Human beings are very complicated and their mental behavior can be misdirected at times where even psychologists have no answer to it. When news of the pay hike to all the Selangor Assemblymen/women were announced 'all hell breaks loose'. People suddenly do not see or study the rational of the increase before they started blasting away. Their discontentment varies from Anwar's excessive statement to Najib's hypocrite argument, while others claimed that now is not the time or raise it gradually.
Let us look at the three main arguments, 'Excessive', 'now is not the right time' and 'to raise gradually'. I have no answer to Najib's hypocrite argument, I leave it to the readers to interpret what it meant.
1) Excessive - How do you quantified excessive? A company usually has salary scale for all levels of its employees including the annual percentage salary increase so when an employee suddenly received a three bar jump in his increment, 'excessive' will call into question. Is there any salary scale for state assemblymen or guidelines for any increment? If there are then they should follow the scale or guidelines, if not how can we judged that it is excessive, just because the figures look big?
2) Now is not the right time - I ask you, so when is the right time? Yes, the economy is not good (contrary to what the federal government said), rakyat is suffering with price increases in almost every consumer goods, they have to tighten their belts and living by the day. Rakayat must understand that at least 50% of state activities and policies especially the economy are still under the Federal government influence. Whether the economy is good or bad primarily depends on the Federal government performances. Our economy is in bad state for years now and will continue to be so if not worst. Can we used the overall bad economy that affected the whole nation to stop the pay hike and not base on the individual state performances? You will get to understand more further down this article.
3) Raise it gradually - here I ask, how gradual and at what quantum? These state assemblymen/women are elected to serve a five year term, so, should their pay hike be carried out on a yearly basis and at what quantum? If the quantum is an insignificant small amount might as well not raise at all. Moreover, no matter how much is raised there would be angry people not happy with the raise and the state assemblymen/women will have to suffer the brick-bat thrown at them over the raise five times during their term in office.
To those who are against the pay hike your reasoning's are not totally wrong but you have to look at the different perspective as well. Some who are against the pay hike, especially gerakan and its youth chief Tan Keng Liang are just playing politics, trying to score political points.
My basis of argument is not to present whether the pay hike is right or wrong but to show how at times we can be penny wise pound foolish. I am comparing this state assemblymen/women pay hike to the 'secretive' payment of RM7.2 billions to foreign consultants.
a) State: The whole process to approve the pay hike to all the state assemblymen/women salary were carried out during the assembly. Everything is open and transparent to show each individual assemblyman/woman how much is his/her increment.
Federal: Nobody knows who are the foreign consultants, is it 1, 5, 10 or none at all. How much was paid to each of them and the best part is we get to know only after they were already being paid.
b) State: Assemblymen/women should know what are their job functions and everyone got eyes to see them at work. You will know and able to evaluate whether their high pay commensurate with their performances.
Federal: What are the job functions of these foreign consultants, no one knows. Have they achieved the results that they are paid for so 'excessively'? Here I have to really say this word aloud!
c) State: Will the rakyat really suffer more because of the extra few millions used for the assemblymen/women pay hike? Will the state government becomes bankrupt, neglect the state and rakyat due to the increase or their performances will decline?
Federal: Malaysia has 28 million people and the federal government could not find someone local capable of doing the job that they need to engage a RM7.2 billion foreign consultants. Will RM7.2 billion outflow to foreigners or the few millions extra paid to Malaysian assemblymen/women cause the rakyat to suffer or even bankrupt the nation? You tell me.
d) State: RESULTS - What the rakyat must look at is the end RESULTS. They can have their so call 'excessive pay hike' but you can monitor their overall performances for the next five years and the power is in your hand should they fail to perform to your expectation.
Federal:The RM7.2 billion have already being paid out and they will continue to engage these foreign consultants, so they said. Have they shown us these foreign consultants performance results to date. Yes or No you answer that.
Lastly, why I said gerakan, Tan Keng Liang and many other umno/bn supporters are playing politics to gain some brownie points on this matter. They never speak out against the Sarawak state government which also raised their assemblymen/women salaries so 'excessively' and not a sound over the engagement of the RM7.2 billion foreign consultants that we never know existed nor their performances. To call others 'hypocrite'? What a joke.