SHAH ALAM, 17 Oct: The Political Studies for Change (KPRU) think tank urges Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to emulate the step taken by the Selangor state government in recognising and honouring the position of the Opposition Leader.
According KPRU, the recognition of the Opposition Leader is essential to bridge the gap between the remuneration and various forms of allowances received by the Opposition Leader, Cabinet Ministers and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“The Office of the Opposition Leader should receive allocation for the purpose of employing staffs such as researchers, press officers, executive assistants and so forth to manage with different tasks and affairs in Parliament.
“Such provision is important to enabling the Office of the Opposition Leader to obtain sufficient manpower, as well as allocations in performing and carrying out his duties and responsibilities as the Opposition Leader, as well as an elected representative of the people effectively and smoothly,” KPRU said in a statement.
Prior to this, the Selangor Government strengthened parliamentary democracy in Malaysia by giving special allowances and privileges amounting to RM8,620 per month to the Opposition Leader of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly.
“This was indeed a breakthrough in upholding the principles of democracy, as well as to advocate the rights and roles of the Opposition Leader as a crucial component in a democratic government in carrying out his/her role of check and balance to the existing government,” KPRU said.
KPRU said that in the two terms of leading the state government, the Selangor and Penang Government managed to take the initiative to mobilise the democratisation of State Assemblies and set an example to other state governments.
Ironically, the Central Government, despite ruling for over half a century, has still failed to make important strides.
“Where does BN Government’s ‘face’ (reputation) lie if they are still behind in upholding principles of democracy while they are eagerly shouting of “transformation” and “endless possibilities”,” KPRU said.