THE news of a huge pay rise for elected representatives in Selangor has received mixed reactions.
The increment ranges from 87% to 268% of the current salaries.
Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced the salary hike, effective Jan 1 next year, at the Selangor legislative assembly meeting yesterday.
He said the last salary increment for state assemblymen was in 2005.
Too much: Maniam says the hike is not justified as the amount is too high.
There are raised eyebrows over the salary increase, with Taman Ramal Suria, Kajang, Residents’ Association chairman Hafiz Hanafi saying assemblymen only deserved the salary hike if they were doing their job.
“I have been writing various letters to Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh about an illegal dumpsite in our area, which had been operating for a few years, but no action or feedback has been received,” he said.
He added that the salary increment would not mean anything if the assemblymen ignored the residents’ problems.
Selangor Justice of Peace P. S. Maniam agreed and said the people in the state believed the assemblymen were elected to serve the nation and not the other way round, thus the increase was not warranted.
“I see the increase as unjustified. They already enjoy various benefits and perks which have monetary value.
Good move: Mohd Shamsudin says the hike is line with the increase in salaries for parliamentarians.
“Most of them are given imported cars, with the fuel, drivers’ salaries and maintenance taken care of.
“They also get housing allowances. So, the increase in salaries is unjustified as it is the people’s money,” he said.
Monthly salaries for assemblymen have been increased from RM6,000 to RM11,250, an increase of 87%.
The Speaker, who receives RM6,109, will receive RM22,500, a hike of 268% and the deputy Speaker, whose current salary is RM3,327, will receive RM15,750.
The Mentri Besar’s wages have increased by 106% from the present RM14,175 to RM29,250.
Long overdue: Fernandez believes that the elected reps have been underpaid in the past.
The salary for exco members see a 231% hike from RM6,109 to RM20,250.
Balakong assemblyman Eddie Ng said the increment was reasonable as the cost of living was increasing.
“It will also help a lot with our work as we pay a lot of attention to serving the people,” he said.
He added that he had to sacrifice his electrical wholesale business to focus on his political career after he was elected assemblyman.
“I am already working hard with the current salary but with the increment, I would try to better fulfil my responsibilities,” said Ng.
Sungai Burong assemblyman Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias also welcomed the salary increment.
Better service: Ng will try to do better to fulfil his responsibilities with his new pay.
“The pay rise is in line with the Federal Government’s announcement to increase salaries of parliamentarians,” he said.
Kajang municipal councillor Bryan Lai was also supportive of the salary hike.
“Assemblymen have been putting in hours of their time to serve the people and the current monthly allowance of RM6,000 is not enough,” he said.
Lai added that the new salary would balance the work and hours put in by assemblymen.
Petaling Jaya city councillor Derek Fernandez said the increase in salaries was well-deserved but long overdue for the elected representatives.
“In my opinion, they have been grossly underpaid for what they are expected to do,” he said.
“The prudent fiscal management in the state also justifies the pay rise.
“We cannot expect our leaders and representatives to fully perform their duties effectively free of corruption when they have to constantly worry about finding money to look after their families and service their constituents,” he added.
Fernandez said that even with the increase, the salaries for the top leadership and assemblymen paled in comparison to the salaries paid in the private sector and some public companies.
“I hope with the better renumeration, our assemblymen can concentrate on law making and law reform which have slowed down for some time,” he added.