GERALD TAY: The role of a “Mayor” in Singapore is to promote community development in their district.
A Singapore “Mayor” helms a Community Development Council, which comes under the purview of the People’s Association.
In the words of PA Chairman, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:
“The CDCs play an important role in our social support system. They not only implement government programmes, but also serve as eyes and ears on the ground. They connect with communities, and identify emerging needs and gaps in social support. CDCs deliver services with a human touch, in a way that government agencies that operate on a national scale find harder to do.”
And for that, these Singapore “Mayors” are paid S$660,000 a year.
And, all that cash for a fraction of the responsibilities of Mayors in other parts of the developed world that carry much greater responsibilities on their shoulders.
Take Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for example.
He brings home S$300,000 a year to oversee the governance of London.
Not just community development, but also transport, economics, housing and labour issues.
The same goes for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and he takes home S$315,000 a year.
Whether London or New York, each of these cities is at least 100 times bigger than a CDC, and the responsibilities of their Mayors are vastly broader and deeper.
The government’s justification for high ministers’ salaries is that these high wages attract the top brains needed to steer Singapore’s development.
Why are we Singapore taxpayers paying so much then for “Mayors”, whose sole role lies in the area of community development?
Bear in mind that they are already drawing allowances of S$192,000 a year to fulfill their role to their respective constituencies.
Is it necessary that they draw, altogether, an additional S$3.3 million a year from the government coffers?
Or is our taxpayers’ money being spent frivolously?