Highest-Paid Asian Leaders


Multi-billion dollar corruption in India and a whopping 36 percent cut in the salary for Singapore’s Prime Minister have once again raised the question: how much should politicians be paid?

A list of Asia Pacific’s highest paid politicians based on figures from a number of publicly available sources including The Economist. Some of Asia’s fastest growing and largest economies, such as India and China, have the lowest salaries for their leaders. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for example takes in just $36,200 per year, according to the AFP.

At number 8.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
Annual Salary: $124,000

President Yudhoyono, the leader behind Indonesia’s newfound status as Asia’s “economic golden child”, pulls in $124,000 a year. This sum amounts to over 25 times the country’s GDP per capita, according to The Economist. The leader is working on narrowing the wealth gap in the country by raising the salary of civil servants by 10 percent in 2011. The former army general is credited with initiating a crackdown on corruption.

At number 7. 
Lee Myung-bak, President of South Korea
Annual Salary: $162,000

Keeping tensions under control on the Korea peninsula is no easy task. Lee Myung-bak’s annual salary which is set to rise to $162,000 this year, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, from $156,000 in 2011, puts him at 7th place amongst Asia’s top paid politicians. However, Mr. Lee clearly isn’t in the job for the money. Shortly after he was elected president, the former CEO of Hyundai Construction & Engineering pledged to donate his full salary to the underprivileged during his five-year term. He was said to be the richest presidential candidate in South Korea’s last election, with personal wealth exceeding 35.3 billion won or $31 million.

At number 6. 
Ma Ying-jeou, President of Taiwan
Annual Salary: $184,000

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou rakes in a salary of $184,000 per year. The Hong Kong-born, U.S.-educated lawyer has played an instrumental role in improving cross-strait relations. Ma has raised the country’s permit quota for Chinese tourists, eased restrictions on Taiwanese investment in China and approved measures to open Taiwan’s equity markets to mainland investors.

At number 5. 
John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
Annual Salary: $310,000

Fifth on the list is the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key. He takes home an annual salary of around $310,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. Impressive for some, but probably not for Mr Key. Prior to politics, the Kiwi PM amassed a personal fortune of around $40 million, working as a foreign exchange trader with Merrill Lynch, where he earned as much as $2.25 million per annum. He is now New Zealand’s wealthiest Member of Parliament and one of the region’s wealthiest leaders.

At number 4.  
Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan
Annual Salary: $316,000

Japan’s Yoshihiko Noda makes an annual salary of $316,000, according to The Asahi Shimbun newspaper. If you add in the regional allowance of 18 percent, he makes around $384,000 per year. The rising strength of the Japanese yen has helped boost his earnings in dollar terms. To put the number into perspective though, it’s a mere fraction of the $10.7 million earned by the CEO of Nissan in 2010. Still, with 6 prime ministers in 5 years, the Japanese leader might not be expecting to be on that salary for very long.

At number 3. 
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
Annual Salary: $495,000

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard just got a significant 31 percent pay hike, taking her salary to $355,000 per year. The Prime Minister however may have reason to cry poor because shadow ministers are getting pay hikes of 64 percent, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. But with retirement perks including a fully staffed office, unlimited free first class travel and a permanent driver for the rest of her life, the Prime Minister might not complain just now.

At number 2. 
Donald Tsang, Chief Executive, Hong Kong
Annual Salary: $550,000

The salary of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong would probably be causing a few eyes to roll in Beijing. Donald Tsang earns around $550,000 a year, according to Reuters. That’s roughly 30 times the size of the $18,000 salary earned by Chinese President Hu Jintao. But the perks of the job haven’t come easily for Mr Tsang. He’s been working in Hong Kong’s public sector since 1967 and some might say no amount of money would be enough to compensate for that.

At number 1. 
Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore
Annual Salary: $1.65 million

The Prime Minister of Singapore just took a salary cut of a whopping 36 percent, but he still makes a basic salary of $1.65 million (S$2.2 million). That makes him far and away the highest paid politician anywhere in the world. His salary is still 4 times the salary of President Barack Obama, who reportedly makes around $400,000 a year. But it’s not just the Prime Minister in Singapore earning big bucks. The Singapore President, who just had his salary cut by 51 percent, will make $1.2 million a year and new ministers will get salaries of $840,000 after the pay cut.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Categories : Information


  1. Daryl Trigo says:

    Oh and i love your blog you work quick lol keep up the amazing work

  2. Vimax says:

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  3. A lot of the things you assert happens to be astonishingly legitimate and it makes me ponder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this with this light before. Your piece really did switch the light on for me personally as far as this specific subject goes. But at this time there is 1 issue I am not too comfortable with and whilst I try to reconcile that with the actual main idea of the position, let me see what all the rest of your visitors have to say.Nicely done.

  4. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and just could not come across. What a great site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.