Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan paid the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin a double-edged compliment, praising the move by ministers and their deputies to contribute three months of their salaries to the Covid-19 fight but questioning why their allowances were not included.
“It should not just be their salaries. It should also include their various allowances and entertainment allowances which are often higher and surpass their salaries.
“Leadership by example in this critical time of crisis is a must and should have been displayed long ago,” said Mohamad in a Facebook post.
Continuing in the vein of mixed compliments, he said the government’s continuation of the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat stimulus measure was a welcome form of aid but that it should have been more targeted.
“Perhaps this strategy could be improved by ensuring the most affected receive more help. Equity in distribution does not mean that everyone gets equal assistance. Those in greater need deserve more,” Mohamad said.
He also called for transparency in the government move to boost allocations for the public health sector.
“Recognising the government’s fiscal constraints, it is important that every penny allocated to increase the capacity of the public health sector is utilised transparently and has the best impact.
“We must learn our lesson from the development of the vaccination registration system which, although comprehensive, does not work well and poses an inconvenience to the people.”
The prime minister yesterday had announced that the salaries, including his, would be channelled to the Disaster Trust Fund to help finance Covid-19-related expenses.
In March last year, cabinet members gave up two months of their salaries to fund Covid-19 expenses.
Muhyiddin made the announcement while unveiling the government’s latest aid package ahead of the lockdown which came into force today.
Among the aid measures announced were loan moratoriums for those in the B40 group as well as those who have been laid off or small businesses that can’t operate during the lockdown.
Under the package detailed last night, B40 households are also eligible to receive between RM100 and RM500 depending on their total earnings.
The lockdown was announced after Covid-19 numbers surged to record highs last week. – Malaysiakini
Related report: May 31, Ministers, deputies to forgo 3-months’ salary to help fight pandemic