Gulf News

Singapore PM freezes his salary amid furore

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Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday he will freeze his salary for five years and will “donate” the increase that boosted his annual income to more than $2 million (Dh7.34 million).

His decision comes amid a furore over the hike in the city-state which faces a widening income gap.

“I will hold my own salary at its present level for five years,” the prime minister said in parliament. Lee’s salary was $1.62 million last year.

“The government will pay me my full pay because that is how the system must work but for five years I will donate the increase in my salary from this and subsequent revisions,” he said.

The prime minister’s salary increase was among pay rises for civil servants announced on Monday.

Lee told parliament he wanted “to make quite clear why I am doing this and to give me the moral standing to defend this policy to Singaporea­ns.”

Lee’s revised salary would be five times more than the $400,000 paid to US President George W. Bush and more than eight times that of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who receives $240,000 a year.

The increase has been among the most passionate­ly debated issues in recent years.

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