KUALA LUMPUR: The Perikatan Nasional administration is not bloated, says Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said appointments within the administration are to ensure all the government's projects and programmes can be implemented effectively, and the rakyat and country can benefit from a larger positive impact.
"In this matter, the number of government administrators under Perikatan is only slightly larger than under Pakatan Harapan.
"If we look at the numbers, Pakatan had 28 Cabinet ministers while Perikatan has 32.
“That is only four more," he said in his winding up speech of Budget 2021 in the committee stage in Parliament on Monday (Nov 30).
He added that Pakatan had 27 deputy ministers while Perikatan has 37 deputy ministers.
"That is because we have more ministries," he said.
Several Opposition lawmakers stood up, accusing the government of wasting public funds.
Khalid Abdul Samad (PH-Shah Alam) said that the figures were shocking and the government cannot deny the Cabinet size is large and alleged that it was used to shore up support for the Prime Minister.
To this, Redzuan replied that the size was increased to accommodate the needs of the current situation.
"That is just an assumption made by Shah Alam. Please do not confuse the public.
"That is how Perikatan will improve the administration and the management of the country," he said.
On emoluments of contractual staff under the Prime Minister's Department worth almost RM200mil, he said that the allocation would not be used to pay for political appointees.
"For the RM200mil in 2021, it is actually allocated for the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, Islamic Development Department (Jakim), the mufti's office, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), and others," he said.
On the appointments of the Prime Minister's special envoys, Redzuan refuted that it was overlapping with the function of the Foreign Ministry.
He said that similar appointments were also made under Pakatan's administration.
"Among the duties of the special envoys is to improve ties between Malaysia and those countries.
"It involves improving ties, investments, economy and strategic government projects," he said.
Earlier, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had asked the government to explain the increase in the allocation for the Prime Minister's Department under Budget 2021.
He also questioned the allocation for the special communications and media advisor, special advisor for the economy, the office of the Prime Minister's special envoy to the Middle East, the office of the special envoy to China, as well as the office of the special envoy to Japan, Korea and Taiwan – all under the Prime Minister's Department.
Anwar also touched on the emolument for the appointment of contractual officers under the Prime Minister's Department, which has been given an increase by almost RM200mil next year.
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