Syed Saddiq: Politicians Don't Retire Despite Decades Of Service Because Of The High Pay

The independent lawmaker urged the government to set up a special committee to review elected representatives' wages.

Cover image via Parlimen Malaysia (YouTube) & Prime Minister's Office via Malaysiakini

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Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman thinks the reason many politicians do not want to retire despite decades of service is due to the high pay they enjoy monthly

Speaking at Parliament yesterday, 30 September, the Muar lawmaker said the amount elected representatives are paid must change as it is unfair that the rakyat is suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic while politicians enjoy high salaries.

Among the issues he raised, he said elected representatives can get up to RM100,000 in pension per month depending on how long they serve.

"That is why a lot of young people ask why members of Parliament (MPs) don't want to retire, although they are already old and have served for years," said the independent MP.

"It is because of the excessive pensions."

"The longer you serve as a MP, the bigger your pension."

"So, there are incentives for a MP not to retire early as they want to get more pension," he explained.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

Image via Parlimen Malaysia (YouTube)

In addition to that, Syed Saddiq also highlighted how Cabinet ministers are paid millions of ringgit in gratuity every time they step down

He said the colossal gratuity pay is problematic as every time a minister finishes their service, they will get a payment of over RM1 million.

He said this is extra problematic over the past years, where the government has changed three times and some MPs managed to hold ministerial portfolios three times.

"The government has changed three times in this term. There are ministers who have been reappointed for the third time," said the 28-year-old.

"My question is, will they get a gratuity payment once or thrice."

He said even if the minister serves for one day, their gratuity pay exceeds RM1 million, adding that they could even pay up to RM2 million if their duration of service is long.

The Cabinet members under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's administration.

Image via Prime Minister's Office via Malaysiakini

Besides, he said politicians can also enjoy pensions from various sources due to the different posts they hold

The MUDA co-founder said if a politician has served as a state assemblyperson, a state executive council (exco) member, a MP, a minister, or a senator, the individual can enjoy pensions for each of these positions.

"If you combine all the pensions, it can exceed RM100,000 per month. This is why many MPs don't want to retire despite serving for decades," he told Parliament.

The Selangor State Legislative Assembly sitting on 13 July 2020.

Image via Bernama via Malay Mail

Earlier, the former minister said he knows these things because he used to serve in the government and received a RM55,000 pay cheque every month.

He said a minister receives a lavish home in Putrajaya, a car, a driver, a licence plate that is worth hundreds of thousands, an approved permit (AP) to bring in luxury cars, and a plot of land in Putrajaya, among others.

Married ministers can also get between RM100,000 and RM200,000 for holidays per year, something he said he did not get as he was single.

Hence, he is asking MPs to take this opportunity to have an honest discussion about the high wages they receive.

He proposed that a special committee be set up to review politicians' wages, which also can be used to regulate political funding to ensure each constituency receives fair help.

Earlier, he also remarked that the current administration has the biggest Cabinet in the history of Malaysia.

Watch Syed Saddiq speak about the issue from the 3:15 mark onwards:

Read our earlier report about how much a minister receives a month in addition to their salaries:

With Muhyiddin's appointment as National Recovery Council chairperson — which comes with ministerial status — the current government has the biggest Cabinet in Malaysia history:

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