THE Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act 1980 (Act 237) was passed by Parliament and came into force on July 1, 1980. The act is to provide for the remuneration of members of Parliament and for other matters incidental thereto or connected therewith.
Section 8 states that a Member of Parliament (either House) shall be entitled to such pension, gratuity and other benefits as are prescribed in the First Schedule.
Paragraph 21 of the First Schedule provides for “Benefits for former Prime Ministers”. As of April 9, 2003 paragraph 21(1) reads as follow:
“A person who ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister, or a person who had previously held the office of Prime Minister before the date of the coming into force of this Act, shall be entitled to such allowances and privileges at such rates and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Cabinet from time to time.”
Prior to that, the paragraph reads as follows:
“A person who ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister, or a person who had previously held the office of Prime Minister before the date of the coming into force of this Act, and is not currently a Member shall be entitled to such allowances and privileges at such rates and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Cabinet from time to time.”
The word “Member” means, among others, a Member of Parliament. The words “and is not currently a Member” in the above provision were deleted by the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) (Amendment of First Schedule) (No. 3) Order 2003 and was deemed to have come into operation on April 9, 2003.
The deletion was pursuant to the exercise of the powers conferred to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by paragraph 19A of the First Schedule to the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act 1980 (Act 237) .
The Agong acts on the advice of the prime minister. The prime minister then was Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who left the office of the prime minister in October 2003.
So Najib Razak was correct to say that he applied for
https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/351920 in the city under a law that was amended during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first term as prime minister.
Najib would not have been entitled to the benefits of former prime ministers under the old paragraph which required him not to be “currently a Member (of Parliament)”.
Be that as it may, the current prime minister may advise the Agong to reinstate the old paragraph. That would mean the only former prime minister entitled to the benefits would be Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
That would also mean savings for the government coffers, which money could be spent on health and education. A supplementary supply bill on these two would better serve the people. – November 19, 2021.
* Hafiz Hassan reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.