KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need for ministers to take a pay cut in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.
"Tthe Perikatan Nasional administration has already forgone two months of salary," said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department when winding up ministerial replies on Budget 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Nov 23).
He said that the gesture by the Prime Minister, ministers and deputy ministers in taking a two-month pay cut reflected the government's responsibility in doing its part amidst the pandemic.
In March, the Prime Minister's Office confirmed the Perikatan's 32-member Cabinet and 38 deputy ministers would have two months of their pay automatically deducted and channelled to the Covid-19 Fund.
Calls for the Prime Minister, ministers and deputy minister to take a pay cut were made by several MPs during debates on Budget 2021 last week.
Among them was Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who suggested that the government should consider a 30% pay cut for ministers to reduce unnecessary expenses in Budget 2021.
In response to questions over an increase in allocation for the Prime Minister's Department from RM7.9bil this year to RM11.7bil in Budget 2021, Redzuan this was due to the department taking on wider responsibilities.
"The increase is due to restructuring of the government agencies where 65 were placed under the responsibility of the Prime Minister's Department compared to 56 agencies previously," he said.
He also said there was no need to reduce the number of ministers or deputies as the Covid-19 pandemic had increased the workload for the government and not lessen it as claimed by some MPs.
Redzuan also took a swipe at Khalid Samad (PH-Shah Alam) for claiming that the Perikatan's 70-member Cabinet was bloated.
He said that there were only 32 ministers who sit on the Cabinet while the 38 deputy ministers are not included.