There is a huge interest about Mr Chee Soon Juan unemployment for the past two decades. People are interested as to how he could choose to remain unemployed and still raise three adorable children despite the high cost of living in Singapore that many complained about.
Speculation ran rife.
There were whispers of dirty money from foreigners with suspicious agenda and his wife’s connection with the Taiwanese mafia.
How did he manage to survive for so long and even raise his family? . .
Surely there are simple answers to these questions.
Chee Soon Juan writes books
(Picture from Mothership.SG)
Chee Soon Juan has written at least 8 books.
We did a quick search on Google to find out how authors make their monies and were surprised that it was even more difficult that we had initially thought.
How do writers make money?
You sign a contract with a publisher. In exchange for signing over the North American and English language print rights to your book and possibly other rights, as well, you are paid one of three ways:
- Flat fee: a set amount of money upfront that’s yours to keep. The amount does not change no matter how well the book sells. For example, if your flat fee is $10,000, the amount remains the same no matter if the book sells 10 copies or 10 million.
- Royalties: a small amount paid to you for every book sold.
- Advance against royalties: a sum of money upfront to you with the promise of more (royalties) should the book sell well.
Option 3 would be the most desirable among authors. A further check on Google revealed that the market rate for royalties for an average author (i.e not JRR Tolkien) is about 10% of the retail price. (Source)
Singapore infamous blogger and Hong Lim Park activist – Mr Roy Ngerng once calculated that the optimal minimum starting pay for parents with two children was about $3,500 (2013).
Chee Soon Juan books are sold for $12- $50. He will therefore earn $1.20 to $5 in royalties for every book he sells. Based on Mr Roy’s estimated salary, Mr Chee would have to sell about 700 ($50 book) to 2 900 ($12 book) consistently per month for the past two decades just to get by.
(Picture form Mothership.SG)
(The price of one of CSJ books “Democratically Speaking”)
Not forgetting his debt (at least $300 000) from multiple lawsuits he faced during his time as a politician, Mr Chee would have to sell additional 60 000 to 250 000 copies to clear his debt.
Many are calling him a fraud and has requested for him to declare his ‘sponsors’.
I say they have the right to be skeptical.
(Chee Soon Juan looking sharp in his suit despite being unemployed for the past two decades)
Where is Mr Chee Soon Juan getting his funds from? – His books were never the best sellers.
The maths does not add up.
(Photo Credit: Temasek Review)
Despite the odds he faced and the mystery surrounding his monies, Mr Chee Soon Juan is still standing tall and is contesting Bukit Batok SMC for the By-Election.
Singaporeans, if under him, would definitely be the envy of others.
They could afford to be jobless (like CSJ) and maintain their standard of living (like CSJ who drives a car and look sharp in suits) without worrying for anything at all other than getting into parliament.