Asking politicians to choose just one pension scheme only will be like waiting for the cows to come home. To tie this choice to moral grounds is asking for the impossible!
If morality meant anything, would you have political crooks plundering the country?
We have heard of certain ministers eligible to receive multiple pensions colluding with contractors to hike up prices and costs so that they can benefit from kickbacks. This obviously doesn’t disturb their conscience. They sleep very well!
Morality is, unfortunately, nondescript among most politicians. Will any politicians demolish this belief by publicly renouncing their multiple pensions in favour of the one highest pension they are entitled to?
Let’s give our politicians one week to establish their morality by publicly announcing this brave moral decision!
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Take, for instance, the case of teachers. Besides being classroom teachers, some are appointed to take charge of extra-mural activities, the scouts, the St John’s society or the cadet corps or to serve as senior assistants during their career. Do they receive multiple pensions for shouldering various responsibilities?
The same goes for the various civil service departments when some civil servants are promoted or take on additional responsibilities. All of them receive a single pension based on their last-drawn salaries despite having shouldered the extra burden.
What is so special about politicians? I suppose it is so much easier to vote for benefits for politicians! Only 222 MPs decide this for themselves. Has any politician gone on record opposing multiple pensions? I bet there wouldn’t be anyone abstaining themselves from voting on this issue.
I seem to remember that during Harun Idris’ corruption trial, this was a point of contention and the decision was to limit politicians to a single pension. Can someone throw some light on this, please?
How much pension does Dr Mahathir Mohamad receive in total? He was prime minister twice; he was MP for a very long time; in 1987, during Operation Lalang, besides being PM, he was also home affairs minister and ‘justice’ minister. Later on, he was also finance minister. In all, how much does he receive?
What about the gratuity upon retirement? Do politicians and ministers also receive multiple gratuities? Will the finance minister kindly clarify!
Politicians are a great burden on the country’s economy. They drain so much of our wealth. Unlike all the other services, they receive their pension whether or not they fulfil their responsibility! They are not assessed to ensure they perform, unlike civil servants. They get their pension after only three years, unlike civil servants who must serve for at least 25 years to receive a full pension.
Appealing to renounce multiple pensions on moral grounds will not work. If Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim feels it is morally wrong to receive multiple pensions, he should introduce laws to restrict this. This can be part of his reform agenda.
The ball is clearly in Anwar’s court!