SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government will table a bill to cut the salary and allowance of its menteri besar (MB), executive councillors (exco), as well as its speaker and deputy speaker, at the next state assembly sitting in November.
However, state assemblymen’s salaries and allowances are deemed appropriate and therefore will not be affected, the state’s newly-minted MB Mohamed Azmin Ali told reporters yesterday after chairing his first exco meeting.
Azmin said the salary and allowance hike — of up to about 400% — of the four key positions that was passed on Nov 22 last year during his predecessor’s tenure should be reviewed to be in line with their responsibilities and services.
The issue escalated into a controversy last year with the public as well as Pakatan Rakyat leaders questioning the massive pay rise, particularly the timing of the exercise.
Under the new salary structure, the MB’s monthly salary jumped 106.4% to RM29,250 from RM14,175. Executive councillors’ went up 231% to RM20,250 from RM6,109.29, while the speaker’s and deputy speaker’s shot up 268% and 373% to RM22,500 (from RM6,109.29) and RM15,750 (from RM3,327.50) respectively. Assemblymen’s pay climbed 87% to RM11,250 from RM6,000.
This is not the first time the salary and allowance hike is being reviewed. In April this year, the legislative assembly had moved to cut the salary hike: the MB’s salary was reduced to RM14,175.15, the executive councillors’ to RM15,000, the speaker’s to RM15,000 and the deputy speaker’s to RM12,000.
Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the MB at the time, had said the cuts would be channelled to a state charity fund, the Tabung Agenda Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor.
|On Anwar’s sacking as Selangor economic adviser, Azmin said: We will discuss again the function and role of the economic adviser. We will provide facilities, including an office, in line with the role he will play. Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam|
Meanwhile, Azmin said the state government has yet to look at the agreements of controversial toll highways such as the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), and the water agreement — though he acknowledged that these have been prioritised.
“The most important aspect of Kidex and other highways now is that all the revision for approval and implementation must be fulfilled. That’s why we will review all the agreements so that this takes into account the issues of connectivity and interest of the people. But we have yet to look into this,” he said.
When it was put to Azmin that toll highway is against Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto, he said: “We are not privy to the details of the agreement. Give us, the new team, the new exco, a chance. Then we will tell you our position on this.”
He also said a special briefing on the water consolidation agreements by the Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd will be held today.
As to the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Selangor’s economic adviser, Azmin said Anwar was not sacked as Abdul Khalid merely closed down the office of the economic advisor. “We will discuss again the function and role of the economic adviser. We will provide facilities, including an office, in line with the role that he will play,” Azmin said.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 2, 2014.