Singapore’s opposition leader announced last night he would put his newly boosted salary to good use.
Hours after the Parliament House spelled out Pritam Singh’s new duties, roles, and privileges, as well as an annual allowance double that of regular members, the Workers’ Party chief said he would allocate half of his salary to supporting low-income residents, community programs in the three Workers’ Party constituencies, charities, and the financial needs of his party.
Singh’s annual salary is estimated to cost taxpayers S$385,000 (about US$280,000). He clarified today that the donated half would amount to S$96,000, after taxes.
“After putting the girls to bed, my wife and I knew there were some things we wanted to talk about arising from the LO appointment. Amongst other things, we spoke about what the salary increase would mean for our family. Both of us felt strongly that a percentage of the salary should be used for a greater purpose,” he wrote online yesterday.
Singh will also be given an allowance to hire up to three legislative assistants and will be required to attend confidential briefings related to select national security and foreign relation issues as well as state functions, visits, and meetings.
The 43-year-old noted that the new duties would mean less time with his family.
“While I am grateful to receive the additional support and remuneration that comes with the title of Leader of the Opposition, the appointment will require more investment of my time and longer hours away from my family,” he wrote.
Following the July 10 vote, Singh was formally granted the title of opposition leader for the first time in Singapore’s history.
“The [Leader of the Opposition] appointment carries with it many additional responsibilities that I will have to shoulder. The road ahead will not be easy but I thank Singaporeans for their support and encouragement,” he added.
The Workers’ Party was the only opposition party that managed to snag 10 out of 93 parliamentary seats in the elections. The People’s Action Party remains the supermajority that won with 61% of total votes and continues to rule the city-state since independence.
The opposition party runs three constituencies in Singapore – in Hougang, Aljunied, and Sengkang.
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