Thursday, March 8, 2012

Government scraps civil service pay revamp

Government scraps civil service pay revamp

UPDATED @ 11:47:37 AM 08-03-2012
March 08, 2012
Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, March 8 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today the scrapping of his administration’s controversial pay scheme that had been criticised for only benefiting top government servants while leaving the majority of the civil service with paltry salary hikes.

The prime minister said today that the existing Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM) would be maintained with improvements in place of the new public service new remuneration scheme (SBPA).

Najib (picture) told a special gathering of civil servants here that the Chief Secretary of the Government’s pay would only go up by seven per cent, after it was revealed recently that the SBPA would see the country’s top civil servant getting a salary of RM60,000 a month.

The revelation that top civil servants including the Chief Secretary would get hefty pay hikes while those in lower pay grades would receive an increment as low as RM1.70 had ignited anger and disapproval in the 1.4 million-strong civil service — a key vote bank for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition — ahead of a general election that must be called by May 2013.

The prime minister also said today that the pay hike for the management and professional group (Grade 1-54) would only be limited to a 13 per cent increase.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Putrajaya will have to fork out an additional RM2 billion on top of the RM2.6 billion promised under the new SBPA remuneration scheme that was due to go into effect last January 1.

The prime minister had ordered a review of the pay scheme after government unions raised an outcry over the quantum of increase.

A panel led by former Public Service Department (PSD) director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam had until April 16 to review the scheme.

However, the latest move raises questions about the internal processes within those in charge of the pay review and the Cabinet’s competency to digest beyond the headline figures presented to it when the entire wage scheme was being structured.

The decision to scrap the SBPA is likely to also affect PSD director-general Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Abdullah’s chances of becoming the next Chief Secretary.

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