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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_Will there be a review of \u2018benefits\u2019 for former PMs?

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SECTION 8 of the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act 1980 (Act 237) states that an MP (either House) shall be entitled to such pension, gratuity and other benefits as are prescribed in the First Schedule.

 

The First Schedule has been amended a number of times. The first major amendment was to insert paragraphs 19A and 19B. The former is most significant because it allows the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to amend the First Schedule by order where it appears to the Agong “necessary or expedient so to do, and any amendment so made shall have effect as if enacted in this Schedule.”

The Agong acts on advice of the cabinet or prime minister. An amendment by order pursuant to paragraph 19A is therefore an executive act that circumvents Parliament.

Pursuant to, and in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph 19A of the First Schedule, paragraph 21 – “Benefits for former prime ministers” – was inserted and deemed to have come into force on June 9, 1981. The order was made vide the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 1981 [PU(A) 216/1981].

Paragraph 21(1) then 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.” (Emphasis added)

The word “Member” means, among others, a member of Parliament. No former prime minister would be entitled to the benefits under paragraph 21(1) if he were to remain a member of Parliament.

Twenty-two years later, by another order – Members of Parliament (Remuneration) (Amendment of First Schedule) (No. 3) Order 2003 [PU(A) 236/2003] – paragraph 21(1) was amended. The words “and is not currently a Member” were deleted and the amended paragraph was deemed to have come into operation on April 9, 2003.

Paragraph 21(1) now 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.”

The prime minister was then Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had left the office of the prime minister in October 2003.

Najib has now said that he will withdraw his application for his entitlement under paragraph 21(1) of the First Schedule.

He has even suggested that the government review or revoke the benefits for former prime ministers if these were a source of controversy.Will the Cabinet review paragraph 21(1) and advise the Agong accordingly?

*Hafiz Hassan reads The Malaysian Insight.

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