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Friday, September 30, 2011

Maximum 40pc pay rise as Putrajaya reverts to single-tier civil service

September 30, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Putrajaya is to implement a new pay scheme for the country’s 1.3 million civil servants that will see salaries jump by up to 40 per cent next year, sources say.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to announce a return to a single-tier system when tabling Budget 2012 next week after more than 15 years of grumbling from public sector employees who say the current triple-tier system is unfair.

File picture of policewomen marching in the Malaysia Day and National Day parade in Kuala Lumpur on September 16, 2011. They are also expected to benefit from the proposed hefty pay rise. — Reuters pic
The government will also implement a new Integrated Competency Development Programme (Prospek) appraisal system from next January 1 to replace the controversial Efficiency Level Assessment (PTK) currently in use by the Public Service Department (PSD).

“Government agencies have completed studies into introducing the new system. It is not an adjustment but a new single-tier scheme.

“The increase could be up to RM700, and in terms of percentage this will be up to 40 per cent for some grades,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

Another source confirmed the raise and the appraisal system.

The Malaysian Insider reported last week that the prime minister was considering a hefty bonus or pay increase for the civil service in a “break-the-bank” budget to counter rising costs and keep their support ahead of a general election expected within a year.

The move is similar to former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s move in 2007, who announced a salary increase of between 7.5 and 42 per cent for civil servants and a 100 per cent increase in the cost of living allowance (Cola) a year before calling polls.

The civil service has been seen as a bedrock of support for Najib’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition but it lost badly in Election 2008 under Abdullah despite his overwhelming win of 91 per cent of Parliament four years earlier.

Critics and analysts said a combination of rising inflation and a push for civil liberties cut BN’s support in the polls.

Najib is determined to turn around the coalition’s fortunes and recently restarted his reforms agenda by announcing the repeal and revision of several security and media laws in his Malaysia Day address, including the replacement of the Internal Security Act (ISA) with two new laws that focus on terrorism and race and religious issues.

The Najib administration has already paid out a half-month bonus to all 1.3 million civil servants and RM500 to 600,000 government pensioners ahead of Hari Raya last month amid public concern over rising inflation.

The payout cost Putrajaya RM2 billion although the government usually gives another one-month bonus at the end of the year.

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) has lobbied against the triple-tier Sistem Saraan Baru (SSB) scheme that was introduced in 1992, demanding in 1995 a return to a single-tier plan.

The government ignored the civil service unions again when it stuck to the three tiers in 2002’s Sistem Saraan Malaysia (SSM), sparking widespread dissatisfaction due to caps for higher rates of annual increments.

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