Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Could This Money Have Been Better Spent?

Please read this Bernama report and comment.

Dr Rozaidah Talib (BN-Ampang) is the member of parliament who often went overseas on official duty in the last three years, accumulating RM141,391.66 in travel claims.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Dr Rozaidah made 11 trips to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) meetings in her capacity as the South East Asia representative of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentary.

Part of the expenses incurred like her airfares were borne by the CPA head office, said Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, in his written reply to Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah).

Fong had asked the prime minister to name 10 MPs who frequently went abroad, the number of trips made between 2004 and 2006 and expenses incurred.

Other MPs are Dr Junaidy Abdul Wahab (BN-Batu Pahat) (RM60,812.27) and Datuk Markiman Kobiran (BN-Hulu Langat) (RM69,440.72), (both eight times); Datuk Seri Diraja Syed Razlan Syed Putra Jamalullail (BN-Arau) (six times) (RM38,659.28) and Datuk Dr Raman Ismail (BN-Gombak) (five times) (RM116,834.26).

Others are Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut), (four times) (RM100,955), Datuk Tan Lian Hoe (BN-Bukit Gantang) (RM9,597.50) and Datuk Idris Haron (BN-Tangga Batu) (RM33,686.80), (both thrice); Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (BN-Santubong) (RM14,312) and Razali Ibrahim (BN-Muar) (RM17,395.75), both twice.

Abdullah said Markiman and Syed Razlan are Malaysian committee members of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO). They were appointed to the ad hoc committee to study and to draft a new AIPO statute.

He said the committee held a series of meetings since 2004.

The new statute would be tabled for endorsement at the 28th AIPO in Kuala Lumpur in August.

***** It already costs a huge amount of good money to keep Parliament as an institution and branch of government active and well, be it in session or adjourned sine die. The questions that need to be answered are, whether such trips are at all essential, the benefits the nation has so far derived from these all-expenses paid jaunts and is there an alternative to sending parliamentarians, for example Malaysian diplomats in the various countries? Is Parliament being misused as a gravy train by some of its honourable members? What possible expertise does for instance
Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar have which costs the taxpayer over RM100,000 and four overseas trips? Think of the number of ill kids whose photos we see in the papers and who desperately need financial assistance. Could not some of this money been put to good use helping them? What do you think?
Image - Source



Anonymous outsider said...

Such perks are just one of the reasons politicians want to be MPs. We voted them into office so we have to pay to keep them happy. They bribe us to keep - or put - them in office during election time and many of our rakyat readily accept the bribes. So when they spend taxpayers' money to go on holidays abroad it's just payback time - all expenses paid by the electorate.
Remember the toilet-examination trip to Mauritius and South Africa and the navel-gazing of belly dancers on a Nile cruise by some of our pegawai-pagawai Majlis Perbandarans?
We may not have directly elected our pegawai-pagawai Majlis Perbandarans but we elected the politicians who put those people there.
As the saying goes, the people get the government they deserve!

9:06 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Get the Opposition to field a question in Parliament asking the BN government how much the PM and his Cabinet "yoyo-s" spent for the past year and multiply by the numbers of years they watsed on overseas trips. Whenever the PM travels, an entourage of "tangan dan kaki" followed like shadows and public tax payers monies spent. The former PM spent millions of taxpayers money travelling. At least, he brought some benefits back into the country. Now?? You will be for a shock how much the government is spending your money!! That is the reason, everything is under wrap and rahsia, sulit, terhad etc. Transparency, so says these stooges. My ass..(no apologies for pun).

9:45 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now the public should also know why the Chief Secretary banned mobile phones and handheld computers in so-called "high security areas of government" under the pretext to "prevent spying". Fears of information leaks, so said the Chief Security officer. Threatening "national security", "country's economy", functions and image of the government". Sounds as though the government has a high noble image!! Yes, canned the worms. What Nazri in Cantonese called, "kun tao", the can in Parliament when he was supposed to have said, "guan tao". Wasting public money, read the Audit General's Report. And it's only a time of time, they ban that too. So why Malaysians continue to support this government is ****%$#@

11:57 AM GMT+8  
Blogger MarinaM said...

Going to conferences should not be considered a perk especially these Inter-Parliamentary meetings because they are meant to be work, quite different from study trips and such.It would be bad if Malaysia sends no one at all, and at least they get to meet other MPs from other countries and realise what they are actually supposed to do.

I don't have a problem with sending MPs to such conferences if, when they go, they actually participate and speak.I have heard Dr Rozaidah and she is quite bright so if we are going to send anyone, better her than many of the others.

The problem I have is with MPs and civil servants who get sent to conferences and meetings and do not even attend , much less say anything. Usually they can be found out shopping.Those are the ones we should really go after.

6:19 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Point taken. Thanks Marina.

10:08 AM GMT+8  

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