We’ve already taken two-month pay cut, says minister

THERE is no need for the Prime Minister, ministers or deputy ministers to take a pay cut in view of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.

“The Perikatan Nasional administration members had already forgone two months’ salary.

“This amounts to a 25% salary cut for the entire year, ” Redzuan said when winding up the replies on Budget 2021 on behalf of his ministry.

He noted that the gesture by the Prime Minister, ministers and deputy ministers in taking a two-month salary cut reflected the government’s responsibility in doing its part during the pandemic.

In March, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that 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 ministers to take a pay cut were raised 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 to the Prime Minister’s Department from RM7.9bil this year to RM11.7bil, Redzuan said this was due to the department taking on wider responsibilities.

“The increase is due to the restructuring of government agencies, with 65 of them placed under the responsibility of the Prime Minister’s Department compared to 56 agencies previously, ” he said.

He also said that there was no need to reduce the number of Cabinet ministers or deputies as the Covid-19 pandemic had increased the workload of the government instead of lessening it, as claimed by some MPs.

Redzuan was responding to Khalid Samad (PH-Shah Alam), who claimed that the government’s 70-member Cabinet was bloated.

“Only 32 ministers sit in the Cabinet while the 38 deputy ministers are not included, ” Redzuan clarified.

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