KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has called on the government to set up a committee to review the pension entitlements of assemblymen, Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers as the entitlements for some could exceed RM100,000 per month.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, he recounted his experience as a minister, receiving RM55,000 in salary each month.
“Ministers get a luxurious house in Putrajaya, cars, drivers and even expenses for their daily meals can be claimed back from the government. They get plate numbers which can be sold for hundreds of thousands of ringgit and two APs (approved permits) to bring in luxury vehicles,” he said.
He added that ministers also get a gratuity of up to RM1 million to RM2 million, which is based on their years of service as MPs.
The independent MP for Muar pointed out that throughout the changes in government in Malaysia, some ministers remained in the Cabinet.
“There are ministers that have remained in Cabinet positions over three governments — are their gratuities only paid out once or is it a RM1 million payment every time the Cabinet is dissolved?” he asked.
Moreover, pensions of politicians are very attractive, said Syed Saddiq, which may incentivise politicians to maintain their lucrative positions despite having served for decades.
He explained that there are separate pensions for assemblymen, MPs, senators, speakers, deputy ministers, ministers and the prime minister, which means that an MP who previously served as an assemblyman as well as held a ministerial position would be entitled to the separate pension entitlements.
“If you were to combine the different entitlements, the amount could exceed RM100,000 per month, especially if the person has served in several different capacities.
“I propose that the government set up a committee to discuss this matter. This discussion must take place, especially as the rakyat have to be frugal amid the challenging environment, while those of us in Parliament and government are receiving lucrative salaries,” he said.
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