MALAYSIA - Pakatan Rakyat welcomes the raise in allowance for Members of Parliament, which will come into effect on Jan 1, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In expressing Pakatan's support for the increase - the first in 10 years - announced by the Prime Minister last Friday, the Opposition Leader said the coalition would not oppose the provision under Budget 2015.
"I support and welcome it after getting the explanation from Arau MP (Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim) and the Prime Minister," he said when debating the Budget speech.
He said the Opposition were 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 against the Budget, particularly the Goods and Services Tax, saying that it would only burden the lower and middle-income groups.
At this point, Shahidan, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department who is in charge of parliamentary affairs, asked Anwar whether he agreed with the proposed rise with regard to MPs' allowance.
In his Budget 2015 speech, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that from Jan 1, the allowance of 222 MPs will be increased from the equivalent Grade 54 to Grade Jusa C.
The basic salary for Jusa C for last year starts at RM7,189 (S$2700).
MPs' salaries have been revised five times - in 1992, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005.
In the 2005 review, their basic pay was raised from RM5,916.90 to RM6,508.59 now, which is not inclusive of other benefits such as a RM1,200 driver's allowance.
A similar proposal for a pay increase was withdrawn in October 2011 following objections from the Opposition that the time was not right for a revision, which would have involved a RM30mil allocation.