KUALA LUMPUR – The increase in allowance of Members of Parliament (MP) commensurate with the big responsibility they shoulder and it is an appreciation of the government.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan drew attention when he said many did not know all these while that MPs did not get a salary but were only given an allowance of RM6,500 a month.
“This amount is unfair to them because they look after so may people in their respective parliamentary,” he said when appearing as a guest in the Ruang Bicara programme broadcast by Bernama TV and aired live, tonight.
Taking his Pontian, Johor Parliamentary constituency, as an example, Ahmad said there were 50,000 voters who had to be given attention.
“Multiply the 50,000 by four (wife and children), so overall in Pontian I have to look after about 200,000 people, but there are other MPs who have more than me.
“In Sabah and Sarawak, although the number of voters are not big but their areas are very big. RM6,500 is not enough to meet the cost involved,” he said.
With the explanation, Ahmad hoped the public would not misconstrue and spread wrong information.
On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the 2015 Budget, among others, announced that all 222 MPs would enjoy an increase in allowances, effective Jan 1.
According to Najib, the allowance of Dewan Rakyat reps would be raised from an equivalent of Grade 54 to an equivalent of Jusa C while the allowance of members of Dewan Negara would be raised from an equivalent of Grade 48 to an equivalent of between Grade 54 and Jusa C.
In another development, Ahmad also said the salary of the Prime Minister was RM22,000 a month, adding that the amount was equivalent to the income of a general manager of a government-linked company. – BERNAMA