FUNDRAISING dinners organised by politicians and used as a platform for ceramah is nothing but a farce these days considering how much politicians can earn.
For this reason, they are always keen to hold on to their positions with some not wanting to retire after clinging on to power for so many years.
In fact, it has become a multi-million-ringgit industry with a celebrity status where salaries, perks and pension schemes can add up to millions of ringgit and this all coming from public funds – in short, taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
Even then, after being elected – and having formed the government – some politicians can threaten to even sideline those who do not support them.
In an earlier article, we have pointed out that politicians have to go down to the ground to be with the people and improve the public facilities.
What irk most voters is when complaints to their elected representatives are not solved despite having a full hierarchy of local councillor, state assemblyman, MPs, state executive councillor, Menteri Besar (MB) and cabinet minister.
For example, a video sighted by FocusM showed how a resident had highlighted to Damansara MP, Gobind Singh Deo since February this year about a road sign that has been relocated by Selayang Municipal Council to a least strategic location off the main junction.
After the local council repainted the rusted road sign, they planted it on a different site some 10-15 meters from the main junction.
Since 2008, a number of these politicians including those formerly from the Opposition bloc have also sought the help of image makers to transform their image from the ‘so-auntie look’ to a superstar persona, while the quality of their service to the people remained mediocre.
Syed Saddiq opens a can of worms?
In a video which emerged again recently, MUDA president Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman relished how at the age of 30 he is already eligible to receive two pensions – one as an MP and another as a minister.
The former youth and sports minister for 22 months during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) government (May 2018 to Feb 2020) compared himself by having to work for only five years (as an MP) while his own mother had to work for 30 years to be entitled to a pension.
In addition, he said that those who serve in various capacities, for example, MPs who are also holding on to a state assembly seat or made a speaker or holding a cabinet or state EXCO position – or those given a position with a government-linked corporation (GLCs) – could be receiving different pension packages for the various positions.
“These pensions are not even consolidated into one package (that runs concurrently),” he revealed. “This is why MUDA proposed to abolish the pension scheme for politicians regardless of whether state or federal level.”
One only wonders how much pension is now paid every month to the former premier of 22 years in his first stint and another 22 months in his second stint, especially when he is spending the rest of his later years fanning 3R sentiments (race, religion and royalty).
His nemesis-turned-comrade Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang’s pensions should also be humongous considering that he had been holding numerous positions including a MP-ship and having served as a state assemblyman, one-term MB (1999-2004) and one year as the special ambassador (ministerial level) to the Middle East.
Perhaps, a member of the backbencher should look for an answer to the above questions because the rakyat deserve to know how much of public funds are paid as pensions to politicians.
Now, it makes one wonder why the ordinary rakyat are paying hundreds of ringgit just to purchase a table to invite their friends for politically motivated fundraising dinners.
The money is splashed out in campaign materials, banners and buntings only to disappear after two weeks while both the winner and loser hardly appear for another five years.
What Malaysian voters should demand for now are politicians who are on the ground to serve the people instead of continuing trumpeting 3R issues.
And when politicians turn up at restaurants, instead of expecting a free meal, they should pay for the food like everyone else. – Aug 15, 2023