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COVID-19: Pay cuts for political office holders across ASEAN

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After extending the Malaysia lockdown to 14 April 2020, the Malaysian Cabinet has decided that the salaries of the Prime Minister (Muhyiddin Yassin), Ministers and Deputy Ministers will see a two-month pay cut and be chanelled into the COVID-19 Fund instead.

The COVID-19 Fund was launched on 11 March as a Government effort to help people affected by the outbreak. As of 25 March, the total donation amount, including government grants, was RM8,493,103.48.

Similarly, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Heng Swee Keat, launched a series of additional support measures worth S$48bn in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, termed as the Resilience Budget.

He announced that, in addition to the one-month pay cut that the political leadership was already taking, another two months will be added on to this, in light of the deteriorating situation. Thus, all political office holders (including the President, Speaker, and both Deputy Speakers) will take altogether a three-month cut in their salary.

ASEAN counterpart, Thailand, has also made a similar announcement earlier this month on 3 March, whereby the Cabinet approved a proposal for the setting up of a fund to help the Government tackle problems concerning COVID-19. In the initial stage, each minister will contribute his or her one-month salary, or offer their donations, to the fund.

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