Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong defended Member of Parliament (MP) Grace Fu on Tuesday, noting that Fu was right in saying that further pay cuts will make it more difficult to get anyone to consider joining politics.
"If the pay is not competitive, then it's just another obstacle to people who have got something valuable to add to Singapore,” Lee said in a speech at Parliament to discuss ministerial pay.
"Grace Fu was completely right on this point. She got flamed online but she was honest to point this out," he added.
Fu, who is also the Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and the Ministry of Communication, Information and the Arts, was flamed heavily online after posting a controversial Facebook message on 4 January this year.
She posted on her Facebook page: "When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for anyone considering political office."
According to recommendations made by the ministerial pay committee in a report released on 4 January, the salaries of Singapore ministers should be cut by 37 per cent to $1.1 million, while the Prime Minister should get a 36 per cent cut to $2.2 million.