DAP MP slams ‘bloated’ RM4b PM’s Dept

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Calls for stringent and frugal spending amid a high budget deficit might seem like a self-embarrassing slogan given that almost RM4 billion is allocated for the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) for this year alone, said a DAP leader today. The figure was given by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, in a written reply, to Taiping DAP MP Nga Kor Ming today.

The minister also stated that the number of its civil servants has doubled from 21,000 in 2003 to 43,000 this year.

The reason for the bloating allocation, said Nazri, was due to the establishment of several new agencies such as the Judges Appointment Commission Secretariat, Secretariat Office to former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Performance and Implementation Unit or Pemandu.

Several existing agencies like the National Security Council, the National Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Early Childhood Education Unit (Permata) – a unit supervised by Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak – also saw additions in posts which explains the increase in spending.

Pakatan needed only 7,000 to run state

However, Nga criticised the allocation as wasteful amid the government’s burgeoning debt which stood at more than RM350 billion in 2009.