KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The Sabah assembly’s decision to approve salary increases of up to 40 per cent for officials and lawmakers was inappropriate when Malaysians were struggling with a cost of living crisis, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Pakatan Harapan chairman reminded the elected leaders that it was essential to prioritise the welfare of the public over themselves, and more so when major sections of the country were struggling with spiralling food prices.

“I ask that this decision not be continued, after taking into account the hardships and difficulties of Malaysians,” he said in a statement.

Earlier today, the Sabah assembly voted through two Bills to raise the salaries of the governor, state ministers, executives, and assemblymen by up to 40 per cent effective March 1.

They will see the chief minister’s salary increase from RM23,595 to RM33,033; the deputy chief ministers’ salary increase from RM20,872.50 to RM29,221.50; and the ministers and Speaker’s salaries increase from RM16,335 to RM22,869.

The deputy Speakers and deputy ministers’ salaries will go from RM12,705 to 17,787 while state assemblymen will get paid RM11,130, up from RM7,950, and political secretaries will now receive RM7,623, up from RM5,445.

The last time there was an amendment to the salaries was in 2015, which saw a 50 per cent hike; before that in 2009, salaries were increased by up to 60 per cent.