Massive salary increase for Selangor's elected representatives shocking, says Johor MB

JOHOR BARU - The massive salary increase approved by the Selangor state assembly is shocking, especially since the Opposition is constantly chiding Barisan Nasional for not spending money wisely, said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

He said the decision made by the Opposition-held state was a contrast to what it had always been preaching.

"The increase is too high, especially when compared to the salaries of those at the federal level.

"It is now up to the people of Selangor to decide and take a stand on the matter," he said.

Mohamed Khaled added that in Johor, they were contemplating an increase in salaries for elected representatives and the Mentri Besar, but the state government would never agree to such a steep rise.

"The salaries of our assemblymen, speaker and Mentri Besar have remained the same for many years now and it is time for a change."

In Johor, the basic salary of a state representative is RM5,000 (S$1,941), the state Speaker's is RM6,109.29 and the Mentri Besar's is RM14,907.20 while an executive councillor earns RM6,500 a month.

The state representatives receive additional monthly allowances amounting to about RM3,150 for transportation, driver, phone bill and postage.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said its state assemblymen would also like a salar­y increment as much as what had been given to their Selangor counterparts.

"The Selangor MB will be earning two to three times my salary.

"But just imagine if a Barisan-led government made such an announcement, what would be the response of the public and those on the other side of the political divide?" Dr Zambry said yesterday.

He added that the Selangor state government could afford the salary increases because "they have a lot of money ... it is the capital and all the activities are happening there".

"But it is important to look at the effect and the burden the people will face due to their actions," he said.

Dr Zambry said that since he took office in 2009, the state government had not conducted a review of its salaries except for a recent increase in the allowance for assemblymen, from RM4,112 to RM6,000 a month.

"We want to think first, in terms of actual need and the level of increase. But we feel there is a need for a review in Perak as well, because it has been a long time since one was made," he said.

Meanwhile, salaries and allowan­ces of the 40 state assemblymen in Penang are expected to increase by about 84 per cent next year.

A source said a proposal for the pay increase would be tabled in the state assembly on Nov 29.