SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek has come under fire from netizens recently after SMRT released its annual report on Monday.
In the report, Kuek’s salary was reported to be in the range of S$2.25 to S$2.5 million, which is a 309% jump in just 3 years.
According to these figures, Mr Kuek is now SMRT’s highest paid SMRT CEO. When he first joined the company in 2012, he was paid S$611,000 in the first 6 months.
Highly unpopular former SMRT CEO, Saw Phaik Hwa, was also drawing a similar figure, S$1.85 million, when she quit in 2012. Her salary then was a record high pay scale in the company, and had topped another record salary that she received in 2010 when she earned S$1.67 million.
Kuek’s salary now dwarfs the salaries of rival company CEOs from ComfortDelgro and SBS Transit.
ComfortDelgro, which is a much larger company compared to SMRT Corp, pays its CEO S$1.75 to S$2 million.
SBS transit however, pays its CEO Mr Gan Huay Kiat, only S$500,000 to S$750,000.
According to a SMRT spokesman, SMRT did not think the remuneration earned by Kuek was out of place, and instead said that the package was similar to other “peer companies”. He also defended the CEO and said that “the new CEO’s tasks were more daunting than before”.
Yet service standards have yet to see a marked increase in reliability. In December 2014, even mainstream media reported that MRT service breakdowns had hit “a four-year high”.