Wan Azizah Questions Why This Govt Servant Gets An Allowance Of RM20,000 A Month
Opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah brought up the matter in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, 27 November.
Special Affairs Department (JASA) director-general Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi receives an allowance of more than RM20,000 monthly.
That is more than the monthly salary of Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
Opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah brought up this matter in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, 27 November.
"While checking the 2018 List of Positions, I found that the director of JASA is paid according to Salary Code VU7, which has a scale of maximum RM20,592 a month, which is more than the salary of the multimedia and communications minister - RM14,907.20 a month," she explained, as reported by The Malaysian Insight yesterday.
She questioned why a JASA chief gets paid more than a minister and long-serving civil servants and opined that their salaries and allowances should come from UMNO or BN funds, instead of the money of taxpayers.
"I ask, what is the rationale for salaries amounting to RM12.8 million for 272 JASA staff, whose sole duty is to be the campaign launchers for UMNO-BN?"
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari as saying JASA director-general's salary is fixed by the Ministry of Finance, even before the Public Service Commission (PSA) appoints someone to fill the position.
JASA is one of the Federal Departments under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. According to Jailani, JASA's duties include arranging plans, executing strategic programmes and activities, educating and persuading people on the governments's policies and current issues based on facts.
"This is in line with the aim of JASA's establishment, which is to preserve and protect political stability by providing the public with a good and accurate awareness of current affairs," said Jailani.
Commonly dubbed as BN's propaganda arm by the opposition, JASA was allocated RM30 million in Budget 2018, compared to the RM22.9 million allocation in 2017
Jailani, who is also the Hulu Terengganu MP, explained that the 31.1% increase was to pay the salaries of 177 people in the department who were promoted to permanent staff recently.
Responding to the issue, BN strategic communications director Eric See-To said that JASA's staff can be reduced if Pakatan Harapan leaders stopped spreading lies
"If Harapan leaders and their propaganda team can lessen or eliminate fake news and their lies, I am confident that the number of JASA staff can be reduced.
"Fake news and lies are dangerous as it undermines the confidence of our people and the economy. Hence, it must be countered quickly and intelligently. This is a big part of JASA's job," said See-To in a Facebook post on his page yesterday.