Kit Siang: Freeze salary, allowance increases in GLCs and GLICs

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Increase in allowances of FGV’s chairman and directors ‘not only excessive in troubled economic times, but downright obscene’.

FMT

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has called on the Cabinet to freeze all increases in salaries and allowances in government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) until the economy recovers.

He urged the Cabinet to issue a directive to this effect and present it to Parliament on July 18 for its approval.

He said those who violate the directive should be sacked.

This comes after FGV Holdings Bhd, which is 80% owned by the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), agreed to increase its chairman’s annual allowance from RM300,000 to RM480,000 at its annual general meeting yesterday.

The hike, which came into effect yesterday, will also see the six board directors’ allowances increased from RM120,000 to RM150,000.

In a statement today, Lim, the Iskandar Puteri MP, said the increase was “not only excessive in troubled economic times, but downright obscene”.

He said the Cabinet and Parliament must send a strong signal that now was the time for belt-tightening and not for “extravagance and waste”.

He noted that FGV’s decision came only a day after Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob announced that families who receive Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) cash aid will receive an extra RM100 while BKM recipients who are single will receive an additional RM50.

At the FGV AGM, a provision for the chairman’s use of company cars was also approved, with an annual vehicle allowance of RM180,000 for petrol, toll and maintenance fees.

A formal business allowance of RM1,000 per day will also be provided to the non-executive chairman and non-executive directors to attend meetings with government representatives or third parties such as consultants, bankers and advisers.

FGV is one of the world’s largest producers of crude palm oil (CPO), accounting for about 15% of Malaysia’s total annual CPO production. – FMT