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RDU Chief questions rationale for promoting more political office holders to Cabinet

RDU Chief Ravi Philemon questioned the rationale behind promoting more political office holders to PM Wong’s Cabinet, leading to increased annual salaries funded by taxpayers. He urged for a smaller, more effective govt to better serve Singaporeans.



SINGAPORE: Mr. Ravi Philemon, Secretary-General of the alternative party Red Dot United (RDU), questioned the rationale behind promoting more political office holders to the Cabinet, which would result in increased annual salaries funded by taxpayers.

Mr Philemon voiced his concerns about a bloated government and urged for a smaller, more effective administration that could serve Singaporeans better.

In a video message uploaded to RDU’s TikTok account, Mr Philemon discussed the recent Cabinet reshuffle announced by Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister, Lawrence Wong, before his swearing-in on Wednesday.

Mr Philemon, who led RDU in contesting Jurong GRC in the 2020 General Election, questioned PM Wong on the rationale behind promoting two incumbent Jurong Members of Parliament (MP) in the Cabinet.

In the Cabinet reshuffle announced on Monday, Mr Shawn Huang, originally a backbencher MP of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), was promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) in both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Separately, Ms Rahayu Mahzam from PAP’s Jurong GRC team, previously a parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), will advance to the position of Minister of State (MOS).

She will undertake a new MCI role while continuing her MOH duties.

Mr Philemon highlighted that with the promotion, Mr Shawn Huang set to earn S$572,000 annually, in addition to his MP allowance of S$192,000.

Separately, after her promotion, Ms Rahayu Mahzam could earn S$770,000 annually as Minister of State, compared to her previous salary of S$418,000 annually as Parliamentary Secretary.

Similarly, as ministers hold dual roles, she will receive a ministerial salary in addition to her MP allowance.

Source: 2012 White Paper

Mr Philemon questioned the need for a large number of political appointees in a small country like Singapore, implying that such appointments may be excessive.

“These are all drains on the taxpayers’ money when so many people are suffering.”

Mr Philemon highlighted the stark contrast with reality on the ground, mentioning that some Jurong GRC residents they had spoken to were reportedly going hungry and skipping meals.

“We see some older woman picking up cardboard just to make ends meet or to have some extra income.”

He questioned whether the government should draw so much money to pay all these political appointees while people on the ground are struggling with the rising cost of living.

He also questioned the value that these appointees add to Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s government.

“We believe that we need a small government that is effective that can take care of Singapore. We don’t want a bloated government.”


Did you know that Shawn Huang’s income is going to jump from $192K per year to $192K + $570K per annum? That’s right! That’s how much he will get with his promotion under Lawrence Wong. Well, that’s not all…Another MP from Jurong GRC will get an even higher yearly compensation…Yup, Rahayu Mazam will get $192K+$770K per annum after her promotion to be Minister of State 😮 But, but, does anyone knows what a Senior Parliamentary Secretary or Minister of State does? Do we need so many political appointees like parliamentary secretaries and mayors for a small country like Singapore? What do you think? We have some views on this. In our Shadow Budget, we questioned the high cost of supporting 40 over political appointees over a five year term of Government. (Read our Shadow Budget here: What is the necessity of such a large government? It’s crucial to ensure that our leaders’ salaries encourage the right motivations and are in the best interests of Singapore and its citizens. Don’t you agree?

♬ original sound – Red Dot United – Red Dot United

Singapore Govt postponed 2023 political salary review

In January this year, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, who also holds the portfolio of Minister in charge of Public Services, confirmed that the Singapore Government has deferred the review of political salaries that was due in 2023.

Minister Chan explained that the last political salaries review occurred in 2018. The review committee suggested revisiting the framework approximately every five years or as needed.

Despite economic uncertainties, no changes were made post-2018 as the salary structure remained relevant.

Mr Chan added, “A review of the political salaries was due in 2023. However, the Government decided to defer the review as we have other pressing issues to deal with.’

He added that in 2023, global geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties persisted, leading to the decision to postpone the review further.

This development is a continuation of the discourse on political salaries in Singapore, which gained significant attention following the 2012 White Paper on ministerial salaries.

This paper was introduced after the GE2011, which saw a decrease in support for the incumbent PAP government and the party losing Aljunied GRC to the Workers’ Party.

The White Paper aimed to address public concerns by benchmarking the entry MR4 Minister’s salary to the median income of the top 1,000 earners who are Singapore Citizens, with a 40% discount.

Singapore’s political salaries are among the highest globally, with the Prime Minister reportedly earning US$1.6 million annually.

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Yes, no one need to question the X Pen stamp chop

RDU : the answer is so simple. not from their pocket money lah…

Sorry not voting for you RDU. I jut don’t like the name. (my opinion)

We definitely need more opposition parties, faster-err, better-err, and cheaper-err.

Nothing is going to change under LW’s watch either.
Expect just talk and more talk to justify their skyhigh salaries…

LW is off to a bad start. What have these MPs done to deserve promotion to fatten their bank accounts? This is plainly indecent, incomprehensible and incompetent decision making.

Anybody know what the friggin’ Mayors do to earn $600,000 a year?

Hundreds of thousands of dollars for the elites and vouchers for the downtrodden. What has this once envied country come to?

The main point is that with so many layers of political office holders, things can still get screwed up. Just take the employment issue for 2023 – 94.5% jobs created went to foreigners – only MOM is responsible meh? And even within MOM, how many agencies/associations are involved? And how many of the office holders are being paid million$ pay just to fuxk up?

hmm..but it seems the decision is being made before wong was officially sworn in and in other countries it is either the pm or president that made the appointments

Simply put, … this regime have been given the green light and mandate, by the majority, … to do as they please, spend as they please and govern as they please, even if it means it’s not in the best interest of the populace or the nation !!!

It is what it is !!! !!!

RFU is utmost correct – the PAP Administration NEEDLESSLY SPLURGE on hiring UNNECESSARILY.


HOW and WHEN STUPID voters CAN COME TO UNDERSTAND this – every $20 of their $1000 pm SALARY goes into a PAP 🗑 trash, INSTEAD UP Raising Lives to Goh’s FAKE PROMISE, a LIE, to raise Sheeps living Standards.

A SG ministar’s salary is more than the salary if the POTUS!
If their salaries reflect their talents and their productivity we peasants wont find fault, but…..

Last edited 25 days ago by W.A.J.

Mentioned before you guys might like to refer to the Parkinson’s Rule – one portion explains why bureaucracy in government tends to bloat. There is even a mathematical formula for it …. LOL.

I supposed people here are suffering from verbal diarrhoea sickness, day in day out uttering incoherent comments. Much much worse than a parrot 🦜. At least I know what the parrot is talking, but not some of the comments here.

Boh song, ask your low ses voters who are always the majority to give them THAT VOTE, TO VOTE THEM OUT LOH!
Cow peh cow bu here for fuck?
It was and has always been, the low ses fucks who whether knowingly or unknowingly gave them the authority to take as much as they want from the state coffer vault!
So i don’t want to hear any more complains!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

The 1st thing LW should do now is “trim the fat”….starting from that new SM! Will he have the guts to do so?

Is it similar to the fujian gang who opened companies here and there, and then hired strangers at high salaries to become the directors and managers of all those empty companies? LOL.

We are such a tiny, tiny island. One cabinet member per ministry with two Parliamentary Secretaries is adequate. The State Minister’s post should be scrapped. LKY, GCT and LHL did not do it. What are the bets LW will not also do it?

Plus those “2nd minister ” of this & that ministry… Why? Such a tiny island to govern yet they find it so difficult? Everyone needs handholding by a deputy? What a waste of taxpayers money.. PAP so easily generates new posts for their kakis with sizeable salaries…whilst SGs are losing their jobs every day..or some well into their sunset years are slogging at menial jobs for a meager salary.. The SG dream seems to be for the gov and their kakis…only. The scraps from their banquet table is thrown to us peasants ,right? Is this the SG Dream LW was… Read more »

The rationale is the same as in Malaysia during the days of BN-PN majorities (And on a smaller note, the current PH-BN coalition). I scratch your back, you scratch my back. All at taxpayer expense, of course.

You can splurge big when it is not your own money on the line.

What do taxpayer gets for having such a bloated cabinet?

Last edited 25 days ago by Blankslate

Circus introducing more clowns to the show……for a hefty price mind you.

Promoting Pet Dog to 1st world Swiss standard .