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LETTER | Rationalising pensions scheme: Let’s start with politicians

LETTER | The latest hot topic is the move towards reducing the burden of pension payments by the government.

This move is long overdue as the burden will snowball into an unmanageable proportion in the near future.

Better healthcare facilities and a longer lifespan simply mean retired government servants enjoy longer years of pension.

As such, a different approach towards ensuring future pensioners is taken care of with equivalent financial security is not that difficult to configure, except that the new approach must be clearly explained and understood. Proper mind-setting is extremely important.

Along with this new initiative for civil servants is to initiate and implement a reset on income and pension entitlement for MPs and state assemblypersons.

Some MPs also hold state assembly posts at the same time and the existing pension structure allows them to receive double pension payments.

And if they are also ministers and executive councillors, their pensions will be alarmingly high.

As of now, any MP with a minimum of 36 months of service is entitled to a pension and the amount of pension entitlement will increase proportionally with longer terms.

A retired MP or state assemblyperson, with two terms of service, enjoys a bigger pension than a secondary school principal who serves 25 to 30 years.

And during those two terms in Parliament or state assembly, their monthly income is maybe 10 to 15 times that of the retired school principal who has worked his way up slowly through 25 to 30 years, starting with a couple of thousand ringgit.

MPs and state assemblypersons are elected to serve the rakyat but if we scrutinise their potential pension benefits, it looks like the rakyat is serving them.

The moment they start their MP or state assembly service, they are literally piled with lots of allowances, some of which I would term superfluous.

They are even paid RM400 for attending each parliamentary session (attendance allowance), over and above travelling, food and hotel allowances.

Allowance for attending house sessions?

We can understand the justification for travelling, food and hotel allowances, especially when they are from other states, but paying an incentive for just attending parliamentary sessions is obscene.

Weren’t they voted into office for that? By the same token, teachers or other civil servants should be paid an allowance for going to work every day, over and above their salary.

In fact, their salary should be deducted if they fail to say, fulfil 85 percent attendance, as a penalty.

They also enjoy petrol allowance, handphone allowance and several others. They even enjoy a handsome handphone bill allowance monthly.

My question is, are these allowances necessary and justified? I consider these allowances as initiatives meant to milk the country high and dry.

I hereby appeal to all elected leaders to have a heart. Please be more sincere in wanting to serve the rakyat and country.

Your monthly salary and allowances are way above even those of senior government servants.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.