These ADUNs can’t be appointed Menteri Besar or be Exco members but will enjoy the full benefits of the ADUN position, including salary and allowances.
The Pahang State Legislative Assembly (DUN) approved quite a controversial amendment yesterday (20 November 2020) whereby the number of State Legislative Assembly Members (ADUN) have been increased from a maximum of 42 to 47. These 5 extra ADUNs can be appointed by the Pahang State Government without going through an election process pending certain requirements.
The requirements, according to the amendment is as per below:
- The individual must be supported by at least 7 elected Pahang ADUNs.
- The 5 appointed ADUNs must be approved by the Pahang DUN via a simple majority.
- These ADUNs can’t be appointed as Menteri Besar of Pahang.
- These ADUNs can’t be appointed as a State Executive Council (Exco) member.
After their appointments, these 5 new ADUNs will take part in debates and committees as well as vote in any bills tabled in the Pahang DUN, giving an advantage to the ruling party to pass any new laws in the state.
While this amendment is not something new within State DUNs as both Sabah and Terengganu DUNs have similar precedent set in place, the timing and circumstances of this amendment have been questioned by opposition lawmakers.
Young Syefura Othman, the ADUN for Ketari, Pahang in astatement questioned why the Pahang State government needed to make such amendments when the state government is a strong one, whereby only 9 out of the current 42 are not from the ruling party. Unlike the current Federal Government which have a slim majority, the Pahang State government do not need additional appointed ADUNs to pass any laws.
She further stressed that adding another 5 ADUNs would only increase the state’s expenditure. Young Syefura asserted,
“For these additional 5 ADUNs, it is estimated that the state have to fork out RM800,000 per year just for their allowances. If we add all the other expenditures allocated for them, it would cost us an additional RM3 million per year.”
Given the increase in expenditure with this appointments, opposition lawmakers argued that now is not the time to exert such a move given the scathing effect of the Covid-19 pandemic to our economy.
However, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail defended the decision despite objections by the opposition. As reported by The Star, Wan Rosy said that the move was for the Pahang government to provide the best service for the well-being of the rakyat as the ratio of an ADUN to population would be decreased. He clarified,
“With this, the services of the ADUNs will be even more effective.”
What do you guys think of this move by the Pahang State Government? Is it a justifiable act or is it unreasonable given the economic situation we are in? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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