KUCHING: Sarawak is financially capable of giving higher allowances to councillors and this could be a way to show appreciation for their time and commitment, said Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (pic).
She voiced her support for Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang’s statement on Tuesday, urging the state government to review upwards the remunerations and meeting allowances for local councillors from about RM1,500 to RM3,000 monthly.
However, Nancy refrained from commenting on the amount that should be paid to local councillors as she felt that the mechanism varied from council to council.
“I support the review of the allowances as some councillors are committed to their business and other work,” she told New Sarawak Tribune, adding that the councillors themselves had never asked for a review of their allowances.
She also pointed out that meetings could sometimes take up a whole day or even run until the following day.
“It is high time for Sarawak to review the allowance for councillors based on their own calculations vis-à-vis the responsibilities of the councillors,” she remarked, adding that councillors could significantly contribute to the development of the surroundings.
Touching on Sarawak’s financial stability, she revealed that it was the only state that paid the highest allowance to its state representatives and bonuses to its civil servants.
According to Nancy, Sarawakians should be able to notice these factors.
“It is because of our political stability that Sarawak can focus on its economic development,” she said.
She stated that therefore more revenue could be generated by the state and ultimately, the people would benefit from Sarawak’s positive economic growth.
Idris made the suggestion for increased monthly remuneration in response to Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin’s recent statement.
The MP had on August 4 labelled the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government’s efforts to provide a fixed monthly allowance of RM300 to all local councillors as an apparent abuse of power.
“MP Willie’s remark is uncalled for,” Nancy opined.
She also shared her confidence that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would deliver a “feel-good budget” for all sectors.