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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Selangor reps to donate 20pct to scholarship fund


PKR de facto leader has proposed that the party's Selangor assembly representatives, who will enjoy a considerable pay hike next year, contribute a portion of their salaries to the state education fund.

Anwar proposed a quantum of RM1,000 or 20 percent of their salaries to go to the fund for poor children, following a discussion with Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim.

NONEThis proposal does not include PKR assemblypersons in Penang as their salary increase - from RM4,111 to RM6,000 - announced by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday, was relatively low, Anwar said.

"I want the matter to be resolved soon as the Pakatan Rakyat Council will meet next week," Anwar said when met at Balik Pulau, Penang.

"By the time I knew about the pay rise, it had already been approved by the Selangor state assembly. So this is a way for state reps to return something to the people," he explained.

Selangor, which announced a hefty pay rise for its state assemblypersons, has earned the ire of several Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including Anwar who thought it was high.

The Selangor assembly passed a 268 percent pay hike for its speaker, along with pay rises for the menteri besar (to RM29,250 per month), deputy speaker (RM15,750) and assemblypersons (RM11,250).

When Gombak MP and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali asked for a review of the pay rise, Khalid retorted that he should donate his money to charity if he was not happy about it.

On the controversial pay hike, which will also be enjoyed by BN assemblypersons, Anwar said Khalid did inform him about it but he was not aware of the quantum of increase.

"But after it was announced, I felt it was slightly high," said Anwar.

According to Anwar, it was not right for Khalid to use the Sarawak situation to justify Selangor's pay raise.

"But since the state assembly has agreed and the pay rise would be implemented soon, this (proposal for state PKR reps to donate part of it to the education fund), would be the best thing to do," he said.

Not the same as corporate sector

Anwar said Khalid was open to the suggestion and will find a proper mechanism to implement the proposal.

On Khalid's outburst that whoever was not happy with the pay rise can donate their money to charity, Anwar said "he did it at the spur of the moment".
"When we discussed (the matter), he was very polite. He thought that it was like in a corporate sector - if you do good service, you are clean, you manage the economy well, and have a good excellent record, you should be rewarded," he said.

"But of course, this is not the same as in corporate sector as they have much higher salaries," he added.

Anwar said he had conveyed the message to Khalid that the matter was "sensitive" as people join politics to do public service and not to make money.

However, he conceded that the salaries of elected representatives were currently too low.

Anwar said as an opposition MP, he had objected to a steep pay hike in Parliament and naturally he has to be consistent when it came to Selangor.

"But it is grossly unfair to just look and pinpoint this flaw in Khalid and ignoring the fact that he has performed extremely well in office. In fact, this is widely acclaimed," Anwar said.

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