Monday, August 19

RM300 allowance a month for councillors

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Abang Johari (front row, seventh right) and other dignitaries take one for the album with the newly-sworn councillors. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Local government councillors in Sarawak will now receive a fixed allowance of RM300 a month besides their meeting allowance, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced yesterday.

In his speech at the swearing-in ceremony of new councillors here, Abang Johari said councillors had previously received only an allowance based on their attendance in meetings.

“We (Sarawak government) have discussed it and agreed to give a fixed monthly allowance of RM300 to all councillors to start with. On top of that, you will have your meeting allowance.

“Hopefully with this incentive, you can carry out your duties well,” he said.

The swearing-in ceremony yesterday, which was held at Pullman Hotel, was a first for councillors when they took their pledge and recited the Corruption-Free Pledge (IBR), which Abang Johari said was part of the good governance process.

“This good governance process started with the Cabinet. So therefore, the local government has to do likewise. There is accountability and responsibility in discharging their (councillors) duties, where the public expect good services from the local government.

“When you become a councillor, you are formulating the local government policies, and also providing services to your respective council. So, it is a question of awareness and there must be that accountability.”

Sarawak has a total of 745 councillors, out of which 318 are new appointments, who have been appointed for a three-year term, which will run from July 1 2019 to June 30 2021.

Abang Johari also expressed his hope that the newly sworn-in councillors would put their highest commitment in their duties.

“This is all important in strengthening the people’s trust in the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government,” he added.

Deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and the ministry’s permanent secretary Bakrie Zaini were also present at the event.