KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 ― Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah today refuted claims that Cabinet ministers were entitled to RM5,700 parking allowance monthly after a snippet from an undated newspaper detailing ministers’ wage and allowances went viral.
Saifuddin, who is also Foreign Affairs minister, said there was no such parking allowance to his knowledge.
“Bro, minister parking allowance? Please kindly explain. Because as far as I know, such a thing does not exist,” Saifuddin said in reply to a Twitter post by Effi Saharudin or @1Obefiend that has since been deleted.
“The information is incorrect,” he added in a later tweet.
Effi later said he deleted his tweet because he felt guilty of spreading unverified information without elaborating further.
According to the alleged newspaper cutting, it stated that the ministers’ wage and allowance was based on information that went viral on the Internet and not obtained through official means.
Maklumat tersebut tak betul. https://t.co/wdnxdHywiU— Saifuddin Abdullah (@saifuddinabd) December 26, 2019
Later Saifuddin explained that the monthly wage and allowance of each minister were the same with the exception of the prime minister and the deputy prime minister.
“If there is a different notation, it is because each of them have their own deductions (debt repayment, party contributions and others) that are different,” he said, referring to a list of Cabinet minister’s asset declaration list published by a news portal.
The viral posting kicked up a firestorm on social media, with many urging the government to instead cut “overpaid” ministers’ allowance rather than the Critical Service Incentive Payment (BIPK) allowance for civil servants.
On December 20, the Public Service Department (JPA) announced that doctors, engineers, architects and various professionals once deemed vital to Malaysia’s development will no longer receive a “critical” allowance when they join the civil service starting January 1, 2020.
The policy review has sparked widespread backlash, including criticism from Cabinet ministers who said the allowance cut could drive talent out of the public sector.