SHAH ALAM, 3 Jan: The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has been urged to immediately stop from appointing special envoys and advisers who are paid handsomely.
The Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru, Sim Tze Tzin, said that Barisan Nasional (BN) should explain the rationale behind the latest appointment of the Member of Parliament for Bintulu, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sin, as the latest “Special Envoy with Ministerial status” to East Asia.
Tze Tzin said that Malaysia already has good functioning diplomatic professionals working in East Asian countries like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
“With the country’s tight fiscal condition and a federal debt that is approaching the 55% (of GDP) debt ceiling, does Malaysia really need the extra burden of appointing yet another special ambassador?
“The Prime Minister recently announced 11 austerity measures to cut government spending. He should announce a further 12th step; abolishing all paid positions of 4 Special Envoys and 13 Special Advisers under the Prime Minister’s Department,” he said in a statement today.
Recently, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, announced the appointment of Datuk Seri Tiong King Sin as a Special Envoy to East Asia.
Now, the Prime Minister has four special envoys and 13 special advisers, who mostly hold ministerial statuses and involve the greatest amount in the history of Malaysia.
In the last Parliamentary session, Tze Tzin filed a motion under Standing Order Rule 66 (9), at the committee stage of the Supply Bill 2014 to urge the Prime Minister’s Department to cut the salaries of the Special Ambassadors totaling RM980,179.20 (RM27,227.20 x 3 persons x 12 months).
“Although the motion was allowed to be debated by the Speaker of the House – a rare occurrence on its own, the motion was heavily opposed by members of the ruling party and the motion was rejected,” he said.
According to answers in Parliament, apart from enjoying the same Ministerial allowances and benefits, a Special Envoy enjoys a monthly salary of RM27,227.20; higher than a Minister’s.
They also enjoy offices funded by the government, and many of these Special Ambassadors are allocated s personal secretary, personal assistant and police escorts by the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).