Friday, June 08, 2018

RM500K - No need 'Santa Claus' MPs - Just better quality MPs?

To carry out their duties effectively as Members of Parliament and ADUNs, and even Senators, they need to receive government allocations - to run their offices(in their Constituencies and in Parliament/DUN/Senate), and staff(employees). They also need financial allocations to keep the people infomed, and to consult the people they represent.

Mahathir also announced that a RM500,000 allowance will be channeled to government MPs, while Opposition MPs will receive RM100,000, and each parliamentary service centre will receive RM200,000 each before Hari Raya.

They do not need more money - to provide welfare assistance to their constituents, to repair roads, drains, fences, houses, buildings - that is the duty of government(be it the Federal/State/Local government), peoples' representatives can provide people with the information as to which department/agency to go to, and also highlight/pressure in the event such departments/agencies fail to do their job quickly and/or efficiently...In fact, in any constituency, that duty will generally be the work of Local Councils(the Local Government)...or maybe the State government.

The UMNO-BN rule has created a bad 'Santa Claus' culture - many people really do not know the real duties and responsibilities of the MP and the DUN. 

Under the UMNO-BN rule, the MP and DUN is the person to go to to get 'donations'...even 'contracts', etc...We invited the UMNO-BN MP to our functions - because he will give us 'money'/donations....RM5k, RM10K,RM20k...people invited MP for the 'donation' - not out of respect or because we wanted to hear him/her speak. As an example, the Pahang MB came to the Pahang Bar dinner a few years ago, and 'proclaimed' he will sponsor the entire dinner ...RM20K plus ...but till March last year, the Pahang Bar still waiting for the money?

It will be interesting for the Finance Minister and the new PH government to look into how that RM5 million(or more) that were given to the UMNO-BN MPs/ADUNs/BN leaders(where the MP/ADUN were from the Opposition) went - was there kleptocracy that benefitted these politicians and their cronies - after all, I have not seen these accounts on how that millions were spent all these years...and it is a lot of government/people's money - it RM5 million per year, and we have 222 Parliamentary constituencies - that comes to about RM1.2 billion per year, and   for 5 years, that would be RM6 billion?? What if we include the ADUNs and Senators, it could be even more. What many people have noticed is that the UMNO-BN leaders seems to be becoming 'richer'? 

What additional government allocations needed to better improve the quality of our MPs, ADUNs and Senators?

1 - Offices (in the Constituencies) - Well, the government should pay for rental, utilities, phones/computers and staff, and each of these offices will need at least 2 employees, given the fact we expect these offices to be open daily...and until night(maybe 10pm) > In fact, the Federal Government and State Government should think about permanent offices - which will be occupied by current MPs/ADUNs..

2 - Other Offices - Service Centres...Well, it really depends on the size of the constituency, and the number of constituents. For the moment, maybe the right to have 1 additional service centre if there are more than 50,000 registered voters, and 2 if more than 100,000, and 3 if more than 150,000. And for each, there is a requirement of at least 2 full time staff.

3 - Personal Assistants - well, all peoples' representative will need at least ONE(1) P.A> best a minimum of 2. They may also need to be spending time meeting with people, when MP in Parliament, also dealing with communications of MPs.

4 - Every MP/DUN/Senator - will need at least one(1), better 2 Parliamentary Assistants. This is essential, as they would be assisting the MP peruse the various Bills being tabled, doing necessary research, helping MPs develop questions and answers, maybe even developing reports for constituents...They will be skilled staff, possibly with some legal background. They are essential in improving the quality of our MPs - especially in Parliament/DUN/Senate. On their own, MPs may not have enough time to read all Bills, prepare questions and do the needed research ...thus be able to 'debate inteligently' in Parliament/DUN/Senate. [A perusal of the Hansard will indicate how important it is to improve the quality of our MPs - something that Kit Siang and many then Opposition MPs have spoken about. ]  

So, maybe an estimated 'budget'

1 Office (plus maybe one Office-Service Centre) plus utilities,etc > RM5,000 per month
2 4 Staff managing Office & Service Centre, a salary of RM2,000 > RM8,000 per month
3. 2 Parliamentary Assistants/Researchers, at salary of RM3,000 > RM6,000 per month
4. 2 Personal Assistants, at a salary of RM3,000 > RM6,000 per month
HENCE, here alone, we will need at least RM25,000...and so, if we include a further RM5,000 for Open Hall meetings, website maintenance...implies that we may need at least RM30,000 per month - RM360,000 per year per MP. (This will come from the Federal Government, for ADUNs, it should really come from State governments)

* The money should not be given to the MP to spend as he wishes, but should be paid based on proper claims, with the required receipts. For the employees, they should maybe be made 'public servants' on a contractual basis - being the term of office of the said MP/ADUN/Senators.

* Whilst, this is all Malaysia can afford, of course MPs/ADUNs/Senators will also have their own 'volunteers' helping them out at the Constituency level. 

Should similar allocations be provided for Senators? Well, honestly, at the moment Senators are 'irrelevant' for most Malaysians - just ask people, whether they even know the names of their Senators? Pakatan Harapan really must move towards democratically elected by the people Senators, whereby some Senators to represent specific interests can still be appointed by the Federal Government to represent minority groups - Orang Asli, People With Disabilities, Workers & Trade Unions, Businesses, Legal, etc - we could have at least 10 Federal Appointed Senators. Until then, maybe just a limited allocation until our financial situation improves. 

Recently, our new PH Prime Minister announced RM500,000 for Pakatan MPs 

- The more important question that must be asked is WHY? Will Pakatan Harapan MP continue to propagate the 'bad culture' of the UMNO-BN - where MPs and ADUNs will continue to be 'Santa Claus' - the persons to go to get 'money', goodies and maybe even to do 'maintenance' and repairs of homes, schools, suraus, roads...Is this 'government' money to be channeled to the 'party' machinery at the grassroots? Is it 'additional' INCOME to be used as you please for MPs and/or ADUNs?

During the UMNO-BN rule, their MPs got RM5 million or more ...and the money came from the 'government'(thus ...people's money)....

DISCRIMINATION - Is the Pakatan Harapan going to be just as discriminatory as the past UMNO-BN government? What nonsense, when different amounts of money from the 'people's money/government money' are given to MPs - RM500k for Pakatan Harapan MPs, and RM100k for non-PH MPs? UMNO-BN BAD PRACTICES SHOULD HAVE ENDED WITH GE14...

It was also reported, that apparently all MPs will receive a further RM200,000 for their 'Service Centres" - that is good. That is also what our Johor MB did...other PH States should do the same...

BUT, as I mentioned 'NO MONEY TO SPEND AS YOU WISH' ...rather government will pay for rental and staff directly.

No MONEY for development or donations to MPs or ADUNs - the provision of welfare, repairs, etc is the job of government and will flow through the respective government agencies, departments and Ministries...[During the UMNO-BN era, the MP/ADUN also did repairs for houses using their own cronny contractors - no open tender, possibly over-charged contracts, possibly also 'kleptocracy'...

No 'government money' to MP for even 'bubur lambuk' during Hari Raya. Gobind Singh should explain where the money came from for - was it personal donation? Or was it simply using government funds....if so, was it current funds allocated for the Ministry, or was it funds from the Federal PH government - which means that all other Ministry staff can also soon expect to get free 'bubur lambuk' ...TRANSPARENCY new Minister. Do we thank you for your 'personal donation' ...or what?

See some earlier related posts...

'Santa Claus' MP/ADUN of Pakatan Harapan just like BN? NO please.

 Time for MPs to be provided with MORE paid support staff,....

MPs and ADUNs should be FULL TIME peoples' representative ...

Not only MPs that are being discriminated against but the constituents more so.

MPs must not be absent from Parliament (Malay Mail)

Re-defining the relationship between the MP/ADUN and the people should be TOP in Pakatan Rakyat's Agenda...

MP Abdullah Sani's Parliamentary Questions Analysed - Improvement Needed to Improve Quality?

A critical look at MP Abdullah Sani's speech during Budget 2017 debate - raising worker concerns?


First Parliament session on July 16, sweeping agenda on the docket (Updated)

Mahathir also stated the government's intention to repeal several Acts such as the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 and the Goods and Services Act 2015 as well as the amending several acts during the sittings period. — Sunpix by Ashraf Shamsul
PUTRAJAYA: The first Parliament session of the 2018-2023 term will take place on July 16, according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"We will coordinate both the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat sittings at the same time.

"The sitting will take place for 20 days from that date," he told reporters after chairing the weekly Cabinet meeting at Putra Perdana, here, today.

He added that he will seeking the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's consent to proceed with the Parliament sittings.

Mahathir also stated the government's intention to repeal several acts, such as the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 and the Goods and Services Act 2015 during the session.

Mahathir also announced that a RM500,000 allowance will be channeled to government MPs, while Opposition MPs will receive RM100,000, and each parliamentary service centre will receive RM200,000 each before Hari Raya.

Meanwhile, Mahathir also confirmed that Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, has submitted his resignation recently.

However, he said the government has yet to decide on his successor.

Muhammad, the eighth governor, assumed the office on May 1, 2016, succeeding Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Among Mahathir's other announcements:

- Hari Raya incentives for Felda and Felcra members.
He said the Felda's incentives will cost RM50 million from the government's coffers while for Felcra, RM44 million will be paid out from their profits.

- Cabinet discussed initiatives to reduce government expenditure with several bodies and agencies expected to be dissolved, mostly from the Health Ministry.
"We also discussed overlapping of powers between a few ministries and the results of these discussions will be announced later," he said.

- Compulsory English test for civil servants to boost English proficiency

- Cost of Living Allowance (BSH), which has replaced Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M), will be 
disbursed in line with current qualifications for the time being. New qualifications to be determined for future disbursements.

- A team representing the civil service will visit India to study innovative ideas initiated by the Indian government to increase public service efficiency.

- Government will loosen criteria for housing loan applications to enable the younger generation to afford their first homes.

- Trading links between Singapore-Malaysia (KLSE-SGX) stock exchanges will be reviewed.

- Monopolies by the former government will be reviewed, abolished or limited. Examples include the present monopoly on the rice industry by Bernas.

- Former Auditor-General Tan Sri Amrin Buang will head a newly-formed governance inquiry committee, with Defence Ministry first to be investigated.

- Co-curriculum committee comprising non-governmental experts will review existing educational curriculum from kindergarten to university level, including taking into account policies from other countries and covering certain aspects such as civic consciousness and so forth.

- The national disaster management meeting will be conducted in Kuala Lumpur between June 26 to 28.

- The Aidifitri price control scheme by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) will be implemented from June 8 to June 22 for 22 types of goods.

- Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will conduct survey on issue of low-food intake among children living in low-cost flats in cities nationwide.

- Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officials head to China soon with regards to Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd's (SSER) project.

- Training Institutes' functions will be reviewed by Economic Affairs Ministry and Human Resources Ministry to avoid wastage.

- A special cabinet committee meeting for the Indian community will be held in the near future to address issues of the Indian community.

- The allowance of grade JUSA A public officers and above will be cut by 10% as a cost-cutting measure from July.

- Minister in the Prime Minister's Department will take over the duties of the minister in charge of Islamic religious affairs, the study of Jakim's viability will continue.

- East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) still under review, with a decision to either suspend or abolish the project pending.

- Skim Peduli Sinar Nasional: The Health Ministry will study the nationwide expansion by providing takaful scheme to low income groups.

Mahathir added that the alleged expenditure cost of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at RM257 million over a period of 16 months will be investigated.

Remaining members of the cabinet will be announced either by the end of the week or next week.

"The number of cabinet ministers could be 27, 28 or even 500," he said in jest. - The Sun Daily, 6/6/2018

Giving away ‘bubur lambuk’ boosts ties, says Gobind Singh

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo distributes ‘bubur lambuk’ and dates to KKMM personnel at the ministry here today. — Bernama pic
Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo distributes ‘bubur lambuk’ and dates to KKMM personnel at the ministry here today. — Bernama pic
PUTRAJAYA, June 7 — The tradition of distributing ‘bubur lambuk’ (rice porridge cooked with assorted spices) during the month of Ramadan should be continued to boost ties among the staff of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM).

Its Minister Gobind Singh Deo said this after distributing ‘bubur lambuk’ and dates to KKMM personnel at the ministry here today.

“I am very happy many are present this evening. This (distributing of bubur lambuk) must be held every year to bolster brotherhood and spirit,” he said.

He also wished ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri’ to all KKMM personnel. — Bernama - Malay Mail, 7/6/2018

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