Netizens: Subject PN’s invisible trio to “potong gaji” for “ponteng” Anwar’s Saudi PMQT

Editor’s Note: For the uninitiated, “potong gaji” is taken to mean deduct MP’s salary/allowances while “ponteng” depicts being absent or skipping a Dewan Rakyat proceeding.

OUTPACING his bodyguards, one can imagine the amount of panting and puffing as the 75-year-old Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who had just touched down from a one-day official visit to Cambodia a day earlier dashed to enter the Dewan Rakyat in a nick of time for yesterday’s (March 28) Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) session.

Unfortunately, all his effort came to naught as Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) three big guns comprising Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, PN’s chairman/Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang were nowhere to be seen after all the fuss about wanting to grill the PM for his grand Saudi Arabia trip “failure and wastage”.

Netizen Zaki Wai fired the first salvo on the DAP Malaysia Facebook when he questioned if MPs who failed to turn up at the Parliament will still be eligible for his/her salary/allowances.

“Good if still eligible but the Parliament must set a condition that MPs must attend the Parliament session to be able to be entitled for salary/allowance,” he proposed to which Suresh Kumar clarified that MPs will still receive their salaries of RM6,508.59 but will not be eligible for meeting allowance of RM200/day.*

* As per Remuneration of elected officials in Malaysia” by the Centre for Public Policies Studies

A more calculative YeapLai wants the salary of MPs to also be deducted proportionate to their absenteeism and so does the meal and petrol allowances. “Imagine we the rakyat have to be answerable to our bosses (employers). If our reasoning is not accepted, our salary will be deducted. Worst still, we can get fired.”

But Edwin Loh was quick to chip in: “My dear Zaki Wai. What is RM200 to them? They only see millions.”

Eldeen Eldinov proposed an attendance ruling that absenteeism of 15 days or more without valid reasoning shall result in the MP’s seat to be declared vacant automatically while Joe Abraham Pak suggested that allowances must only be paid upon full attendance and the same applies for salary.

Gabriel Gendang who started another thread insisted that Malaysia should have strict laws against MPs who do not attend parliamentary sittings. “Any reason except MC (medical certificate) or hospitalisation should not be accepted. MCs should also be monitored to prevent fraud.”

As Nicky Chan contended that “their side income is 1,000-fold than their MP salary”, Gabriel Gendang reckoned that the best solution could be to vacate the seats of errant MPs by calling for re-election.

In a related development, David Jenny suggested that Anwar extends his PMQT session to half-day every Tuesday as limiting the session to only three questions is “too short”. “This will enable those who call themselves pejuang rakyat (people’s fighter) a chance to ask questions so that they can keep their mouth shut outside,” he berated.

But Yong Khean Khoon begged to differ as he deemed one hour should be good enough as the PM has other chores to look into while Dicky Cheong is of the view that it does not matter the duration of the PMQT session “if they (Opposition MPs) dare not even show up”. – March 29, 2023




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