Earlier this month, it was revealed the CEO of Agensi Innovasi Malaysia received a compensation package totalling RM830,500 (S$326,515), or an average of RM69,000(S$27,127) monthly.
The figure, which was put out as part of a parliamentary reply, is significantly more than the average salary of a top civil servant; The Malaysian Insider reported the maximum monthly salary of the highest civil servant, the chief secretary, is RM23,577(S$9,269).
The Demographic Action Party’s Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming also shared the monthly salaries of senior officials from government agencies, including those of the CEO of the Land Transport Commission (RM40,000; S$15,726), TalentCorp’s CEO (RM30,000; S$11,794) and the director of the Performance Management and Delivery Performance (RM49,000; S$19,254).
Ong said Malaysia should reconsider setting up new agencies – especially if its responsibilities will overlap with pre-existing bodies.
“If the Prime Minister is serious about asking ordinary Malaysians to change their lifestyles to adapt to rising prices as subsidies are withdrawn and the Goods and Services Tax is introduced, he should also walk the talk by reducing the expenditure in his own department,” Ong told The Malaysian Insider.
The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) agreed with Ong, adding in a separate article that it was “unfair… contract workers in agencies are getting higher wages than their civil service counterparts”.
Cuepacs deputy president Azih Muda said “civil servants are just as qualified as those employed in these agencies,” and urged the government to review the salary packages of agency officials.
Both Ong and Azih’s comments were in response to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Budget speech last week, where he announced the creation of two new agencies – a Green Foundation and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre.