20150114 PAP must disclose tax dollars paid to Temasek directors, especially its CEO

Temasek Holdings is an investment company managing S$223 billion of Singapore’s reserves.

In 2004, when Ho Ching became CEO, Temasek said it had in place a “process of CEO evaluation and succession planning”. Till today, 11 years later, no successor from the four corners of the world has been found.

Just how much have Temasek directors, especially CEO Ho Ching, earned from taxpayers? Since the PAP government has refused to practice good governance, one can only speculate.

In 2013, DBS CEO Piyush Gupta earned $9.2 million, becoming the highest-paid CEO in Singapore. In 2007, Capitaland CEO Liew Mun Leong received a $20.5 million bonus. Temasek holds stakes in both companies. CEO Ho Ching, who oversees S$223 billion of investments, is unlikely to have been paid anything less.

Where political salary is benchmarked against the highest private sector salary with a ‘discount’, Temasek’s remuneration is likely to be ‘the-sky’s-the-limit’ because of its private limited status

The remuneration structure of the PAP and Temasek are similar – both use a complex formula to calculate their bonuses. First, let’s take a look at PAP’s.

When it comes to remuneration, the PAP has a track record of rewarding itself with obscene amounts of tax dollars. To prevent public backlash, it creates a formula to justify its bonuses but never discloses the absolute figure (number of months) in the media. Few Singaporeans are aware PAP ministers received a 20-month bonus in 2008.

President – $3,870,000/119,520 = 32.37 months. Bonus = 20 months
Prime Minister – $3,760,000/$115,920 = 32.42 months. Bonus = 20 months
Minister/ Snr Perm Sec – $1,940,000/$59,760 = 32.46 months. Bonus = 20 months
MP – $225,000/$13,710 = 16.42 months. Bonus = 4 months

As for Temasek’s remuneration formula (page 45), it is even more complex than PAP’s. Temasek has 3 different bonuses – individual, team and company bonus. The calculation is complicated by its use of the 3-year TSR performance , 3-year annualised cost of 10-year debt, a non financial “Make a Difference” (MAD) goal, etc. Why? The reason is likely to be similar to PAP’s. One should not be surprised if bonuses exceed PAP’s 20 months.

Even if Temasek justifies its oversized bonuses by saying its portfolio “doubled over the last decade to S$223 billion”, the public deserves to know.

Temasek should not disclose only irrelevant information such as “Temasek senior management volunteered cuts of up to 25%”. A 25% reduction from what level? Even after reducing our PM’s salary from $3,760,000 to $2,200,000, most Singaporeans still feel he’s overpaid because all the monumental screw ups. If Temasek’s CEO was paid, say, $10 million, a 25% pay cut would not have made any difference if the bonuses are similar to PAP ministers’.

The PAP must not continue to pay lip service to good governance. If it is not attempting to conceal embarrassing information, just state how much Temasek directors have been paid. The public deserves an answer.

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3 Responses to 20150114 PAP must disclose tax dollars paid to Temasek directors, especially its CEO

  1. Anonymous says:

    Even private equity firms in the US like Blackrock and TPG Capital have been forced by the Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose the fees and commissions charged, (See Bloomberg’s report of 1 Jan. 2015) It is an outrage that the citizen stakeholders are kept in the dark by GIC and Temasek. Frankly, I am tired of the inability or unwillingness of the WP to force the issue in Parliament.

    • phillip ang says:

      It is shocking the WP demanded a first world parliament but …. Kenneth J, Chee Soon Juan, Tan Jee Say, etc could have done a better job. We really need more credible opposition members in parliament to force the transparency issue open, to speak for ordinary citizens.

  2. Xmen says:

    WP is still fighting yesterday’s war, just like the PAP. LOL.

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