PETALING JAYA: Foreign minister Zambry Abd Kadir is seeking the support of the finance ministry and public services department (JPA) to review the cost-of-living allowance for Malaysian diplomatic officers abroad.
In a written parliamentary reply, Zambry said the last time the allowance was reviewed was in 2007, which was 16 years ago.
“This means that officers serving overseas would be receiving allowances based on the rates set 16 years ago to cover the current cost of living.
“The current allowance rate does not reflect the actual cost of living abroad, limiting officers’ capabilities to spend on their daily and basic necessities, among others,” he said.
The minister added that global inflation and the unstable economic climate had caused the cost of living in many countries to surge, forcing officers to be more frugal.
“In view of this, a review of the allowance for officers abroad needs to be conducted immediately.
“We ask for the support of JPA and the finance ministry in our efforts to review the allowances and facilities for officers and civil service staff serving abroad.”
Zambry was replying to Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru), who asked how the government was helping Malaysian diplomatic officers overseas cope with the rise in cost of living and the purportedly insufficient funds for the operations of embassies.