NUSAJAYA - The 80 per cent increase in basic monthly allowance from RM5,000 (S$1884) to RM9,000 for the 56 assemblymen in Johor is a reward for their hard work and dedication towards their duties, said Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Mohamed Khaled, who had suggested for the raise during the Johor Budget 2015 debate in November, said the allowance was last reviewed in 2009.
"Assemblymen have huge responsibilities because they are required to multi-task between looking into the welfare of the community they represent and their legislative responsibilities.
"It is unfair and unreasonable for people to expect outstanding services if the rewards are not equivalent," he said, describing the increase as "practical and not excessive".
The RM4,000 increase, said Mohamed Khaled, was in accordance with the Gred 54 scale under the enactment and would take effect from Jan 1 this year.
"We have to remember that assemblymen are normal humans, too, with families, children in school and unsettled house loans. Some of them have even sacrificed their high-paying careers just to give service to the community," he added.
Yesterday, the state assembly approved the motion to amend the Members of the Administration and State Legislative Assemblymen's (Remuneration) Act 1980.
In Johor, only state executive councillors receive salaries besides the basic allowance for assemblymen.
Mohamed Khaled said the new allowance was not much different from those in other states, such as Negri Sembilan (RM8,954), Sabah (RM7,950) and Perak (RM8,000).
It was however lower than those in Sarawak (RM15,000) and Selangor (RM11,250), he said.
The new allowances, he said, would not burden the state, which saw a surplus of RM300mil and RM400mil in 2013 and last year.