'Defected ex-reps earning more than assemblypersons'The BN-led Perak state government has been accused of “reciprocating” two defected former state assemblypersons - Hee Yit Foong and Keshvinder Singh, who quit DAP to be BN-friendly Independent legislators, by specially appointing them to highly-paid posts after the May 5 general election.
Describing the appointments as “ridiculous”, Canning assemblyperson Wong Kah Woh of DAP revealed that Hee was appointed as Caring Society Council coordinator, while Keshvinder (right) was named the menteri besar’s special adviser on non-Islamic affairs in August this year.
Wong told Malaysiakini today that the salaries for the duo were even higher than those of elected state assemblypersons.
According to a written reply by the state government to Wong, Hee’s monthly salary for the post is RM5,000 with a driver’s allowance worth RM1,000, while Keshvinder got RM5,331.25 and an extra allowance of RM1,550 per month.
This is relatively higher than the monthly remuneration of a Perak state assemblyperson that totals RM4,112.
“The BN government utilises the people’s money to reciprocate the ‘political frogs’. This is a very ridiculous act,” chided Wong (left).
In 2009, the Pakatan-led Perak government collapsed after three then-assemblypersons - PKR’s Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Osman Jailu as well as deputy assembly speaker Hee of DAP - quit their parties to become “BN-friendly” legislators.
A year later, Keshvinder joined the “BN-friendly” group by quitting DAP.
In the 2008 general election, Pakatan took over the state government with a mere three-seat majority, bagging 31 seats while BN held 28 seats.
Four years later, BN defended its power in Perak with a slim three-seat majority, too, in the May general election.
Both Hee and Keshvinder were not fielded as candidate in the last election, but Menteri Besar ZambryAbdul Kadir appointed them to special posts in the new session of the state assembly that commenced in August.
‘Posts did not exist before last polls’
To this, Wong opined that BN rewarded the duo by setting up these special posts, which did not exist before the last election.
He further questioned whether Jamaluddin and Osman might get appointments as well within half a year.
“I had once asked about the jurisdiction and responsibilities for the posts, but this remained unanswered,” said Wong.
He urged Zambry to explain to the public whether the appointments were meant for any political pursposes.
Yesterday, PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tsin revealed that unelected parliamentary coordinators operating in Penang constituencies lost by BN are paid a monthly salary of RM5,860 from the federal coffers, while state constituency coordinators are paid RM3,630 a month.