Veteran oppositionist, Lim Kit Siang, has called on the Cabinet to freeze all increases in salaries and allowances in government-linked companies (GLCs) until the economy recovers.
This comes after FGV Holdings,, which is 80% owned by the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), agreed to increase its chairman’s annual allowance from RM300,000 to RM480,000 at its annual general meeting yesterday.
The hike came into effect yesterday. Meanwhile, the six board directors’ also saw their allowances increase from RM120,000 to RM150,000 a year.
Most people would not even know of these proposals were it not for a social media post that went viral. The commentator, who wrote the post in Bahasa Malaysia, was grimly sarcastic about these pay increases at a time of economic uncertainty amid steeply rising living costs.
It appears that Lim was following up on the apparently popular rant.
Even so, the government seems oblivious to the situation because no one, least of all in Putrajaya, has uttered a word about GLC salaries or anything connected to the economic situation.
Actually, our leaders have said very little about anything meaningful which, given the economic climate, makes me believe that things will get a lot worse before it gets worse.
Indeed, I suspect that’s the main fear of people: they worry that their leaders don’t know what’s going on, and they believe they wouldn’t know what to do even if they did.
What are they all thinking about anyway?
Messrs Najib and Zahid aren’t worried about the cost of living; they note that despite its increasing cost, it remains popular.
They both think an early general election, preferably sometime around now, will see a resounding victory by the National Front. This will somehow get them off their respective legal hooks. The exactly how is unclear but whoever is the premier after the election will presumably provide the answer.
For that reason, it appears that the current incumbent is quite happy with the status quo and sees no reason for an early general election. Dr M and most of the country is happy with this proposition.
All the Finance Minister seems interested in is to be a candidate in said general election. It’s a wish that he telegraphs with increasing urgency to Umno and to the general public which, quite frankly, doesn’t give a hoot.
All the Islamic Party, or Pas, cares about is an electoral pact with Umno, without which, it will be soundly thrashed in the election. It also worries about increasing national immorality which it defines as the morality of anyone having fun.
Tajudin, the boorish MP for Pasir Salak is so mightily chuffed with his ambassadorial appointment to Jakarta that he’s graciously forgiven his critics. They haven’t though and continue to assert his only credentials are idiocy veering on buffoonery.
Meanwhile, Nazri still hankers for a posting in Paris while sulkily insisting that floods in Malaysia could be the next big thing for tourism in the country. In fairness, no one’s ever accused him of sound reasoning in any shape or form.
Now you know why everyone should worry.