COMMENT | It looks like the issue of cabinet ministers and MPs is back in the spotlight thanks to Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. He revealed the assortment of allowances and compensations of Malaysian ministers. He would know, seeing that he was a minister once. He also questioned the eligibility of some of the compensations.
It would seem that ministers, and even ex-ministers, have been making a big amount of money that many people would consider unearned. The basic salary itself is already on the high side. According to Syed Saddiq, it is around RM50,000. Then there are all kinds of allowances, including family holiday allowances. Then there are the compensations and gratuities.
"(Putrajaya must explain) is gratuity paid only once, or each time they step down they get paid RM1 million, then when they get reappointed and step down again, get another RM1 million, and when Parliament is dissolved, they get it (RM1 million) again?” he says.
Okay, let’s back up a little bit. Over the years, I have built the belief that MPs, ministers, and basically any elected official or leader that holds a position of authority needs to be compensated fairly, and in fact, handsomely. This is for several reasons. The first is that, obviously, it is an important job that requires skill. The second is to avoid corruption.
Being a minister or an MP is no walk in the park. The job requires the skill and abilities that are similar, or even more than, any high-level corporate executive. Compensation that fits the job is only...