Although Temasek Holdings manages our state reserves and should be transparent, the PAP government has legislated senior management executives’ remuneration a state secret.
From how PAP runs our country as Singapore Inc, ie pegging ministerial/civil service remuneration to top earners in the private sector, albeit with a discount, Temasek’s top executives such as CEO Ho Ching must be paid humongous salaries.
This is because Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd and GLCs are considered to be private sector companies.
Therefore, CEO Ho Ching’s pay must have been pegged to top earners in the industry without any discount.
Just how much Ho is paid from our reserves will continue to be a $100 million question until transparency sees daylight, ie after PAP is booted out.
One thing for certain, Ho is unlikely to be paid lower than CEOs under her charge. Last year, the highest paid GLC CEO was Piyush Gupta of DBS Group who took home $10.3 million.
Assuming the recent new citizen had worked 365 days last year, Gupta was earning $28,219 daily.
But as the CEO of a $275 billion SWF with heavy responsibilities, it will be a slap in Ho’s face to be earning the same pay as new citizen Gupta’s $28,219 a day.
When Temasek approached Charles Goodyear to be its CEO in 2009, Charles was one of the ten highest-paid CEOs in the UK and US the previous year.
Logically, Charles must have been offered more than his $54 million salary to quit BHP Billiton.
Conservatively assuming Ho was earning $54 million then and had worked without any break, this works out to $147,945 a day or about 25 times of the PM’s salary.
Obviously, Ho is currently earning much more as Temasek’s doubling in portfolio value has been often credited to her efforts. A conservative estimate: Ho currently earns about $300,000 a day.
To put Ho Ching’s pay into perspective, ordinary Singaporeans need to slog about a decade to earn the same amount PM Lee’s wife earns in a day.
Whichever way Singaporeans look at it, Ho’s humongous remuneration should not be state secret as the money from our reserves belongs to all Singaporeans.