Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ministers Holding 8 Directorships - legalised corruption

Most Singaporeans are against their MPs holding directorships in multiple companies and want them to serve their constituencies full time.

The age-old issue surfaced again after a NUS economics professor wrote a scathing letter to TODAY questioning the committment of some MPs who held multiple directorships.

Former PAP MPs John Chen and Wang Kai Yuen (photo) reportedly held 8 and 11 directorships while ’serving’ as MPs at the same time. When asked about his ‘extra-curricular activities’ by the media, John retorted:

“Do you want me to work for free?”

Though John Chen is no longer a PAP MP, the issue certainly still resonates among Singaporeans with nearly 100 comments posted so far on TR Facebook.

Irene Ho wrote:

“People who want to be MP shouldn’t be in it for the money. If they want to make big money, they shouldn’t be an MP or Minister.”

Ramesh felt some Singapore MPs are too ‘materialistic’:

“MP’s… here in Singapore are really well taken care of ( probably the best in the world) and I wonder why SOME are still after the dosh…as for me I clearly don’t like the fact that a public leader has an BIG attitude of ” getting money” instead of service and helping people – that is a worry!”

Zailani opined they are paid too much:

“‎14k for spending 3 hours at meet the people sessions once a week? And sometimes not turning up at all? Scandalous! And ‘Meet-the-People” is actually a misnomer as I only get to see the PAP volunteers to explain my problems and not the MP personally.”

Bhaskaran Kunju concurred:

“The point is they are not doing anything that extraordinary. If they are doing anything at all. An MP’s main task is to be the voice of the people he or she represents, but most of these chaps don’t even attend their mee…t-the-people sessions. of course there are exceptions, like ho peng kee who actually shows up at every session and walks around listening in to as many people as he can. But most others you do not even know of their existence. And even if you do get a chance to meet them, nothing fruitful ever comes out of it. It’s just an exercise in futility.”

When the Malaysian opposition captured the states of Selangor and Penang in the 2008 election, they made it compulsory for state officials to reveal their salaries, perks and assets owned online.

Perhaps the candidates in the coming general election should reveal the number of directorships they intend to continue holding after they are elected or ‘ushered’ into parliament to the public to enable Singaporeans to make an informed decision if they are able to serve them dutifully and faithfully.

A netizen Kojakbt is compiling a list of PAP MPs holding directorships in public-listed companies. Please post whatever information you have here.

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