Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:41 AM PST
By Helen Ang
The DAP has been going around town loudly proclaiming that Hannah Yeoh is the country's youngest ever Speaker. Therefore when her term as Speaker finishes, she will be eligible to collect a hefty pension for the rest of her life.
Do please remember that women live longer than men. Thus the pension to be paid to Hannah Yeoh – if she lives long and prospers – should ultimately touch tens of million ringgit, given that she is only 34 now.
Your Pakatan top (exco) politicians – "claps, claps, claps!" (a meme popularized in Twitterjaya by former DAP Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching) – had voted to give themselves a stratospheric pay rise, with Hannah Yeoh's being the second highest.
She voted to give herself an increase in her Speaker's salary amounting to RMRM16,400. The Speaker's salary is going to almost triple from RM6,100 to RM22,500 per month.
Her state assemblyman salary, separately, is slated to go up to RM11,250 per month from RM6,000. Therefore she will be collecting altogether RM21,650 in salary rise. This amount refers to the increment alone.
Are you aware that the Selangor state legislature (DUN) met only total of 21 days last year? The Selangor state assembly sittings in 2012 were — First Session (7 times: 19-23 March, 26-27 March), Second Session (4 times: 9-12 July), Third Session (10 times: 19-23 Nov, 26-30 Nov).
If we take the Speaker's basic monthly pay of RM22,500 multiply by 12 months, that makes RM270,000 per annum. If you divide that annual pay by the 21 days that the assembly sits throughout the year, this will give us a figure of RM12,857.14 to be received by Hannah Yeoh for her attendance at each day's sitting.
This is presuming that Hannah Yeoh presides over every single one of those 21 days. In the past, Hannah held the record for the most ponteng, i.e. she was the Selangor representative who had absented herself the most days from the DUN meetings.
Since Malaysians mudah lupa, some of you may have already forgotten that the Pakatan Selangor state assemblymen (Aduns) had voted to give themselves a raise in allowance a mere two years ago – in April 2011.
Selangor Aduns are among the best paid and given in excess of RM10,800 (old rates) in allowances, inclusive of basic and special allowances, housing allowance, entertainment allowance, phone allowance, allowance for a driver and allowance for their constituency office expenditure.
The various allowances granted the Speaker has not been made public, so I'm unaware. However Hannah Yeoh's Speaker basic salary plus Adun basic salary plus Adun allowances add up to a take-home pay of at least RM44,560 ++ per month.
Malaysia's minimum wage is RM900. Therefore the Selangor Speaker will be earning almost 50 times the income of Malaysia's poor wage earner.
Last year the International Labour Organization did a world survey and found that the average monthly salary in Malaysia is USD 961 (RM3,107). Considering that the Selangor Speaker enjoys a lot of civil servants perks such as free healthcare and all that, Hannah Yeoh can be said to earn something like 15 times the income of the Average Mamat.
Perhaps if the Ordinary Joe learns to hone his tweeting and Instagram skills, he may have a bright future venturing into DAP populist politics.
At this juncture, some of you may want to trot out the trope that "You pay peanuts, you get Anwar" to justify the high pay for your Pakatan pollies.
"Don't tell me that the poorer you are, the more corrupt you become!", Umno Johor Baru MP Shahrir Samad was quite correct to exclaim.
It is insulting to suggest that a person with an income of RM6,000 will be more prone to corruption than his colleague with an income of RM12,000.
One can equally argue that the bigger the payout, the greater the greed. Someone who is used to pampering himself with relative comforts will grow to want more of the same.
This condition recalls the saying 'power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely'. The man with a smallish job responsibility may be content with a bribe of RM10,000 whereas the gatekeeper with a biggish clout may be expect his palm to be greased with at least RM100,000. In other words, small salaried man, small bribe, big salaried man, big bribe.
Shahrir also correctly pointed out that "corruption is a matter of GREED and lack of morals, not about a lack of money".
Some readers may recall the Enron scandal. Now don't tell me the Enron CEOs should have been paid even bigger salaries so that they will not succumb to temptation.
According to the article 'Pay Madness At Enron' in Forbes magazine (22 March 2002), the company's top five executives received payments of $282.7 million in the year 2000 alone. And during the five-year period between 1996 and 2000, Enron paid its top five execs more than USD500 million. Their lucrative paycheques did not deter the scandal from erupting, did it?
This recent episode of the Selangor Speaker and her Deputy's salary leap clearly displays how self-serving are the young Pakatan carpetbagger newbies, i.e. those who did not emerge from the ranks of the grassroots. Greedy buggers ...
When asked to justify why she deserved such a humongous remuneration (urm, what exactly is it that the Speaker does anyway?), the Selangor Speaker scatters her shotgun take potshots at the "First Lady", at "private jets" and at "diamonds (ring)".
So if there's a screw-up in Selangor, you can expect Hannah Yeoh to employ a similar diversion tactic and point her finger at some shortcoming apropos of nothing occurring in Putrajaya, Iskandar or Labuan.
Also BN representatives (Ministers, MPs) must beware if your children are not "babies" like hers but a bit older in age. The Pakatan politicians will automatically assume that your son or daughter are "involved in doing business with the government" (getting contracts).
Oh, wait a minute! I get it now the job specs of popular DAP politicians who have hordes of ardent followers provide excuses and partisan endorsement on why their favourite politician's obscene greed should be rewarded.The job of the DAP top rung mascots in Selangor is to cultivate personality cults. It's a lucrative trade. And the safety net is always there with fanatical worshippers ready to step into the breach to aggressively defend their political icons, and slander critics and opponents.
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