are important. I don’t know why other countries pay their leaders, ceremonial or executive, so little compared with ours. We lead the way!

  7. For that kind of money we could easily attract real foreign talent!!! Why talk to President Nathan when you can speak to President Tony Blair, Bill Clinton or Henry Kissinger…

  8. Are you saying that our leadership is not talented enough? For PMET jobs, foreign talents are needed, understandably. But at country leadership level, I believe we have the best team possible. Whether we use (or can use) foreign talent at that level is beside the point.

  9. Inaccurate statement:

    “I believe this is the first government appointment / job that pays a salary of more than $4 million.”

    More correctly, this is the first government job IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD to hit $4 freaking million dollars.

    Singapore is first yet again.

  10. I predict that cabinet ministers’ salaries will soon be adjusted upwards to “catch up with the benchmark”. Maybe after the General Election.

  11. I believe the justification that our government needs to fork out massive payouts to retain top talent for our political posts is a fallacy.
    The truth is that the “talent” referred to in the civil service does not generally describe a rare ability that justify a high reward.
    Certainly not in the case of being a ceremonial President!

  12. The huge payouts also serve to prevent corruption. It’s so high that anyone with a sane mind wouldn’t want to jeopardize future income by taking bribes. It’s just not worth it to take foolish risks. But apparently the salaries are still lagging behind the benchmarks and need to be raised higher and higher. Talents are not cheap!

  13. With this pay, we can hire the TOP TEN HIGHEST PAID government leaders in the USA, with US$1m to SPARE!

    See this “mediocre” ranking by Yahoo (it’s mediocre if you compare with our masters of the universe):

    Our SG president is paid $4.3m – which is about US$3.3m.

    If we hire all the top ten in USA – Hillary Clinton, Timothy Geithner, Harry Reid, Ben Bernanke, John Roberts (Supreme Court Chief Justice), Michael Mullen (Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff), John Boehner, Joseph Biden (Vice President), Patrick Donahoe and Barack Obama – we ONLY need to spend a total of US$2.3m.

    And we still have US$1M TO SPARE!!! Enough to hire another Obama, another Geithner, another Bernanke and another Hillary.

    Let’s hire the top ten from USA.

  14. must pay more !! on

    must pay more, to ensure more incorruptibility, otherwise how can our top talents overcome hyper inflation in singapore ?

  15. Why waste time increase bit by bit. Just make all Singaporeans, excluding foreign “talents”, PRs to donate all their salaries to the gahman. Instead of earning salaries, give them 3 meals, unlimited EZ link card and a room to stay for each family. During festive, throw in some free tickets to Sentosa.

    Like tat better right, don need to always crack brains of how to dig and suck more money.

  16. sorry, incorruptibility is only applicable to the elite. you are so obviously not an elite, being here reading all this cr*p.

  17. If they can’t be cheaper, better and faster at the same time, then try to be at least cheaper a bit.

    4m is not cheap by any standard. How come Lim Swee Say has the cheek to ask workers to be cheaper when he and his fellow ministers and president collect millions each?

  18. President’s pay incremented 26.4%. How come normal civil servant or public officers did not increment to 26.4%?

  19. Why can’t you guys just accept it? You want 26.4% then go and be the President. In this society, the rich get richer, the daft get dafter. The elites rule over you. You aren’t one of them. Just accept it.

  20. I came back from China one month ago. Believe me, Singapore is really s tiny nation comparing to China. The Singapore government/politicians don’t encounter same level of challenges faced by their counterparts in China, as well as in other countries. If we put the difficulty of running a government in scale, China scores 100, while Singapore about 0.1. 1000 times difference, at least.

    China has been doing well in the past decade. How much should WenJiaBao and HuJinTao earn if they adopt Singapore system? Cannot imagine…

    A Singapore grassroots leader told me, his MP, a MOS, inspired the grassroots by saying, “if one dies tomorrow, he should be proud that he has been the volunteer that serves the community”. Well said! But that is not applicable to those politicians that draw millions themselves. What a joke…

  21. You are right. Chinese leaders should get 1000x more. S$4 billion. They are severely underpaid. It’s not that Singapore leaders are overpaid. Don’t get me wrong.

  22. The justification that our government needs to fork out massive payouts to retain top talent for our Minister posts is a fallacy.These people, we are told, possess such rare managerial talent that they can rightfully lay claim to fabulous wealth. This view persists despite the absence of accountability, transparency and any reasonable method of measuring individual performance, let alone attributing a country’s success to it.

    Those who promote the “talent” argument repeatedly evoke an erroneous comparison with sports stars. Many people may object to the high earnings of the latter on moral grounds, but it is certainly rational to pay for sporting prowess that is highly transparent, and close to irreplaceable. Only a handful among the billions on the planet could emulate the skills and impact of Christiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.

    The truth is that the “talent” referred to in the civil service does not generally describe a rare ability, as it does in sport. Rather, it is deployed to defend the positions and wealth of high-fliers in a knowledge-based government, where the value of individual contribution is so subjective. In doing so, it serves to sanction the unwarranted plunder of government funds. In Singapore, those government funds mostly belong to the population at large, through their CPF and tax contributions.

    Singaporeans have no problem with entrepreneurs becoming extremely wealthy, but they smell a giant rat in the form of high salaries for our Ministers. The growing realisation that a small club of insiders has stolen the system from them has created a widespread popular resentment. The brazen appropriation of wealth also discredits the entire system of free enterprise.

    Excessive pay at the top of our government distorts the incentives for smart, hardworking young people away from entrepreneurship, with all the creative energy and innovation it unleashes, and towards a life as a pay-grade climbing & bonus-striving civil servant, bound by scholarships and working in government jobs that many others could also do.

    The myth of Minister’s omnipotence and its twin misconception, the myth of rare government talent, cost us dear and must be challenged vigorously and urgently. It is, after all, the population at large which owns government funds, and therefore has to pay for the exorbitant salaries that are a direct consequence of these myths.

    It’s not just the money that is being unjustly taken from the population as a result of the myths surrounding Ministers. What signal does it send to society when government leaders become hugely wealthy without themselves taking on any personal risk or creating anything new? What damage does that message do to innovation and entrepreneurship? Why not forget about setting up that business, and just try to become another Minister or top civil servant and becoming rich, no matter what problems and hardships common Singaporeans have?

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