PM Lee, min­is­ters to take 3-month pay cut

The Straits Times - - FRONT PAGE - Lim Yan Liang As­sis­tant Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor yan­[email protected]

The Prime Min­is­ter, Cabi­net min­is­ters and other po­lit­i­cal office-hold­ers – as well as the Pres­i­dent – will take a three-month pay cut to show sol­i­dar­ity with Sin­ga­pore­ans in this dif­fi­cult time, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Heng Swee Keat said yes­ter­day.

Mr Heng, who is also Fi­nance Min­is­ter, said that po­lit­i­cal office-hold­ers will take an ad­di­tional twom­onth pay cut on top of the onemonth pay cut an­nounced at the end of last month’s Bud­get debate, in the light of the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing sit­u­a­tion caused by the coro­n­avirus.

“The Pres­i­dent, Speaker and both Deputy Speak­ers have in­formed me that they will join in and take a sim­i­lar three-month pay cut in to­tal,” said Mr Heng, as he de­liv­ered the sup­ple­men­tary bud­get.

“It is in times of cri­sis that the true char­ac­ter of a na­tion can be seen,” he added. “We are all in this to­gether, and we must all look af­ter one an­other in these try­ing times.”

Mr Heng noted that the whole of Sin­ga­pore has come to­gether in re­sponse to the coro­n­avirus, along­side health­care and front-line work­ers. These in­clude the pri­vate sec­tor and in­di­vid­u­als, who are pro­vid­ing en­cour­age­ment and, cru­cially, com­ply­ing with health ad­vi­sories and prac­tis­ing safe dis­tanc­ing.

Many have also had to make dif­fi­cult ad­just­ments to their lives such as un­der­go­ing quar­an­tine, can­celling cel­e­bra­tions and putting off long-awaited plans like weddings, said Mr Heng.

The Govern­ment will stand with Sin­ga­pore­ans dur­ing this try­ing time, he added. “The Govern­ment and the po­lit­i­cal leadership are in this with Sin­ga­pore­ans,” he said.

“We share the wor­ries and anx­i­eties of Sin­ga­pore­ans, and we will do our best for you. We will walk with ev­ery Sin­ga­porean, through ev­ery up and down.”

Mr Heng said the months ahead will not be easy as the sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to evolve dy­nam­i­cally and un­pre­dictably. He added: “We will pro­tect and ad­vance the well-be­ing and liveli­hoods of Sin­ga­pore­ans. We will take care of our peo­ple. We will leave no one be­hind.”

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