KUCHING, June 5 — The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Backbenchers Club today slammed Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh for dismissing as a political stunt, a two-month salary cut for state ministers and GPS state assemblymen that will be contributed to the State Disaster Management Committee Fund.
It said the collective contribution to the fund served as a symbol of solidarity in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
“This is not new as this was done at the federal government level through the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for similar pay cuts to the salaries of the federal Cabinet ministers early this week,” the backbenchers club said in a statement.
It said the federal government’s gesture was also emulated by other state governments, such as Johor, Penang, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Kelantan, regardless of political affiliation and belief.
“We are perplexed as to why Wong decided to politicise the issue when it was never about politics to begin with.
“While he claimed that the RM3 million is a drop in the ocean in terms of Sarawak government expenditure, it was never about the amount, but its spirit,” the backbenchers club said.
The backbenchers club recalled that the PSB, through one of its presidential council members in February early this year, had called for a pay cut to the salaries of assemblymen to purchase gadgets for the disadvantaged school children to enable them to follow the home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) sessions.
“Why is it that when this is done now, PSB opposes the move with all its might?
“Have they forgotten their demand for pay cuts back then or was it simply the ‘personal opinion’ of one of its members?” the backbenchers club asked.
It called on all PSB elected assemblymen and other remaining Opposition assemblymen to pledge a portion of their salary to the disaster fund.
“It is time that they stop politicking, step up and do their role in helping Sarawak recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
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