MPs chairing GLCs urged to take 50% fee cut

This action should be taken by the MPs to assist in the revival of the economy after the pandemic, says Dr Wan Azizah

pic by TMR FILE

LAWMAKERS who chair government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) should have their fees and allowances cut by half and channelled to Covid-19 related purposes.

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail [Pakatan Harapan-Pandan] (picture) said this action should be taken by the MPs to assist in the revival of the economy after the pandemic.

“I suggest for the allowances or fees of the honourable MPs who chair any GLCs or GLICs to be reduced by 50% and this amount can be used as a corporate social responsibility towards the Covid-19 fund.

“At the same time, the country also needs leadership by example. Therefore, I suggest for the salary of the prime minister, senior ministers, ministers and deputy ministers to be reduced by 10% until the end of 2021,” she said in her debate for the Supply Bill 2021 in Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

She said the Opposition MPs would agree to donate 10% of their allowances to the Covid-19 funds if each parliamentary community centre and office received the same amount of funds and equal pay cut for both sides of the political blocs.

She also voiced her support for an inclusive and comprehensive budget that has the nation’s interest and focuses on economic recovery.

Due to the “extremely high uncertainty” of the current situation, the former deputy prime minister suggested for the government to form a Special Select Committee on Covid-19 that is bipartisan to review the policy, spending and administrative aspects regarding the virus.

She said the select committee should be operational until the virus is declared over.

She added that the national budget for next year must also empower gender equality which has been affected by the pandemic.

“The Movement Control Order has increased the risk of domestic violence. Budget 2021 must prioritise expenditure to improve enforcement laws and support services for gender-based violence.

“For example, the government can provide an inter-agency fund to train first responders including police and medical officers to handle gender-based violence,” said Dr Wan Azizah.

Touching on the issue of mental healthcare, Dr Wan Azizah proposed for the government to allocate RM5 million specifically to improve the Talian Kasih hotline services including other 24-hour emergency services run by the public and non-governmental organisations.

However, she slammed the allocation for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry which accounted for less than 1% of the total budget of RM322.5 billion.

She said the allocation of RM2.6 billion is unreasonable since there are 15.9 million or 48.5% women in the country.

In her speech, Dr Wan Azizah also took a jab at Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz who was reported to have said the government will be unable to pay the salaries of civil servants and provide assistance for frontliners if the budget is not approved in the Dewan Rakyat.

“I hope no one will threaten to not pay the salaries of civil servants next year if the budget is not passed. We do not dispute the emolument for civil servants,” she said.