Anwar: Opposition agreeable to MP allowance hike

Anwar: Opposition agreeable to MP allowance hike

KUALA LUMPUR - Pakatan Rakyat will not oppose the increase in allowance for Members of Parliament, said Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"I support and welcome it after getting explanation from the Arau MP and the Prime Minister," he said when debating the Budget speech in Dewan Rakyat.

He said the Opposition was against the initial proposal to raise MPs pay as it would result in a two-fold increase in their monthly salary.

Earlier, Anwar raised several issues on the budget, particularly the Goods and Service Tax, saying that it would only burden the lower and middle income groups.

At this juncture, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim asked Anwar whether he agreed with the proposed rise with regard MPs allowances.

On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the raise in the allowance of 222 MPs effective Jan 1.

Allowances of MPs would be increased from the equivalent Grade 54 to Grade Jusa C.

MPs salaries have been revised five times - in 1992, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005.

In the 2005 review, the basic pay was increased from RM5,916.90 (S$2306) (in 2002) to RM6,508.59 now, not inclusive of other benefits such as a RM1,200 driver's allowance.

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