Opposition lawmakers urged to donate salaries

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KUCHING: Assemblymen from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and other political parties are urged to emulate state government leaders and donate a portion of their salaries to the State Disaster Fund.

In making the call, Gabungan Parti Sarawak Backbenchers Club (GPSBBC) said it was time they stop politicking, step up and do their role in helping Sarawak recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was responding to PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh who described the two-month salary cut on state government officials as being a political stunt.

“On the contrary, it serves as a symbol of solidarity on the Covid-19 anti-pandemic fight.

“This is not new; this has been done at the federal government level through the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for similar pay cuts on federal Cabinet ministers early this week.

“This was also emulated by other state governments — Johor, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan — regardless of political affiliations and beliefs.

“We are perplexed as to why Datuk Seri Wong decided to politicise the issue when it is never about politics to begin with,” it said in a statement today.

The club said while Wong claimed that the RM3 million was a drop in the ocean in terms of the Sarawak government expenditure, it was never about the amount, but about the spirit of the matter.

“Regardless of sum, at this point of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is crucial that everyone shows support and conviction to see that the spread of the coronavirus comes to a halt,” GPSBBC said.

The club noted that PSB through one of its Presidential Council member had called for similar pay cuts to be made in February this year to purchase gadgets for schoolchildren to follow home based learning.

“Why is it when this is done now that the party opposes the move with all its might?

“Has it forgotten its demand for the pay cuts back then or was it simply a ‘personal opinion’ of one of its members?

“Regardless, we urge that PSB elected assemblymen and other remaining opposition assemblymen volunteer to contribute a portion of their salaries to the State Disaster Fund.”