KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has been urged to give the Opposition leader the same status, and entitlements at  least equal to the Cabinet Ministers.

Pro-Pakatan think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) said that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should emulate the Selangor’s state government which recently upgraded the allowances of its state opposition leader.

“As a country that practices the Wesminster system of democracy like other Commonwealth countries, there should be greater recognition offered to the position of an Opposition leader in Malaysia in the form of remunerations and allowances,” said KPRU executive director Ooi Heng.

Ooi suggested that Najib should table such an announcement in the Oct 25 Budget 2014.

'Give Opposition leader Cabinet Minister status'

On October 9, the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state government approved special allowances and privileges amounting to RM8,620 per month to the Opposition Leader of the Selangr State Legislative Assembly in accordance with Section 5 of the Members of the Administration and Members of Legislative Assembly (Remuneration) Act 1980.

Ooi said that what the Selangor government did was a “significant milestone” to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

According to him, it also worked towards “upholding the principles of democracy, as well as to advocate the rights and roles of the Opposition Leader as a crucial component in a democractic government in carrying out his or her role of check and balance to the existing government.”

“In particular, the recognition of the Opposition Leader is essential to bridge the gap between the remuneration and various forms of allowances received by the Opposition Leader, Cabinet Ministers and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

KPRU also suggested that that the office of the Opposition Leader should receive allocation for the purpose of employing staffs such as researchers, press officers, executive assistants and so forth to manage with different tasks and affairs in Parliament.

“Such provision is important to enabling the Office of the Opposition Leader to obtain sufficient manpower, as well as allocations in performing and carrying out his duties and responsibilities as the Opposition Leader, as well as an elected representative of the people effectively and smoothly.”

Story first published on: October 15, 2013 18:12 (MYT) http://english.astroawani.com/news/show/give-opposition-leader-cabinet-minister-status-23904?cp

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