Who Are The World’s Highest-Paid Leaders?

This International Anti-Corruption Day, take a peek at the paychecks of the political world’s top earners.


Malacañang announced last month that they’re planning on increasing the salary of the President from Php120,000 to Php400,000. This shall take effect after President Benigno Aquino III steps down next year. Other government officials in the higher salary grades are bound to receive significant pay hikes as well.

A Php400,000 paycheck seems huge, but according to Finance Secretary Florencio Abad, the President’s salary grade is far from what his counterparts in the private sector make. Chief executive officers of the country’s top companies get anywhere between Php200,000 and Php2 million.

One may wonder, how about in the international political arena? How exactly does our President’s salary stack up against those of other world leaders? Here’s a peek at the paychecks of the political world’s highest earners.

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Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
Annual salary: USD1,700,000

Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, has been leading the Lion City for more than a decade now. Despite the Singaporeans’ confidence in his policy-making skills, he got scrutinized in 2012 for having a whopping annual salary of USD2,856,930. With his salary reduced by almost one-third, he remains at the top spot of the highest-paid leaders in the world.

CY Leung, Hong Kong
Annual salary: USD575,595

For administering a small city, Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung is earning a lot. In fact, he’s earning 10 times bigger than Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is only making USD22,300 annually despite recently getting a raise. Note that HK’s chief executive isn’t enjoying this privilege by his lonesome either: According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s politicians are among the world’s best paid.

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia
Annual salary: USD507,338

Malcolm Turnbull may be new at the Australian Prime Minister’s office, but he’s been around the parliament for more than a decade already. Unlike most employees, Turnbull didn’t have to go through a probationary period; he’s been entitled to receive the full amount as soon as he sat in office. But an online petition called for the current Australian PM to give up his salary and instead use it for social justice programs.

Read: (9 Surprising Truths The Rich And Wealthy Live By)

Fernando Chui, Macau
Annual salary: USD405,885

When Fernando Chui announced his bid to become the Chief Executive of Macau, no other candidate challenged him. In 2014, he went under fire over a bill that would grant top Macanese officials extravagant packages upon retirement. However, Chui bowed to public pressure and promised to shelve the bill indefinitely.

Barack Obama, United States of America
Annual Salary: USD400,000

Despite leading the world’s biggest economic and political powerhouse, US Presidents only earned half of what President Barack Obama is getting now until it was doubled in 2001 under George W. Bush’s regime. But don’t get fooled: aside from the USD400,000 annual “basic” salary, President Obama also gets a USD50,000 tax-free expense account, a USD100,000 tax-free travel account, and USD19,000 entertainment budget. Talk about the perks of the job. –Dino Mari Testa