Most people seem to be perplexed and unhappy at the massive pay hike approved recently by the State Assembly for Selangor elected representatives including Menteri Besar -MB (Chief Minister ) and his excos. While certain quarters condemn it , some like Transparency International lauded it. The latter has a point in their support of the hike with respect to reducing corruption.
The quantum of the hike may seem to be high but I feel sure the Opposition government in Selangor has worked out how much each of the elected member would need beside their personal expenditure to sustain their socio-political work in their respective constituency.
Now, being a politician voted in by the people to represent them is not easy and let alone rosy. Wherever you go people expect you to give instant donation or allocations for all kinds of activities. Politicians maybe forced to resort to getting donation or sponsorship from the private sector to run their social programmes making them subservient and indulge in corrupt practices. That is why the Singaporean cabinet ministers are paid very high salaries so that they are not tempted to be corrupt.
While BN politicians are getting massive allocations to sustain each of their constituency, the opposition does not have such luxury of a Federal coffer. It is rather strange that the BN-held states except for Sarawak have not implemented any pay hike and yet if you really look at each and every cabinet members and most BN elected reps of those states, you will notice that they live well beyond their means with unlimited fund to carry out programs and projects in their respective constituencies. And those contracts that keep coming on on direct nego basis look enough to make everyone of them happy. Their salaries are just peanuts.
Corruption is rampant and the bull has never been really held by the horn like that in Indonesia where big fishes like serving politicians and judges are ruthlessly hunted down unlike here in Malaysia where small frys are being happily cooked.
It is regrettable that Azmin, a PKR MP (member of parliament) who is known to dislike MB Khalid of Selangor , resorted to washing dirty linen in public by questioning the raise. The party big guns should have settled this among themselves and lead by example. And convince us that Selangor government is the least corrupt in the country.
Selangor is a rich state and can afford this pay hike to help their serving representatives to fund their extra-curricular activities like social services and donations to schools, religious bodies and NGOs. In fact, under MB Khalid Selangor has registered a big financial surplus and perhaps about time for the MB to be less exceedingly frugal and give back to the rakyat in terms of more infrastructural developments, utilities and social services.
My niece in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam is very happy because she doesn’t have to pay a single sen for her water and electricity usage as it is below a certain consumption level: thanks to the current Selangor government No wonder the Opposition gets to keep Selangor in the recent GE! Ever wonder? The people in Selangor see the opposition as less corrupt and more sincere than UMNO/BN who previously ruled them for donkey years.
If BN politicians make noise about this pay hike, they should first look at the mirror and ask themselves where do their sources of fund to sponsor all those activities by their constituents and the non-stop donations to the needy and others come from. It is certainly not all out of their pockets.