RM100 for rakyat, RM480k for FGV chair – Kit Siang calls it ‘ludicrous’

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Reiterates call for the government to freeze all salary and allowances increase for government-linked companies.

Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang has contrasted the steep increase in allowances for the board members of FGV Holdings Bhd, a government-linked company, to the meagre cash transfer announced by Putrajaya for people struggling with the rising cost of food.

“It is clearly ludicrous for the prime minister to announce three days ago that families who receive Keluarga Malaysia Aid (BKM) will get an extra RM100 while BKM recipients who are single will receive an additional RM50 in view of the rising cost of living, with chicken and egg prices expected to go up next month after the ceiling prices are abolished on July 1, while the chairpersons and board directors of GLCs and GLICs approve a huge and indecent increase of their salaries and allowances,” Lim said in a statement.

Lim described the 60 percent allowance increase to RM480,000 for FGV chairperson Dzulkifli Abd Wahab and 25 percent increase for six board of directors as a “shame” to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, whose government has been working to contain increasing food prices.

“Ismail Sabri has been shamed by the obscene increase in the allowances of the FGV chairperson and directors to do a U-turn on chicken ceiling price and to announce that the government will not allow any increase in the water and electricity tariffs in Peninsular Malaysia, but this is still grossly inadequate.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

“The U-turn cannot justify the obscene increase in the annual allowances of the FGV chairperson to RM480,000 from RM300,000 and the increase to RM150,000 from RM120,000 for the six board directors,” he said.

The government had on June 21 announced that the ceiling price of chickens will be removed but low-income households will be given an RM100 cash transfer to cope.

However, the government yesterday walked back on removing the ceiling price, stating that it will instead set a new ceiling price in the near future.

The prices of eggs are still expected to be floated while the subsidy for bottled cooking oil was removed.

Amid the rising cost of food, the existing ceiling prices had led to a shortage in supply.

Lim reiterated his call for the government to freeze all salary and allowances increase for government-linked companies.

He added those who violate the directive should be sacked.

“This cabinet directive should be presented to Parliament on July 18 for parliamentary sanction.

“Are there sufficient ministers to make such a cabinet decision next Wednesday?” he said.

He added that the FGV chairperson and board members must also declare that they won’t accept the “indecent” increase in allowances.

“The cabinet and Parliament must send out a strong and unmistakable message that this is the time for belt-tightening and not for extravagance and waste. Will the cabinet and Parliament send out such a message?” he said. – Malaysiakini