Why not slash entertainment allowances of Cabinet Ministers by 50%?

The first of many questions that come to the mind of Malaysians on the RM2 billion cost-cutting package announced by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is:

If the government can increase oil prices from 41 to 63 per cent, why can’t it slash the entertainment allowances of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers by 50% and not just a paltry 10%?

The question becomes all the more poignant when it is disclosed that the current entertainment allowances are RM18,865 for the prime minister, RM15,015 for the deputy prime minister, RM12,320 for ministers and RM6,000 for deputy ministers.

What about all the other allowances, including tips allowances which run into hundreds of ringgit a day, which ministers and deputy ministers are entitled to?

For a start, all the various forms of allowances which cabinet ministers and deputy ministers are entitled to should be made public not only as a a form of leadership by example in terms of accountability, transparency and good governance but also to demonstrate that the ministers and deputy ministers feel the pain of the people caused by the unconscionable and callous oil price hikes ranging from 41 to 63 per cent.

Abdullah’s statement that the cost-cutting measures he announced yesterday “will not be the first or the last” and that many other announcements will be made by the government is testimony that these measures are “after thoughts” after the manifestation of public anger and outrage over the brutal and hefty oil price increases when mitigation measures should have been part of any Cabinet decision causing far-reaching inflationary repercussions imposing great financial hardships on all vulnerable sectors of the Malaysian population.

The public anger and outrage at the unconscionable and callous oil price hikes had been aggravated by the lack of any sign that the government is prepared to end its waste, extravagance, misappropriation of public funds, lack of accountability and the many mega-scandals like the Petronas billions and the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal – further example that the Cabinet had not learnt the lessons of the March 8 “political tsunami” to be a caring, responsible, just and people-oriented administration.

It is no wonder that Malaysians regard the RM2 billion cost-cutting measures, described as the “first” of such measures, as not only too little and too late, but shows lack of seriousness to provide proper government leadership by example to lead Malaysians to tide through the hard economic hard times facing the country.

  1. #1 by Mr Smith on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:45 am

    This what I posted in my blog ( http://mrsmith2.blogspot.com/) today on this announcement.

    Is the Federal Government sincere in wanting to cut back on expenditure?

    “Everybody will have to be thrifty in these difficult times, including the Government” said the Prime Minister.(Star June 9)

    Is that so?
    Just a day earlier Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin lamented that the Federal Government was interfering in the affairs of the state by appointing its own village chiefs.

    There is a disconnect between what the Federal Government says and does. Little wonder the people don’t trust the BN government anymore, even when it speak the truth.

    If it wants to save on unnecessary expenditure, why is it wasting funds on appointing new village chief when this is entirely the responsibility of the state government. Moreover the state government has already appointed its own village heads.

    Isn’t this a duplication of functions and incurring additional operation and development costs like salaries, allowance and projects for UMNO contractors and cronies?

    This additional expenditure on the part of the Federal Government is surely abuse of funds to prop up UMNO’s declining fortunes in the state.

    If the tourism ministry pursues with its plans to appoint federal tourism agencies and officers in the five Pakatan states, then the Prime Minister’s exhortations of cost-cutting will not hold water?

    This is called additional expenditure and extravagance, not cost-cutting, Sir!

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:50 am

    I wonder who are the ministers supposedly entertaining (in private). As far as I know they are being entertained. :)

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:52 am

    RM6,000 entertainment for deputy ministers – not much – it takes only one night to spend all in our expensive karaoake joints.

  4. #4 by madmix on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:52 am

    This 10% is just a gimmick to show how caring they are. With most of them having all kinds of side income from contracts etc. even a 100% pay cut would not make any difference to their personal wealth and lifestyle. The civil servants now want to be able to do part time work outside!
    Just by doing away with the negotiated tender thing and doing away with lucrative supply contracts to the connected and buying at market price, I am sure 30% of government expenditure can be saved. and this will be many times more than that 2 billion.

  5. #5 by comingto50 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:52 am

    “This is called additional expenditure and extravagance, not cost-cutting, ”

    I agree 101%.

    Ask them to use public transport. Change their lifestyle first.

  6. #6 by Anti_NEP on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:54 am

    10% cut in entertainment allowance to save the nation’s coffer? What a joke from the flip flop sleepy PM. Petronas is making more than 80 billion ringgit a year and the government can’t fork out 5 billion to subsidise the petrol? The new executive jet that ferries him around the globe is costing more than 300 million USD. Poorah la BN – Barang Naik

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:54 am

    Not abnormal for Corporate entertainment – RM150,000 per month set aside. (Entertaining Ministers & heads of govt depts or quasi depts, DOs etc)!

  8. #8 by Short-sleeve on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:02 pm

    We gotta suffer while these UMNO-BN crooks enjoy life.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:05 pm

    “Two worlds just across the street.” It has already happened in India. Tomorrow in Malaysia?

  10. #10 by ckchung on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:05 pm

    Malaysia government didn’t see the pain of the people, for me it start wrong way back 80th when Malaysia built the Proton, built the highway, actually East Malaysia benefited from not built all this tolled highway in Sabah and Sarawak which motivate people to buy more and more cars. In West Malaysia people travelling to work by 100km a day compare to East Malaysia we may be travelling 30 to 50km a day to work. What happen to West Malaysia is that they build the housing area far away from city and without proper transportation system to connect them to city centre.

  11. #11 by danchungs on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:06 pm

    Come on there is alot of J.J in BN lah they need fine wine,cohiba cigar and beautiful girls for entertainment lah if they slash then who will give it to them lahhhhh

  12. #12 by k1980 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:08 pm

    Ask them to use public transport. Change their lifestyle first.

    Imagine AAB with his retinue of bodyguards and hangers-on using the bus. No seats left for any one else after they have boarded the bus. We may just have to sit on the roof….

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:08 pm

    I believe the government’s cost cutting measures are for its own good not really for the rakyat’s welfare. Seeing the looming threats from Anwar and PR in the coming months, the government is quick to adopt a sympathetic move to lure the rakyat in thinking that it cares for them.

    If the government really loves and cares for the rakyat, it would have practised frugality the first day it took office instead of indulging in profligate extravagance and wanton wastage of the nation’s resources.

  14. #14 by daniel on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:17 pm

    Parliament must force the PM to disclose the total payroll package inclusive of all allowances & perks paid to ministers and their deputies. I believe that govt department heads are also given these perks.

    If expenses for official functions are already paid by the govt, does this mean that the allowances are used for ministers’ private entertainment, travel etc? Further, if a 10% cut is worth RM2b, is the PM inadvertently revealing that the total ministerial allowances is RM20b?

  15. #15 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:31 pm

    Isn’t there a photo of a Dato, Datok, Datuk enjoying his fine wine and Cuban cigar?

    A 10% cut in “entertainment” expenses is just not enough. Most of the time they “entertain” themselves. Any “shortfall”, if there is really any, is quickly made up by the many who line up to entertain them.

    They should all take the lead by cuti-cuti Malaysia. The RM 2.70 petrol hike will affect the local tourism industry as people travel less.

    Can someone publish the full salary scales and allowances for the PM, DPM, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Chief Ministers, Secretary Generals etc etc. Also for MPs and SAs?

    Maybe publish the running cost for that RM 200 million luxury plane?

    Cut out all the fancy launches and cenderamatas? And all the fancy suits and blazers, “uniforms” and “track suits” they give out everytime they have some function or others? Recycle the old ones.

    Better still. Just stop the “summer camps” aka “National Service” which just enriches somebody.

    And stop the free or cheap petrol for the government. Stop the petrol thiefs who steal petrol from government vehicles like ambulances. And stop the staff from using government vehicles to “jalan-jalan” with their families and friends during the weekends.

    Change our lifestyles? Please start at the top.

  16. #16 by mauriyaII on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:32 pm

    Why do the PM, DPM, ministers and deputy ministers need entertainment allowances in the first place? Aren’t they being paid hefty salaries, paid holidays, paid official cum holiday packages whenever they and their entourage go overseas for conferences,seminars and other functions?

    If the BN government and the cabinet is really sincere in helping the rakyat through these difficult times, they should walk the talk by slashing their entertainment allowances by 50% or scapping it altogether until the economic condition improves in favour of the rakyat.

    What is the big idea in cutting the allowances by 10% when the rakyat is burdened with hefty price hikes in petrol and diesel? To make matters worse the hike in TNB rates in uncalled for as TNB and IPPs have are still being subsidized.

    What irks me most as a taxpayer is when the cabinet thinks it very prudent not to review the toll rates and the taking over of certain roads under toll if the concessionaires had already recouped their investment and made more than enough profit. Why talk about a caring government when it doesn’t seem to understand what ‘caring society’ really means?

    The price of essentials and services have already started rising with unscruplous businessmen exploiting the situation.Unless there is efficient enforcement, the rakyat is going to face hardship of the worse kind.

  17. #17 by cheng on soo on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:33 pm

    10 % = RM 2 bil, so 100 % = RM20 bil, wah!
    If the RM20 bil give to say 5 mil family, each family, RM4,000. they nvr say, this is per month or per year.
    Does this mean, each family subsidize RM4,000 for this expense??

  18. #18 by pjboy on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:37 pm

    Another concern is does Petronas or the government actually keep any crude oil reserves? Or do we use the mega profits to stock up crude oil in case? If not, then is really bad planning & management of such an important resource.

    Increasing the price at the pump does not significantly reduce the consumption nor conserve our oil. There is still a large portion being used for transportation of goods. It’s all part of the economy. Moroever, do we have a 1st class public transport system? All our buses are also black smoke producers.

    If there are no pro-active & positive measures taken to counter the oil price increase (which effects the whole nation), then the government is actually taking steps to retract the economy. We will become like Indonesia eventually. It appears the government seem to be engineering it towards that direction.

    The RM 2B saved a year is another joke. It sounds a lot. But to say 20M people, it’s only RM 100 per person. I say the benchmark should be raised to RM 1000 per person.

    Pro-active measures the government should take include abolish all sales related tax to energy conserving vehicles such as hybrids & ngv; or even a tax-rebate as the consumption of fuel will be more than 50% a year by the hybrids.

    99% of ngv are taxis…if any subsidy, it’s nothing compared to the billions of profit. How many taxis are there against private vehicles anyway? This is not the issue.

    Positive measures should be abolish of tolls, no sales related tax on all vehicles (this is approx. from RM 20K per car, starting with a VIOS), allow other petrol stations to have ngv facility (at the moment monopolize by Petronas). Why tolls? Abolishing the tolls will only cause financial stress to those at the top only…say, only 12 people. Whereas abolishing the toll will cause severe happiness to over 20Million people.

    The removal of fuel subsidy should be more than sufficient for government to maintain the highways to be freeways. The people in PLUS, etc will not lose their job. They automatically become a service to the public…which will also earn them pensions, etc. So, what’s wrong with that? So, abolishing tolls like PLUS, will only hurt those at the top but benefit the nation & rakyat. This is positive measure to me. The rest are chicken-feed measures to hide the truth.

  19. #19 by cheng on soo on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:41 pm

    Jeffrey Says:

    Today at 11: 50.19 (46 minutes ago)
    ” I wonder who are the ministers supposedly entertaining (in private). As far as I know they are being entertained.”??
    Ya, betul, sokong

  20. #20 by whitecoffee on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:41 pm

    How many MPs do we need? Sarawak has 31, Sabah 25, Johor 26, Selangor 22, Perak 24, etc. The MP for Putrajay only service 6608 voters !!! Compare the amount of work that he can contribute with that of another MP, say Batu Gajah??? Malaysia needs to do more trimmings !

  21. #21 by nus on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:44 pm

    Why only the allowances. Pay also cut. Then we would have full confidence of leadership by example.

  22. #22 by Bobster on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:46 pm

    Exactly, 10% cost cutting only RM2 billion saving. So does that mean RM20 billion spend each year solely for entertainment purposes?!

    Absurd Bankrupt Nasional! No wonder now in deep s**t and stop bulls**t!

  23. #23 by leealex24 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:49 pm

    Firstly, for what it’s worth, the action taken by the government to cut their allowance indicates their sincerity in alleviating the woes faced by the people. However, on a more objective level, I personally feel that 10% allowance reduction especially of just the allowance is minimal and while you and I are essentially just crunching numbers, I would think there should be 30% cut instead. The people are now going through difficult times and it’s only necessary that cost cutting measures begin from our leaders.

  24. #24 by pjboy on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:54 pm

    Another thing to thrash out. Whatever money being saved now will only go towards fuel. Does this bring positive movement to the economy? If the equation is balanced, whatever the $ saves on fuel-subsidy will become the expense of the rakyat on fuel. So, RM 50B saved will become RM 50B expense to the rakyat on fuel. Simple as that. The RM 50B will not go into the economy as it is only being spent to enrich one company – Petronas. Correct?

    All activities will increase in cost: industry, construction, transportation, services, food, etc etc. Inflation & cost of living will spiral exponentially. I don’t believe the whole situation was well thought out. It was an impulsive & desperate measure for whatever reasons. The truth is out there!

    Countries that don’t adopt fuel susbidy have FREEWAYS (UK, Australia). Not private roads, perhaps except for certain bridges. It’s only in Malaysia that we have to pay toll from SS2 to Puchong. It’s hardly 5km apart. Some tolls just 2km apart (esp. Lebuhraya Guthrie). It’s been studied & proven by German experts that majority exhaust pollution come from tolls coz all vehicles have to stop & go, eating up more fuel. Not to mention, the JAMs at tolls which does not help. So, if the government is really serious in tackling & preaching such issues such as conservation – think again. Very hard.

    YAB LKS, should also suggest that all MPs & Cabinet Ministers who own more than 1 car should not receive more than 1 road tax rebate. All MPs & Cabinet ministers do not pay for the fuel (claimed expenses by tax-$) in the first place – thus, by right, should not qualify for the rebate at all.

  25. #25 by lupus on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:55 pm

    Wow, is that why there were sooooo many ministers in the last Govt ? How much did it cost the tax payer to feed all these ministers? To top it off, it kinda of funny considering who are the main tax payer in Malaysia.

  26. #26 by pjboy on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 12:57 pm

    Enterntainment => forged receipts to claim for own pocket lah !

  27. #27 by negarawan on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:02 pm

    Let’s not talk about slashing these useless UMNO and BN allowances. Let’s talk about removing them from Parliament altogether. People like Rais Yatim who’s got nothing better to do than to claim Gilligan’s Island and rocks. Let’s remember it is the Rakyat who pays their salaries. Do these UMNO and BN fools deserve them?

  28. #28 by riversandlakes on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:02 pm

    We want independent audit on all these extra expenses. The Gov must table before Parliament all of these “hidden” avenues of extra expenditures!

  29. #29 by k1980 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:05 pm

    Each and every citizen must be given a monthly RM500 rebate for the price increases in foodstuff and other neccessities as a direct consequence of the 41% petrol price hike. Our belts cannot be tightened any more.

  30. #30 by Godfather on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:08 pm

    This is what happens when you put a guy who failed entrance statistics in front of the press to announce cost cutting measures. He really does not understand that by equating the reduction of 10 pct of expenses to RM 2 billion, he is telling the whole world that the total expenses equals RM 20 billion. In effect, he digs a deeper hole for himself and BN, with predictable consequences.

    No wonder the 4th floor boys try as much as possible to ensure that he minimises his time in front of cameras or answers ad hoc questions.

  31. #31 by Godfather on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:10 pm

    If you cut expenses by 50 pct, who would want to continue to be in the cabinet ? Parliament will be full of truants !

  32. #32 by flyer168 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:11 pm

    Dear YB LKS,

    ” If the government can increase oil prices from 41 to 63 per cent, why can’t it slash the entertainment allowances of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers by 50% and not just a paltry 10%?”

    You are still being kind to them…

    With this “artifically created” fuel hike & the financial tsunami fast approaching…those “Promises & Freebies” are only “Rhetorics”….a thing of the past !

    Let us ALL stop pretending & do something……..stop all the CORRUPTION, Petronas WASTAGES, BN EXCESSES, KETETUANAN issues & MORE LIES !!!!

    The way the BN government is handling the situation at this point in time, they seem to want to punish the rayaat even more !

    So now we see why DPM is in UK at this CRITICAL point in time, again at the rayaat’s expense……doing what…..???

    A commenter in Sloone’s blog had indicated that this is the 2008 wu zi year….

    Revolt is Brewing…..& 18th September might be too late !

    Yes, we all have to start fastening our sealbelts !

  33. #33 by Godfather on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:13 pm

    The way Badawi is handling this crisis shows exactly the state of affairs of BN – full of headless chickens running around not knowing what to do. He could have postponed the fuel hike by a few days to coincide with the announcement of cost-cutting measures but it had to take a lot of public anger to wake him up. Having woken up, his austerity measures are too little, too late.

    Just put these clowns out of their misery.

  34. #34 by oknyua on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:16 pm

    Allowances cut by 50%? You guys seemed to forget AAB would be left alone in the BN if the cut is anything above 10%.

    How much is a minster’s allowance? Say it’s RM10,000. Cut 10% is one RM1,000. Ha..ha… cannot feel anything. After all, free petrol, freee this and free that… and compensation from other sources of income.

  35. #35 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:19 pm

    All for show only. They can cut 10% in front but when they turn back, their “extra income” increases by 20%!

  36. #36 by seaturtle on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:19 pm

    Dear YB,

    No need to waste your time talking to all this USELESS, HOPELESS AND HEARTLESS people…

    Frankly, i have given up this current monkeys and my one and only wish and hope is that Anwar must in power in Sept (I can’t wait till next GE already)…

    PAKATAN RAKYAT is the only one who can save all rakyat out from the mud….

    I can’t do anything but to pray hard and hopefully my dream can come true!

    It’s sad to see so many monkeys around…….

  37. #37 by oknyua on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:21 pm

    Godfather, he is trying to mitigate damage. Don’t you realise the damag inflicted is greater than the savings he obtained. Fortunately, savings is real hard cash while suffering is evenly disrubuted among the people.

    Savings, as YB Lim Kit Siang suggested, can be used to prop his regime.

    The suffering… it’s us, especially the long-boats users in Rejang River, Baram River and Kinabatangan River. I was just back from Sibu and I can tell you the people there are crying, real adults crying, thanks to PM Abdullah and Sharir Samad.

  38. #38 by seaturtle on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:22 pm

    Friends, this is the only hope i guess. Watch Anwar’s latest ceramah in Gombak if you want…


  39. #39 by rainbowseahorse on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:22 pm

    Not 50% lah!…Should be 63.3% slash plus NO PAID Vacation to any Asian region…maybe just to local Malaysian destination.

    In today’s papers, there is a report of a rm35 increase in ferry charges from Tawau to Nunukan (Indonesia). Why does this costs increase makes it to the newspaper? Is this further proof that we have imported Indonesian BUMIPUTRAS in our Sabah government who will be affected by the ferry fare increase as it would hurt their pockets when they go “home” to visit their close family members or even their parents???

  40. #40 by k1980 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:28 pm

    I was just back from Sibu and I can tell you the people there are crying, real adults crying, thanks to PM Abdullah and Sharir Samad.
    Serves them right and proper for returning BN to power in sarawak (and sabah). They should be thrown into the river to feed the crocs!

  41. #41 by nazryan on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:29 pm

    High Court judge makes explosive judicial disclosures
    Posted by labisman
    Tuesday, 10 June 2008

    Please read this in MalaysiaToday… It is Justice Datuk H C Ian Chin disclosures prior to deliberating on the proceedings of the election file by DAP candidate for Sarikei.

    We can’t argue now that no just had ever been made since the last 20 years or so. If there are, it was by integrity and honest Judge. Can’t imagine living in an era like that facing tremendous pressure. Salute to those brave judge. May God bless you and your family.

    Would like to know your comment on this.. YB

  42. #42 by Godfather on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:32 pm

    No amount of cost-cutting is going to appease the rakyat until Badawi makes concrete efforts to dismantle the crony system of sucking the blood of taxpayers.

    Start with the Second Penang Bridge, Big Ears. UEM says that project is now at RM 4.3 billion, and this is not a fixed price. There will be additional costs if raw material costs go up. What we demand to know is who the subcontractors to UEM are. I am personally aware that an UMNO crony has 10 pct of the contract value AND I know that this crony is seeking subcontractors down the line.

    Goddamn rent-seekers. Still trying to hoodwink the rakyat at this difficult period.

    “We are not in the business of cheating the people.” AAB, 2005

  43. #43 by 9to5 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:34 pm

    Only RM2 billion? This is below the normal standard of Malaysians! In BolehLand, the citizens are more used hundreds of billions!

    And this list below is not even barely exhaustive as these are the ones uncovered – the tip of the ice-berg, if you might want put it! What lies beneath could be much larger:-

    1. The Bank Bumiputra twin scandals in the early 1980s saw US$1 billion (RM3.2 billion in 2008 ringgit)

    2. The Maminco attempt to corner the world tin market in the 1980s is believed to have cost some US$500 million. (RM1.6 billion)

    3. Betting in foreign exchange futures cost Bank Negara Malaysia RM30 billion in the 1990s.

    4. Perwaja Steel resulted in losses of US$800 million (RM2.56 billion). Eric Chia, was charged with corruption for allegedly steering US$20 million (RM64 million) to a Hong Kong-based company

    5. Use of RM10 billion public funds in the Valuecap Sdn. Bhd. operation to shore up the stock market

    6. Banking scandal of RM700 million losses in Bank Islam

    7. The sale of M.V. Agusta for one Euro

    8. Wang Ehsan from oil royalty on Terengganu RM7.4 billion from 2004 – 2007

    9. For the past 10 years since Philharmonic Orchestra was established, this orchestra has swallowed a total of RM500 million

    10. In Advisors Fees, Mahathir was paid RM180,000, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (women and social development affairs) RM404,726 and Abdul Hamid Othman (religious) RM549,675 per annum

    11. The government has spent a total of RM3.2 billion in teaching Maths and Science in English over the past five years. Out of the amount, the government paid a whopping RM2.21 billion for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipments which it is unable to give a breakdown.

    12. The commission paid for purchase of Jets and Submarines to two private companies amounted to RM910 million.

    13. RM100 million bill to compensate Gerbang Perdana for the RM1.1 billion “Crooked Scenic Half-Bridge”

    14. RM1.3 billion have been wasted building the white elephant Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities on cancellation of the Malaysia-Singapore scenic bridge

    15. RM 100 million on renovation of Parliament building and leaks

    16. National Astronaut Programme – RM 40 million

    17. National Service Training Programme – yearly an estimate of RM 500 million

    18. Eye on Malaysia -RM 30 million and another RM5.7 million of free ticket

    19. RM 4.63 billion, ’soft-loan’ to PKFZ

    20. RM 2.4 million on indelible ink

    21. Samy announced in September 2006 that the government paid compensation amounting to RM 38.5 billion to the highway companies. RM 380 million windfalls for 9 toll concessionaires earned solely from the toll hike in 2008 alone.

    22. RM32 million timber export kickbacks involving companies connected to Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud and his family

    Bailouts –
    23. Two bailouts of Malaysia Airline System RM7.9 billion
    24. Putra transport system, which cost RM4.486 billion;
    25. STAR-LRT bailout costing RM3.256 billion;
    26. National Sewerage System costing RM192.54 million;
    27. Seremban-Port Dickson Highway costing RM142 million;
    28. Kuching Prison costing RM135 million; and
    29. Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam costing RM8.3 million.
    30. Le Tour de Langkawi costing RM 3.5 Million

    31. Wholesale distribution of tens of millions of shares in Bursa Malaysia to cronies, children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth billions of ringgits.

    32. APs scandal had been going on year-after-year going back for more than three decades, involving a total mind-boggling sum of tens of billions of ringgits

    33. Alienation of tens of thousands of hectares of commercial lands and forestry concessions to children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth tens of billions of ringgits

    34. Wastages and forward trading of Petronas in the 1990s based on the low price of oil then. Since the accounts of Petronas are for the eyes of Prime Minister only we have no idea of the amount. Whatever amount, you bet it is COLLOSSAL!

    In Time Asia magazine issue on March 15 2004, South East Asian economist at Morgan Stanley in Singapore Daniel Lian, figures “that the country may have lost as much as U$$100 billion (RM320 billion) since the early 1980s to corruption.”

    See whether your calculator has exploded by now….

  44. #44 by max2811 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:40 pm

    Even after the 10% deduction, the Ministers’ entertainment allowances are still about 3 times my pay. I don’tmind if they are intelligent and has governed the country well but this bunch of jokers and crooks don’t even deserve RM2000 per month.

    With all the perks and corrupt money, what is that 10%. Even a Std 6 qualified ex gate keeper can be a State Assemblyman and built a mansion worth millions.

    Only UMNO can condone such things. As long as they are UMNO, anything can do!

    And this OKC of MCA, he was jobless for a few years when he lost to Fong PK. But he has built a bigger mansion, bought more property and can still throw lavish parties.

    To the BN people, the increase in petrol price is not a problem to them. Only the rakyat suffers from the inflation. Their only problem is how to hookwink the people into supporting them again.

  45. #45 by darcwil on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:47 pm

    I wonder how much Tun M as PM for 22 years has spent on HIS entertainment. We paid for all his travel expenses before can you imagine! And he had no decency to even cut cost that time. It is good to start somewhere, and Pak Lah has the guts to do so. Small 10% cut is meagre, but it is still RM2 bil.

  46. #46 by rainbowseahorse on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:52 pm

    Our Bodohwi does not even read the speech given to him. Haven’t you notice that he mumbles and screwed up his face to make out what was written for him to spew out from his mouth?? At times, he doesn’t EVEN UNDERSTANDS what the hell he was MADE to read out!
    Pathetic indeed! How can we EXPECT him to understand ECONOMICS & FINANCE???

  47. #47 by highhand on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:52 pm

    WOAH !!!!! i want to b a minister too….
    Minister of Entertainment

  48. #48 by rainbowseahorse on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 1:59 pm

    Talking about bridges, I think someone from PKR should look into that “Bridge from Labuan to Sabah”. The “beloved” Labuan MP seems to have quietly commission a survey vessel to carry out necessary survey work at the proposed site. Estimated cost is somewhere in the region of rm1.2 billion up. And for what?? Oh, for those 100 plus daily vehicles usage and the MPs to have a nice scenic view of the area when been chauffeured across the bridge.

  49. #49 by nazryan on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:03 pm

    Dear 9 to 5,

    Good stuff. I bet there are many more.

    As per my earlier posting. You can be the one of the source of a new subject, which will be taught in our universities, schools, etc.. once PR take over. It is called ” Mismanagement of a country”. If BN never learn about the history let us the Rakyat remember them and pray God it would never happenned again.

  50. #50 by donng55 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:06 pm

    YB LIM

    I would like to call on all PR MPs to raise hell on the following until the rakyat know the truth:

    1. What’s happened to the RM13.7bil saved from the new subsidy structure? (As mentioned in “Be prudent with taxpayers’ money” by By WONG CHUN WAI, the Star, Sunday June 8, 2008.)

    2. How much fuel subsidies (in litres and ringgit amount) are TNB and the individual power suppliers enjoying?

    3. Why can’t the financial data of Petronas be made known to the rakyat?

    The rakyat shouldn’t have any problems in knowing the truth if there is any meaning to Badawi’s April 13, 2006 proclamation – “This is the Government of the people, for the people, by the people”

  51. #51 by bennylohstocks on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:11 pm

    Phew! …so difficult ’round about’ cutting costs, my saudara says:


  52. #52 by diel on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:13 pm

    There’s a parable in the Bible saying that a poor woman gave all the money she has which probably(lets say RM2) out of her poverty and is giving so much more than a rich man who gives a percentage of his income or out of his richness.

    So what is 10%?? I believe they can be more sincere in adhering to the people’s cry and give up more/all the perks! Come onlah we just need the Govt to justify the main reason of fuel hike to satisfy our anger and frustrations which we Rakyats are always being opressed!!

  53. #53 by Kathy on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:23 pm

    Should just start with the 50% cut of all the cabinet ministers allowances to show that the government is sincere. Otherwise, what is said is just curtain dressing.

  54. #54 by Tantech on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:41 pm

    Not only cabinets wasted our money in holidays and entertainment (there are many other allowances PM should disclose and slash), the local civil servants also squandered tons of our money. Look at this news published in Star Metro on 4th June:

    Study trips to Germany and Canada under fire

    A STUDY trip to a city in Europe and Canada organised by the Federal Territory Ministry, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Putrajaya Corporation has not gone down well with Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai.

    The one-week trip from May 30 until June 7 is to study better ways of managing a city.

    It involves a delegation of 15 high-ranking officers, including FT Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique and KL mayor Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan.

    Tan said the trip was unnecessary and a waste of money.

    “Why must they go to Europe to study how to manage cities?” queried Tan. “Why can’t they go to Singapore, Hong Kong or Taipei to learn?

    Meanwhile, when contacted the minister’s principal private secretary Shazril Fariza said the study tour to the two cities, Vancouver in Canada and Berlin in Germany was approved by the cabinet.

    “The ministry picked these two cities because both have an excellent local governance system and a perfect place to learn.

    “The ministry feels you cannot run a city the old way and in order to become a world-class city one must incorporate new ideas and ways and that’s what this study tour is all about,” said Shazril.

    He added the delegation would also study ways to manage trafficcongestion and address environmental issues more efficiently.

  55. #55 by oknyua on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:48 pm

    k1980, the State Election is coming soon. Soon, that white hair man in Kuching would know when PR government starts to investigate his sibling’s forest and timber land.

    Hey, by the way, don’t judge Sabah and Sarawak people so harsh. PR never esixted before the 8th March tsunami. Secondly, there was just a handful of opposition candidates during the last GE. Don’t forget PKR and DAP didn’t even want to shake hand for an alliance there. Don’t blame the Sabah/Sarawak folks too much.

  56. #56 by limkamput on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:49 pm

    There is a Chinese saying which I can’t translate accurately. But it sounds like this, “hang cow head but sell dog meat”. Yes, this is exactly what the Cabinet is doing. They gave you the impression that they are selling beef, but in actual fact they are selling dog meat. Got it?

  57. #57 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:51 pm

    Sir Jeffrey QC.

    You are absolutely right. Who are the Prime minister and his Deputy and all the Ministers entertaining ? They are enterained.


    This money belong to the raayat , and by gosh that’s alot of entertaining to do. No wonder all scramble for a cabinet post. N here, we are to change our lifestyle.

    YB Lim,
    9to 5 has a made good comments on wastage and monetary fiasco. take up it in parliament .

    BTW, those retired cabinet ministers do they still enjoy certain allowances and benefits. The more cabinet postS they hold, the more the retirement benefit.??????? WHILE THE RAAYAT SUFFER.

  58. #58 by limkamput on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 2:53 pm

    Second Penang Bridge costs only RM4.3 billion and now they want to review, reexamine and relook. PKFZ incurred RM4.6 billion (and btw still not functioning) is completely ok. You tell me godfather.

  59. #59 by Cinapek on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 3:08 pm

    PM, please stop insulting our intelligence. You sounded even more hypocritical when you offer that token 10% cut in entertainment allowance.

    In the first place, why does ministers, deputy ministers etc need a fixed entertainment allowance? When they attend an official function, aren’t the entertainment already arranged and paid for by the relevant ministries or departments? Open Houses for example. I do not think the functions are paid by the minister’s entertainment allowance?

    And what happened if the entertainment allowanace are not spent each month? Does this go into the minister’s own pocket? This is wrong because the allowance is not used, it should be returned to the Govt.

    Ministers are usually entertained rather than doing the entertaining. As such, it is more effective and sincere for the PM to remove this entertainment allowance altogether and reimburse the ministers for any expenses incurred for entertainment. And since the PM is talking of alternative lifestyle, maybe the ministers and their deputies be given credit cards with a cap for such purposes so that minsiters can use these cards for payment of genuine entertainment expenses.

  60. #60 by ADAM YONG IBNI ABDULLAH on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 3:19 pm

    why should the ministers be given credit cards to use.

    they will probably pay the minimum amount required and than let the next PR government to settle their sins of their entertainment.

    if they need credit card, apply themselves and pay themselves.

    btw jeffrey Qc, i really cannot comprehend how to spend RM6,000.00 per night without any women and wine. go to red box or green box and it only RM30.00 per hour inclusive of free orange juice.

  61. #61 by ch on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 4:35 pm

    Dear All,

    Splashed on the local prints today was the 10% cost cutting package, a step forward by our government to lighten the burden of its rakyat. The 10% cost cutting and austerity exercise works out to a savings of RM2 billion. Simple arithmetics would translate that the government officials require RM20 billion a year or 13% of its total annual revenue solely on expenditures. This is by no means a mammoth fixed cost for the government in order to run smoothly. Many huge corporations believe in the management concept of richly rewarding your employees who excel. The question that we must ask now is whether or not our ministers deserve to be rewarded.

    The fuel prices had been a topic of frequent discussions since 2003 when the world noticed a fast and rapid energy requirements by India and China. My view is that our ministers had been caught napping and did not take preemptive measures to better manage the economy state of affairs should the fuel prices escalate back then. In short, the government is adopting this fire fighting method of tackling this energy hike issue. We have somewhat the advantage of time to better prepare ourselves for this crisis if our ministers had the foresight back then.

    Malaysia is exporting 250,000 barrels of petroleum per day and should be making very handsome profits from the sale. I hope our government had not sold its position forward when the fuel price was USD50 to 80 per barrel. This is a cardinal sin that should not be forgiven if they had so.

    If we care to turn to page 6 of NST today, we will read the excerpt of Dato S. Saravanan who felt bad because he will not be able to making trip to London like other ministers and deputy ministers before him following the austerity drive by the government. I hope our ministers and deputy ministers could come up with better comments than this in future. It reflects as if they are only looking forward to perks and freebies once becoming ministers or deputy ministers.

  62. #62 by Godson on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 4:42 pm

    To umNO-BN,
    We your supporters are indeed rejoicing that you NAIK HARGA. Please continue to do whatever you can to NAIK HARGA. We will fill your pocket and your stomach with $$$ till you vomit. Jangan turun harga, because we support you to NAIK HARGA. No need to cut you mentri’s expenses. Let them enjoy. We support you.

    Hidup, Susah, atau Mati, We guarantee support umNO-BN.

    Hey YOU umNO-BN supporter….Yes YOU….Masih tidur kah?
    Bangun lah. Dont be like umNO-BN. The ship is sinking. Still sleeping. Jump ship now you going to drown.


  63. #63 by blablowbla on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 5:17 pm


  64. #64 by elaineganmaclaine on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 5:24 pm

    Entertainment expenses are a luxury for cabinet ministers to not want to work hard, using such benefits to play hard and neglecting their responsibilities is an eye sore!
    Ministers here are just too spoilt…

  65. #65 by donplaypuks on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 5:48 pm

    Dear LKS

    Let’s not waste time on symbolic gestures and petty measures. Even if we remove all the Minister’s allowances, this will not amount to much in saving our economy & you know it.

    If M’sia were a private compani & I its CEO, I would concentrate on :

    1. Ways to increase wealth by maximising income tax from industry, petrol, oil palm & commodities.
    2. Cutting overheads i.e. over-staffing in Civil Service, Petronas, local govt etc. The savings here will be significant and we can also pay more for efficient and professional staff.
    3. Trim ‘White Elephant’ and grandiose pump-priming Fed Govt funded projects.
    4. Re-negotiate or take over all IPP, Toll Highway, Water & Sewerage projects where the previous administration under Firaun gave away ridiculous contracts to Croneys.

    Remember, it is not the business of Govt to be in business. Create the right environment for business and let the private sector take the risks, except for areas like Public Transport, Education, Health, Infra (Water/Elec/Sewerage etc)

  66. #66 by Bobster on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 5:51 pm

    10% of entertainment allowance (excl. salary, commissions and all extras) already cost the country 2 BILLION RINGGIT!

    In another words, 20 BILLION RINGGIT SPEND every year solely for ENTERTAINMENT purposes.

    Hello, rakyat Malaysia. Are you there?

    This is enough to press the RED BUTTON to call for re-election and sack the whole administration!

  67. #67 by DG on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:06 pm

    Yes and 2 Billion can be regarded as a commision from PETRONAS for helping them SAVE 58 BILLION per Year? So any difference? I would guess the commisions may runs as high as 20 billion or 30 billion.

  68. #68 by lew1328 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:26 pm


    The RM 2 billion (converted to USD ~ 0.6 M) is just a penny compared to the earning profit from the Petronas loh.

    “Rakyat”… you’re now waking up, suffering for inflation that jump & shock…

  69. #69 by boilingmad on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:28 pm

    That is why they can afford to announce a 10% cut in allowances. Becos they cut 10% on one hand, but make 150% on the other hand. The ‘beruks’ still think the rakyat are stupid and will be comforted by this meagre cut in the ministers’ allowances.

    More important, we must find a way to not allow the current corrupt ministers from robbing as much as they can and run away. We must find a way to claim back what is rightfully the people’s money. The last thing is to see them all emigrating abroad, laughing all the way to their foreign accounts and leaving PR with a bankrupt country!!!

  70. #70 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:37 pm

    Wow, what a good show put up by BN – allowance cut to help the rakyat!

    But don’t be fooled, they can easily get back what they lose in some other ways, e.g. RM50 for a pen, RM500 for an electric fan, RM100 for a ream of A4 papers etc.

  71. #71 by chiakchua on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:38 pm

    How could they have ENTERTAINMENT allowance? I’m sure they are always being entertained. They are not businessmen, why do they need to entertain? Entertain party members? That’s misuse of public fund.

    According to the Hotel Operator Association (sin chew today), 70% of their event business comes from government departments. They would suffer badly if government strictly adhere to the new ruling to disallow functions in hotel. Now we know how the various ministries had been enjoying the posh facilities in the hotel with the rakyat’s money! What a shame! More truth would be revealed soon!

  72. #72 by caishen on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:42 pm

    “….many mega-scandals like the Petronas billions and the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal ”

    Since the government can bailout scandal, how about bailing out the current crisis??

  73. #73 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:45 pm

    To show their sincerity, they show withdraw their USD deposits from Bank of Israel to help the rakyat.

  74. #74 by Jack Daniels on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:52 pm

    When we talk of high tranport cost, I believe there are 2 major costs involved in transport cost;
    a] fuel cost
    b] vehicle cost (which include basic vehicle cost + custom duty, govt tax)

    Since govt said our previous fuel cost compared with countries all over the world was cheap so govt raised it, I think it’s fair for rakyat to compare our car cost (especially our car custom duty) with countries all over the world.

    That way it’ll be fair and govt must bring down our car custom duty since our custom duty for car/vehicle is the highest in the world and because of this our transport cost is so high.

    I urge govt to cancel vehicle/car custom duty so car/vehicle cost is comparable with other countries around the world just like how govt compare our fuel cost with other countries.

  75. #75 by novice101 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:52 pm

    If the government is serious, it should revamp the way projects are awarded. Many more billions can be saved. Start with making a review of all the contracts that had been awarded.

  76. #76 by k1980 on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 6:59 pm

    At issue will be whether the savings from lower subsidies will be used for the public good, including improving public transport and mitigating the impact of inflation on the poor, or whether it will be squandered away on new crony-based projects that in the end bring little benefit to the country.


  77. #77 by dapbestrong on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 7:18 pm

    “Roughly Malaysia produces 650,000 barrels of crude per day. We consume 400,000 barrels leaving 250,000 barrels to be exported.” -From Chedet.com

    Yet we still have to pay world price?? crazy!!

  78. #78 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 7:34 pm

    Cutting back on allowance will not help much. With so many of the “9th Malaysian Plan” projects being delayed or shelved, the nation’s economy will go downhill. The country is doomed and may enter a period of regression – Vision 2020 may even turn out to be a debacle!

    We need a more capable government to lead Malaysia.

  79. #79 by caishen on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 7:53 pm

    AAB during Mahathir-era was in charge of Foreign Ministry.
    What does he knows about economy and financial.??

  80. #80 by dapbestrong on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 8:09 pm

    “Dato S. Saravanan who felt bad because he will not be able to making trip to London like other ministers and deputy ministers before him following the austerity drive by the government. ” by NST Today -All of them just care for themself, selffish shame on you! others work so hard to earn a honest living and use their own money to travel etc, you people use the rakyat money to enjoy, The 20bil!! tak tau malu at all.

  81. #81 by pjboy on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 8:48 pm

    If entertainment = RM 20B a year. Imagine what about other expenses? Or is expenses = entertainment in BN-UMNO two forked tongues. In corporate tax, we need to justify that our expenses or entertainment are results of business generated or related. We have to justify this, otherwise taken out. Now, can the government justify to the rakyat the RM 20B a year entertainment? 100% cut, so this will save RM 20B a year. The fuel-subsidy should have been RM 37B instead of RM 57B. If the cabinet ministers cannot justify the entertainment or expenses used, it should be taken out & returned to the IRB or returned to all tax-payers only.

  82. #82 by Tantech on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 9:01 pm

    Long ago when I voiced out BN people held functions at hotels, but the newspapers didn’t even published them. What if BN were to allow freedom of speech, today they will not suffer this plight of being hit by people left and right.

    I was disgusted whenever I saw civil servants holding training camps at hotels and resorts. They spent overnight there and eat 5-star buffet. I thought they were wasting people’s money man! And the organizer will also pocket insentives from the hotels for sure as they always marked up the cost.

    I wonder how come they could not hold functions at their own buildings of UMNO, MCA, MIC,etc?

  83. #83 by kensball on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 9:04 pm

    We the rakyat are suffering and the rakyat still want to pay for thier allowance??? What a joke……..

  84. #84 by Loh on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 9:23 pm

    The government expects to save RM 2 billion by changing the lifestyle of the ministers and their civil servants. They should have done it before the first price increase for oil last year.

  85. #85 by fido on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 9:25 pm

    This must be the biggest laughing stock for a govt of any country for the century!!

    If this was Japan, you should know what to do to save face. Then again, do they have the guts to and do they even have any “face” left is another story.

  86. #86 by philip vyti on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 9:45 pm

    9to5 thank you so much for your much researched article on all the expenses incurred by the govt of BN. Entertainment allowance was introduced when the country was having it good by mamak and he used the money for himself and his ministers. A 10% cut is a joke while the rakyat pay 43% for petrol increase.The entertainment allowance should be abolished for ministers and top civil servants as they dont entertain anyone but themselves so why use the tax payers money in the first place
    The PKR exco in the states they rule should take a 30% cut and make Bodowai and his gang look like fools.
    The DPM fresh from his trip to UK his trip paid by us has the cheek to say that the govt cares for the people and haS TAKEN A 10% cut. Hello we are no fools and my family and me waiting for next GE which could be round the corner.

  87. #87 by KennyGan on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 9:57 pm

    I doubted it when Anwar said he can cut fuel prices when PR takes over. But now knowing how WASTEFUL and CORRUPTED the govt. is and knowing this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG, I fully believe PR can cut fuel prices by shutting down the tap of corruption and wastage. No problem!

  88. #88 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 10:07 pm

    If Pak Lah could pledge 1 billion ringgit for his darling state, Sarawak, to prevent MPs cross over to PR, the 2 billion ringgit cost-cutting package looks too insignificant to relieve the rakyat’s suffering.

  89. #89 by walao on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 10:44 pm

    PM and his government are not sincere at all. They should set the first examples by slsashing their entertainment expenses or even their pay first before revealing the price hike to us. Now after we shown our anger , our sorrow, they only do this bit…Shame on him. We can see this is just a “wayang kulit” show to please the bodohland people. Are we that stupid?? Afterall this “SLASH” is not that bit deal as the poor is feeling the slash, they only feel the small pinch . By the way, why the government been hiding the fact that they had the difficulty in subsidising the fuel for so many years? Why stop subsidising and reveal now? Where was our money after so many years??

  90. #90 by walao on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 10:49 pm

    By the way, I don mind to fork out 10% of the hoilday trip to UK if my company pay the 90% of the expenses. WOW…. I laugh all the way during my flight to UK. I may look idiot but who cares.. 90% borne by company.

  91. #91 by lopez on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 10:55 pm

    i have an idea, why dont the division ones self-opt for deduction of pay to commensurate with the mistakes they contributed to the nation and the lives of people on the streets.

    Since they also end work earlier than any others why dont they clean the streets and drains since this allow them to exercise for free and gives them to look fit and free from fatty tummies. While they are at it maybe some of them learnt to shave and look alert for a change.

    traffic always moves bothways, dont judge others if you can’t take the return shots.

  92. #92 by walao on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 10:59 pm

    Bro and sister, this is just entertainment allownce, what about their salary, their driver allowance, their medical and insurance allownce, their security and bodyguard allownce?? Any overtime claim? Any extraodinary claim like Taiwan former president Chen? Pls let us know how much they are getting pay and still doing a lousy job .Sack them pls.

  93. #93 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:04 pm

    Saravanan can’t even make it to India even. He’s restricted to ASEAN only.

    Maybe he can make it as far as Myanmar. And use his entertainment allowance to get to India.

    RM 12,230 pm buta gaji. Thats RM 410 to spend to entertain oneself per day. Not bad. Lots of banana leaf rice even though its gone up to RM 10 per helping now.

  94. #94 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:05 pm

    We could on the other hand print more money.

  95. #95 by pgsilai on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:29 pm

    Oh yes, if Petrol increased 40%, their allowance should be cut at least the same 40% too, what is 10%? I think they don’t deserve the allowance at all. Such screw up govt, everywhere I go I kept on hearing , haiyo it’s time to change govt la, we are suffering here!

    Keep on asking us to change our lifestyle, how? We have such lousy transportation in our country, each time when petrol hike up, all I could remember was the govt wants to improve the transport system but till know I don’t see much improvement in Penang, it gets worsen each day. So, is our 2nd bridge on? is our monorail on? Why so quiet now? So, it this going to be delayed?

  96. #96 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:45 pm

    “I doubted it when Anwar said he can cut fuel prices when PR takes over. But now knowing how WASTEFUL and CORRUPTED the govt. is and knowing this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG, I fully believe PR can cut fuel prices by shutting down the tap of corruption and wastage. No problem!” KennyGan

    You are right Kenny, the Pakatan Rakyat government can surely roll back the fuel hike. But I am quite sure Tobacco and Sin Tax won’t be spared, that’s alright.

  97. #97 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:49 pm

    Abdullah’s government is going after the IPP and we all know it is just a farce, because Abdullah has to do the same with the toll collectors, you think they will let him open the book?

  98. #98 by BurungKitchik on Tuesday, 10 June 2008 - 11:50 pm

    Hey !
    What a cut !……..
    Oil price hike 40 %
    Minister’s entertainment allowance cut 10 % that high !

    Haaaaaaaa…..really a joker indeed.

    RAKYAT income ranging from RM 1500 ~ 3000

    Minister’s income as least 3 to 6 times RAKYAT’s .

    but both have to face the 40% oil hike
    ( including almost everything price increased).

    Ministers !
    While the parent or better said “the RAKYAT” start struggling to save more … from 10% , 20% , 50% or even more percent to run their respective family, but our “childish” PM just decided to have 10 % cut in minister’s entertainment allowance.

    Wake up….no more zzzzzzZZZZ.
    Wake up !!!!
    Wake up !!!!
    Wake up !!!!
    Wake up !!!!

  99. #99 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 12:34 am

    The whole cabinet should be scrap right now, having them there cost us the future of this country, Malaysians cannot afford it.

  100. #100 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 1:02 am

    Under Abdullah’s government, everyone is a victim.

  101. #101 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 7:50 am

    AAB never passed his mathematics paper during school days!

  102. #102 by js on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 8:30 am

    I just came to know that Ministers are enjoying such unnecessary allowances…It is really wasting our tax payer money. It should be reduced more than 50% immediately.

  103. #103 by js on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 8:32 am

    We really need a fair and capable government to run this country. The existing cabinet needs to be replaced.

  104. #104 by Godfather on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 8:33 am


    You should tell Parliament that a PR cabinet can do the job (or a better job) for RM 2 billion a year. That means that we can save 90 pct by merely changing the federal government !

  105. #105 by pjboy on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 8:38 am

    Another meaningless new slogan by PM: “change lifestyle”.

    Slogan by Rakyat: “change government”.

    Come to think of it, if 100% entertainment budget is RM20B. Surely, there can be more reductions by Cabinet Ministers or Government Ministers to cut MORE to bring it closer to RM 57B. This way, there will be no reason for fuel-price hike. Whose money is it in the first place? Tax-payers money lah. Even if petrol price is RM 10/ltr, it makes no difference to government ministers coz they don’t pay for it; it’s paid for by rakyat-$. In actual fact, we are also subisidising their fuel-expenses. Not surprised, maybe all family members of the government too; via supplementary credit cards.

  106. #106 by k1980 on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 10:49 am

    Hawkers told to be fair. Will they follow AAB by applying more skin-whitening products?

  107. #107 by shortie kiasu on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 11:36 am

    All the Ministers and the PM himself in the current cabinet are just a bunch of typical Ministers since independence.

    They practise double standards and pay lip services to the rakyat. Two sets of rules one for themselves and the other for the rakyat. They enjoy a life of luxury, while the poor, to them, deserves to be poor.

    When they Abdullah and his cronies said every one has to tighten his and her belts, they never said they should be the first to show the examples that they are also doing it, and doing more.

    So what is a paltry 10% cut over an entertainment allowance amounting to tens of thousand each minister while the PM’s is almost twenty thousand?

    They have paid holidays to exclusive destinations in the world on tax payers money, they have transport and housing allowance, also into the tens of thousands each.

    Are they willing to give up some for the sake of the poor and downtrodden?

  108. #109 by riversandlakes on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 11:58 am

    Again let’s look at Singapore’s ministers.

    They are among the highest-paid senior officials in the world. But we all know the people are getting their money’s worth:

    Human Development Index
    Ease of Doing Business Index
    Corruptions Perceptions Index

    Singapore routinely ranks within Top 10.

    But we never know what OUR ministers are doing. This causes us to become reluctant even to pay income taxes!

  109. #110 by Godfather on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 1:25 pm

    Another problem with the village idiot running this country is that he thinks that a proclamation is good enough and that everyone will follow his proclamation. There is no implementation, no follow-up, no punishment against those who do not toe the line.

    The ministers all know it, so they smile and they continue with their merry ways. No one is to know. We simply go down the slippery slope to oblivion.

  110. #111 by ShiokGuy on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 1:27 pm

    While they just worry about cutting their entertainment allowance, we are worrying about 3 meals and our loan installment.

    If the inflation is going up, the central bank has no choice but to increase BLR to control the inflation. If that happen we might loss our HOME due to NPL…

    My advise on BLR-Free Home Loan in my blog

    Shiok Guy

  111. #112 by highhand on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 1:47 pm

    I want to b a minister too,
    Minister of Entertainment

  112. #113 by bennylohstocks on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 1:58 pm

    Slash everything of theirs please…


  113. #114 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 3:03 pm

    Minister salaries are paltry compared to their assets. I say make it mandatory for ministers, dpm and parliamentarian to donate 20% of the assets to a fund to help the needy and poor.

  114. #115 by JeyS on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 3:07 pm

    9to5….very good piece! My thoughts exactly!

    Actual fact the whole 10% reduction is a scam. Lets see what other scams are coming out. By the way the rebate of Road tax…..another big time scam!

    Sad but we are taken for a tolled jolly ride by the government (and I am proud that I didn’t elect them in!!!!) They weren’t my choice at all!

    I am not a fence sitter so I have nothing nice to say about BN.

    SELL THE JET!!! PM!!!!! That should have been your 1st thing to do! Just fly economy you and your goons. Or better…fly Airasia!!!!! Even cheaper from MAS (even after taxes and all!) Start paying for your flights and scrap all expense paid whatever. We have no expenses paid for free…so why should you?

    Not that you and your ‘friends’ have ever done any good for the country.

  115. #116 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 5:02 pm

    Why do ministers require “entertainment allowance” when they are being entertained most of the time? How often do you find ministers paying the bill? And who do they entertain anyway?

  116. #117 by JeyS on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 5:06 pm

    Whoa…..just read this in VOX POP – Malaysiakini

    Is it possible that Umno needs the oil subsidies to fill up it’s war chest (after depleting it at the last election), knowing fully well that they will lose the federal government in September.

    Possibly to launch a come back in the 14th general elections? Just a thought! Maybe some little bird somewhere can shed some light on this?

    So can someone help shed..light

  117. #118 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 8:05 pm

    Ministers and friends need entertainment $$$ to buy clothes and dresses from KJ & Nori’s The Emperor’s New Clothes @ Pavilion, KL.

  118. #119 by ZhouYu on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 8:45 pm

    Because when he slash 10%, we ask for 50%. When he slash 50%, we ask for 70%. Again, does it matter? Not to me.

  119. #120 by alaneth on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 9:03 pm

    And it is soooo difficult to get a tax deduction for companies for Entertainment items, especially when we entertain potential customers and later secure some projects!

  120. #121 by myint3 on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 9:05 pm

    I’m seriously thinking of migrating. I know it sounds very selfish and unpatriotic but I have to think about the future of my children. Cost of living here is almost if not, higher than that of Singapore. I know because I just came back from Singapore about 6 months ago with the naive notion that I could contribute to my country with my skills. Sure seafood is cheap but the essentials are killing me. My savings is running out and I have problem getting a job. I used to earn SGD3,000/- p.m in Singapore not including the bonuses and medical benefits but here, I’d be lucky if I could get MYR2,500/- p.m.Funny how a foreign country accepted me with open arms, allowed me to build up a career and family but my own country treat me like dirt. My skills was valued in Singapore but here, I’m zero.

    Now with this fuel hike, mati lah. Already the property developers in Sabah come out to say that houses will cost more. A plate of fried rice cost MYR6/-, a plate of chicken rice MYR4.50/- (and the portion of chicken meat look like they came from some farm in Africa)..

    If it’s only me, I would take the risk but with a son, I have to be practical. Is it very unMalaysian of me to think of the well being of my family? I am very proud to be a Malaysian as the next Malaysian but with the recent events, I have doubts. Should I go for sentiment or practicality. If anything happens to me, can I trust my government to look after my family? I don’t think so especially with BN with the Ketuanan Melayu mentality. So what am I? I’m a Sino Kadazan by the way. I have an Anak Negeri title.

    A Filipino, Indonesian, Pakistani holding MyKard(dubious one) could assimilate into the Malay community and enjoy all the rights and priviledges of bumis but me, even by virtue of my genuine blood ties to the land, can’t get anything? One would wonder how one’s son would fare in such a hostile environment?

    So while I would still keep pace with the development in Sabah and Malaysia, I would have to bow out(get out of Malaysia) when the first opportunity comes. My prayers, well wishes and solidarity will always be with my fellow Malaysians of course, regardless of race and religion.

  121. #122 by lopez on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 - 9:06 pm

    Start by using kancil in all departments, no more 3000 cc cars
    let the public judge their performance not another jabatan to give the marks.

    let the customers decides their performance and not the PSD or department heads or superiors.

    Even the PSD does not escape.

    Serve the nation , not serve the department.

  122. #123 by saiful on Thursday, 12 June 2008 - 7:52 am

    wahhh…that’s huge, just wonder how lim would spend it ehhehehe ;)

  123. #124 by tourman53 on Friday, 13 June 2008 - 7:20 am

    Why only cut 10% only? They are not fit to clame any entertainment allowances at all. It would l be a shame to be entertained when thing are not done in proper. The Ministers salary should cut up to 50% for not been effecient.

  124. #125 by sonsofsabah on Saturday, 14 June 2008 - 8:14 pm

    What kind of entertainments are we paying for? Sex, Karaoke, 2nd wife? What are the limitations? They already get paid a lot why are we still paying for entertainment allowance? I agree cut off 50% and then use the money for other subsidies.

  125. #126 by Kasim Amat on Monday, 16 June 2008 - 4:55 pm

    We should not just look at the numbers and comment whether how many percent it should be. Whenever something is done by the Government, whether right or wrong, people will not satisfy. We should look at the sincerity that the BN-led government has. I have not seen any leaders from any other countries taking such a quick stand to lead by example.

  126. #127 by pinkdolphin on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 - 6:48 am

    Kasim Amat, what are you talking about??? Sincerity after robbing the Rakyat? C’mon la, it is not that the rakyat will not be satisfied, it is ANNOYING that the Gov can’t see or hear the cry of the RAKYAT for decades!! Sometimes, it is simply too late to just put up a half-hearted show when you realised that the Rakyat no longer wants to be bullied and robbed. Enough of damages from UMNO-BN, just back off and let PR show you what you have missed out.

  127. #128 by tourman53 on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 - 9:44 pm

    Kasim Amat,
    I pity your parent mistake.

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