KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — An average of RM48,000 in wage expenses is spent on staff assigned to the offices of each government special envoy, a parliamentary written reply has revealed.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob gave the latest disclosure in a parliamentary reply yesterday to Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, who asked for the overall cost including remuneration, allowances, office occupancy and staff for the minister-level special envoys between 2020 and 2021.
In the salary expenditures breakdown provided, each special envoy is provided a total of five staff — a senior private secretary, special officer, private secretary, office secretary and a driver — under the employment allocations in the Service Agreement as stipulated.
Accordingly, the salaries paid are listed under the Public Service Department’s Minimum-Maximum Salary Schedule that is currently enforced.
For a Grade 54 senior private secretary, the estimated maximum monthly salary is RM13,251 with a fixed allowance of RM2,000.
For a Grade 52 special officer, the estimated monthly salary is RM12,444 with a fixed allowance of RM1,600.
For a Grade 41/44 private secretary, the estimated monthly salary is RM10,406 with a fixed allowance of RM1,100.
Lastly, an office secretary with an estimated monthly salary of RM3,256 with a fixed allowance of RM810; and a driver with an estimated monthly salary of RM2,939 with a fixed allowance of RM745.
“All of the special envoy’s offices, that is the special envoy to the Middle East, People’s Republic of China and East Asia, have been placed within existing office space at the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya without any cost,” Ismail Sabri added.
Based on the aforementioned figures provided, the exact total monthly wage expenditures comes up to RM48,551 per special envoy (RM145,653 for all three) or roughly RM1.74 million annually.
In his maiden Cabinet meeting on September 1, Ismail Sabri said the Cabinet has agreed to continue the appointment of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as Special Envoy to the Middle East, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing as Special Envoy to China and Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem as Special Envoy to East Asia (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan).
The special envoys enjoy the same rank as federal ministers. Hadi and Tiong are the presidents of PAS and PDP, respectively, while Riot is the deputy president of SUPP.
Their reappointment follows the formation of a new government and swearing-in of Ismail Sabri as Malaysia’s 9th prime minister after they were deemed to have resigned when Ismail Sabri’s predecessor, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down in August.