Jakarta - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s statement on his salary might have been twisted out of proportion because the issue had been raised just on his behalf so that the polemic needed to be stopped.

"In fact what the president has said (on the salary issue) was a kind of sympathy for the TNI (Indonesian National Defense Force) and the Polri (National Police), to put an end to the polemic," Ganjar Pranowo, Deputy Head of Commission II of the House of Representatives (DPR) said.

The President`s salary has been under the spotlight since he announced that his salary had net been raised in the last seven years at 62 million rupiahs (6,882 US dollars) per month since he took office in 2004.

Pranowo of the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P) added that the president had apparently no wish for a pay rise but more a token for the sympathies though the statement should not have been raised anyway.

Pranowo regretted that the issue was misunderstood by many people and especially because Finance Minister Agus Martowardjojo had hastily reacted and decided to raise the salaries of the president and 8,000 public officials nationwide.

"I think the finance minister misunderstood what the president had said," Pranowo said, adding that the misunderstanding on the issue will only worsen and create more public reactions.

Coordinating Economics Minister Hatta Rajasa unveiled on Thursday that former Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati`s plan to increase President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s salary, which the President turned down.

"I have never said that high-ranking officials must have their salaries raised. The former finance minister proposed a salary increase three years ago, but Yudhoyono turned down the plan," he said.

Hatta`s comment has justified the current Finance Minister Agus Martowardjojo`s statement that "public official`s pay will have their salaries raised, including the President`s, were planned several years ago.