MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Friday, August 5, 2022

Govt ups allowance for civil servants with foreign language skills


The government introduced the special allowances for foreign language skills among civil servants serving abroad in 2009.

PETALING JAYA: Despite “going big” on the use of Malay at international functions, the government has increased the monthly allowances for civil servants serving abroad who pick up foreign languages to use in the course of their duty.

However, Putrajaya has kept its policy of not paying any allowance for those with English language skills.

The eligible civil servants are allowed to claim for a maximum of two foreign languages each.

In a circular sighted by FMT, public service department head Mohd Shafiq Abdullah said the monthly allowances for those with intermediate certificates will be increased from RM150 per month to RM200.

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As for advanced level qualifications, the incentive allowance, which used to be RM250, has been raised to RM300 effective from Jan 1 next year, Shafiq said in the circular issued last week.

The special allowances for foreign language skills was first introduced in 2009.

The languages that qualify for these allowances are Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Russian, Spanish and any other official languages of the country they serve in.

“In line with the expansion of international ties between Malaysia and other countries, the use of foreign languages to communicate is important to help ease diplomatic and trade discussions abroad,” Shafiq said.

He said those who qualify for the allowances are officers serving abroad using foreign languages in the course of their duties and those in Malaysia who are asked to conduct international diplomatic or trade discussions.

“Those using foreign languages while abroad for meetings will be paid on a pro-rated basis for the period they are there.

“Officers who return from serving abroad and who no longer have to use the foreign languages in their work will cease receiving the allowances,” he said.

In February, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysian representatives will use Malay at every official function that they are involved in, including at international meetings, as part of efforts to strengthen the national language.

Ismail said he used Malay when holding bilateral meetings and joint press conferences. - FMT

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