Speaker of the People’s Representative Council request Parliament members to donate wages towards Covid-19 mitigation

Speaker of the People’s Representative Council (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat - “MPR”) of RI Bambang Soesatyo donates three months’ wages to help fight Corona virus. His good example is followed by other politicians. (Photo: IO/Rayi Gigih)

 IO, Jakarta – The Speaker of the People’s Representative Council (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, suggests that all members of the Parliament – whether of the MPR, the House of Representatives (DPR), or the Regional Representative Council (DPD) donate one month’s pay to help the Government mitigate the Coronavirus attack in Indonesia. Bamsoet started the move by donating 3 months’ wages, and hopes that other members of the Parliament follow suit by donating their wages and recess funds. “I myself will donate my wages for the next three months as the Speaker of MPR RI in order to help with the mitigation of the corona pandemic. Let’s fight this disease together and prevent the increase of COVID-19 deaths,” Bamsoet stated in a written statement on Tuesday (24/03/2020). 

Bamsoet further suggests that the donated funds be used for social activities for fighting and preventing the spread of the virus. According to Article 1 of Government Regulation Number 75 of 2000 concerning the Basic Pay of the Heads and Members of the High Institutions/Highest Institution of the State and their Honorary Benefits for the Members of the Highest Institution of the State, the basic pay of MPR Speaker, DPR Speaker, Chairman of the Supreme Advisory Council (DPA), the Chairman of the Audit Board (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan – “BPK”), and the Chairman of the Supreme Court is IDR 5,040,000.00 a month. That means that just their basic pay is IDR 15 million per person. 

As a businessman, Bamsoet has previously donated a large number of health masks and hand sanitizers. As a concerned politician, he hopes that the Government can immediately create policies that will help citizens who are forced to continue working outside their homes, so that they can afford to not leave home temporarily as per Government injunction. “We can provide direct aid or social security network using cashless bank transfers. This would allow them to take a break from their work and focus on saving themselves, their families, and the people in their neighborhoods,” he said. 

Similarly, the Vice Chairman of Commission III of DPR RI from the National Democrat Faction, Ahmad Sahroni, stated that he is donating four months’ pay as a member of DPR RI to help with the mitigation of the disease. “I will be donating my wages for the next four months to help mitigate the Covid-19 disease. This is not image-making; I really hope that it will help,” Sahroni said on his Instagram account @ ahmadsahroni88 on Tuesday (24/03/2020). 

In the same post, Sahroni stated that he is also sending personal protective devices to several hospitals. Furthermore, he refused to use the free Covid-19 rapid test facility provided to members of DPR RI and their family members. He prefers to hand over the rapid test kits to doctors and other medical workers who have been in the frontline of the battle against the virus. “They are heroes to us all. We members of the DPR will take care of these tests,” he said. 

In support of the Speaker of MPR, the Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “PKS’) has signed the agreement to deduct the wages of their members in the Parliament, both the central and regional parliaments, for the purpose of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. The deducted PKS cadre wages will be used to buy personal protective equipment for medical personnel. “Therefore, the PKS Faction agreed to deduct the wages of its members in the DPR for March 2020 and use it to buy protective equipment to be distributed to medical staff in hospitals,” said the Chairman of DPR’s PKS Faction, Jazuli Juwaini, in a written statement in Jakarta on Tuesday (24/03/2020). 

Jazuli states that PKS is doing its part to support medical personnel by providing as much protective equipment as they can afford with the deduction of their wages as the people’s representatives. “The PKS Faction urges the Government to quickly cover the protective equipment needs of medical workers in central and regional hospitals who are battling Covid-19,” he said. “We hope that our efforts will be followed by members of DPR and Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) from other factions. This will help cover the needs of our humanitarian heroes, the doctors and other medical workers, as quickly as possible.” 

The Chairman of the United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan – ‘PPP”) Faction of DPR RI, H. M. Amir Uskara, said that PPP has donated half of their wages to the effort for mitigating Corona virus or Covid-19 infection. “PPP cadres have actually donated half of their wages for the past two months to help mitigating Covid-19. However, we just didn’t publish it in the media because it is a matter of humanity, not image creation,” he said. 

Deputy Speaker of the DPR Aziz Syamsudin gives leave to Faction Chairmen to take whatever step that they think is best to respond to this suggestion. He stated that the leadership does not have the authority to determine the disbursement of their members’ wages. “If the Factions are going to deduct wages, they are free to do so. Members are just the extension of the Factions. We as the leaders do not have the authority, but the Factions themselves do,” he said. (dan)