About a month ago, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament that all political office-holders, which includes the ministers and the PM, would take a one-month pay cut.
Back then, the number of new cases reported daily in Singapore was often less than 10, and everyone still thought of China when it comes to COVID-19.
In mere weeks, the world has changed: we’re now seeing tens of cases daily, businesses are closing down and many drastic measures had been implemented.
Today, during a ministerial statement about new support package for Singaporeans and Singapore businesses, Mr Heng took the stage again and announced yet another pay cut.
This time, it’s an additional two-month pay cut for the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and other political office-holders.
Which means our PM, and all ministers, would be working for three months without pay. Hopefully he can still buy new pink shirts.
And it’s not to save cost, of course. It’s to “stand in solidarity with Singaporeans in this difficult time.”
Mr Heng added, “The Government and the political leadership are in this with Singaporeans. We share the worries and anxieties of Singaporeans, and we will do our best for them.
“We will walk with every Singaporean, through every up and down.”
So if you’ve been on unpaid leave, you’d know you’re not alone.
And in a coincidence that warrants us to buy the number 2603 (today’s date)…
Malaysia is Doing the Same
Agak agak at the same time, Malaysia made the same announcement.
According to the Malaysia Prime Minister Office, they made the decision during a Cabinet meeting today.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, along with all federal ministers and their deputies, will take a two-month pay cut and channel their pay to a fund called COVID-19 Fund, a fund set up on 11 March 2020 to help those affected by the outbreak.
The fund, as of yesterday, has already collected more than RM8.4 million (~SGD$2.8 million).
Anyone else still wants to buy 2603? Singapore Pools outlets are still open FYI.